20 Foreign Pick Up Lines That Don’t Translate

Pick up lines. Many guys consider them off-limits in the States, but love ’em or hate ‘em they are a global concern. From Iraq to Italy and Nigeria to Norway, foreign guys are using lines on girls… Smooth lines, romantic lines, corny lines, you name it. And sometimes these guys come out with things that would earn you at least a slap in America – particularly because things can get a little lost when converted into English. Here are 20 examples of pick up lines that just don’t translate.

20. Russia
Вы напоминаете мою покойную девушку
“You remind me of my dead girlfriend”

In Russia death is not as stigmatized and people discuss it openly. As such, this could be considered quite charming. In America the girl would probably edge away slowly… and then call the police.
19. Italy
E la figlia è bella come la sua mamma?
“Is your daughter as beautiful as you?”

Family is all-important in Italian culture, and this is quite a common thing for a man to say to a good-looking older woman and is thought of as quite sweet. Here, it might get you some pretty odd looks – especially as it is said regardless of whether the speaker knows there is a daughter or not!

18. Japan
Poketto-ni futon-ga hait-teru
“I have a futon in my pocket”

Futons – or mattresses – are of course big news in Japan, but the user of this line probably has more than sleep on his mind.

17. Brazil
Topo, topo porque não?
“I’m in, why not?”

A kind of break-the-ice pick up line that the user hopes will generate interest and spark off a conversation.

16. Germany
Deine Augen sind die gleiche Farbe wie mein Porsche
“Your eyes are the color of my Porsche”

Those Germans love their cars, and apparently the local macho dating scene relies on shows of wealth such as this.

15. Turkey
O seninki mi?
“Is it yours?”

Apparently a common line used by guys on the street this mysterious question, referring to the girl’s figure, would be met with bemusement over here.

14. United Arab Emirates
الزواج مني ، لذلك أنا لا يجب أن أغض بصري في كل مرة كنت تمشي في الغرفة
“Marry me, so I don’t have to lower my gaze every time you walk in the room”

In many Islamic nations a man is required to not look directly at a woman unless he is her husband. Here we just don’t look at her if she’s ugly.

13. France
Je voudrais être votre gant de toilette
“I would like to be your washcloth”

Ah, the language of love! A very odd line that is very rude in French but in English sounds more surreal than anything else.

12. Wales
‘n weithredol , ‘r heula ewigod ddisgleiria chan ‘m arse
“Actually, the sun does shine from my ass”

A weird thing to say in English but in Wales it might raise a smile as an opening line.

11. Mexico
Bendita sea la tuerca de la llanta del camión que trajo cemento, arena y gravilla para construir la acera en la que estás parada… monument
“Blessed be the nut of the tire of the truck that brought cement, sand, and gravel to build the sidewalk which you are standing on… monumental!”

Mexican men love going for over-the-top lines such as this. And hey, why not? Roadworks = sexy.

10. Iraq
جعلها الله من القيام بأي شيء آخر وهو اليوم الذي أدلى إليك, فأنت بذلك الكمال
“God had nothing else to do the day he made you, you are so perfect”

It is common to find religiously inspired compliments in Islamic countries, but what would the success rate be like in New York ?

9. Norway
Kan jeg svømme naken i fjorden?
“Is skinny dipping allowed in the fjord?”

Fjords are narrow inlets of sea, and there would be a geographical difficulty with using this one anywhere other than Norway – which contains most of them!

8. Holland
Jij hebt een opening en ik heb zin
“You have an opening and I have a sentence”

A dangerous translation this. Because in Dutch ‘I have a sentence’ and ‘I want to’ sound the same, it makes sense; however in English it sounds very weird and would not be advisable to use!

7. Nigeria
Psssss pssss, ndeipi ko bhebhi, unoziva kuti inini newe tinoenderana se khokho ne bhanzi
“Psssss psssss, hi, how you doing, you what girl, me and you go good together like a Coke and bun”

This hilarious pick up line is apparently popular with the men of Nigeria, who like nothing more than relaxing with a Coke and the local pastry based delicacy.

