Tant va la cruche à l'eau qu'à la fin elle se casse

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by rosbif, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. rosbif New Member

    England, English
    Salut a tous

    Il y a quelqu'un qui peuvent tranduire l'expression et si c'est possible donner moi un autre expression equivalant en anglais.

    aussi j'ai un ordinateur anglais et je n'ai pas arriver a ecrire en francais avec accents, grave etc... est-ce que c'est possible?

    par contre tout les fautes grammaire et a moi!!

    Merci en avance
     
  2. je ne connais pas la traduction de l'expression.
    mais : ici :http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=23836 tu trouveras comment faire les accents.

    ^^
    et est différent de et
    est is
    et and
     
  3. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It may help in finding an English equivalent if you could explain what the expression means - a literal translation doesn't seem to help:)
     
  4. OlivierG

    OlivierG Senior Member

    Toulouse, France
    France / Français
    It means an repeated occurrence of little things may lead to a strong reaction.
    When for example, somebody steadily misbehaves, even if each of his actions is not very important, you can be fed up and react strongly.

    For several hours, somebody is laughing at you nastily, and you don't answer. Then, next time he says something about you, you answer "Tant va la cruche a l'eau qu'a la fin elle se casse", and you punch his face. :D
     
  5. Gil Senior Member

    Français, Canada
    Found something:
    don't push your luck

    Literally "if you dip the old jug into the well too often it will crack"
    Basically it means "don't push your luck".
    The Italian version is identical "tanto va la brocca alla fontana che alla fine si rompe"

    Source: here
     
  6. rosbif New Member

    England, English
    merci tous

    I can't think of an equivelant expression in english but i imagine there is one.

    et avec mon grammaire je crois que je ne vais jamais arriver
     
  7. LV4-26

    LV4-26 Senior Member

    Olivier's example would rather fit another similar expression which goes
    C'est la goutte d'eau qui fait déborder le vase

    Meaning that when you've been annoyed for a long time it only needs a trifle to make you loose your temper. It can be used in other contexts (outside anger, I mean) but much less frequently.

    There's very little difference between those two expressions. Mine stresses the fact that the "ultimate triggering element" (is that English ? :)) can be really trivial.(une goutte d'eau). While rosbif's rather stresses the repetitious aspect. However, outside this little shift of emphasis, they're pretty much interchangeable.
     
  8. Gil Senior Member

    Français, Canada
    C'est la goutte d'eau qui fait déborder le vase
    équivaut à
    The straw that broke the camel's back
     
  9. OlivierG

    OlivierG Senior Member

    Toulouse, France
    France / Français
    I agree. My definition and examples, even if close, were not completely appropriate, and more related to "c'est la goutte d'eau qui fait déborder le vase".
    Could you find an example for "Tant va la cruche à l'eau..."? I fail finding a good one. :(
     
  10. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    ~~~ Huge Chuckle ~~~
    NOW I know what it means.

    The source link in Gil's post (#5) includes some suggested equivalents.

    If I knew I was going to punch his face (which of course I would never do) then "Don't push your luck",
    "Don't push your luck, mate," would be good.
    "That was once too often," is milder,
    ... but these don't really work as the kind of expression/ aphorism/ proverb required.
     
  11. Mycall Senior Member

    Northern France
    France French
    Personally the closest rendering in English could be "You cannot get too much of a good thing". I would use it in a situation in which you take something for granted, oblivious of the fact that nothing is ever-lasting.:)


    "C'est la goutte d'eau qui fait déborder le vase" = "This is the last straw!":(
     
  12. OlivierG

    OlivierG Senior Member

    Toulouse, France
    France / Français
    Well, I'm not sure about this definition. I persist in the meaning of something repetitive.

    Here are the explanation of this idiom I could find on the Web:
    "Tant va la cruche à l'eau qu'à la fin elle se casse (ou qu'enfin elle se brise), tout finit par s'user ; à force de braver un danger, on finit par y succomber ; à force de faire la même faute, on finit par en pâtir."
    Source: http://cuonmac.chez.tiscali.fr/proverbes.html

    but also:

    "Tant va la cruche à l'eau qu'à la fin elle se casse."
    Il n’a jamais très bon d’abuser des avantages que l’on a.
    Source: http://encyclopedie.snyke.com/articles/liste_de_proverbes_francais.html

    So, it doesn't seem to be obvious. :eek:
     
  13. LV4-26

    LV4-26 Senior Member

    Let's try this one.
    Imagine a president who would prove untrustworthy on repeated occasions.(the "jug gets filled" a little more each time) Eventually the people would no longer trust him and would cease to vote for him.(the "jug breaks")

    Another one : the dangers of pollution. The moment when the "jug breaks" would be the moment when the Earth becomes inhabitable.
     
