to make a mountain out of a molehill (Van een mug een olifant maken)

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by ALOV, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. ALOV Junior Member

    Brussels
    Belgium- du, fr, eng, sp
    Hi,

    I wondered if other languages have a similar expression for : 'hij maakt van een mug een olifant , meaning 'he exagerates', litterally 'he makes an elephant of a mosquito'/'he turns a mosquito into an elephant'.
    Do you use the same animals or do you have other expressions with animals?

    Here is a whole thread on animals expressions that took place in the Spanish Forum a while ago.

    Belén
     
  2. belén

    belén Ex-Moderator

    Spain
    Spanish, Spain, Catalan, Mallorca
    Hello,

    In Spanish we say "to make a mountain out of a grain of sand",

    I can't think of animal expressions with that meaning now. I will keep thinking.

    Cheers,
    Be
     
  3. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    Warwick
    UK English
    The expression for this in english would be to make a mountain out of a molehill. In terms of animal related expressions in English, there are lots.

    It's the cat's whiskers =it's brilliant
    like the cat that got the cream= very happy
    to be dogged by something = you can't shake off persistent problems

    I'm sure other forer@s will come up with more for you.
     
  4. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Adelaide
    Australia English
    Looks like the equivalent of the English: Make a mountain out of a molehill.

    I can't think of an animal to animal equivalent in English.
     
  5. ALOV Junior Member

    Brussels
    Belgium- du, fr, eng, sp
    Thanx everybody for the interesting links!
     
  6. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    In Arabic we say "make a dome out of a grain." May not sound the most eloquent in English, but it rhymes in Arabic. :cool:
     
  7. Sybil Senior Member

    US
    Poland/Polish
    Alov,

    In Polish, we say "make a fork [garden fork] out of a needle" (note: words "garden fork" and "needle" rhyme in Polish) Sorry, no animals :)
     
  8. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    čeština
    Let me bring in animals again.

    Czech: to make a camel out of a mosquito. (dělat z komára velblouda - literally "to make out of a mosquito a camel).

    Jana
     
  9. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    I think you're thinking of a "rake."

    If so, the translation would be "to make a rake out of a needle" (interesting metaphor! :))
     
  10. Valmar Junior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Argentina - Spanish
    In Spanish also: To drown in a glass of water (Ahogarse en un vaso de agua).

    Again, sorry, but no animals.

    Valmar
     
  11. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    We have a similar expression in Arabic, but it's used to refer/describe a person who can't handle the slightest situation.
     
  12. alahay

    alahay Senior Member

    US
    Phoenicia

    ya3mel mnel 7abbe 'ebbe
     
  13. ElenaofTroy

    ElenaofTroy Senior Member

    State of Mexico, Mexico
    Mexico-Spanish
    In Spanish we also say: To make a storm in a glass of water (Hacer una tempestad en un vaso de agua).

    No animals come to my mind either.
     
  14. alahay

    alahay Senior Member

    US
    Phoenicia
    I guess in italian it would be: "fare una tempesta in un bicchiere d'aqua" which literally translates to "to make a storm in a glass of water"
     
  15. alahay

    alahay Senior Member

    US
    Phoenicia
    I agree! Drowning in a drop of water "lgharee' bi no'tet mai"! Maybe it's not the right expression!
     
  16. ElenaofTroy

    ElenaofTroy Senior Member

    State of Mexico, Mexico
    Mexico-Spanish
    In Spanish we use BOTH sentences:

    To drawn in a glass of water (Ahogarse en un vaso de agua) referring to someone who cannot handle the slightest situation, as it´s been said, and

    To make a storm in a glass of water (Hacer una tempestad en un vaso de agua) referring to someone who exagerates the size of a problem.

    Iliana :)
     
  17. amikama

    amikama sordomodo

    ישראל
    עברית
    Hebrew:
    עשה פיל מזבוב = he made an elephant of a fly
    חולל סערה בכוס מים = he made a storm in a glass of water
    ראה צל הרים כהרים = he saw the shadow of the mountains as mountains
     
  18. Chabada Senior Member

    France (French)
    In French: En faire toute une montagne / Faire une montagne de [quelque chose].
     
  19. Samaruc Senior Member

    València (País Valencià)
    Valencià/Català, Castellano
    We have a similar expression in Valencian-Catalan that is very used in València:

    "Fer d'una puça un cavall"

    that literally means "To make a horse out of a flea".
     
  20. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Portuguese:

    Fazer uma tempestade num copo de água.
    "To make a storm in a teacup", approximately.

    Fazer um bicho de sete cabeças.
    "To make a seven-headed beast out of it."
     
  21. maver

    maver Junior Member

    Estonia, Estonian
    Hi,

    in Estonian: kärbsest elevanti tegema / to make an elephant of a fly.

    Best,
    maver
     
  22. nyorai New Member

    Polish, Poland
    Sybil is right, elroy - in Polish we make a garden fork (not a rake) out of a needle - robimy z igły widły (widły=a garden fork). :)
     
  23. Sybil Senior Member

    US
    Poland/Polish
    Thank you, Nyorai :)

    By the way, to say that someone makes a minor issue a major one, we also use in Polish what looks like the equivalent of the Italian "fare una tempesta in un bicchiere d'aqua" [literal translation: "to make a storm in a glass of water": "burza w szklance wody" ["a storm in a glass of water"].

