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On ne fait pas d'omelette sans casser des œufs

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by apg2111, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. apg2111 Junior Member

    US, English
    You can't make omlettes without breaking any eggs... can anyone think of the same saying in English?

    Merci!
    Moderator's note: multiple threads merged to create this one.
    Also, original title changed ("on ne peut pas faire des omlettes sans casser des oeufs") to the French proverb as found in the TLFi.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013
  2. Gutenberg

    Gutenberg Senior Member

    Province de Québec, Canada
    français international
    In French, it's
    On ne fait pas d'omelettes sans casser d'oeufs.
     
  3. orlando09 Senior Member

    France, PACA
    English (England)
    we already have the same expression in English.... "you can;t make an omlette without breaking eggs"
     
  4. apg2111 Junior Member

    US, English
    Is it the same in English as French? I've only ever heard it in French
     
  5. david314

    david314 Senior Member

    Clayton, Missouri
    American English
    This is the version which I'm familiar with. :)
     
  6. apg2111 Junior Member

    US, English
    thank you!
     
  7. orlando09 Senior Member

    France, PACA
    English (England)
    yes, that's pretty common too.

    apg2111 maybe it's just not an expression that's used much where you're from? However, having said that, it's hardly something I've heard often in everyday use
     
  8. beadwindow New Member

    English
    If you want to make an omelette, you're gonna have to break a few eggs.

    I use the term to shake up things. It is a far more lucid phrase than the worn out cliche of think outside the box saying of the late '90s.
     
  9. Bamérique

    Bamérique Senior Member

    USA
    French (France)
    I think "des" is correct for that expression:

    on ne fait pas d'omelette sans casser des œufs (Le Robert)
     
  10. padmavyuha Senior Member

    Norwich, East Anglia
    English - Southern England
    ...which spawned (in the English theatre world): You can't make a Hamlet without breaking egos.
     
  11. honeypacha New Member

    english
    Comment dire peut pas faire des omelett sans cassr des oeufs
     
  12. CarlosRapido

    CarlosRapido Senior Member

    Québec - Canada
    français - English (Can)
    Une traduction litérale ne ferait pas l'affaire car il n'y a pas d'image correspondante dans l'esprit anglophone. "Can't make a omelette without breaking eggs" sonne faux. Vous devez donc traduire le sens, et non les mots. Il y a l'expression 'No pain, no gain' qui approche mais vous devriez plutôt exploiter l'angle 'no risk/no reward'...
     
  13. SwissPete

    SwissPete Senior Member

    94044 USA
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs is a perfectly good idiom. More examples can be found here.
     
  14. Omelette

    Omelette Senior Member

    London
    UK English
    ‘On ne fait pas d'omelette sans casser des oeufs’ does of course translate into English quite simply and accurately as ‘you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.’ As I know only too well.
    What are you talking about CarlosRapido??
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  15. Omelette

    Omelette Senior Member

    London
    UK English
    Well, for the second, and last time, there is a well-known expression ‘you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs’ which means (wikitionary) ‘In order to achieve something, it is inevitable and necessary that something should be destroyed.’ This, I think, is what the French expression means. And it is not the same as 'no pain no gain’ which doesn’t carry any notion of destruction, or of taking risks.
     
  16. CarlosRapido

    CarlosRapido Senior Member

    Québec - Canada
    français - English (Can)
    ...
    The literal translation must be exclusive to European English as I have never heard of it here in North-America.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  17. SwissPete

    SwissPete Senior Member

    94044 USA
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    I have heard and used this expression on the US West Coast for as long as I have been here (50+ years).
     
  18. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Not only is it a perfectly good aphorism in the United States (where we do NOT hyphenate North America), but it's risen to near-cliché status these days.
     
  19. CarlosRapido

    CarlosRapido Senior Member

    Québec - Canada
    français - English (Can)
    LOL yes, the hyphen is a dead giveaway as to my Canadian origins and proof yet again that all languages 'suffer' from regional uses and abuses. My mistake was to imply that I was speaking for all of North America; there is a clear distinction between US and Canadian English on many levels.
     

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