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  5. "Un regard est comme un paysa…

"Un regard est comme un paysage."

Translation:A look is like a landscape.

March 7, 2013



what does this even mean in English?


Have you not any poet in your country?


Our greatest poet died over 400 years ago, and if I quoted him out of context like this, you wouldn't understand either! Ca veut dire quoi, ca?


I expect that this "look" expresses feelings.

So what I can imagine is that when your eyes meet with somebody else's, you may be able to decipher some of his/her feelings and translate them to metaphors or analogies with a landscape.

If he/she is angry, you might see a storm and lightning.

If he/she is joyful, you might see a mountain spring jumping from rock to rock

If he/she is in love, you might see gentle breeze moving a field of ripe grain



Oh, that's lovely. (You're surname isn't Beaudelaire, is it?)

OK. You mentioned fields of grain - you started it!

"Tu vois, là-bas, les champs de blé ? Je ne mange pas de pain. Le blé pour moi est inutile. Les champs de blé ne me rappellent rien. Et ça, c'est triste ! Mais tu as des cheveux couleur d'or. Alors ce sera merveilleux quand tu m'auras apprivoisé ! Le blé qui est doré, me fera souvenir de toi. Et j'aimerai le bruit du vent dans le blé..."

Many thanks, SS. :)


Brava! Now I get it. Do you know, is this in fact a quote from some famous poet?

Edit: Sorry, that could be confusing. I meant the original sentence, not LindaB's quotation.


Not so famous, her name is Sitesurf! :-)


Robert Burns wasn't even born 400 years ago!


My apologies! I forgot about RB. Not sure Sitesurf would understand tim'rous beasties and the great chieftain of the puddin'-race any more than the Bard would make sense to her - but your point is well made.

Here's tae us~ :)


I have no idea, not being a poet either. But it is strange to find poetic phrases now and again. I guess it's fair enough.


I definitely respect poetry. C'est très important, but I don't even know most of the words of this language. Can we mess around with poetry later?


Hear hear!. Poetry is appreciated, but could confuse in this context.


The problem with poetic sentences is that no poetic licence is allowed in translations, they have to fit into some artificial idea how some moderator has decided this should be translated...


I enjoy encountering these poetic ones. They are a bit more challenging, because I doubt myself (since they are generally not "everyday" phrases), but I often realize before I submit my answer that it's probably meant to be poetic and it's fun when that turns out to be right. I imagine they are taken from well-known sayings or poems.


this makes no sense in English.


Maybe I'm reaching, but one of the possible definitions of paysage is a metaphor meaning someone's character, so "un regard est comme un paysage" may be similar to the English adage, "a picture is worth a thousand words".


Or "the eyes are a window into (the landscape of) the soul" and I agree with johnsark for "gaze" instead of "look". Strange sentences make duolingo so much more entertaining.


those were my thoughts too :-)


Ok, it's poetic. But I still don't get what it's trying to convey. How is a look like a landscape?


Does this mean looking is an act determined by our culture and intelligence in the same way that our enviroment is shaped by those very forces , or is it more cats eating rice


It means that poetry is often a bit abstruse...


"How can you be so 'abstruse'"? "What? What did you call me"? "'Abstruse'. Is it deliberate"? (Slight modification of lines from "The Shawshank Redemption" ("Andy crawled to freedom through 500 yards of s**t smelling foulness I can't even imagine, or maybe I just don't want to...")).


I do believe he clearly says "obtuse" meaning (in this case) someone who can't understand, rather than "abstruse" someone who can't be understood.

Cheers to Sitesurf for adding a word to my passive English vocab, but I have to agree with many(most?) on here, adding poetry isn't helping me understand A2-level French.

(Edit: sorry bfoshizzle, after a second reading I realized you knew you were changing the lines. Heart you for referencing one of my favorite movies of all time.)


I do not think this sentence is nonsense. I took it to mean that one can see as much in another person's facial expression/look as one can see in a landscape. DL accepted "an expression is..."


Ah, so a better translation might be "a look (or even better, though less poetically, a facial expression) can say more than a thousand words." I think most of us are having trouble because we are not understanding a look in the sentence to mean a facial expression, but rather a glance at something. Unfortunately, the closest expression we have that I can think of is, "If looks could kill."


OMG LOL - cats eating rice. That's priceless. :)


I originally came to this page because I too did not appreciate this example as a poet would and then I read Sitesurfs romantic and poetic response and my only thought that followed was; "I'm in love! Wonder, could he be single?!" Then I continued to read posts only to be heartbroken to finally learn that Mr romantic sitesurf is not a Mr but dare I remind myself.... a Mrs! ! Figures, all the good ones are either taken, gay or in this case, a woman! ;) ;) ;)


In this context, wouldn't "un regard" be more properly translated as "a gaze"?