    How interesting :)
     
  24. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    กรุงเทพมหานคร
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    In German as in many other languages:

    Aus einer Mücke einen Elefanten machen.
    To make an elephant out of a midge/mosquito,
     
  25. Ilmo

    Ilmo Member Emeritus

    In Finnish:
    Tehdä kärpäsestä härkänen/ To make a (small) bull of a fly.
    I guess the bull was chosen as the big animal because of the rhyme of the Finnish words: kärpänen - härkänen
    I won't try to explain how to pronounce it
     
  26. Elieri Junior Member

    Sweden
    We have that expression in swedish as well! "En storm i ett vattenglas" (a storm in a glass of water)
    As for animals, there's "Att göra en höna av en fjäder" (To make a hen out of a feather)
     
  27. alitza

    alitza Senior Member

    Romania, Romanian
    Hello,
    In Romanian it is "A face din tantar armasar" which means literally "to turn a mosquito into a stallion".
    It really is fascinating to see how different and yet in many ways so similar, this expression is in different languages, isn't it?
    Oh, and we also have "furtuna intr-un pahar cu apa" which is " a storm in a glass of water".
    Greetings.
     
  28. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
  29. Samaruc Senior Member

    València (País Valencià)
    Valencià/Català, Castellano
    Curious... It's literally the same in Valencian or Catalan: "Fer una tempesta en un got d'aigua" (To make a storm in a glass of water).
     
  30. Islendingurinn New Member

    Hveragerði
    Iceland, Icelandic
    Hi

    In Iceland we say: "Að gera úlfalda úr mýflugu" and is the same as "To make a camel out of a mosqito"
     
  31. spirit New Member

    Estonian, Estonia
    Actually, I think it`s still "to make an elephant out of a mosquito". In Estonian "sääsest elevanti tegema". At least, that`s what we say in South-Estonia :)
     
  32. Jesse Kuiper New Member

    Dutch, the Netherlands
    In Dutch we have also "een storm in een glas water" ("a storm in a glass of water")
     
  33. Tyfo New Member

    Danish and Denmark
    Danish;

    En storm i et glas vand. (A storm in a glass of water).
    At lave en fjer til fem høns. (To make a feather into five hens).
     
  34. MusicalGuy New Member

    Istanbul
    Turkish - Turkey
    We have the exact same expression in Turkish: "to make a storm in a glass of water"! :) Does anyone have an expression like "drown smb. in a spoonful of water" like we do in Turkish?
     
  35. Nizo Senior Member

    Esperanto: fari monton el talpejo (to make a mountain out of a molehill).
     
  36. avok

    avok Senior Member

    Turkish:

    "Pireyi deve yapmak": "To make a camel out of a flea"


    "Bir bardak suda fýrtýna koparmak." : "To make a storm in a glass of water"
     
  37. Nizo Senior Member

    Afrikaans: van 'n muggie 'n olifant maak (similar to the Dutch: to make an elephant out of a gnat)
     
  38. Maja

    Maja Senior Member

    Binghamton, NY
    Serbian, Serbia
    In Serbian:
    napraviti od komarca magarca (to make a donkey out of a mosquito).
     
  39. Mjolnir

    Mjolnir Senior Member

    Israel, Hebrew, English
    In Hebrew we also have "to make a mountain out of a mouse". It rhymes.
     
  40. J.F. de TROYES Senior Member

    francais-France
    It's also exactly the same in French :

    " C'est une tempête dans un verre d'eau"
     
  41. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    In Arabic we also have "to make a storm in a coffee cup".
     
  42. dudasd

    dudasd Senior Member

    Serbia
    Serbo-Croatian
    Serbian: To make a donkey out of mosquito (it rhymes: Praviti od komarca magarca).
     
  43. Lewell New Member

    South Africa
    South Africa Afrikaans
    in afrikaans, maak n berg van n molshoop
     
  44. Robmusa New Member

    Spanish (Chilean)
    a Latin expression in a similar vein, quoted by Schopenhauer is:


    "In pulicis morsu Deum invocare" call upon the Deity at every flea-bite
     
  45. Fray Luis Senior Member

    Spanish
    A less common expression in Spanish is "tropezar con un garbanzo" (to bump into a chick pea") It's said of a person who easily gets discouraged with an insignificant problem. Still, no animal. Sorry.
     
  46. wbhindyou New Member

    Australia
    English
    Vietnamese:

    "Chuyện bé đừng xé ra to" (lit. Story tiny don't bring out big)
     
  47. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Prague
    Hungarian
    Hungarian

    Bolhából elefántot csinál.

    to make an elephant out of a flea
     
  48. MusicalGuy New Member

    Istanbul
    Turkish - Turkey
    in Turkish we say:
    to make a camel out of a flea

    sorry for the veeeery late response!
    :)
     
  49. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Greek
    In Greek:

    «Βγάζω απ'τη μύγα ξίγγι*»
    ['vɣazo apti 'miɣa 'ksiɲɟi]
    lit. "to obtain from a fly, suet"

    * MG neuter noun «ξίγγι» which derives from the Byzantine Greek neuter noun «ἀξούγγιον» [a'ksuɲɟi.on] a Latin loan word < axungia (axle grease)
     
  50. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Russian:дeлать из мухи слона /delat iz mukhi slona/ - make an elephant out of a fly
    one variation of the saying above: раздуть из мухи слона /pazdut iz mukhi slona/ - blow a fly into an elephant
    also, like in Spanish, we have буря в стакане /buria v stakane/ - a storm in a glass
     

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