While Americans are busy making a mountain out of a molehill, the French faire d'une mouche un elephant--make an elephant out of a fly. A Frenchman doesn't put his foot in his mouth; he puts his feet in his plate. He doesn't let his hair down he unbuttons himself. And when he snarls, "Va te faire cuire un oeuf!"--"Go cook an egg!"--we might reply, "Oh, go fly a kte" while our Spanish friends would advise us to " go see another dog with that bone!"
Spaniards and Americans both cry crocodile tears, lead dogs' lives, and know that all that glitters is not gold. But a Spaniard doesn't stand on his own two feet; he flies with his own wings. And while an American burns the midnight oil, a Spaniard burns his eyelashes when he dozes off too close to the candle.
In Italy, venetian blinds are called persian blinds. In America there is no honor among thieves; in Italy, cane non mangia cane--a dog doesn't eat a dog. "Porco mondo!"--"Pig world!"--an Italian would cry, while we'd say, in English, "Rats!"
And when dust is blown off the Latin language, some surprising phrases come to light, such as Qui me amat, amat et canem meam-"Who loves me,loves my dog." Or Calvo turpius est nihil compto--"There's nothing more contemptible than a bald man who pretends to have hair."