How different languages say “When Pigs Fly.”

Language diversity makes languages fun and interesting. It shows the varied potential of human genius and imagination. Imagine how much fun we would have been robbed of if we had only one language! Having different ways to say something across cultures is a great source of joy and fascination. We always ask our tremendously diverse community on Facebook about how they say stuff in their languages and the results never stop to fascinate us. Down below is our latest thread of how different languages say “when pigs fly”, i.e. it will never happen. We hope you enjoy what you’re about to read.


Welsh:

When Christmas will be in the summer and goosberries in winter.

Turkish:

When a fish climbs a poplar tree.

Ukrainian:

When the crayfish on the hill whistles.

Portuguese:

On Saint Never’s day.

Tai:

When 7-11 closes.


German:

When Easter and Whistun fall on the same day.

On Saint Never’s day / on Saint Never.

When Hell freezes over.

When it snows in summer.

I’ve seen horses puke before.

On poodle’s Whitsunday.

Serbian:

When grapes grow on willows.

Chinese:

When the sun would rise from the West.

Croatian:

When grapes rippen the on willow.

On St. Nobody’s day.

Polish:

When a cactus grows on my hand.


Tagalog:

When the crow turns white.

Finnish:

When hell freezes over.

When cows fly.

When flagpoles bloom.

Danish:

When there’s two Thursdays in a week.

Swedish:

When hell freezes over.

When pigs fly.

When the asphalt blossoms.

Spanish:

When frogs grow hair.

When it rains upwards.


Slovenian:

On Saint Never’s Day.

Russian:

When the crayfish on the hill whistles.

French:

When chickens grow teeth.

In the week with 4 Thursdays.

On Saint Glinglin’s day (an imaginary saint).

Scots:

When two moons in the sky shall shine.

Italian:

When donkeys fly.

When Easter falls in May.

In the year of never and the month of then.

In the week with two thursdays.

When hens piss.


Hungarian:

When it’s snowing red snowflakes.

When Hell freezes over.

Romanian:

when I see the back of my head.

English:

When pigs fly / and pigs might fly.

When hell freezes over.

On a cold day in hell.

Not in a month of Sundays.

Occitan:

When hens pee.

Irish:

When the sky falls to the ground.


Norwegian:

When it’s snowing in hell.

Latvian:

When the owl’s tail blossoms.

Moroccan:

When a goat flies.

Korean:

The sound of a ghost eating rice seeds.

Hindi:

When the sun rises in the west.


Dutch:

If the calves dance on ice.

If the owls preach.

Danish:

When there’s two Thursdays in a week.

Bosnian:

When grapes rippen on the willow.

Algerian:

When salt produces flowers.

Greek:

When the sun rises from the west.

When the earth stops turning.

Brazilian Portuguese:

When cows cough.


read more


2 thoughts on “How different languages say “When Pigs Fly.””

  1. I am Dutch, but never heared the saying “when the owls preach”.

    “When the calves (or more comon: cows) dance on the ice” means when it freezes very hard.

    We also have “Whe Easter and Pentecost are on the same day” and “At St Jutte’s (non exisiting saint) mass”.

    1. Now I googled and originally it seems to be “Op Sint Juttemis als de kalveren op het ijs dansen” (On St Jutte’s when the calves dance on the ice). In this saying, they mean the day of Sainte Judith (August 17 – midsummer, so a day when it is inpossible that there be any ice)

Comments are closed.