https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theo72757

Pain

Why is it that in French you can’t literally say My foot hurts so it becomes j’ai mal au pied?

December 13, 2017

5 Comments


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

Why do you want to literally translate it?

Mon pied me fait mal. = "My foot hurts".
J'ai mal au pied = "I have a sore foot".

Both are valid translations.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theo72757

I mean why is it that the translation for j’ai mal au pied” is "I have pain in the foot and you cannot translate it word for word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanC798471

You may as well ask why in English we have the odd idea that it is your foot hurting rather than you, or instead of saying you have a pain in the foot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theo72757

Would it not be because the pain is in your foot therefore your foot hurts


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

I think Ian is trying to point out that French is not English translated but a unique language in itself. Actually, the reason there are so many cognates is because English has taken them from the French (not the other way around).

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