Translation:Love is blind, but the neighbors ain't.
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I think it refers to the fact that when someone's "In love", they can be blind to a logical perspective seen from the outside (neighbors). Especially those negative relationships we try and warn our friends and family about :p haha
PS: Spanish cartoons sound way better than American cartoons!
It is disturbing to see a translation using the nonstandard English word "ain't." All schools in the U. S. teach that this word is nonstandard, is often used by illiterate people, and is not to be used in scholastic and business writing. In my opinion and the opinion of all the English teachers I ever knew, it makes a bad impression.
You're right, none of those are idioms. An idiom is something you won't necessarily understand even if you know all the words. "To pass the buck," "To be hoisted on one's own petard," "To be at sixes and sevens," "To be thin skinned," "To be on cloud 9," are all true idioms. I wish this section had focused on that and not on maxims or sayings.
I agree, but would like to stress that your example is of written dialogue (or so I presume from the quotes), rather than an example of a professional or scholarly piece of writing. The use of "ain't" in a story is to show that someone either is poorly educated or is deliberately playing with English in order to be cool or neat.
In fact, I myself might use "ain't" in normal conversation with a close friend or family member if I wanted to be playful, funny, or idiomatic, or if I were certain that my friend or family member absolutely knew that I was aware of the correct wording (am not). I would never use "ain't" if I were with a stranger. It is my preference to hold myself to a higher standard.
Of course I wouldn't use "ain't" in a professional or scholarly piece of writing (except possibly in quotes). On the other hand, neither would I use "wouldn't." I would also never use the term "a stitch in time" except as part of or in reference to the idiom it begins. The point I was trying to make is that idioms come with their own language; they are passed along verbatim regardless of "correct" grammar. You're welcome to use or not use whatever language you choose, but when you condemn DL for its idiomatic phrasing I'm afraid you lose me. For what it's worth, I would cheerfully use the phrase "there ain't no rest for the wicked" in front of someone I'd just met. Even if I thought such a usage might affect someone's opinion (I don't), it's not important to me that everyone I meet be able to successfully intuit my education level.
Dat right. Never met a phrase that I didn't like, and when you talked about the sentence "There ain't no rest for the wicked," I assumed that you like to play with language just as much as I do. It's fun. Personally, I like the proverb when it is used in the right setting.
I must ask, do you think I was trying to impress anyone with my so-so education? Not so. Rather, I was trying to illustrate that good job interviews can go sour because of nonstandard English. My husband hires for the skills someone possesses, but when he has to choose between two equally skilled individuals, he always chooses the one who speaks better. I don't understand what's wrong with not wanting to make a bad impression. It's not a matter of snobbery, it's a matter of personal economics. You never know who might hear you and help you get that next great job.
Finally, with is it with you and the word "wouldn't?" Didn't you start your first sentence with "Of course I wouldn't… ? "I'm not trying to offend you; it's just that bit about "wouldn't" that is confusing me. I always thought it was polite to speak in a conditional tense. ;->
Gah. I typed up a thoughtful reply and it seems to have failed to post. The upshot:
I wouldn't use "ain't" at a job interview, but I didn't think that was what we were discussing. If I were teaching a new English speaker idioms, I would use traditional word choices.
"Wouldn't" was my example precisely because I had just used it. Contractions are traditionally frowned upon in formal writing, but I would still use them in informal contexts and still teach them to a new speaker.
Using "ain't" isn't always related someone's income or education. Sometimes it's just a dialect/regional/cultural thing. It's not exactly considered "proper" English, but I use it around my friends and family all the time. I'm a stickler for proper English in formal documents and situations myself, but I love using slang because it feels laid back and "homey" to me. It's called code switching. Lots of people do it.
ha ha :) I find it so frustrating when I am trying to find information about Spanish, of course related to current sentence, phrase, etc. and all I find is comment after comment discussing the english. Although there is a chance that I have contributed to such a conversation myself ;)
I'd be careful when categorically stating a word is only "used by illiterate people" etc. and "leave a very, very bad impression." It is quite acceptable in some spoken dialects. In the 18th century it was acceptable in educated circles.
Today, of course, it cannot be used in academic or journalistic writing, but that does not demote the word to "illiterate people who know no better." I speak as a wordsmith, and I ain't about to drop the word from my lexicon.
References: Read "The Story of Ain't" or see the controversy surrounding Webster's Third, published in 1961. The dictionary tried to bring back "ain't" into educated circles, and said it was "used orally in most parts of the U.S. by cultivated speakers. No, no se dice que otros.
Good on Duolingo for offering the word as a translation choice! Aprendemos de estos modismos peculiares.
