Translate Tagalog Idioms into English
English Idioms into Tagalog

Tagalog Idioms: these are expressions that don’t mean what they say on the surface. For example:

It seemed as if
she or he [were]
a drenched chick
He or she looked pitiful
Mahilig siyang
He or she is fond of
magbuhat ng sariling
lifting his own
He or she is boastful
Aanhin pa
What is the use for
ang kabayo.
the horse..
ang damo
the grass
kung patay na
if dead [already]
Goodwill won’t benefit those who are already dead or gone. (or near the expression “too late the hero”)
Ginigisa ka
You are sautéed
sa sarili mong
in your own
What you have or know is being used against you.
Magpapantay muna
[They will be] levelled first
ang aking
mga paa …
Only when I’m dead or akin to saying “Over my dead body”
Daig pa niya
You are worse than
ang lipad.
the flight.
ang kalapating
the dove
He or she is worse than a prostitute.
Ripening sour-fruit
si lolo.
Grandfather acts or tries to look much younger than his real age.

Capture exact meaning using tagalog idioms


You are
Ikaw ay
the top
sa ibabaw o itaas
You exaggerate.
Sobra ka naman (popular use)
You have got
Ikaw ay mayroong
too many irons
napakaraming bakal
in the fire
[na hinihinang?] sa apoy
You are involved with too many different things at the same time.
Isa-isa lang, mahina ang kalaban (nearest colloquial idiom)
I think we are
Sa palagay namin kami ay
over the hill
lampas [na] sa burol
We’re past the most difficult part.
Nalampasan na namin ang pinakamahirap na bahagi (formal)
We were calm and quiet
Kami ay payapa at tahimik
he rocked the boat.
niya inuga ang bangka.
We were calm and quiet before he spoiled it all.
Tahimik sana kami at walang gulo kung di siya dumating.
(dynamic equivalence: changed emphasis)
She decided
Nagpasiya siyang
to take
the bull by the horns.
ang tamaraw sa sungay nito.
She decided that she will face her problems squarely.
Nagpasiya siyang harapin ang problema.
don’t be a
huwag maging isang
doubting Thomas
nagdududang Tomas
Please don’t be skeptical
Pakiusap (lang), huwag sana kayong magduda katulad ni Tomas (literal)
He knew
Alam niya
his alibi
na ang kanyang dahilan (nearest equivalent).
Didn’t hold water.
ay hindi makakahawak (malalagyan?) ng tubig.
He couldn’t prove that what he’s saying is true.
Hindi niya kayang patunayang totoo ang kanyang sinabi. (dynamic equivalent).

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