Wednesday 25 March 2009
In English, if something is incomprehensible, we'll say, "It's Greek to me".
What do Greek speakers say? It turns out
they point to Chinese or Arabic.
There's probably more. Polish speakers point to Chinese as well, and we also have an expression "It's like sitting at a Turkish sermon". :)
Estonians also refer to chinese as it is more obscure than greek ever is.
Why don't you?
For us french, it's chinese as well.
For us french, it is also sometimes hebrew. But contrary to what the graph says, I have never heard of something being javanese to a french speaking person.
On that graph in your link, Japanese would probably point to itself. I'm not aware of any such phrase in Japanese, there very well could be one.
In Italy, "to me, it all looks like Arabic".
In Germany we refer to Spanish
Hebrew for finns.
Ernst: "Das kommt mir Spanisch vor" - word-by-word translated: "This appears Spanish to me" does not neccesarily mean that I do not understand something, rather that something is suspicious.
Also germans sometimes refer to chinese ("Fachchinesisch" meaning gobbledygook).
Luddites say "It's all geek to me!"
@Doug L: good one!
In Icelandic we say, similar to the Germans - "This looks Spanish to me" (Kemur mér Spánskt fyrir sjónir) meaning it is new/foreign to me.
Actually, I've never heard of any Greek saying "it's Arabic to me" -- only "Chinese". It's true, though, that we find Arabic writing to be rather cryptic (as almost anyone, apart from Arabs).
Yes, my mother would says "It's all Chinese."