"Cada loco, es su tema." If I am definite in standing by my opinions, it is because I believe fervently that it is a disservice to ESL learners to model nonstandard English to them. My rationales:
1) If duoLingo is a site where people who don't speak a language can learn it for free, then they need to know what is standard and what is nonstandard in the 21st Century. If English-speaking people who love their native tongue choose nonstandard words to pepper their own writing and conversations, then that is their prerogative. I only hope that the people whose first language is Spanish don't share your sentiment when they are participating in these posts because I, myself, want to learn the most polished Spanish that I can. I imagine that many people learning English as a second language share my sentiment.
2) The word "ain't" does leave a bad impression, kind of like when a person uses the familiar Spanish form of "tú" when he should be using "usted." Quite simply, a bad impression is a bad impression, no matter why or how one makes it. I don't want someone modeling that kind of language for me to emulate.
Because my choice of language was rant provoking, I have changed "used only by illiterate people who know no better" to "used often by illiterate people," mainly because of the many people who take umbrage so easily. If I offended you, perhaps because you consider yourself literate and yet still like using the word "ain't" for some unspecified reason (and here, I wish to state sincerely that I am NOT implying that you are not literate), I apologize for the implication, which was entirely unintended on my part. (By the way, you still do have the option to use the word "ain't." I wasn't taking that away from you. Creative writing would be far less entertaining without nonstandard words.)
Speaking as a wordsmith myself, I would have been much more impressed by your abilities if you had capitalized "century" in "18th Century." I always try to be as meticulous as possible when I write and speak.
Your words, by the way, were not "rant-provoking." Whether I'm illiterate or not is irrelevant; we're discussing the use of the word "ain't" and my argument stands or falls on the arguments I use.
Your last remark, even if it was correct, is an ad hominem tu quoque fallacy (i.e, it's off topic and aimed at reducing my argument through an attack on a separate issue and, by inference, my abilities.)
This reduces the effectiveness of your response. More to the point it's far from a hard-and-fast rule. Most stylebooks (Chicago Manual of Style, the Canadian Press Stylebook, the MLA, etc.) lower case "century" in this and other contexts. However, a few require upper-casing "century."
A largo plazo, de manera similar a los estilos de vida, me parece más emocionante de disfrutar de diferentes estilos de escritura. Para usar su palabra, "meticuloso" es bueno. Didáctica no lo es.
Feliz aprendizaje español!
True dat, but I wasn't saying that YOU ranted. (You seem to take everything personally.) Rather, I meant that I got a lot of negative feedback because of my straightforwardness. I agree, however, that both of our arguments about the word "ain't" stand and fall on their own merits, despite that fact that my copy of Chicago Manual of Style may now be out of date.
Now that I know you're Canadian, it all makes sense. (I am not disparaging Canadians here.) American, Canadian, and British grammar rules are simply not the same. I admittedly am less knowledgeable about Canadian dialects. The United States dialect of English, on the other hand, is what I mastered in order to make a living, and my admittedly small sample of teachers, professors, and colleagues all agreed that "ain't" is best avoided.
In response to your snarky "ad hominem tu quoque" remark, I must admit that I was prideful when I stooped to pettiness. I will respond with the precept I try (sometimes unsuccessfully) to follow: Right action leads to right thinking, and right thinking leads to right action. Let's just agree to disagree, eh? ;^) lh
Sounds like a plan! Cheers, eh! (That's my British/Canadian getting confused.)
P.S. re British, Canadian and American rules. Indeed they do differ. But they often agree on the essentials. Canadians waffle between U.S. and Brit, with mostly Brit spellings, but many American borrowings of style and punctuation. (For example, scare quotes at the end of sentences: Brits: full stop outside quotes. U.S.: inside. Canadians: we follow the U.S. Spellings: only on odd words like aluminum/aluminium do we differ from the Brits.
Now back to Spanish :)
Notice that Duolingo doesn't use "ain't" in any of its other translations. This lesson is about idioms and colloquial phrases, not about scholastic and business writing. Plus, it's completely optional. If you are that disturbed by colloquial speech, I urge you to just move on to another lesson.
Idioms are "folk-proverbs" which usually convey wisdom by the means of memory hooks - one of them being rhymes. Correct grammar or spelling is usually not only not relevant for them but sometimes little errors can serve as mnemonics themselves. So my simple explanation is that "blind" and "ain't" rhyme.
Classist? Racist? Really? You make a lot of assumptions. All this name calling just because you want me to approve of the word "ain't?" Well, if it will make you happy, I'll just have to say it: I ain't got time for this anymore! Also, having reread this thread again after a few months, I again got rid of some of the more incendiary wording. All of us have, because we don't really want to flame, we just are passionate about language.
