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Translating a text

Posted by R. Berg on March 30, 2006

In Reply to: Translating a text Posted by Ljubica FIlipovic on March 29, 2006

: I'm translating a text from (American) English into Serbian and don't know the meaning of 2 phrases:
: 1. The turtle goes down the beaten path
: 2. get (right down) into shoe leather

To go down the beaten path is to take the most-used route, to pursue a goal without doing anything original and risky. This metaphor relies on the flattening effect of many feet on an unpaved trail: heavy traffic beats a path down. "The beaten path" is a common enough phrase, but I haven't heard it applied to turtles before. The turtle in your context may be metaphorical, too. A turtle proceeds slowly and hides its head when it senses danger.

The shoe-leather phrase isn't familiar to me. I'm a native speaker of American English.