That’s right RonBee. The term seems to have been coined by Selinker. Anyway, Selinker attempted to prove that there’s phenomenon called “fossilization” as a “latent psychological structure” and is represented by “backsliding” under certain circumstances.
ham paalaky: do tan ke daraye afkaar va aghayede moshabehand; joor, monaseb. (Dehkhoda dictionary)
Crony makes a perfect equivalent for the above-mentioned word, but I can safely tell you that you may never find it in bilingual dictionaries, if you use any. That’s my personal opinion. The two words have the same cultural and stylistic significance.
When you find such a strong concordance between two words belonging to two different languages, you can be sure that the words rouse some rather equal psychological response in users of the languages in question. Now, let’s turn some of your story into Farsi to predict the Iranian reader’s reaction:
A turtle, a snail and a tiger have been their cronies for a long time; however, the turtle and the snail have to be following the tiger.
Ek lakposht, halazoon, va ek babr modatha ham paakaly-e-shaan boode-and; agar-che lakposht va halazoon hamishe bayad donbaale-roye babr bashand.
-There is more to the problem than meets the eye: "sakhtaraz une ke fekresho mikardam ya mikardi".
This is acceptable, but not an idiom. Apparently, you didn’t find any good idioms with the same value or significance. That’s ok. It should be noted that the grammatical structure of your sentence is not, according to some experts, appropriate in Farsi. Do you find not an extraordinary similarity between this structure and its English equal? The answer is categorically “yes”. We can safely say that it might have entered Farsi through word-for-word translations of so-called translators.
- How can we make it better?
Just change the structure! Try to compensate by using another literary device:
- pichidegi-e mas’le az anche ke be chashm miaayad/ mikhorad bishtar ast. (the bold chunk is an idiom, isn’t it?). - in mas’le az layehaye (naa peidai-ye) bishtari barkhordar ast. (it’s a metaphoric expression: layer for value). - in mas’le omghe bishtari darad. (it’s a metaphoric expression: depth for value or complexity).