"A man without hair, it is like a garden without a flower."

Translation:Un homme sans poil, c'est comme un jardin sans fleur.

5 years ago

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/DoganErbah

We have a similar one in Turkish: "A man without belly, is like a house without balcony" :-p

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/M132T003C
M132T003C
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Perhaps it should be noted that, despite being warned against in another message here, “Un homme sans cheveux, c'est comme un jardin sans fleur.” is currently not just a correct answer, but it comes up as an option when the question is multiple choice (not all accepted answers can, as far as I can tell).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/terrainsolite

I second M13T003C's comment here. Previous comments stated that this was something of a "proverb" (not exactly the right word, but you know what I mean), with "poil referring to body here not hair of the head.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kate_Oastler10

sir, you have been on duolingo 4.024658 year straight!! Not only that but you are learning 29 languages! You are insane. I have much respect for you. I apologise for initially judging you by your profile. I now see you are very clever in the way in which to learn new languages. Best of luck in your future, K

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sryoo
sryoo
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Can anybody explain to me why it is fleur (singular) and not fleurs? I understand grammar rules might be different in French but in English you'd most certainly make the comparison object plural to mimic the first. Is this just something I have to beat into my head?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

Check Sitesurf's response above. She makes the same point and agrees with you.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoyceA
JoyceA
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Is it wrong to say "Un homme sans cheveux ... " ?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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It is very much debatable... my first idea was cheveux, actually, but note that in that case, everything should move in plural, to respect the logic:

Un homme sans cheveux, c'est comme un jardin sans fleurs.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoyceA
JoyceA
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Merci, Sitesurf! That is very helpful.

The English sentence actually sounds better to me in the plural. In English, "hair" is both a count noun (There is a hair in my soup!) and a mass noun (He has a lot of hair.) In this context -- "A man without hair ... " -- the word "hair" is a mass noun. It is balanced by the plural count noun "flowers."

Thank you for answering my question. When I see your name in a discussion, I always know I will learn something useful. I appreciate your sharing your language insight with us.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnnaTall

But. Do you think it is meant to be 'cheveux' rather than 'poil'?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sven.ekdahl

Yes, it would be wrong (although grammatically acceptable). "Cheveux" is the hair on the head, whereas "poil" refers to corporal hair. This expression is all about corporal hair, much like the French expression "jardin d'amour" which refers to chest hair on a man.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

Ok, I missed this comment before. Do I understand you to be saying that this is a French expression and that it specifically refers to men without body hair?

Because if that's the case, then the English needs to actually state "body hair". Any Anglophone reading "A man without hair" will unhesitatingly assume we are talking about a bald man.

P.S. I am charmed by "jardin d'amour".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jamayfield
jamayfieldPlus
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I don't understand why the phrase would not end with "sans un fleur."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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"sans" drops the article, unlike "avec"

  • avec des fleurs
  • sans fleurs

And a plural is more logical because otherwise, your garden would most probably have more than one flower.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jamayfield
jamayfieldPlus
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Merci beaucoup !

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fathurrochman

Does "le poil" mean a single hair? And then why the pluriel form is "les cheveux"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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le poil / les poils (anywhere except your scalp) = the hair / the hairs

un cheveu / des/les cheveux (only on your scalp) = a/one hair / the hair

3 years ago
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