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Idioms vary from a language to other; even from a speaker to other that live together. The important is for them to mean the same.
I agree, but if I'm learning a new word, I must learn also the real meaning. Creo que aquí varios traducimos a un idioma que no es el nuestro, por eso lo decía... cuesta un poco más.
Idioms often are not literal translations. I believe this Duolingo lesson is teaching us what idioms French & English speakers would use to express the same concept, not asking for a literal translation. When I want to learn the literal translation of the French words in the idiom (and I agree with other commenters that most of us do) I click or hover on the individual words to learn their literal meaning as well.
I agree.. I'm a spanish native speaker.. I speak intermediate english.. and I'm learning french using duolingo french-english. Ninguno es mi idioma materno! Cuesta mas trabajo! It's harder!
Yeah, it's really hard. Especially in Italian or Portuguese when I arrived to the point with subjunctive and that stuff, because I understood the sentence, but I couldn't translate it to English :(
too much reply too little space left to write :) I invented the first idiom for duolingo's discussion pages :) if this conversation goes on like this next comment will look like a "une mince colonne"
"Ratuj się kto może" in Polish. I'm wondering what is the source of this idiom if it functions in different languages.
The life when we all spoke one language or the life after we used French, English, Spanish, Portuguese and Polish separately?
apparently we all have similar experiences in life, despite the language we speak.
So you argue that idioms are created independently in particular languages and they are not copied from one another? Maybe you're right!
In Swedish this would translate to "Rädda sig den som rädda sig kan". Rädda sig = Se sauver. Translating that Swedish frase into English becomes "Every man for himself" and that to French becomes "Chacun pour soi" :) :)
I came to the comments to understand better what this phrase means, and you perfectly explained it with the Swedish expression! Tack ska du ha!
I've always heard and used "Rädde sig den som kan", with the old word form rädde instead of the contemporary rädda. Obviously there are different versions of this expression in Swedish as well. (Swedish is my mother tongue.)
Yes, that is subjunctive mood which of course is correct. However it's not so often that you hear that mood in modern Swedish, unfortunately perhaps,.
My first language is Spanish, but I'm obviously learning through English. Through out the whole lessons I've noticed that it's better for me, and it makes a lot of sense, to translate the words in Spanish. This phrase, for example, literally translated to Spanish means: "Salvese quien puede" which is an idiom, for "Every man for himself"
I don't speak Spanish, but what you say makes good sense to me. The American English idiom "every man for himself" makes more sense to me as a translation for the French expression here.
Another equivalent English idiom, which combines elements of "run for your life" and "every man for himself," and which seems to have connections to the literal French, would be "save yourself, if you can!"
I think that the real meaning is that the persons who have the power, can escape from a difficult situation, which in French makes sense. In don't know if in English "Run for your life" has the same meaning. English natives ..???
In that context "run for your life" really doesn't apply... "run for your life" has a terrible sense of urgency, while the tone of this idiom is really more matter-of-fact. Not sure there's a better idiom in English, but I'm sure someone else has heard one!
Yes, "run for your life" is what you say when the building's on fire. "Every man for himself" works better if you aren't talking about an emergency.
I feel like first you yell "run for your life!" and then follow it up with "every man for himself!!"
Before searching about this, I was inclined to translate this as "Everyone for himself" too. But according to Collins Dictionary, it's "a state of panic or disorder; rout" which definitely fits with "run for your life!" After looking at http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:French_idioms, it seems that "prenez vos jambes à votre cou" would be closer idiom.
I must say that I'm a bit disappointed in this idiom section. I had hoped to see the French idioms rather than the English ones that I already know.
"Sauve qui peut" is a well-known expression in French whose closest equivalent in English is "Run for your life." It is an exclamation of panic in a situation where a crowd must disperse quickly in order to avoid serious bodily injury or death. It has engendered the noun "un sauve-qui-peut" meaning a crowd in panic that becomes a stampede.
Thanks, Nicole! Your contribution is a ray of sunshine in this section on idioms. http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/french-english/sauve-qui-peut/70437
From what I gather, "Sauve qui peut!" literally translates to "Save what you can!". Is this correct?