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The Illustrated Book of Sayings: Curious Expressions from Around the World Hardcover – September 13, 2016
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"A charming little book with delightful illustrations."
-- San Francisco Chronicle
". . .a charming collection of idioms that get lost in translation. The kinds of phrases you don't often hear in traditional language lessons, these are the sayings that you learn when immersed in a culture. From the bleak to the romantic and straight-up weird, each one is explained in words and pictures—perfectly outlining the sometimes hard-to-comprehend concepts. There are too many favorites to list."
-- Cool Hunting
"Ella Frances Sanders' Illustrated Book of Sayings unlocks phrases that are unusual and delightful to the ears and, through charming illustrations, easy on the eyes."
About the Author
ELLA FRANCES SANDERS is a writer out of necessity and an illustrator by accident. She currently lives and works in the city of Bath, UK, without a cat. Her first book, Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World, was a New York Times bestseller and is now, perhaps ironically, being translated into many other languages. She still doesn’t know exactly how it all happened, but things seem to be going OK.
She can be found at ellafrancessanders.com and various other social media places.
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A beautifully illustrated, entertaining picture book about the quirky ways we express ourselves in different languages and cultures.
For example, I grew up in the US being told, if I were blocking someone’s view, “You make a better door than a window.” In German, I learned the expression “Your father was not a window-maker.” I suspect Germany had the saying first.
In this book, the author often mentions just this sort of similarity. On the left-hand page, she gives us a brief, often funny, paragraph or two about the expression, with a bit of history and some comparisons with similar idioms in other languages, many of which are just as peculiar.
On the right-hand side, opposite the text, is a full page drawing showing the saying in a colourful, funny way. The words are there in both the original language (including those with other alphabets) and then the English translation.
Here’s an example.
“Many idioms translate oddly, but Romanian ones can be exceptionally confusing when translated into English, and without an explanation, we wouldn’t have much hope of understanding them. But my, are they wonderful.
‘To pull someone out of their watermelons’ is to drive them crazy, a bit nuts.
While the rest of us are surprised, Romanians’ faces fall off (I-a picat faţa); they do not lose their tempers but instead, their mustard will jump off (Îi sare muştarul).
They will not tell you to stop wasting time but to stop rubbing the mint (A freca menta), and a Romanian will not lie to you but will sell you doughnuts (Vinde gogoşi).
Static on your TV in Romania? ‘The TV has fleas!’(Televizorul are purici).
And instead of catching your breath? You are pulling your soul (A-şi trage sufletul). The list goes on in a fascinating fashion.”
Thanks to NetGalley and Ten Speed Press for an advanced review copy of this very attractive publication. Language-lovers will get a kick out of it.
THE ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF SAYINGS reflects on 52 proverbs, expressions and idioms from different cultures. Furthermore, the author gives context, history, the equivalent in different countries is that the case, and takes notice that some of them are not true to facts.
The sayings’ illustrations become nonsense and amusing at times. Moreover, the whole concept matches Ella Frances Sanders writing style, funny, lighthearted and informative.
I learned quite a few miscellaneous jeopardy-type information, things I was surprised to find out.
One of my favorite sayings in this book is one of the “most well known in the Japanese language” was “Even monkeys fall from trees,” which (apparently nonsense) is said to show that everybody makes mistakes, gets things wrong sometimes.
You’ll learn some things, but mostly this is just a charming little book meant to give you a moment or two to pause and remember that no matter the language, we’re all experiencing shared feelings and bumps in the road of life.
Many thanks to Ten Speed Press, NetGalley and to the author, Ella Frances Sanders for sending me an advanced copy for reading and review.