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 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 Senior Member

    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

    Crug Hywel
    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 Member

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

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    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
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    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 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 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 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 Banned

    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

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (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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