The ISIHAC
Translations Page

Last Updated
28 Dec 2009

On the BBC Radio 4 show I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, one of the rounds includes suggestions for translations of foreign words and phrases. Here are some of the teams' suggestions, along with some of my suggestions. If you have any ideas you would like included, please e-mail me here, and I will add the best ones (with full credit to you of course)

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Virginibus pleurisque: Raindrops keep falling on Richard Branson's charabanc 11 Mar 1989
Et in arcadia ego: I had an omelette down the shopping precinct 11 Mar 1989
Nouveau Beaujolais: Unsuitable for drinking 11 Mar 1989
Dos vidanya: I'm sleeping rough with Anya 11 Mar 1989
Porca verba: Pig Latin 11 Mar 1989
Aqua minerali: Waiter, I'm driving 11 Mar 1989
Sole bonne femme: I met this great lady at the Olympics 11 Mar 1989
Mama mia!: Rosemary's baby 11 Mar 1989
La vie en rose: I've got a pink khasi 11 Mar 1989
Canard a l'orange: Iain Paisley's lying 11 Mar 1989
Vin ordinaire: Ford Transit 11 Mar 1989
La belle dame sans merci: The telephone operator never says 'thank you' 11 Mar 1989
A capella: The band hasn't turned up Chichester
12 Dec 1992
Ad hoc: Liven up your rice pudding with a little German wine Chichester
12 Dec 1992
A la carte: Rhyming slang Brighton
13 Jun 1992
Ad nauseam: The feeling you get from watching too much ITV 20 Sep 1986
Ad nauseam: The latest Benetton campaign
Aloha: An asthmatic policeman's greeting 25 May 1985
Annus horibilis: Do you mind if I don't sit down? Bath
14 Jun 1997
Annus horibilis: Do you mind if I don't sit down? ISIHAC 5, Side 3
Anti pasta: Aunt's past it 20 Sep 1986
Apparatchik: A cross between a parrot & a chick Richmond-Upon- Thames
15 Jun 1996
Après moi le déluge: You can have the lavatory after me 20 Sep 1986
Après nous le déluge: The lavatory's blocked ISIHAC 1, Side 3
Après ski: Plaster of Paris or I've finished the yoghurt Brighton
13 Jun 1992
Après ski: Plaster of Paris or I've finished the yoghurt ISIHAC 1, Side 3
Au clair de la lune: Clair's a bit of a nutter 20 Sep 1986
Avant-garde: The next-to-last coach on the train Brighton
13 Jun 1992
Avant-garde: The next-to-last coach on the train ISIHAC 1, Side 3
Avez-vous faimes?: Would you like my sister? 14 Apr 1984
Bauhaus: Dog kennel Bauhaus
12 Dec 1992
Belle époque: A cheap cut of pig meat Richmond-Upon- Thames
15 Jun 1996
Bidet: Two days before D-Day Brighton
13 Jun 1992
Bidet: Two days before D-Day ISIHAC 1, Side 3
Bona fide: Good Dog ISIHAC 1, Side 3
Bonsai: Dyslexic kamikaze pilot Edinburgh
13 Nov 1993
Boutique: Shoe shop Kevin Hale
Bratwürst: Macaulay Caulkin Chichester
12 Dec 1992
Bureau de change: Superman's telephone box Brighton
13 Jun 1992
Carpe diem: Fish of the Day Brighton
13 Jun 1992
Carpe diem: Fish of the Day ISIHAC 1, Side 3
Chacun a son goût: Jack's got the gout 14 Apr 1984
Chacun a son goût: Oh, you like Pot Noodle, do you? 20 Sep 1986
Charabancs: The cleaning lady's a goer Chichester
12 Dec 1992
Charabancs: Coach accident Kevin Hale
Ciabatta: The Wookie in Star Wars
Cinquecento: 100-year-old Chinaman
Coup de grâce: To finish mowing the lawn Kevin Hale
Corps de ballet: The sound an audience makes when one of the male dancers leaps on with what looks like the dome of St.Pauls in his tights 25 May 1985
Crêche: A car accident in Woking ISIHAC 1, Side 3
Cul de sac: My bag is in the refigerator 20 Sep 1986
Culpa levis: To be excused for wearing jeans Kevin Hale
Daiwoo: Host of Supermarket Sweep
Deutschland, Deutschland Uber Alles: Alice has had it away all over Holland 14 Apr 1984
Dieu et mon droit: The family motto of Mrs. Thatcher's family: God And Me Are Right 14 Apr 1984
Donna è mobile: Portable kebab stand Chichester
12 Dec 1992
Donner & blitzen: Kebab & the runs Edinburgh
13 Nov 1993
Dossier: A person who sleeps under the bridges of Paris Chichester
12 Dec 1992
Droit de seneur: Sir dresses on the right, I believe 20 Sep 1986
Droit de seneur: The Gents is on the right ISIHAC 1, Side 3
Eldorado: Didn't seem like a good idea in the beginning Edinburgh
13 Nov 1993
Ersatz: A Somerset milliner Bath
14 Jun 1997
Ersatz: A Somerset milliner ISIHAC 5, Side 3
Et tu, Brute?: Did you eat the after shave? 14 Apr 1984
Et tu, Brute?: Blimey! You've splashed it all over, and no mistake! Richmond-Upon- Thames
15 Jun 1996
Eureka!: B.O.! Brighton
13 Jun 1992
Fete vaux jeux (?): Go three rounds with the green goddess or Go blind slowly 19 May 1984
Fin de siecle: Bicycle lover Bath
14 Jun 1997
Fin de siecle: Bicycle lover ISIHAC 5, Side 3
Film noir: You forgot to take the cap off the camera again Edinburgh
13 Nov 1993
Film noir: My camera's bust! Richmond-Upon- Thames
15 Jun 1996
Film noir: Oh Damn! The holiday photo's haven't come out! Bath
14 Jun 1997
Film noir: Oh Damn! The holiday photo's haven't come out! ISIHAC 5, Side 3
Graffiti: Newton's Law of Dyslexia Chichester
12 Dec 1992
Grand prix: Michael Howard Bath
14 Jun 1997
Grand prix: Michael Howard ISIHAC 5, Side 3
Hande hoch!: The white wine is at your elbow! 25 May 1985
Hara-kiri: Opera singer educated at public school Bath
14 Jun 1997
Hara-kiri: Opera singer educated at public school ISIHAC 5, Side 3
Honi soit qui mal y pense: Kneel down those who think Mal is a ponce Kevin Hale
Hors de saison: A young lady of sixteen 25 May 1985
Ich bin ein Berliner: I am a misprint for a binliner 14 Apr 1984
Ich dien: I am Jayne Torville's dancing partner 20 Sep 1986
