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"Aquele homem não é flor que se cheire."

Translation:That man is a bad egg.

December 20, 2013

33 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

Wow, some of these idioms are impossible to understand without an explanation. Duolingo's method works great for the other lessons, but fails miserably here. I hear it in Portuguese, can translate it literally, but I lose a heart because I can't figure out which idiomatic expression it corresponds to in English? What's the point?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JPG_Live

Especially when they are telling me to "type what I hear" and they are all words I have never been taught. Three new words right here being said to me by a robot woman and I have to guess what she's saying and how to type it, THEN figure out the ACTUAL meaning of the phrase by going to the comments section.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FoghornJLeghorn

Yeah it keeps driving me insane it should not take 2 hours to get through a lesson cuz I can't memorize every last word and there random completely unrelated translations


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TobyBartels

Sometimes, DuoLingo will translate the whole expression as a multi-word phrase. Then it works out. But it didn't do that for us this time!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanHakimi

I couldn't piece this one together. I tried "is not the flower he smells like." I guess the closest English idiom is "bad egg," but that's not very close, and I couldn't have guessed it. I didn't really know what to do.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaeOvHope

I thought it was, that man isn't a flower that smells himself.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G.P.Niers

To elaborate on Toby's answer, when the subject is a thing, not a person, the reflexive can be used as the passive. Presumably this is done because it's shorter. Note that in contrast to the true passive, you cannot specify the actual actor.

Compare: Vendem-se maçãs. versus Maçãs são vendidas pelo supermercado.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TobyBartels

That's the passive voice, not "smells himself" but "is smelt".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaeOvHope

Wait, that not passive, that is still active. The man and flower are one and are performing the action onto self.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TobyBartels

In Portuguese (and Spanish and probably some other languages), the passive voice is indicated by using a reflexive pronoun. So while translating word for word, you get "That man is not a flower that smells itself.", the reflexive pronoun "se" means passive voice here, so the literal translation is "That man is not a flower that is smelt.", or even "That man is not a flower to be smelt." (where "smelt" is spelt "smelled" in America if you like that better).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TerraZe

Not a good person, rotten.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ilikespeakpocho

"That man doesn't smell right" was my first guess. I'm curious how "flor que se cheire" (a flower that smells itself?) became an idiom for a bad person. I never would have guessed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TobyBartels

That would be a good person; this man is not that flower! (And as has been remarked elsewhere, "se cheire" is really a passive-voice construction, so "is smelt" rather than "smells itself".)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JFSPA

perhaps, "that man is not a sweet-smelling flower" would be closest, both idiomatically and grammatically?


[deactivated user]

    I'd suggest: That man is not a flower that one smells. That man is not a flower to be smelled. That man is not a flower you smell.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MRMsys

    Why use the form "cheire" here as opposed to "cheira"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stussybear

    I think because it's in the subjunctive mood?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yellowred42

    "that man is not a flower that one should smell" is not an expression that is used in English, its just a word for word translation. "a bad egg", "a rotten egg", "a poisoned apple", "a wolf in sheep's clothing" all imply someone who appears good or attractive outwardly, but is in actual fact no good at all.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jonahhcarlson

    How about "that man is a bad apple"? Acceptable translation?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Massbass10

    "Not to be sniffed at" maybe?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TobyBartels

    That's fairly literal, but it means something different in English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JFSPA

    means the opposite. Sniffing at something, in "not to be sniffed at," means sniffing dismissively. Phrase means, "don't turn it down, don't dismiss it." Whereas this phrase means, "he's no flower / he's rotten at the core / stay away."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/boricua581

    Spanish is my primary language, and even idioms in english and spanish, i can never relate them. I've never heard these idioms in spanish. So they're hard to relate. Although good new vocab for me. So that's nice. But most of these I'm literal translating and making a sensible sentence, and then i get it wrong. Lol


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oceanotti

    In Spanish: “No es trigo limpio” (Trans.: It is not clean wheat)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bobod3

    oh lord, that's hilarious. I typed The man isn't and then, not knowing how to continue, pushed enter to see the right answer, and guess what it was?

    'That man is f*cked'. I really couldn't stop laughing. It's a wonder how it even came to be accepted. Apparently some of the developers were feeling especially naughty that day.


    [deactivated user]

      It's still there. What's Portuguese for "We're all going to hell in a handcart"?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yamilet111

      Bad egg?? I thought maybe "not as dumb as he looks" or even "looks can be deceiving", or "if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck..." would any of those be somewhat closer?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

      Not close at all! When you realize that the literal is "That man is not a flower that is smelled." A flower smells good, so the man is not good. Then you will see that we need an expression that shows the man is bad, which is how we get "That man is a bad egg." If he were like a flower, than I could see your confusion but you can't forget the word "não" which means "not". I personally don't get where you got the inference for "dumb" though.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WernickesArea

      Even if it has a sign that says "I'm an Eagle" you're probably not being judgemental in saying it's probably a duck...


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thurbzz

      Maybe a better translation of this idiom would be "He thinks his poo smells of roses" but I guess the native speakers know best what the meaning of the saying is... Can a Brazilian weigh in on this thought?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/igorjales

      No, the proverb in this lesson is used in order to tell that someone is not a good person. It's not about what he thinks of himself.

      The literal meaning of the phrase is “This is no flower to be smelled / not a flower one would smell". Notice that it's not about a flower smelling itself. I just don't have the knowledge to explain the grammar behind it, maybe someone can add in to that.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/igorjales

      By the way, we have many expressions to say that someone thinks too highly of himself! We normally say “ele se acha demais“, (acha here is like to think something about something or someone) or shorten it to “ele se acha”.

      Those are the most common form, but... We can make it funnier: “se acha a última bolacha do pacote" (the last cracker in a package), or “a última coca-cola do deserto" (the last coca-cola in a desert), or "o buraco da bolacha cream-cracker" (the holes of a cream-cracker), “as pregas do cu duma virgem” (the wrinkles of a virgin's butthole — yeah, indecent language)... The list may be endless, and I assure you, I've heard these out there more than once!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bis612099

      Ha, ha. I thought it meant, he's not just good to look at and smell, he's to be embraced etc ;-]

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