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  5. "Qui va à la chasse, perd sa …

"Qui va à la chasse, perd sa place."

Translation:Move your feet, lose your seat.

December 19, 2013



I'll try to cover all possible idioms submitted this far.

First, the original French idiom and its meaning:

"Qui va à la chasse, perd sa place." means that when you leave a spot, a place, an object or anything you were "possessing" at the time to do something else (doesn't matter what, hunting is only a metaphor) , you might lose it when you come back (and often you do lose it, because this expression is usually used by the person taking your place).

Any English idiom not covering this meaning is not appropriate.

Appropriate translations:

  • "Move your feet, lose your seat."
  • "You leave it, you lose it."
  • "Move your meat, lose your seat."

Inappropriate translations:

  • "You snooze, you lose." = an expression which states that anyone will miss out on a great opportunity if they don't remain aware or open to communication (cf. urbandictionary.com)

  • "He who loves to roam loses his home." = not an idiom, only 2 results on Google, one from this very page ^^

  • "he who goes hunting, loses his place" (and all variants)= not an idiom, it's a literal translation.

  • "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" = is a translation for another French idiom "un tiens vaut mieux que deux tu l’auras", which means that it's better to hold on what you already have rather than going after more, because you could end up losing everything.

  • "slow and steady wins the race" = is a translation for another French idiom "Rien ne sert de courir, mieux vaut partir à point." meaning that it's better to do things slower but more consistently and regularly rather than trying as hard as we can and wasting our energy in the long run.

  • "finders keepers, losers weepers." = is an idiom, but I don't think French has one that means the same thing (maybe something like "Qui trouve, garde"). It means that the person who found something can keep it, even if it belonged to someone else.

  • "You've got to risk it to get the biscuit." = has a different meaning, it means that any reward comes with a risk.


Thanks for this explanation! For the record, "You snooze, you lose" is no longer accepted for this exercise. Sorry that it still shows up in the tooltip! We're working on fixing this.


I just crashed out of the test because of this anomaly. If you could get the devs on to this, that would be marvellous. "You snooze, you lose" did seem very casual for such a colourfully historic idiom.

But seriously: who says "Move your feet, lose your seat"? Is that the best translation for this. I don't know what is, but I've never heard this phrase. Once. Ever.


I hear it used all the time here in California (SF Bay Area), but we use it literally - if someone gets up to get a drink or something and complains that their seat is taken when they get back: use your feet, lose your seat.

I'd be more inclined to use "leave it and lose it," since that has broader general application.


Wierd. I live in the north bay, so not too far away, and I have never heard that expression.


SF Bay Area includes North, South, Easy Bay and the peninsula (SF to San José on the west side). I'm in the South Bay and have never heard it. Maybe CKalenda was thinking about the proverb "Use it or lose it," the neat spouse's threat to a hoarder.


Nor in the East Bay. But the city is a bizarre place in many ways.


I live in Sheffield, England but I've never heard of it


"He who goes to the hunt, loses his place" should be perfectly acceptable. Idiom equivalency between languages is absurd. Duolingo's goals would be more consistent in supporting literal translations as valid responses. After all, the Idioms we practice here are French. Knowledge of English (or any other language) idioms ought to be irrelevant to practice here.


It's not absurd, it's simply how idioms work. They are fixed expressions that most of the time can't be translated literally. There are also idioms in English that don't translate literally into French.

Supporting literal translation is dangerous because it can lead to learning complete nonsense. Even for many sentences which are not idioms literal translation is not the correct answer. And while indeed we're learning French, it doesn't mean that we can translate French into any kind of English we want, learning a language works both ways. No one will kill you if you choose to translate an idiom literally when you're in real life discussions, it's just that in a learning environment accuracy is more important, and it's only natural not to accept literal translation as a basic rule. If you ever tried to use Google Translate for a content on the Internet, I'm sure you're aware of the danger literal translation can lead to.


That still does not negate the point that we should also know what we are literally saying. I agree that it is most important to understand the connotation of the phrase, but that's where my agreement is. An idiom remains useless if you don't know its components.


literal translations that don't convey the intended meaning are bad, but in this case, the literal one seems to exactly cover what is intended


Very true. I agree totally.


For this, that may work as the meaning is still pretty clear from the direct translation, but one of the idioms I learned back in high school French class was "Je ne suis pas dans mon assiette," which has a meaning like "feeling off" - that is, not feeling your normal self, either mentally or physically (though back then, we learned it as "not feeling well"). The literal translation is more along the lines of not being in one's seat on a horse, which doesn't help at all with remembering what the phrase is meant to convey.


