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إذا أردت أن تطاع فأمر بما يستطاع

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by economistegypt2010, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. economistegypt2010

    economistegypt2010 Senior Member

    Egypt, مصر
    Arabic, العربية
    How one can say that in English?
     
  2. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    I can't think of an idiom but this is what it means:
    If you make an unreasonable request, don't expect it to be fulfilled.
    You can ask for an idiom on the English forums.
     
  3. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    Hi guys,

    At the moment I can't think of any idioms that have an equivalent meaning.

    I am curious, however, is the literal meaning of the phrase something to the effect of "if you want to be obeyed, then ask something that can be obeyed (i.e. is feasible/possible)?"
     
  4. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    Yes, josh. But the intended meaning is not literal; it is more like what I suggested.
     
  5. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    Thanks. With idiomatic phrases and proverbs, and other non-literal phrases I often like to see the literal translation as well in order gain insight into the linguistic or stylistic form of the original.
     
  6. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Cantonese (Hong Kong)
    Interesting to know this idiom! It's almost exactly what the king says to the little prince: Il faut exiger de chacun ce que chacun peut donner ... L'autorité repose d'abord sur la raison ... (Chapitre X)
     
  7. economistegypt2010

    economistegypt2010 Senior Member

    Egypt, مصر
    Arabic, العربية
    I got the best suggestion form native speakers from English forum

    "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride."​
     

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