Idiom fun! It’s a small world

Travel anywhere and you’re likely to find someone or something you can somehow relate to. Thanks to social networks, proving Frigyes Karinthy’s six degrees of separation (he was a translator, no less) seems to get easier every year.

It’s a small world

The idiom ‘it’s a small world’ is used when you meet or see people in an unexpected location or meet a person who unexpectedly knows someone you know.

For example, you’re on holiday in Spain and you make friends with some local people, only to find out they also know a friend of yours who visited Spain last year. Crazy!

Let’s look at what others say:

French: Le monde est vraiment petit – The world is really small

German: Die ganze Welt ist ein Dorf – The whole world’s a village

Italian: Tutto il monde è paese – The whole world’s a village

Dutch: De wereld, mijn dorp – The world, my village

Spanish: Estan lloviendo hasta maridos – It’s even raining husbands!

Welsh: Mae’r byd yn fach   – The world is small

There you have it! Pretty similar in all languages actually, so if the language you need isn’t above, have a good guess and you’ll probably get it right.

Get in touch via Twitter if you have a particular idiom you’d love to know.


Robert Lo Bue

Rob is CEO of Applingua. With over a decade's experience, he is at the forefront of tech localization.