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  5. "Het leven is hard, maar ik b…

"Het leven is hard, maar ik ben harder."

Translation:Life is hard, but I am harder.

July 29, 2014

20 Comments


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

In English, one might refer to "the life" to refer to a particular way of life: a profession, for example, or living in a particular place.

Does Dutch have such a meaning for "het leven" - such that this sentence could reasonably be translated "The life is hard, but I am harder"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Saan-101

In Dutch, if there's suddenly a word with a definite article in front of it (de, het), lacking any other qualifiers or hints as to how it's meant, it usually means the most basic/important form of the concept. For 'the life is hard' to make sense, you'd need some kind of qualifier here: 'the wrestling life', 'the life of a smurf' or 'the life that I lead'.

If you want the sentence to make any kind of sense on its own, the previous sentence should refer to what kind of life is meant: 'I spend most of my time dressing up as a demonic easter to help parents punish their naughty children. The life is hard, but I am harder.'


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

The same thing is true in English, at least in this case.


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

The exact same thing is true in English, as Soglio also notes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mullac1992

So, it's kind of like saying "this life is hard"


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

"the life is hard, but I am harder" sounds much more odd to me as a native English speaker. That said, it isn't grammatically incorrect, it's just that there is not particular kind of life present which could be the referent of "the life".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrendanCon2

Also the English word here word surely be "tougher" not "harder".


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

So "i am a paramedic — the life is hard" is both grammatical and logical as you now have the answer to "the life — which life?"


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

That still sounds odd to me. Not incorrect (the original is not "incorrect" either), but odd.


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

Is this a typical Dutch saying? I first read it in a book by Floortje Zwigtman and a quick google search is inconclusive about the origin.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vam1980

I don't think it's a typical Dutch thing (I didn't know it).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Saan-101

I've heard it a few times growing up, but it's mostly a thing said by the overconfident and the drunk (thinks sports fans), in my experience.


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

So is this sentence an inappropriate joke? I was gonna laugh but then I was like all "Oh wait that's actually kinda weird um" lol...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Saan-101

In this case 'hard' means more 'tough' than it does 'solid' or 'firm'.


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

Isn't that a quote from Rocky Balboa?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NelaAl0

Anybody thinks the new Duolingo looks plain? Or it is just me? Not very good with changes.

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