Ich liebe dich: I'm very fond of Richard 14 Apr 1984
Infra dig: I'm an archaeologist Buxton
21 Nov 1992
In loco parentis: Making love on a train Kevin Hale
Jihad: - is what fundamentalist cowboys yell! Edinburgh
13 Nov 1993
La cucaracha: Chef's special 20 Sep 1986
La dame aux camelia: Lady Camelhair Porker-Bowels Edinburgh
13 Nov 1993
L'après midi d'une faune: You've been on the telephone since lunch! 20 Sep 1986
L'après midi d'une faune: Cheap rate 19 May 1984
Magnum opus: A big Irish cat ISIHAC 1, Side 3
Magnum opus: The Irish cat private eye Richmond-Upon- Thames
15 Jun 1996
Ma petite chose: My flies are open 19 May 1984
Masseuse: A room full of stutterers Buxton
21 Nov 1992
Mi casa tu casa: My house has two lavatories 25 May 1985
Modus operandi: Miss Mowlem ruins a performance of La Traviata Kevin Hale
Moi aussi: I am an Australian 14 Apr 1984
Non compos mentis: I don't think that's meant to be fertilizer Brighton
13 Jun 1992
Non compos mentis: I don't think that's meant to be fertilizer ISIHAC 1, Side 3
Nota bene: The new Crossroads TV series is missing an important character Kevin Hale
O sole mio: That's my fish 20 Sep 1986
Pas de deux: Father of twins Kevin Hale
Paterfamilias: A well-known comedy routine
Petite chose: Your flies are open Edinburgh
13 Nov 1993
Prima donna: Sean Penn's bachelor days 20 Sep 1986
Pro forma: Ex Prostitute Kevin Hale
Quelque chose: Your flies are undone Kevin Hale
Quid pro quo: These rock band tickets are cheap Kevin Hale
Sic transit Gloria mundi: Gloria was sick in the van, but she'll be in on Monday Richmond-Upon- Thames
15 Jun 1996
Semper fidelis: That violin sounds awful Kevin Hale
Snickers: Spanties Edinburgh
13 Nov 1993
Soupçon: Dinner's nearly ready Bath
14 Jun 1997
Soupçon: Dinner's nearly ready ISIHAC 5, Side 3
Spaghetti carbonara: My dinner's on fire 25 May 1985
Steak tartare: The meat's off! 20 Sep 1986
Sub judice: The Isreali Underground system Brighton
13 Jun 1992
Sub judice: The Isreali Underground system ISIHAC 1, Side 3
Sushi: Eddy Canter's best known song after the drink got him - If You Knew Sushi Like I Know Sushi Richmond-Upon- Thames
15 Jun 1996
Tant pis, tant mieux: Aunty's been to the bathroom and she's feeling much better now 25 May 1985
Tour de force: Visit to a police station Kevin Hale
Trompe d'oeuil: That one made my eyes water! Bath
14 Jun 1997
Trompe d'oeuil: That one made my eyes water! ISIHAC 5, Side 3
Tutti frutti: Baked beans Buxton
21 Nov 1992
Valpolicella: Mr. Doonican's parrot is in the string section 14 Apr 1984
Veni, vidi, vici: I came to see Vicky; unfortunately she was suffering from a social disease 19 May 1984
Veni, vidi, vici...: ...Mick and Tich 14 Apr 1984
Virgo intacta: An unsullied snooker commentator Kevin Hale
Hors d'Ouevres: Women who hang around diesel pumps Brighton
13 Jun 1992
Bona fide: Good Dog Buxton
21 Nov 1992
Droit de seneur: The Gents is on the right Buxton
21 Nov 1992
Crêche: A car accident in Woking Buxton
21 Nov 1992
Fin de siecle: Cycling enthusiast Buxton
21 Nov 1992
Magnum opus: A big Irish cat Buxton
21 Nov 1992
Enfant terrible: Jeremy Beadle Buxton
21 Nov 1992
Carte blanche: A Streetcar Named Desire Buxton
21 Nov 1992
Après nous le déluge: The lavatory's blocked Buxton
21 Nov 1992
In loco parentis: Engine driver Buxton
21 Nov 1992
Fiat lux: Car wash Chichester
12 Dec 1992
Bankette: A little bank Chichester
12 Dec 1992
Duvet: Well, I didn't know vat about vem Chichester
12 Dec 1992
Fiat lux: Car wash 19 Oct 1987
Cannelloni al forno: Al's fallen in the canal 19 Oct 1987
Magnum opus: Tom Selleck's Irish cat 19 Oct 1987
Requiescat in pacum: Our cat was totally ruined in the park 19 Oct 1987
Toujours la politesse: If I'm not out in two days, send for a policewoman 19 Oct 1987
C'est la guerre: Jumble sale 19 Oct 1987
Sang froid: A cold song, as in I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas 19 Oct 1987
Have a nice day!: ...now bugger off! 19 Oct 1987
Droit de seneur: Ah, Sir dresses to the right Paris Theatre
07 Sep 1987
Pardonez Moi: I'm sorry about Frank Muir Paris Theatre
07 Sep 1987
Donner Und Blitzen!: The after effects of a kebab Paris Theatre
07 Sep 1987
Donna è mobile: Kebab on wheels Paris Theatre
07 Sep 1987
Ich dien: I am Jayne Torville's dancing partner Paris Theatre
07 Sep 1987
Dernier Pensée: The last pimp before the M1 Paris Theatre
07 Sep 1987
Achtung!: German kissing Paris Theatre
07 Sep 1987
Con allegro: Second hand car salesman Paris Theatre
07 Sep 1987
Mens Sana In Corpore Sano: Corporal punishment available in the men's sauna Paris Theatre
07 Sep 1987
C'est la guerre: Nautical outfits  
Corps Anglais: French blokes lusting after English women  
Pinz nez: Not wearing underwear  
Virginibus pleurisque: Raindrops keep falling on Richard Branson's charabanc 29 Jan 1990
Et in arcadia ego: I had an omelette down the shopping precinct 29 Jan 1990
Nouveau Beaujolais: Unsuitable for drinking 29 Jan 1990
Dos vidanya: I'm sleeping rough with Anya 29 Jan 1990
Porca verba: Pig Latin 29 Jan 1990
Aqua minerali: Waiter, I'm driving 29 Jan 1990
Sole bonne femme: I met this great lady at the Olympics 29 Jan 1990
Mama mia!: Rosemary's baby 29 Jan 1990
La vie en rose: I've got a pink khasi 29 Jan 1990
Canard a l'orange: Iain Paisley's lying 29 Jan 1990
Vin ordinaire: Ford Transit 29 Jan 1990
La belle dame sans merci: The telephone operator never says 'thank you' 29 Jan 1990
(d?) after venue signifies a query regarding the Date of broadcast,
(??) signifies a query regarding Venue of broadcast


