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Hilarious illustrations translate international idioms

Miscommunication happens easily enough when everybody speaks the same language, but once you add foreign tongues into the mix then things can get really confusing. To explain some of the usual turns of phrase and idioms they've come across while working with international clients, stationery supplier Viking (opens in new tab) have resorted to sketching (opens in new tab) these humorous illustrations.

Created by award-winning British illustrator Paul Blow, these 11 bold and stylish illustrations visualise how some of the world's more surreal idioms might look if they were literally translated into English.

From hairy teeth to sliding on sandwiches, there are plenty of quirky phrases out there to enjoy. Of course, the English language isn't without its own strange ways of saying things. Just where did the phrase cool as a cucumber come from anyway?

So give the full list of phrases below a browse, and maybe in the future you'll be able to impress people with your mastery of international languages and phrases.

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Dom Carter
Dom Carter

Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.