6. Poland
Cześc moja zabko
“Hello my froggy”

Animal based endearments are common in Poland, and while calling a girl a frog is not recommended in the States, in downtown Warsaw it might earn you a smile.

5. Spain
Eso son carnes y no las que echa mi madre al cocido
“That is meat and not the kind my mother throws in the cooking!”

Only the very brave or very stupid would try something like this in America, but in Spain, where the guys are pretty forthcoming, it’s just about possible to imagine someone saying it – protected by a wall possibly.

4. China (Teochew dialect)
Leu mai ding-dang, da’ang wah hore ki’ach leu key?
“Do you mind standing still while I pick you up?”

A pretty smooth line from the Teochew dialect spoken in Southern and Eastern Chinese. There’s always the danger that the girl thinks that you’re literally going to pick her up off the floor, though.

3. Spain (again)
Tengo una escopeta sucia en mis pantalones
“I have a dirty shotgun in my pants”

Another daring line from Spain that is clearly inadvisable to use in any situation. As in many countries, ‘gun’ is shorthand in Spain for the male genitalia. In the US, however, there are some states where the girl might think you actually do have a shotgun in your pants.

2. Ireland (Gaelic)
Tá tú ‘breathnú go hálainn anocht, a chailín… do ghlúine, go háirithe
“You look beautiful tonight girl, your knees especially”

The Gaelic language has a rich tradition of folklore and lyrical tradition. And what could be more sophisticated than complimenting a girl on her – knees?

1. Egypt
لديك عيون مثل بقرة
“You have eyes like a cow”

Unlikely to be much of a hit in the bars and clubs of LA, this Egyptian line is actually considered a huge compliment. Surely you can see why: those mysterious pools of color, those long blond lashes…

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  1. hahahaha i can tell you those are not the worst you can be told by a spanish man. It’s very common of men who work building houses(sorry, i don’t know that word in English) to yell that sort of things at women passing by x)

  2. I’m French and your so called pick up line simply does not exist.

  3. Great job with this article guys. i wanted to know if i could repost it on ManVsDate.com. i'll make sure to put several link backs in the article.

    -Awaiting reply.

  4. My fav is this one: Hey, what do you say we blow this joint and then each other?

    Perfectly illustrated here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvYEaiSvXD4

  5. The one from "Nigeria" is acutally NOT Nigerian. Its in the Zimbabwean lingo "Shona", and i would know because i'm from there hahaha

  6. I live in Wales, yes "Actually the sun does shine out of my arse" is a direct approach line, it is quite funny said the right way. Best done in English though.

  7. Jaja que onda brother al igual que tu soy de Mexico Jaja que buenos piropos también pudo haber entrado ese de. …. morena color de llanta ya llego tu Rin cromado Jaja saludos por halla si es que estas en el reino unido

  8. quisiera ser agua de retrete para ver tu mejor cara
    i'd like to be toilet water to look at your best face

    güera güera, si me muero quién te encuera?
    blond, blond, if i die who'll undress you?

    préstame tu tampax para hacerme un té de amor
    let me borrow your tampax so i can make me a love tea

    yep, it can get pretty nasty, but i don't think no one ever uses these

  9. Haha the only people using the Dutch one are the guys who AREN'T getting layed. It's a classic, but no one ever uses it…. if you do chicks just roll their eyes on how cliche and tacky you are and walk off (trust me, I know :P)

  10. To German: I speak German and I don't have a clue.

  11. Polish:
    Cześc moja zabko ("Cześć moja żabko")
    “Hello my froggy”

    Hmmm i wouldn't use it at all as pickup line. It's more like greeting. With "moja" it sounds too official. Popular version is "cześć kotku/myszko/żabko" – "Hi kitty/mouse/froggy". Something like "Hi hen" in the UK.

    Good article.

  12. I wouldn't use the dutch one it is onle said to have a laugh about it. You probably get slapped if you use ;)

  13. Hi Richard,

    Number 16 with the Porsche does not make any sense in German – I am afraid. Where does it come from?

  14. It's actually: 16. Germany "Deine Augen HABEN die gleiche Farbe wie mein Porsche."

    Greetings from Germany

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