  14. rosbif New Member

    England, English
    I think i get the meaning now, the popular equivelant in english could be

    "the boy who cried wolf"

    refering to a story where a boy looking after farm animals cried for help because he was bored, he repeated this to see the reaction of the villagers as a joke. when there was a wolf nobody came because they didn't believe him and the wolf ate all the animals

    is this a correct understanding of the expression?
     
  15. Mycall Senior Member

    Northern France
    France French
    It could fit your example but in a loose sort of way. In that case it deals with the fact something has ceased working due to abusive usage...the broken jug would then illustrate the fact that people have lost patience following the boy's antics.:(
     
  16. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    I would return to Gil's "the straw that broke the camel's back," which is very often shortened to

    "that was the LAST STRAW!"
     
  17. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    :thumbsup: ...that's the best English suggestion so far:thumbsup:

    It carries the sense of repeated insult or irritation, each in itself not enough to provoke a punch on the nose.
    One more and suddenly - kerpow - yell of protest as Kelly B suggests - and a well-justified punch on the nose releasing all that pent-up emotion:D
     
  18. Gil Senior Member

    Français, Canada
    Just in case I visit Ireland, do you guys mention "the last straw" before or after the punch on the nose?:)
     
  19. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    Belgium/French
    We have a saying in French that corresponds exactly for "the last straw"; it's " la dernière goutte".
    It comes from "c'est la goutte qui a fait déborder le vase". It's a matter of "piling up", whereas "la cruche" refers more to "using something too long, too often", so at the end it breaks, you can't use it anymore.
     
  20. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    hum, how about:

    "too much, too often"?

    "he ended up being totally burntout at work. it was a case of too much too often."

    ultra contrived i know..
     
  21. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France
    France, French
    J'aime beaucoup, Benjy ! :thumbsup:
     
  22. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Sounds very good to me too - rather less literary than "That was the last straw," I think, and therefore more likely to fit with the simultaneous punch on the nose.

    (Emphasis in answer to Gil's question)

    PS The suggestion that Irish people would be likely to engage in any form of interpersonal violence is entirely inappropriate - we are talking here about a French saying, as interpreted for us by a Frenchman.:D
     
  23. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France
    France, French
    In that case, panj, as men are often pretty in a hurry when dealing with a possibility of enjoying punches, I would timidly suggest an alternative with this short phrase: trop, c'est trop !
    Followed by pif sur le pif. :D


    pif = paf
    pif = colloquial for nose
     
  24. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    In English, we'd say, "You're one crack away from Waterloo."
     
  25. Nicosito Senior Member

    French and UK English, ferpectly bilingual
    Bob Marley sings it, in English, in I shot the Sheriff.

    How did that get there? Is it not an expression in English then?

    “Every day the bucket goes to the well, but one day the bottom will drop out.”

    Nico.
     
  26. Djedjeska Junior Member

    La rochelle (17)
    Français
    I would permit myself to say that "This is the last straw" evokes in french : "C'en est trop !". And that last one doesn't mean the first expression.
    "Tant va la cruche à l'eau qu'à la fin elle se brise" implies a kind of evolution in events.
    "C'en est trop", as for it, rather implies a breaking point, an event more occasional.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2008
  27. Djedjeska Junior Member

    La rochelle (17)
    Français
    Mind the difference between both expressions in french :

    C'est la goutte d'eau qui fait déborder le vase =
    This is the last straw! / It has been far enough!
    Tant va la cruche a l'eau qu'a la fin elle se brise = If things just go on that way, they will blow up...

    But i could be mistaken.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2008
  28. swift

    swift Senior Member

    Spanish – Costa Rica (Valle Central)
    Bonjour,

    Is any of the translations given here really satisfactory?

     
  29. akaAJ Senior Member

    New York
    American English, Yiddish
    In USE it's more or less "Took the pitcher to the well once too often", with a variety of implications ("used the same excuse once too often", "cried wolf", "you can't fool all of the people all of the time [but, unfortunately, it appears that you can fool enough of the people enough of the time]").
     