This is a non-sense sentence


I don't suppose "un regard" could be referring to a view in this case, could it?


what does this mean?


Look here means facial expression, not the act of looking. I think in English we would understand it better as "you can see a landscape on a person's face." I wouldn't risk using that translation though, unless you don't mind losing a heart.


I heartily agree with SmearedInk! (We're pretty far into the DL lessons now and hopefully everyone is supplementing with other materials - Moi, j'adore la methode de Pimsleur. That being said, I do think having an explanation from a native French speaker to go along with anything idomatic/figurative would be incredibly helpful.

Without this, I can appreciate the sentence above; but I really don't have a sense of when it might be appropriate in French.


Hi, Cheyne. I was curious about Pimsleur, so I went into Google and checked it out. On SALE,the courses are about $120 - that's over a thousand bucks (in our sadly devalued currency, the Rand). That's a lot of money!

How much do I love Duolingo?! :)


Hi Linda, I empathize. I paid full price for the first volume but then found the rest by alternative cheaper and/or free means. The effort of searching them out was totally worth the benefit for me.


Lucky you! Tell me, though, 7 months down the line - isn't DL getting better anyway?



A view is like a landscape is how i would translate


I did find exactly one actual non-Duolingo usage of this sentence, in an interview with a photographer. That said, I'm still not sure what it's supposed to mean.


It's really frustrating when the first time you come across it is a soundtrack. I almost had it at one point and then thought....but that hardly makes sense. Then I started substituting other words that sounded the same.

Surprise, surprise, it really is a look is like a landscape.


Why not, "A look is like a painting."


that is like the STUPIDEST sentence i've heard yet on duolingo. man alive i thought "good morning, juice" was bad. they give that brainiac sentence in dutch studies. just what on earth is "a look is like a landscape," supposed to mean? man please please please please please learn english.


It is a matter of interpretation here. Thinking about poetry and metaphors, maybe take a look at post nb4 on this page.


Salut SS. Voyez ce que j'ai trouvé!

"Un regard est comme un paysage. On peut le décrypter de la même manière et développer une connaissance intime d’une facette d’une société étrangère si on y accorde l’attention qu’elle mérite."

C'était sur la site 'Ma Belle Photo - Photos d'art et de décoration". On y parlait des VISAGES.


"Un visage, c'est comme un paysage. ça peut être un jardin, ou un bois, ou une terre désolée où rien ne pousse."

Je l'ai trouvé sur la site Context Reverso - mais la source, je ne la trouve pas.

Qu'est-ce que vous en pensez?



It's a line in an Italian film: "I cento passi", by Marco Tullio Giordana (2000).

wiki in Italian

wiki in French

wiki in English


OK! Une autre preuve. Another clue.

A Mafia story. Je l'ai trouvé in Italiano: 'ogni volto è come un paesaggio'. Every face is like a landscape. C'est un peintre qui dit ceci.

D'après lui: The boy's face is a garden where the young cultivate dreams, but :

"the face of Tano Badalamenti looks just like a wasteland on which there never appears the shadow of an affection, a feeling, an emotion".

Oh my goodness. Je comprends. Enfin! Merci mille fois, SS.



God bless our Italian friends for their sense of poetry!


Très intéressant! Merci.


stick to reality, folks. i love poetry as much or more than anyone i know. we don't need peoples' take of great poets in studying basic french.



But now you know that a word you thought you understood well can be used in ways that you never imagined. Even confronted with how some native speakers use it, you are puzzled as to how they could do so.

When seeing other words used in ways that surprise them, students will be less quick to claim the French is in error. At least, that is what the language learning process usually promotes.

Using un regard to refer to life's experiences being etched on one's face may strike you as very fanciful but then all metaphors are fanciful. And English speakers regularly apply metaphors and similes in normal speech. Even in the pleasantries exchanged with a clerk, an English speaker might say ....life's like that. A student of English might say....why have poetic type expression included in basic English?.

Yet how innocuous and common in English to use that to mean whatever the participants in the conversation individually choose. Each of them perhaps placing an entirely different meaning but agreeing with each other in the process. Advanced, poetic, fanciful, metaphoric maybe but commonplace in English all the same. A student learning the English language should not be shocked or upset to come across that used in a way that can not be explained simply. That is just how languages work.

That is what language courses are designed to do. Not just teach how to substitute a word from one language to the other. But also how the words work with each other to produce results that aren't always apparent.

Frustration is part of the learning process. Otherwise learning would be nothing more than simply memorizing things.


And do you love kindness as much or more than anyone you know?

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