English Idioms


Identical vs asymmetrical

The idiom heading in this forum looks like not being very busy. Let's go for a try with this theme. Could you throw in some idioms going through the border of French/English with an identical meaning or with taking a distorting of misleading turn?
________________________________________________________________
Those last days the sky was clear over Paris. So I could from heaven easily watch Zina walking around on the La Défense esplanade. I could see her thinking to herself "What a beautiful day! I feel like being in the clouds." But her double inside was thinking in French: "Qu'il fait beau! Je me sens comme sur un nuage."


Translating "être sur un nuage" i.e to day-dream, to think unrealistically into English (and vice-versa) "to be in the clouds", it's child's play.


On the other hand, this very morning Bruno Delavigne and Susan Bliss wanted to be on cloud nine. They couldn't climb on the top (=above the top of clouds) because in San Francisco there were so many layers of clouds that they couldn't tell them out. Had they spoken French, they would simply have said: "Nous voilà au septième ciel." No sooner said than done!


"Etre au septième ciel" by crossing the channel or the Antlactic ocean turns in "to be on cloud nine." What is your liking? For a clear sky or for a heavy cloud?


By the way, how would you translate "No sooner said than done" ?
And "It's child's play." ?
And "By the way" ?


By the way, don't fail to correct the mistakes I must have done. The escape of the lovers must have stunned me.


See you soon in heaven?
Thy Guardian Angel

11 comments

  • Sorry
    I just noticed one of my mistakes in the previous item.
    "Etre au-dessus des nuages" is not said "to be on the top" (wretched mistake) but to be on top. TO BE ON TOP.
    Has that expression no figurative use?
    Waiting for your answer.


    Guardian Angel
  • I would translate "No sooner said than done" as "Sitôt dit, sitôt fait".
    And "It's child's play" as "C'est un jeu d'enfant".
    "By the way" means "A propos" or "Au fait".


    Menehune.
  • Thank you, Menehune, for your translations.
    I would sort out the two first idioms in the file "identical" and the third one in the column "asymmetrical".
    Don't take that predicate calling (identical and asymmetrical) too seriously. It's just my whim.


    Someone told me a while ago that "to be in the clouds" has to be translated as "être DANS les nuages". It appears that it's a touch of difference in meaning between "être dans les nuages" and "être sur un nuage". French is quite more refined and more subtle than English.


    Anyhow here in heaven there is no cloud. The sky is clear. Our minds are too.
  • My level in english is not high..i'm just begining.... A french idiom makes me laugh in english translation:"she cannot dance to save her life" If we translate in french word to word it's funny, i think. Don't you?
    my english is bad, no?
    Tell me, please.
  • Hi Catherine.


    I recently read elsewhere in this forum that it's either dangerous, either pointless to fly at high level.
    You are quite right to make the most of a low level before climbing.
    By climbing to fast, you could make mistakes and nosedive.
    At low level your are able to make out conservative people who write English and French with a capital letter and the iconoclasts who do not.


    I think with you that translation word to word of idioms is a good way to be saved from sadness.
    Thank you for making me laugh.
  • Yeap. On cloud # nine, that's where I am. Kind of nowhere, actually. So...no # in your idom, huh? As if it were the cloud's name ("nine", that is)?
  • From Soraya Rosales:
    Yeap. On cloud # nine, that's where I am. Kind of nowhere, actually. So...no # in your idom, huh? As if it were the cloud's name ("nine", that is)?


     
    Oh, princess, what lovely an idea you had.
    Here in Europe I never read it with a #.
    But Americans should possibly write one.
    For, to my mind, "to be on cloud nine", is literally be on could number 9.
    What conforts me to think so, that's the context given by the Guardian Angel who issued the topic. The context refers to a sky as forecasted with clouds. Clouds may lie in several layers, from the lowest one (called ceiling for people standing below) to the top (the highest layer).
    In French we say "être au septième ciel" or "aux anges" because French talking people believe in angels.(?) That's probably for that simple reason that such an idiom had been issued by a guardian angel.
    Boosted by your considerate suggestion, I'll write "to be on cloud # 9" from now on, at least in between each other.
    Gee! (that's not my name, but the interjection Gee!)
    Gee! How lovely you are, princess on cloud #9!
  • From Gee:


    Oh, princess, what lovely an idea you had.
    Here in Europe I never read it with a #.
    But Americans should possibly write one.
    For, to my mind, "to be on cloud nine", is literally be on could number 9.
    What backs me up to think so, that's the context given by the Guardian Angel who issued the topic. The context refers to a sky as forecasted with clouds. Clouds may lie in several layers, from the lowest one (called ceiling for people standing below) to the top (the highest layer).
    In French we say "être au septième ciel" or "aux anges" because French talking people believe in angels.(?) That's probably for that simple reason that such an idiom had been issued by a guardian angel.
    Boosted by your considerate suggestion, I'll write "to be on cloud # 9" from now on, at least in between each other.
    Gee! (that's not my name, but the interjection Gee!)
    Gee! How lovely you are, princess on cloud #9!

     
  • Expressions/Idioms I hate:


    "last but not least"
    "I'm sick and tired (of...)"
    "try and get..." (instead of "try to get...")


    Other expressions/idioms/says:


    "wake up and smell the coffee"
    "how do you like them apples?"
    "when she (I, you, whomever) was just a glipmpse in his father's eye" (maybe it was a "gleam" not sure 100 percent about the wording)
    "to fall down on the apples" (just kidding)


    There is this book on Spanish proverbs, its title "From lost, to the river", sure Aurelie and Irene will smile as they read this. "FRom lost, to the river" comprises an estoic pearl: since things are going badly (we are lost) what's the problem if they get worse? (to the river).


    Coming next "A dear-John letter"

Please sign in to leave a comment.