Thursday, June 25, 2009

Slovak Word of the Day 5: podobať sa ako vajce vajcu

podobať sa ako vajce vajcu to be as alike as two peas in a pod

This one comes from an unexpected source. I've been reading Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist translated into Slovak. The book itself I find rather overrated (but then what's not to like about the message "follow your dream"), but it's short, simple and available (according to the book jacket) in 66 languages. I'd like to get into reading some original Slovak books rather than translations, but for now it's much easier to read something I have read before in a different language.

Right at the start (I haven't got very far yet!), Santiago the shepherd meets the shopkeeper's daughter, who rozprávala o živote v dedine, kde dni sa podobajú ako vajce vajcu. In the original, it just says in literal terms "where one day was the same as the other". Is the Slovak translator getting poetic, or would it not seem right in Slovak to express that literally?


  1. When you say "in the original", do you mean the "English" original?

    I would say the Slovak translation made a good use of an idiom- allowed, isn´t it? you know what they say about translations of literature: like a woman: ak je verna, nie je pekna. ak je pekna, nie je verna! :)

  2. there was supposed to be a smiling face after my first question. :)

  3. I don't have the English "original" :) The real original - in Portuguese - says "um dia era igual au outro"!

    It's a brilliant idiom, I just wondered whether it would have sounded strange if the translator had done it literally, or if she was just being poetic...

  4. No, it should be "cada dia era igual ao outro"!