One of the rounds is Euro Scrabble.
Here are some of the teams' suggestions, along with some of my suggestions. If you have any ideas you would like included, please e-mail me here, and I will add the best ones (with full credit to you of course)

 Sort by:
 

Merde: French word for Radio 4 lunchtime quizzes Plymouth
14 Jun 1999
Hors d'Ouevres: Women who hang around diesel pumps Plymouth
14 Jun 1999
Fecu: Irish term of abuse Plymouth
14 Jun 1999
Ngl: - it's middle English Plymouth
14 Jun 1999
Risqué: What you take before you take Risk B Plymouth
14 Jun 1999
Toupee: When a couple get refused free entry Plymouth
14 Jun 1999
Contratemps: A cat fight Coventry
04 Dec 2000
Baden-Baden: German for Two baths a day Coventry
04 Dec 2000
Coq Au Vin: The French mobile gigolo service Coventry
04 Dec 2000
Sangria: Without Germaine Coventry
04 Dec 2000
Deux Deux: Tutu Coventry
04 Dec 2000
Tagliatelli: Italian state television Coventry
04 Dec 2000
Brouhaha: Funny beer Coventry
04 Dec 2000
Contratemps: A cat fight ISIHAC 8, Side 3
Baden-Baden: German for Two baths a day ISIHAC 8, Side 3
Coq Au Vin: The French mobile gigolo service ISIHAC 8, Side 3
Sangria: Without Germaine ISIHAC 8, Side 3
Deux Deux: Tutu ISIHAC 8, Side 3
Tagliatelli: Italian state television ISIHAC 8, Side 3
Brouhaha: Funny beer ISIHAC 8, Side 3
(d?) after venue signifies a query regarding the Date of broadcast,
(??) signifies a query regarding Venue of broadcast


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