For the record, "he who goes hunting loses his place" is a common idiom in Louisiana, but we also have other idioms derived from French, such as "making groceries" and "getting down from the car".


Do you have any link referencing this as an idiom?


He's the link, or rather, he's the evidence.


that's all fine and good, but I've NEVER in my 67 years of speaking English heard any of the 3 "appropriate translations" you mention. I didn't think this was a test of my knowledge of ENGLISH idioms. The literal translation does in fact convey the meaning quite clearly


I agree. None of them are used in English - British English. Even with the word bank it took me ages to make a phrase that might make sense


In Dutch, we simply say "Opgestaan, plaats vergaan", meaning if you got up (out of your seat), your place (seat) has been lost. In NL it's a very common expression. However, we only use it in its literal meaning. In French, would one be able to use it in any other context than when talking about a seat?


In Spanish we say “El que se fue a la villa, perdió su silla” (‘He who left to the village, lost his seat’ or something).

[deactivated user]

    In South Africa, we say "On your feet, loose your seat". Makes me wonder if this has filtered down from Dutch to Afrikaans and on to English...


    "On your feet, lose your seat" is how I've always known it. It makes more sense to me than "move your feet", because you can move your feet without standing up, and you can stand up (and relinquish your seat to an eager sibling, for example) without moving your feet.

    Edit: I just got an notification saying this is now accepted.


    I really appreciate the info you've provided here, thanks!


    though "a bird in the hand..." is most directly related to the French idiom you mentioned, is it correct to say that both are suggesting caution or maintaining the status quo could be better than risking the unknown?

    or is the French "Qui va à la chasse..." pretty much only used literally in talking about losing your place in line, or your seat on the bus, or your parking stall, etc. ?



    Great question! I'd love to know too.


    It sounds like "he who hesistates is lost" is the closest English common idiom to what you describe, but it is not accepted. I have never encountered the "appropriate tranaslations" you give.



    A variant uses "meat" instead of feet.

    "You leave it, you lose it." was proposed by CWKgoogle, when I added it, as its meaning was pretty straight forward I didn't look it up. I assumed CWKgoogle was a native English speaker and had used or heard/read this expression being used.

    Now that I did some research, I couldn't find a link referencing it as an idiom, but I don't have the time to search thoroughly. If anyone has more time and luck than me, please share your informations, so that we can keep the list up to date.

    As for "he who hesitates is lost" it's not really close to the meaning we're talking about in this exercise.



    Its "move it or lose it" and I've only heard it used as a threat, weirdly enough. Like, if you dont get out of my way, I will break you. You might say it to the car in front of you or if you are in a hurry and the person in front of you is walking slowly. I don't know how widespread it is, but my mom (originally from North East US) says it.

    Its an idiom, I suppose, but its definitely not equivalent to "you snooze, you lose".


    i would say that "move it or lose it" has the opposite intention of what i am learning "Qui va à la chasse, perd sa place" to be, though the a similar consequence of place.

    move it or lose it - is a threat to move away or suffer punishment from someone/thing. to move your feet and lose your seat- would be advising against wandering or else you'll lose your position.


    'Move it or lose it' doesn't always mean as a threat. It can be something the coach says, like," Move it or lose it!". He may mean if the kids don't move their muscles, they'll lose them.


    Unfortunately I have never heard of any of the idioms Duolingo finds acceptable. Maybe they are Americanisms? There doesn't seem to be any British equivalent.


    In Dutch we'd say 'opgestaan, plaats vergaan' (=if you stand up, someone else is in his/her right to sit/stand there)


    where I live at least (uk) we’d definitely say you snooze you lose instead of this, but thanks for the clarification :)


    Nice explanation! I like how you used urbandictionary.


    I as an American I have never heard this idiom in any of the given translations. I can't even think of an equivalent idiom in American English. Just the plain "If you get out of line you will lose your place."


    Yes, this is a good example of how you can not translate word-for-word across languages. Sometimes you can only give an approximation.


    Wow! Merci beaucoup


    Move your MEAT??? I've never heard anything like that in all my life.


    one trick I have been using lately is to copy the phrase, then paste it to Google and search images. This gives a better visual of what the idiom/word means in general French usage. For this phrase, I got a lot of pictures of dogs or cats taking over the bed when other animals had left for a moment, or people standing in line/queue, probably losing their place in if they leave. Also got a lot of toilet seats...not sure what that was about as I didn't follow the link, but you can use your imagination.