I love the word ain't and can't wait to use it again now that I see duo accepts it. I hope y'all will do the same. Languages are living things. The fun stops when we forget that. I like to say Howdy instead of Hi. I tend to swallow Hi and people can't hear me. Plus I figure it weeds out the snobs. When it comes to languages my hero is any 6 year-old. Except in English, they speak better than I do even with any and all mistakes. When I was living and studying in France I heard "C'est pas..." on the street. When I asked my French teacher about it, she wouldn't acknowledge what it meant. She would only say, "No, it's 'Ce n'est pas..." FYI C'est and Ce sound the same. She did it three times and I just walked away. If we were in the US then fine, but she did nothing to help me communicate with people. Another example is "Tu as vu?" which gets compressed to "T'as vu?" Gotta say, I love this saying. This new (to me) or full version has alot ( :-) ) of wisdom in it.
First of all, I can't figure out what kind of order these comments follow. I would have thought my comment and your reply would have been at the bottom of the list.
But to my question, I guess what I'm asking is that when this is said in Spanish, is there something very informal about it as there would be if we said "Ain't love wonderful?" I was trying to get to what makes this sentence so informal that the translation would include "ain't"?
I'm with you. Most of these aren't even idioms but rather proverbs or adages. An idiom is something like "to kick the bucket" or "to raise Caine" or " to raise a red flag" or " to hoist by one's own petard". It's an expression where you can't necessarily know or even guess the meaning from the words alone.
I learned several good ones in Dutch. "Hij ligt op apegapen" literally to lie gasping like an ape meaning dead tired or at your last gasp. Or "de pijp uit gaan" litterally to go out of the pipe... meaning to die.
I never heard it before either but it makes perfect sense depending on your wisdom I guess! What it means is ...Say for instance someone is getting beat by her husband but she stays and if you ask why of course she will no doubt say CAUSE I LOVE HIM! ((SHE IS BLINDED BY LOVE)) so much so she stays!! HOWEVER the neighbors see and hear everything very clear and they don't love him so they are not blinded and see him for the ass that he is. (It's a metaphor / analogy) OKAY HAVE YOU EVER HAD A GIRLFRIEND THAT WAS A PSYCHO AND YOUR FRIENDS TRIED TO TELL YOU BUT ... NOOOOO BECAUSE YOU LOVED HER SO YOU STAYED ....Then one day it hit you F this broad cause you either opened your eyes or she dumped you and you were forced to get over it basically ... Now you might laugh at it now like OMG I can't believe I tripped over that whore monger ... GET IT? YOU ARE IN THE PICTURE! SO YOU CAN'T STEP BACK AND SEE IT FOR EVERYTHING IN IT BUT OTHERS CAN CAUSE IT'S IN FRONT OF THEM ... KEYWORDS : METAPHOR / ANALOGY
I'm not really sure what you mean... in this sentence "el" does mean "the." What's going on here is that Spanish requires the use of the article when referring to concepts whereas English does not. English speakers just say Love, Honor, or Loyalty. We capitalize them when we mean to speak of them as universal concepts. In Spanish, however, you must say "El amor, el honor, o la fidelidad."
There are many times when Spanish requires the use of the article whereas in English we drop it. Another example is in English when we're speaking in general we would say "I like coffee." We only say "the coffee" when we're talking about a specific type or cup of coffee: "I like the coffee at Starbucks." In Spanish you must always use the article "Me gusta el café."
The Duolingo sentence is half a quote. The word for word translation does not make too much sense in English, but I guess the general meaning of this quote is "Love is Blind, but the neighbours ..." meaning that in a "house" with nextdoor neighbours - the neighbours see things going on that the "house" where a couple who are in the "house" do not see. For example: The husband of the house goes off to work, and the wife has a lover arrive during the day. Maybe: The wife goes off to work, and the husband has a lover on the side. The neighbours know that the "Love is Blind" is in full bloom and the cheating couple are still in love with each other, without knowing of their "fun and games" on the side. "Love is Blind" really should be the end of the quote for this Duolingo Course, (The neighours aren't) is really just an unnecessary qualification of "Love is Blind", for the Duolingo Course and just makes for a couple of page of discussion here. I think that this "saying" should have been left out of the Course or just "Love is Blind" left in the Duolingo Course.
Exactly! My only complaint with this whole section is that none of these are idioms. An idiom is something that you can't figure out based on an understanding of the words alone. For example: to be in hot water, or to be at sixes and sevens. A foreigner who speaks perfect English may have no idea what those phrases mean because they are true idiomatic expressions. Even native speakers may not know many of them.
