Compare apples and oranges

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by eno2, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. eno2

    eno2 Senior Member

    El Hierro de Canarias

    <compare apples and oranges>

    That's compare things that are incomparably different.

    Does your language also use fruits to say that?

    Dutch: Appels en peren vergelijken= Compare apples and pears.
  2. Yendred Senior Member

    Français - France
    In French, the metaphor is more with vegetables:
    comparer des patates et des carottes (compare potatoes and carrots)
  3. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)

    srovnávati jablka s hruškami (hrušky s jablky) = to compare apples with pears (pears with apples);
    míchati jablka s hruškami (hrušky s jablky) = to mix apples with pears;
    sčítati jablka s hruškami (hrušky s jablky) = to sum apples with pears;
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  4. Penyafort

    Penyafort Senior Member

    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    I'd say in Europe it's mostly apples and pears.

    Catalan: Comparar pomes i peres (or peres i pomes).
    Spanish: Comparar peras con manzanas.
    French: Comparer des pommes et de poires.
  5. Stoggler

    Stoggler Senior Member

    Sussex, GBR
    UK English
    Including British English.
  6. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    Lorraine in France
    English (US Northeast)
    The version in French for compare apples to oranges that I've heard mostly around here is comparer des choux et des carottes.
    I guess it is indeed a vegetable thing!
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  7. Perseas Senior Member

    Ιn Greek it's "to compare apples and oranges".
    "Συγκρίνω μήλα με πορτοκάλια" [siŋgríno míla mé portokáʎa] << Lit. "I compare apples with oranges">>.
    But, you can improvise too and come up with any other different things. The result will be the same.
  8. Yendred Senior Member

    Français - France
    Yes indeed you are right. This is the most idiomatic version. I don't use this expression very often, so I had in mind my Maths teacher in school who had his personal variant and always said "Vous voulez ajouter des patates et des carottes !".
    Anyway, if you say in French "comparer des pommes et des oranges", the intention will be understood too. It's a matter of taste :D

    But be careful if you say "des pommes et des poires", because anyone belonging to my generation will add "et des scoubidous" :rolleyes:
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2019
  9. eno2

    eno2 Senior Member

    El Hierro de Canarias
    I remember that one well...
  10. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    Come again? I've never heard anyone say "compare apples and pears", only "apples and oranges".
  11. Awwal12

    Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    In Russian the comparison is between God's gift and scrambled eggs, or, more rudely, an ass(hole) and a finger.
    Сравнивать Божий дар с яичницей.
    Сравнивать жопу с пальцем.
  12. Stoggler

    Stoggler Senior Member

    Sussex, GBR
    UK English
    After posting that original post I had my doubts. Perhaps getting mixed up with good old Cockney rhyming slang...
  13. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    Ah, as in stairs. I have heard that (from Cockneys) but never otherwise.
  14. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    German: "Äpfel und Birne vergleichen", is mentioned by I suppose a native speaker will just confirm that the expression in German refers to apples and pears...
  15. Demiurg

    Demiurg Senior Member

    But it's Äpfel und Birnen vergleichen or Äpfel mit Birnen vergleichen ("Birnen" is the plural of "Birne").
  16. nimak

    nimak New Member


    The most common saying is:
    Не мешај баби и жаби! [Ne mešaj babi i žabi!]
    Literal translation: "Don't mix/compare grandmas and frogs" :D in a meaning: Do not try to not make a difference between grandmas and frogs.

    Maybe it sounds strange, but you see in Macedonian there is a rhyme: babi - žabi. :p

    баби [babi] means: grandmas, grannies, old women

    I have also seen some people use:
    Не мешај јаболка и круши! [Ne mešaj jabolka i kruši!]
    Literal translation: "Don't mix/compare apples and pears"
    But this is rare and is probably an influence by other languages.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019 at 6:30 AM

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