    Interesting approach.

    To add to it, the end of the idiom "qui va à la chasse..." is "qui revient, trouve un chien" (lit. who comes back finds a dog).

    That may explain why you found pictures with dogs...


    Does anyone know the origin of this? Someone went hunting with his mates and Dave from down the road stole his wife?


    Remy, do you work for Duolingo? I've seen you everywhere saying things that suggest that!


    Remy posted this comment 6 years ago. He still is a staff member at Duolingo but no longer in charge of this course.


    Thanks, Sitesurf! That cleared up some confusion... P.S. I was not expecting anyone to answer this!


    Yeah, and left a dog in her place.


    In Spanish we say: "quien fue a Sevilla, perdio su silla" translate to: "you went to Seville, you lose your seat"


    I have also heard "Quien se fue a Barranco, perdio su banco".


    Lol... I guess this saying is funny and annoying in every language and region (when it's said to you).

    In Ghana, we usually say: Police goes, soldier comes

    ...and it's the most annoying thing I've ever heard. XD


    Love it! I learned both the french and the english idiom at the same time. For curiosity's sake, im brazilian portuguese, the equivalent would be "Foi na roça, perdeu a carroça", which translates more or less to "Went to the countryside/farm, lost his wagon/carriage" hahahah


    In Brazil, this idiom would translate like "You went to have a date, you lost your place" (Foi namorar, perdeu o lugar).


    I also know the "foi passear, perdeu o lugar" and "foi pra Paris, perdeu o lugar"



    Is this idiom broadly suggesting caution; that maintaining the status quo could be better than risking the unknown?

    or is it pretty much only used literally in talking about losing your place in line, or your seat on the bus, or your parking stall, etc. ?

    A real life french culture scenario where this idiom would come up naturally would be appreciated as well.



    Russian version of this is, Курица встала, место пропало :)


    somehow i have never heard any of these. am i the only one?


    "Go on the chase, lose your place" should work. Same meaning, it rhymes, and it's close to the original. How about it, DL?


    "Who goes on the chase loses their place" - surely a more ringing translation(?)


    On your feet, lose your seat isn't accepted but I think this is better and more often used than 'move your feet'. On your feet means to be standing up so I think this makes more sense. :) - (English native)


    I reported the "on your feet" version and received a notification some time ago saying that it was now accepted, as I mentioned in another comment, so it's odd that it would be rejected again.


    That is bizarre. Maybe they'll change it back :) Good job they have these mini forums for people to check.


    And if I'm sat down and moving my feet?



    "Who moves his feet, loses his seat" seems to be the same, yet is wrong


    But French isn't saying the 'his', oddly.


    his = sa, so it is stated in the second half of the sentence. Also this is idiomatic, so a little different than a regular grammar sentence.


    The point being made is perhaps that "sa" is "his", "her", "its", or "one's", depending on the context, and the subject of the French sentence here has no explicit gender.


    I'm a 55 year-old native English speaker who has lived in two major metropolitan areas as well as smaller cities and even small towns, yet I don't recognize as common sayings any of the English expressions offered as equivalents for this idiom.


    There doesn't need to ANY common English sayings. This is French and it has common sayings that are not in English.


    In German "Weggegangen, Platz vergangen"


    Have never heard any of the suggested ‘english’ translations. Having read all the comments I think the reason uk english speakers are struggling to find an equivalent is that if they sat in an apparently empty chair and someone returned and said « I was sitting there » we would probably say »oh I’m sorry, I didn’t realise » and move elsewhere. So I only need to learn this to get through a DL session, I won’t ever need to use it


    "On your feet, lose your seat" is a common phrase in UK English. (Or, at least, all the places I have been.) I have never heard any of the 'appropriate translations' before—even the 'move your feet' one.


    Ж*пу поднял - место потерял ;)


    How about: If you don't use it, you will lose it.


    We have a similar idiom in Romanian ("Cine pleacă la plimbare, pierde locul de onoare"), which would literally be "He who goes for a walk, looses the place of honor", but the last time I heard it, some children were saying it as a joke.


    Christmas Yule log remember because it is like French Christmas food


    El que se va a la villa, pierde su silla!


    Lol in spanish this would be "quien va a la villa, pierde su silla" which literally would mean something like: "Who goes to the village, looses their seat"


    "Foi namorar, perdeu o lugar" in portuguese is more cool, something like this: you going to flirt, you lost your seat


    As an anglophone, I knew exactly what I meant when I saw it, but we don't really have an equivalent idiom in English for this.