  30. ad2011 Senior Member

    Marathi
    Could it be
    that's what comes of taking things too much for granted
     
  31. akaAJ Senior Member

    New York
    American English, Yiddish
    I don't think so. I think there is greater disapproval involved. It's more "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me" ("I'm not going to let you get away with that one again").
     
  32. franc 91 Senior Member

    France
    English - GB
    This may surprise you all but there just happens to be an ould Irish proverb (that I found in my little book) which says -No matter how often a pitcher goes to the water, it is broken in the end. (so it does)
     
  33. Yulan

    Yulan Senior Member

    Lombardia
    Italian

    Hello Rosbif,

    Je dirais "Curiosity killed the cat"

    Hope it helps :)
     
  34. franc 91 Senior Member

    France
    English - GB
    Non ce n'est pas ça du tout
     
  35. Yulan

    Yulan Senior Member

    Lombardia
    Italian

    Bon, merci pour me l'avoir dit, tout-court.

    Peut-etre la version française pour cela pourrait m'aider ...

    Merci bien
     


  36. Bonjour,

    Je viens de tomber par accident sur votre fil qui remonte à 2005, et qui depuis lors n’a toujours pas trouvé de traduction anglaise au proverbe français « Tant va la cruche à l'eau qu'à la fin elle se casse ». Permettez-moi, sept ans trop tard, de proposer cette solution que je crois simple et idéale, et que je dois à Agatha Christie :"The pitcher goes to the well once too often".
     
  37. Nicosito Senior Member

    French and UK English, ferpectly bilingual
    I thought that expression might have been just Agatha Christie translating the French expression, but I see in google that it is used repeatedly.

    I'm also finding varying explanations for it:

    "[in the]Mariage de Figaro." Basile is shown repeating one of his lines from the play (I.xi), "Tans va la cruche a l'eau qu'enfin elle s'emplit [The water flows until it overfills the jug]," an expression drawn from numerous French moral fables, implying that what goes around comes around. (In the play, the line is rife with sexual double entendre, delivered to warn Chérubin that he will be punished for his efforts as tutor of the young servant girl Fanchette.) [My emphasis]


    Here's someone else's effort on a forum:

    "This isn't quite the same meaning, but there is a saying that "the pitcher goes to the well once too often," or "the pitcher that goes to the well too often is broken." If you keep taking the shortcut of taking the pitcher directly to the well to fill it (instead of using a bucket, then filling the pitcher from the bucket) you will end up breaking the pitcher. So risky behavior, as well as doing bad secretly, will eventually be punished."

    And Reverso's similar explanation: http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/fra...a la cruche à l'eau qu'à la fin elle se casse

    Nico.
     
  38. Bonjour Nicosito et merci pour ces précisions.

    Deux remarques : [1] qu’Agatha Christie ait repris, ce que j’ignore, une traduction anglaise conventionnelle du proverbe français (« Tant va la cruche à l'eau qu'à la fin elle se casse ») ou qu’elle en ait proposé sa propre traduction dans The Moving Finger, peu importe : les deux solutions répondaient de toute façon à la demande de Rosbif. [2] Si "the pitcher that goes to the well too often is broken" colle plus à la lettre du proverbe français, je trouve que l’ellipse anglaise offre un rendu plus intelligent et plus fin de l’idée :"The pitcher goes to the well once too often".
     
  39. rosbif New Member

    England, English

    Merci de prendre le temps de répondre à ma demande, par contre je ne me souviens plus pourquoi j'ai poser cette question mais c'est toujours bein d'apprendre quelque chose de nouveau.
     
  40. guillaumedemanzac Senior Member

    English - standard UK variety
    My Penguin Dictionary of Proverbs has Section 56: Endurance which gives 22 examples - these are a hand-picked few:
    A bow long bent at last waxes weak.
    The pitcher goes so often to the well that it is broken at last.
    Put not the bucket too often in the well.
    When the well is full it will run over.
    The last drop makes the cup run over.
    The last straw breaks the camel's back.

    The cord breaks at last by the weakest pull.
    Take your pick!
    guillaume
     
  41. Nicosito Senior Member

    French and UK English, ferpectly bilingual
    Nice selection Guillaume! :)
     

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