I came across this article on BBC News yesterday, which talks about the number of words we have in the English language for rain. Considering the amount of rain we've seen over the past month it is quite surprising that we have so few ways of describing it.
The article was informative, humerous and enlightening, which always makes for a good read. It was interesting that expressions from France and Germany were discussed too, for example the expression from the French "Raining like a cow relieving Itself." What a lovely mental image.
These types of expression are often difficult to translate into another language unless you are completely familiar with the way the target language works. For marketing materials or descriptive pieces, for witness statements or interpreting assignments, the way a speaker uses colloquial language is a true test of the linguist's skills. It's something to be borne in mind when looking at translation - how well does my translated document reflect what was originally intended in terms of style and idiom.
Let's hope we don't have to make many more words up for the rain we're seeing - and perhaps we can catalogue our words for sunshine soon.