For those of you who do not know what From Lost to the River expressions are, let me tell you that it is more usual than you think among Spanish students learning English. It is not the so called “Spanglish”, since Spanglish is actually a mixture and overlapping of Spanish and English, where the speaker uses some words or expressions of one of the languages when speaking the other language. Sometimes there is even a mixture of both languages in the same word. For instance: American Spanish lunchera (from English “lunch”), meaning fiambrera; la computadora insead of el ordenador in Spanish, etc. Some of them become loanwords eventually and are accepted as such in the other language, but this may well be other story or blog entry.


From Lost to the River expressions, unlike Spanglish, have more to do with the literal translation of cultural sayings into English. Thus, its name “Fromlostiano”, “From lost to the River” (de perdidos al río).

I am sure we, Spanish speakers learning English, have all used at some point a fromlostiano expression when communicating in English (I have for sure!). My next blog entries are going to be several fromlostiano expressions, so that you will learn the right way to say them.

Please, feel free to add more or write any comments about it.

First instalment of Fromlostiano: all the expressions written on Babelis Wall this month of September. An interesting wall to look at, with new things for you to interact with.

Activity 1- Find the right expressions in English to correct the wrong Fromlostiano ones below (if you need help, you can scroll down to check the options):

  • for if the flies
  • appearances are deceiving
  • today for me, tomorrow for you
  • from the saying to the doing there is a long way
  • talking of the King of Rome…
  • the drop that fills up the glass
  • it’s raining water bowls
  • learn something of memory
  • walk by the branches



  • easier said than done
  • it’s the last straw (that breaks the camel’s bag)
  • it’s raining cats and dogs
  • speaking of the devil
  • to beat around the bush
  • just in case
  • never judge a book by its cover
  • you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours
  • learn something by heart