Because that's not how we do it in English. When you speak in general you don't use an article in English like they do in Spanish. We only use the article when it's specific. General: I like coffee. Specific: I like the coffee at Starbucks. General: Love is blind. Specific: I need the love of a good woman.
It really isn't about PDA. It's about not seeing fault in people when we love them. We are more forgiving of things when we love someone than an objective outsider would be. Your husband or wife may be a bit of a "douche" as judged by the public, but because you're in love with him/her you can't see it.
Some people are confusing this quote by Noël Clarasó with another American "saying" that is not equivalent. If you literally translate this you will get it right. Love is blind, but not the neighbors. If you go with the other misleading saying "Don't make love by the garden gate, love is blind but the neighbor's ain't" you will not get the same meaning. Why? Because they aren't equivalent. One is about public displays of affection and the other is about not seeing faults in your loved ones. It should be obvious that there's an ENTIRE CLAUSE MISSING (Don't make love by the garden gate) from one of these "sayings" which changes the meaning ENTIRELY!
Hey ConnorBanks, is English your native language? In English we don't say "the love," we just say "love." When you speak in general you don't use the article "the." We only say "the" when we talk about something specific. For example: I like coffee. You only say "the coffee" when you mean something specific like: "I like the coffee at Starbucks." You can say "the love," but only when it's specific: "I need the love of a good woman." But mostly we just drop the article: Love is blind. I hope this helps.
You can use articles when referring to concepts: The love I lost, was a good one. What's going on here is the difference between specific and general. When it's general you don't use an article EVEN if it's not a concept but a concrete object: Coffee is delicious! But when it's specific you do use an article: The coffee at Starbucks is delicious!
The translation of this saying is a word for word translation, and I find in many other places that the translation is more thought for thought (in context). The slang does not bother me, nor the word for word translation, but other parts of the same lesson are entirely, "thought for thought"! This "saying" has been left, (to me, "half baked"). BTW I would like to see a word for word translation, followed by a "correct" English translation, but this would not fit in the context of Duolingo courses.
Your answer is acceptable and you should have reported it to Duolingo. We often drop articles in English.
I think the particular person who created some of these translations may not have been aware of the deep-seated prejudice some English-speakers have to the word "ain't." The word has been vilified by English teachers for years seemingly for no other reason than it's preferred usage in areas of the Appalachians and deep south. The word has been used in great literature but nowadays it is considered "nonstandard" and connotes unsophistication in the speaker.
No, it's with the article. It's not just any neighbors who aren't blind, it's the neighbors you're in the vicinity of.
There are two versions of this saying, each with its own interpretation.
"Love is blind, but the neighbors ain't." When you're in love, you're metaphorically blind to your partner's faults, but other people can see what's going on more objectively and more clearly.
"Don't make love by the garden gate. Love may be blind, but the neighbors ain't." This is a little more literal and means that others don't like to witness such public displays of affection. (The phrase "to make love" is at least 100 years old and originally meant "to woo or to flirt".)
Either way, the expression is "the neighbors".
The expression is supposed to be Spanish. We don't have the equivalent expression in English and I've even found it translated in English as "Love is blind, but not the neighbors." The point is, since the expression is presented as Spanish in origin, then any equivalent translation in English should suffice.
In English, if we're speaking of a generality or a concept, we don't normally use the definite article. So we would say "Love is blind," not "The love is blind."
"Neighbors" is plural, and you used the singular "is". It should be "the neighbors aren't" or for the colloquial idiom, "the neighbors ain't".
..but the neighbor's AIN'T?? What kind of disgustingly weak English is that?? People are here to learn proper language use! Not dysfunctional junk!
Whoever created this "idiom" assumes that we have a corresponding one in English and that this is the correct translation. Personally, I've never heard it (Love is blind, yes, but this, no) and from the majority of responses, neither have many others. My cursory research attributes this (in Spanish) as a quote from Noel Clarasó... so it's a quote, not an idiom. If that's the case, any answer you give that's close should be accepted. I hope you reported it to Duolingo as that's the only way it will get fixed.
"Love is blind but not neighborly" does not mean the same thing at all as "Love is blind, but the neighbors ain't."
The expression we're learning is "Love is blind, but the neighbors ain't (blind)." Meaning that when you're in love, you don't notice the other person's faults, but that doesn't stop others from noticing those faults.
"To be neighborly" means "to be a good neighbor". "Love is blind but not neighborly" says that love is not a good neighbor, and that doesn't make any sense at all.
Idioms have fairly fixed forms. "Love is blind, but the neighbors ain't" is the most common way to say this. If you're concerned with applying academic English rules to idioms, then you'd be better off suggesting "Love is blind, but the neighbors are not."