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  5. "Mieux vaut tard que jamais."

"Mieux vaut tard que jamais."

Translation:Better late than never.

December 28, 2013

51 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brandir17

still not understanding what purpose vaut is?


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

Well, without « vaut », you wouldn't have a verb in the sentence, right? :-) « Valoir » means "to be worth", hence you'd translate literally as : "It's worth better (mieux) late than never". HTH!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dentarthurdent42

Well, that's true, but proper sentence structure isn't always necessary for idioms. Par exemple: "better late than never" has no explicit verb


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

Good point! In French, it seems to me that these nonverbal sentences, where the verb is implied, as in German, are less likely. Even Mieux que rien, better than nothing, should be preceded with C'est.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wille.z.ma

The same idiom in Italian have no verb: "meglio tardi che mai"="mieux tard que jamais".


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

In Spanish it's "Más vale tarde que nunca" (where vale/valer = vaut/valoir). I think I have heard "Mejor tarde que nunca" (mejor=better; no verb), but that's probably a calque from the English version.


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

In Thai, we said "มาช้ายังดีกว่าไม่มา" ;)


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

True, no verb but isn't an idiom commonly a fragment of a sentence. What we are really saying it " It is better late then never." We just drop the "It is." So in essensse we would use the same grammar as if "It is" was used. Perhaps that is the same in French? Correct me if I'm off base! :-)


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

Interestingly, we've had the same idiom in Spanish too, and it has the same structure as French "más vale tarde que nunca".


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

In portuguese we say "Melhor tarde do que nunca" and it too doesn't have a verb.


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

"antes tarde do que nunca" where i live


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arabella210259

In Serbian we say ''Bolje ikad nego nikad''


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

"Mais vale tarde do que nunca" esta é a expressão mais correta....


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

I've also heard "mejor tarde que nunca". ;)


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

Like the italian Meglio tardi che mai.


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

Is it possible to use "est" instead of vaut? and why vaut? "Mieux est tard que jamais".. sounds more like the phrase in spanish "Mejor es tarde que nunca"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NicoleFran3

These are idiomatic expressions so they have to be used as they are. When you change a word, you have lost the expression. They are not to be "translated" into another language, but you need to find the "equivalent"expression that you would use in the same circumstances.


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

Yet so often these equivalencies are not available. It would be safer, and better practice for learners, to bluntly transpose each word, I think.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NicoleFran3

If you translate an idiomatic expression literally, then you have lost the meaning and that doesn't help your learning.


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

@JordanMowat: I disagree. I want to learn how to speak a foreign language like a native, not utter a meaningless string of words. Just translating each word individually with no context whatsoever is useless. If you want to do just that, and learn the individual meaning of each word, look them up one by one in a dictionary.

Duo even has hints that we can hover over. And if we cannot make sense of the French phrase, clicking on the button to read the English equivalent is satisfying, because we can then compare and get a sense of the overall meaning of the phrase.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kate-Julia

In Russian: Лучше поздно, чем никогда.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chloe886697

Me turning up late to my French class


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

Me handing in a late assignment to my teacher.


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

in dutch it's beter laat dan nooit, which litterally means better late than never


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elias.Doua

In arabic it is: أن تصل متأخر، خير من الا تصل


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

And in Slovak: "Lepšie neskoro, než nikdy."


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

We do have an expression that is equivalent to the French version: أن ياتى الامر متاخرا خير من الا ياتى على الاطلاق


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eva-0930

In swedish: Bättre sent än aldrig.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fatemehgoli70331

In persian, we say: دیر رسیدن بهتر از هرگز نرسیدن است


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

In the preceding exercise, which wanted me to translate from English to French, I wrote "Mieux vaut tard que jamais" and was marked wrong. DL said I should have had "Il mieux vaut tard que jamais." This is very frustrating and discouraging.


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

Better nate than lever


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

As single words, what does "vaut" and "jamais" mean?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

vaut- to be worth jamais- never


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

said the man that missed the last train.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xenia255

Mas vale tarde que nunca. That will be the Spanish version.


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

In hebrew it is: "עדיף מאוחר מאשר אף פעם", and it doesn't have a verb.


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

Apparently this phrase is ultimately a calque from Latin 'potiusque sero quam numquam' from Livy's Ab Urbe Condita (book 4), literally: 'and rather late than never'. Serus/sero = French 'soir', Italian 'sera' which now means evening, or late in the day.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rica866525

"Besser spät als nie" in German. No verb :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaPark285501

better late than never late yeah right


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

When I tap on some words (ex. jamais) it only gives me the full phrase translation not the word translation. This frusterates me so much! FIX THIS


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DimitrijeR4

Would it be that bad if their was no vaut


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

mas vale tarde que nunca (translates word for word in spanish)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gymnastics9801

neither can I (0).(0) =


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

"Late better never", is it wrong?


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

Yes since it is neither the correct expression, that is the way it is actually said, nor grammatically correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/colt00

I think " late better than never." is more sensible.


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

This is short for " It is better to be late than never to come." but the shortened version is all that is needed for this idiom as long as the word order is not changed. "Better late than never" . Now, it also can mean "It is better to do it late than never to do it at all." http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Better%20late%20than%20never?=100074=t http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/francais-anglais/Mieux%20vaut%20tard%20que%20jamais


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

No, colt00, I am sorry - it is not more "sensible" to say, "late better than never". In fact, it is simply incorrect to say that in English. ;)

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