Когда рак на горе свистнет/when pigs fly/ Quand les poules auront des dents/ Wenn Fische fliegen lernen/ Quando gli asini voleranno/ Cuando meen las gallinas/ Quando as galinhas tiverem dentés

To express something improbable to happen, many languages use different animals and unlikely actions. In England, pigs might fly. In France and Portugal, hens grow teeth, in Spain and Italy, they pee! ( Latin languages definitely have something important with hens…) In Germany, fish might fly.

In Russian they give the full context though: “when the crayfish whistles on the mountain”!

Anna Redkina

Illustration: Dafne Ortiz


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