"זה לא טעים לי, זה מר."
Translation:This is not tasty, this is bitter.
57 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
To elaborate on what TeribleT said:
I'm pretty sure that it really does mean "to me", and that זה טעים לי literally means "it is tasty to me". In other words, "I like it". Without the לי it would mean "it's (objectively) tasty". So this sentence has two parts: "I don't like it" and "it's bitter". The first is about my relationship with the food and isn't an objective statement about the food. The second is an objective statement about the food.
To answer to TeribleT and shimkelevine:
Indeed, I would'nt call "li" a pronoun : it is the combination of the preposition -l (to) and the morpheme i- used to refer to the first person of the singular. And it goes the same for "my" ("sheli"), it is the combination of the prepostion used to express possesion, "shel" (of), and the morpheme i- (first person singular). I studied linguistics in college, but unluckily not Hebrew grammar in details, so I'm not a specialist... So, as far as I know, I would also consider "li" (lakh, lekha, lanu, etc.) a prepositional phrase.
I wrote "This is not tasty to me, this is bitter" and my answer was accepted, so I think they've now changed it. However in English (British) I would never say "This is not tasty to me" so I didn't expect my answer to be correct, I just couldn't come up with an alternative.
My conclusion is that in this situation Hebrew is more polite than English and the "to me" should be excluded in the English translation. If I was choosing to express my opinion in English rather than make a statement I would say "That tastes bitter to me". In English you need a verb if you are saying the words "to me".
In my (brooklyn NY) Englihs, I would more naturally say, "To me this is not tasty". (or also I don't find this tasty, but it sounds kind of elitish - more likely to say "i don't think this is tasty' or just 'this isn't tasty.' -- When I first got to France, my girlfriend would correct me when I made value judgments as statements of fact. She said that in France that would be considered presumptuous and that I should say "Je trouve..." or "A mon avis..." or something of the sort. I don't know of course whether this was a question of her personal preference or whether all native French speakers would react the same way. But the analogy with the Hebrew sentence here seems instructive.
As a native French speaker, I'd love to give you an answer, but I guess it depends on a lot of things: context, intonation, the person you are talking to... Still, I'd say that when you are not with friends and/or relatives, it is better to use something like "To me this is not tasty" rather than a blunt "This is not tasty." We like to smooth the rough edges! xD
Thanks, Skoubi. I think you hit on a more general difference between the French and American perspective, or at least how we express ourselves. BTW, it does not surprise me that the Japanese is closer to the French. I notice over and over, as I get to know Japan and its culture, startling analogies. In another field, for example, the aesthetic presentation of food. And the cultivation of a refined palate. And even the way both cultures analyze and discuss with extreme precision what they eat (often while they are eating it). On another plain, the codification of manners. The importance of cleanliness. The sense of order. I could go on.
Because it isn't correct English. "This is not tasty" is a statement about the dish, not about yourself. Of course you might not consider it tasty and somebody else might love it, so to avoid arguments we usually say things like "in my opinion, this isn't tasty" (or "I don't like it", which is a statement about me, not the dish). Shimkelevine's formulation, with "to me" in front, is essentially using "to me" as a substitute for "in my opinion". However, "tasty to me" is a contradiction in terms, so you can't say that the dish has that property or doesn't.
To use an analogy, being tasty is like being hot. You can say that an object feels hot to you, because feeling involves a relationship between you and the object, or you can say that, in your opinion, it's hot. However, you can't say that it is hot to you. It's either hot or it isn't.
This is an instance where a literal translation really doesn't work in English. Saying "This is not to my taste", while correct, is hopelessly formal. Saying "This is not tasty" is missing the point of including לי. The most natural phrasing in English is just "I don't like this. It is bitter." That doesn't contain the word "taste", but your not liking the taste is obvious from context. (But it isn't accepted.)
to me. To us: lanu,etc. Lamed means "to". The לי, לה, לו, לך להם, להן, לכם... All "to" + pronoun. To me, to her, to him, etc. This is all in the tips and notes, if you don't have them because you're in the app you can find them on the website, or search on discussions. Or just let me know I'll repost the links
The Hebrew sentence is making a subjective assessment. Literally, the speaker is saying "This isn't tasty TO ME. It is bitter." It's something you might say when tasting 80% dark chocolate, while acknowledging that your friend loves the stuff. (FWIW, I like 70% chocolate, but anything stronger is too bitter for me.)
The English sentence doesn't say "to me", so it claims to be an objective statement. The food isn't tasty, period. It's too bitter. If somebody else tastes it, they won't like it either.
Bottom line: Both the Hebrew and the English are plausible sentences, but they don't mean the same thing.
These two options have different nuances. The first gives your personal opinion of the objective taste of the food, the second is more personal, avoiding any judgment (altho since we are used to people sugar-coating their comments, it at least implies a judgment.). in sum, the first is ultimately a comment on the food, the second on your tastes.