Ton père n'est pas vitrier

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by AnneBD, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. AnneBD Junior Member

    Paris, France
    French
    Hello everyone,

    Can anybody think of a way to translate this well-known French expression ? Or something similar when someone is blocking someone else's view (typically when watching TV).
    Thanks already !
     
  2. giannid

    giannid Senior Member

    Brasil
    USA English
    You'd make a better door than a window.
    You make a better door than a window.
     
  3. AnneBD Junior Member

    Paris, France
    French
    Really !!! I could have never guessed that. Is that fairly common ? Does everyone know this expression ?
    Thanks a lot anyway.
     
  4. Chris' Spokesperson Senior Member

    Paris
    English - Ireland
    Ireland says yes :)
     
  5. AnneBD Junior Member

    Paris, France
    French
    Thank you guys. Much appreciated.
     
  6. giannid

    giannid Senior Member

    Brasil
    USA English
    My babysitter used to say this to me a lot when I was a kid. It took a while for me to understand.

    I think it's not an uncommon saying, but maybe not something everyone would know.

    "You'd make a better door than a window" (12,500 hits on Google)
    "You make a better door than a window" (9,000 hits on Google)
    "Ton père n'est pas vitrier" (113 hits on Google)


    Really, you're telling someone that he wouldn't be very good imitating a window because he is not transparent. He'd be better at being a door.
     
  7. SteveD

    SteveD Senior Member

    Braine-l'Alleud, Belgium
    British English
    I have heard "Your father was not a glazier" (used to me by my mother, I seem to remember!).

    Apart from the tense, a direct translation of the French expression.
     
  8. AnneBD Junior Member

    Paris, France
    French
    I get it, and it's really fairly close to the idea in the French expression. I am thrilled to know there is something so close... Now I just have to see if and how I can adapt it to the text I am translating, which is a funny piece about the side effects of too much TV watching...
    Thank you VERY much for this quick and satisfying answer.
     
  9. Chris' Spokesperson Senior Member

    Paris
    English - Ireland
    I'd contest how many, especially young, people these days would recognise the word 'glazier' on sight let alone sound.

    I know my father wasn't a glacier...what?
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  10. SteveD

    SteveD Senior Member

    Braine-l'Alleud, Belgium
    British English
    I tend to agree with you - let down by modern educational techniques! It's just general knowledge really, knowing the meaning and etymology of glazier, glazing, to glaze, a glazed look etc.
     

Share This Page