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Surreal in translation: Matt Lindley and Marcus Oakley's foreign proverbs – in pictures

The Guardian November 30, 2014


The cat is out of the bag: proverbs sound ridiculous when they’re translated. London-based writer Matt Lindley has become fascinated with how foreign idioms translate into surreal phrases. “A country’s idioms can give us an insight into a culture,” he says. “There’s something slightly ‘other’ about foreign sayings, that reveals quite a different way of thinking.” After Lindley collected the sayings, Edinburgh-based artist Marcus Oakley turned them into illustrations for travel website Hotel Club. “I’m sure English idioms sound really strange to other people,” Lindley says. “Often ones that resonate with different cultures are the ones that are quite far away from the ones they have.”

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