se battre contre les moulins à vent

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Frontenac, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. Frontenac Member

    Français - Québec, Canada
    Par allusion à labataille de Don Quichotte de la Manche contre des moulins à vent, qu’il prenaitpour des géants maléfiques. Miguel de Cervantes.


    I do know how to translate the words. What I would like here is to find the equivalent English idiomatic expression. (the idiom with the proper cultural substract)

    Thank you very much for your answer.

    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
  2. Quaeitur

    Quaeitur Mod'elle

    Lille, France
    On dit, en anglais aussi, to fight windmills ;)
  3. brookter Senior Member

    United Kingdom
    The usual expression is 'to tilt at windmills' in British English.

    'Tilting' is what knights in armour do in tournaments when they joust: riding at each other with lances.

    To be honest, I've never heard 'fighting windmills', so it might be an Americanism.

  4. BAlfson Senior Member

    Oklahoma City
    USA - anglais
    Nope, we tilt at windmills here, too! ;)

    Cheers - Bob
  5. Frontenac Member

    Français - Québec, Canada
    Thank you Brookter I will go with yours as "fighting windmills" looks quite like a literal (textual) translation to me.

    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012

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