French Language

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french/english idioms

I came across a french idiom today which is very close to our english version:
"tempete dans un verre d'eau"
So which came first, the french or the english?
Another one is "vent en poupe".
Have you any more?


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Re: french/english idioms

Gosh, Pat, I have been collecting these expressions for as long as I have lived in France!  Could spend hours talking about them so I will just tell you my most recent.

donner la langue au chat

I don't have a true translation but I have my own idea about it which may or may not be correct.  I use it in the sense of "it's in the lap of the gods" which I am sure would not mean anything to a French person!  To put it another way, it's expressing an inability to explain something and so "I have given up trying to find a solution to the problem".

Perhaps someone can explain it better, svp?

N'allez pas trop vite - Proust
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Re: french/english idioms

I would have said 'throw in the towel' in the sense of  "I give up"  rather than struggle on.

This site is quite useful

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.
- Bertrand Russell
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Re: french/english idioms

I like that one Smile [:)]
I'm also interested in the idioms that have a similar meaning in french and english.
Like storm in a teacup. And wind in his sails. In my 2 examples above.


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Re: french/english idioms

OK then, what about mordre la poussière?  To bite the dust.....

N'allez pas trop vite - Proust
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Re: french/english idioms

hors des sentiers battus = off the beaten path(s)
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Re: french/english idioms

Tiré à quatre épingles
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Re: french/english idioms

That's a hard one, Oiseau! Had to look it up.
Those that have an english equivalent interest me because I believe a nation's language, and especially their idioms,  reflects their mentality. and there are quite a few which are similar in english and french.
One difference between the two (imo) is words for fear. I think french has more than english.
And pain  (not bread) has more in english than french.
What do you think?

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