Only the gods are beyond *our* comprehension.

This is an interesting chart — we say “it’s Greek to me,” but what do the Greeks say? (Arabic, it turns out.) What about the Arabs? (Hindi.) And a crap-ton of cultures point at Chinese for sheer buh? factor.

But the punch line? Apparently the only language the Chinese feel is utterly beyond them . . . is the language of Heaven.

0 Responses to “Only the gods are beyond *our* comprehension.”

  1. kendokamel

    Huh. That’s really interesting! I never realized that type of phrase was so universal.

    • Marie Brennan

      It isn’t the same kind of phrase all the time (as noted below that chart), but close enough that you can graph it for entertainment purposes.

  2. drydem

    one of the ironic things is the source phrase, from Julius Caesar, is actually talking about someone speaking Greek. Cicero gives a speech in greek, Casca can’t understand Greek. so he says “For mine own part, it was Greek to me”
    So in the first usage, it sounds like Greek because it was Greek.

  3. desperance

    Oh, that is so perfectly Chinese. But then, they’ve learned Mandarin. They’re entitled… (*struggles*)

  4. Marie Brennan

    Probably just “you speak like a Frenchperson.” ^_~

  5. mirrorred_star

    Why does no one say its all English to them? We have so much buh? potential, being mostly made of words and grammar nicked from other languages… Apart from most countries teaching it at school and all…

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