    I've never heard "move your feet, lose your seat" before.


    It's definitely a widespread English saying, and there are even several discussion pages online devoted to arguing about the "proper" wording.

    While I've always known it as "on your feet, lose your seat", others know it as "move your feet...", and still others apparently know it as "move your meat...".


    Aufgestanden, Platz vergangen ... bedeutet es auf Deutsch!


    It's so true in the theaters.


    I literally almost put in "move your seat , lose your feet"


    Okay you leave it you lose it works better. The other really doesn't make sense in english


    You might say that when you get distracted and go off another way, you risk missing something that you may have wanted.


    in spain we would translate this to "quien se fue a Sevilla perdió su silla"


    Use it, or lose it is very common here. Meaning A. If you don't exercise a muscle, including the one in the head, you will lose the ability to use it.
    Meaning B. If you are taking too long to actually sit on the available seat don't complain when someone else occupies it.


    That meaning is apparently somewhat different from what the French is expressing, which is that if you leave  your seat or your place in line someone else can take it, rather than that you won't get to occupy it in the first place if you're too slow.


    In spanish: "El que se fue a la villa perdió su silla. "El que se fue a Sevilla perdió su silla".


    In German we say: "Aufgestanden, Platz vergangen."


    Quien se va de la villa, pierde su silla.


    In Portuguese it would be "Foi à roça, perdeu a carroça" "Went to the farm, lost the wagon" Just a nugget of useless information.


    move your feet, lose your seat - never heard that phrase ever here in the UK - is it american english?


    Other comments on this page suggest that this phrase or a variant (I know and prefer "on your feet...") is used throughout the English-speaking world, including the UK, but also that it's not uncommon to have grown up oblivious or unexposed to it.


    aha that's enough to make me understand


    It's fun how in Portuguese there is a similar idiom but culturally adapted: "Quem vai ao mar, perde o lugar", which literally means "Who goes to the sea, loses their seat/place". A lot of these idioms are similar to the ones in Portuguese so it's easier to remember them haha


    Personally never heard this one in England, but cool if it's common in French. Je ne sais pas.


    I accidently said "Move your seat, lose your feet!"


    Move your seat lose your feet


    "Possession is nine tenths of the law". OK a bit removed from this one but do the French have something similar?


    Am I the only one that has never heard this expression?


    It's French, most of us have not heard it. That is why we are learning it.


    What does it mean?


    sassy, i like it :)


    In Spanish sounds a bit similar to its French counterpart, "Quien va a la villa, pierde su silla".


    71 year old English speaker in Ireland and never heard "move your feet, lose your seat", but I like it. The French idiom is understandable of course, but no corresponding idiom in English that I know.


    Can someone explain when do I use this sentence, please and thank you.


    the husband who goes hunting on the streets loses his place in the bridal bed to the other; the politician who goes hunting for dirty money loses his place in the next elections; the student who goes after parties, drinks, women loses their place on the college bench; the sportsman who goes after the binge loses his place on the team and wins one on the bench; the little boy who runs to the bathroom loses his place in the theater performance at school...


    Say you are with some other friends but there are not enough chairs. A friend of yours is having to stand. You need to go to the toilet. When you get back from the toilet, you might be upset that they have taken your seat.

    You say "Oi, that's my seat". They will then reply "Ah well. On your feet, lose your seat!" or 'Qui va à la chasse, perd sa place' etc.

    But I imagine even though it is 'la chasse', you can use it outside the scenario of someone going to the toilet. (La chasse is the thing you pull when flushing the toilet). It's basically a cheeky quip for when someone takes someone else's chair. Hope that helps.


    Those are both great explanations! Very clarifying so that now the idiom makes sense. Thanks.


    In portuguese it is like: Went to fair, lost his chair.


    In Brazil we say: Foi para feira, perdeu a cadeira.

    Obs: In Brazil we speak portuguese.


    XD This rhymes XD It rhymes in French andd in English XD


    Very funny! I love rhymes!


    Quem vai a caça, perde o lugar


    We have a very informal variant in Russian which literally means "you lifted your butt (=from the seat) - you lost your seat", "Попу поднял - место потерял" XD


    In Mexican Spanish we use "El que se fue a la villa perdió su silla". The one that went to the villa lost his seat.


    This is a saying, not an idiom. Idioms are contextually open (and so more frequent) as well as short


    This could be a good title for a story (hint, hint. Subtle hint.)


    There are not two yours

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