ajva: (Ricky 1)
[personal profile] ajva
Friends, I'm pondering something tonight that I hope you can help me with. There's a well-known French proverb that goes like this:

Qui va à la chasse perd sa place.

He who goes hunting loses his place.

Now, I've been racking my brains to think of a direct English equivalent. The closest I can get are 'look before you leap' and, indeed, the Alexander Pope quote 'fools rush in where angels fear to tread'. But these both are merely about the wisdom of being cautious in ones endeavours; I can't think of any that includes the specific connotation that going after something involves the risk that you could lose what you already have.

Do we have such a phrase?

Date: 2010-11-29 11:35 pm (UTC)
booklectica: my face (Default)
From: [personal profile] booklectica
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush is sort of similar?

Date: 2010-11-29 11:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kelemvor.livejournal.com
Drat - beaten to it!

Date: 2010-11-29 11:53 pm (UTC)
louis_mallow: Discordian Kallisti apple (Default)
From: [personal profile] louis_mallow
Five in the hand is worth one in Kate Bush? [Old grafitti]

Date: 2010-11-30 12:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ajva.livejournal.com
Yes! That's a good one, although it still leaves open the possibility that you might manage to get one or even both of the two in the bush, and even retain the one you have in your hand if you're clever about it - as opposed to the certainty of loss suggested by the French phrase. The thing is, I'm fascinated by this particular thing because it seems to me that, although the idea of specific national traits is obviously silly when considered as a stark extreme, if any such things can in any sense be said to exist, they'll be subtle and most likely reinforced by the formative experience we all have in acquiring our first language. And I wonder if this phrase, drummed into children early on, might instill an ever-so-slightly greater sense of political caution than is instilled in anglophone children? Probably a silly notion, but a pleasant whimsical fancy nevertheless. :o)

Date: 2010-11-29 11:54 pm (UTC)
louis_mallow: Discordian Kallisti apple (Default)
From: [personal profile] louis_mallow
The grass is always greener implies you can't come back to the field you're in.

Date: 2010-11-30 12:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ajva.livejournal.com
No, I don't think it does, actually. I think it just simply counsels that you might not be any better off in the other field, even if you think you would. That's not the same thing.

Date: 2010-11-30 12:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] friend-of-tofu.livejournal.com
Only that Aesop's fable about the dog with the chop. Not actually a snappy saying, sadly.

Date: 2010-11-30 07:22 am (UTC)
djm4: (Default)
From: [personal profile] djm4
We have its polar opposite, in fact: 'nothing ventured, nothing gained'.

But then, there's nothing to say that a languages set of proverbs all have to be consistent, so that doesn't mean that we don't have an equivalent for that proverb, although I can't think of one that's a better fit than those already mentioned. I suppose 'there's no place like home' captures a part of the original that other suggestions don't, but misses other aspects, and he phrase 'wild goose chase' is clearly coming from the same idea.

Date: 2010-12-01 10:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lilithmagna.livejournal.com
In Spanish we used to say- El que fue a la villa perdio su silla. Lit.- He who went to the trains station lost his seat.

Date: 2011-01-31 08:18 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
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