ugly is as ugly does

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Junebug34, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. Junebug34 New Member

    canada english
    If someone could translate into french for me it would be greatly appreciated. I am hoping this saying is translatable.

    thank you so much
     
  2. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France
    France, French
    It doesn't ring any bell, I'm sorry!
    Would you please explain what it means? We could provide the French equivalent.
     
  3. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    Hi Junebug34,
    welcome to the forum.
    My try:
    La vraie beauté vient de l'intérieur
     
  4. Amityville

    Amityville Senior Member

    France
    English UK
    I have never properly understood what this means but it appears that any adjective can be substituted for 'ugly'. At a guess, it means that you must be judged by your actions. Nice answer, then, egeule. The beauty of your reply reflects the beauty of your soul.
     
  5. la grive solitaire

    la grive solitaire Senior Member

    United States, English
    It's a mild-mannered reply to someone who is being insulting that cleverly turns the insult back on him/her:

    "What a stupid thing to say!"
    "Stupid is as stupid does."

    "How could you buy such an ugly piece of furniture?"
    "Ugly is as ugly does."
     
  6. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    Oh that's not the way I understood it.
    If it means what La Grive says, the equivalent would then be "c'est çui qui dit qui l'est" (celui qui...) but it really sounds childish in French.
     
  7. la grive solitaire

    la grive solitaire Senior Member

    United States, English
    I can't think of an equivalent in French. You can get a good feel for the expression in Forrest Gump. Throughout the movie, Forrest counters insults with "___ is as ___ does." And although it is a response to insult or criticism, the word filled in doesn't have to be pejorative:

    So you think you're beautiful, huh?
    Beautiful is as beautiful does.

    What have you got to be happy about?
    Happy is as happy does.

    I suppose you think that was a graceful move!
    Graceful is as graceful does.

    Much of the strength of the expression comes from its repetition and rhythm--which makes it difficult to translate. ;)
     
  8. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    This example seems to be confirming my first interpretation of the sentence, doesn't it? :confused:
    Please, could we have more native speakers' opinions?
     
  9. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    you were right to start with :)

    the whole point of the counter-insult is this:

    ugly is as ugly does (it stems from more than looks); hence i am not. it is not: ugly is as ugly does, omg you said ugly you must be ugly.

    is that any clearer?
     
  10. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    Yes, ta Ben.
    So do you agree with my first translation?
     
  11. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    ouaip. quoique là je croie qu'on tente de faire l'impossible ;) mais tu y mets du coeur et c'est bien moi non plus j'ai pas le coeur de renoncer à trouver une bonne traduction. ça me ferait mal au coeur.....

    (sorry :eek:)
     
  12. la grive solitaire

    la grive solitaire Senior Member

    United States, English
    It's a question of (devine quoi :rolleyes: ) context. This is another way of using the expression. In this example, Beautiful is as beautiful does" means that what you do/who you are/how you act is far more important than external appearances, in other words: (Physical) beauty is only skin-deep. So your initial translation would be perfect. :)
     
  13. Amityville

    Amityville Senior Member

    France
    English UK
    I see what you're getting at. The same but different:-
    -"You're an idiot."
    - "It takes one to know one."
    It is childish in English too - a bit :p and it seems it can be made to mean whatever you like. Maybe it's value lies in the fact that the person addressed is rendered temporarily speechless, trying to figure it out.
     
  14. Lindsay52 Junior Member

    France , English / French
    Hello


    Ugly as ugly does -----> Plus laide que le mot lui-même
     
  15. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    Lindsay, sans vouloir t'offenser je ne sais pas comment tu peux arriver à cette traduction.:confused:
     
  16. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    Tu as bien capté le sens de l'anglais, mais pour moi ce serait plutôt la traduction de "beautiful is as beautiful does" (on peut utiliser n'importe quel adjective (ou bien nom, "beauty" ça convient ici aussi) dans cette formule pour vouloir dire "désigner quelqu'un selon ses actions pas selon son apparence").

    Je propose un peu de contexte à mon sens. "ugly is as ugly does" pourrait bien être la réponse à quelqu'un qui a traité notre locuteur de "laid" pour dire que c'est plutôt l'autre qui est laid puisqu'il a fait quelque chose de laid.

    Par conséquent, je propose "la vraie laideur se trouve dans les actions laides".
     
  17. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    Ou la vraie laideur réside dans les actes ?
     
  18. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    Je suis sûr que cela convient mieux. J'ai essayé d'éclairer ce qui est à mon avis le sens de la phrase de départ. A vous les aborilingues de façonner la bonne expression française:)

    Une seule chose, ce qui tu as écrit n'implique pas alors que la laideur réside dans tous les actes? Comme réplique à quelqu'un qui vous a traité de laid ça marche? Impossible pour moi de dire en français, mais en anglais je crois qu'il faudrait insister sur les actions laides. Peut-être que ce serait pléonastique en français.
     
  19. germinal

    germinal Senior Member

    Bradford, England
    England English

    I think this is a play on a much older English saying: Handsome is as handsome does which I have always taken to mean that one should judge a person by their actions rather than their appearance. :)


    Germinal.


    .
     
  20. Lindsay52 Junior Member

    France , English / French
    lol ca ne moffense pas du tout


    c'est juste que j'ai trouvé que cette expression ressemblait beaucoup a une expression que j'ai entendu plusieurs fois ( au départ c'était "cette fille est plus satanique que le mot (lui ) même" )

    de toute facon il faut lui trouver un equivalent parce qu'il n'y a pas la meme expression ( de ma pauvre connaissance du francais ) a ce que je sache
     
  21. la grive solitaire

    la grive solitaire Senior Member

    United States, English
    :thumbsup: Yes! As soon as I saw "Handsome is as handsome does" I knew that that was the source. (I wonder if there's an earlier saying, too?)
     
  22. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    Comme réplique, ça marche mais c'est assez subtil.
    Et non, je ne pense pas que cette formulation soit ambiguë.
    Il en existe cependant une meilleure.
    Que ne la donnè-je ? Eh bien, elle m'échappe, la coquine, elle me fuit ; mais je suis entêtée !:D
     
  23. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    En fait, je trouve que le sens de l'anglais est plutôt le contraire de "plus laid que le mot lui-même" (expression que j'aime bien par contre, juste pas dans ce contexte-ci:) ).

    "ta pauvre connaissance du français"? Eh bien, je suis certain que ta connaissance en est bien plus sûre que la mienne;) donc je laisse à vous les aborilingues de trouver un bon équivalent, mais j'ai essayé d'expliquer ce que l'anglais me suggère dans mons message ci-dessus.
     
  24. germinal

    germinal Senior Member

    Bradford, England
    England English

    There is the saying You can't judge a book by its cover which has a very similar meaning but I can't think of any other at the moment. :)


    Germinal.


    .
     
  25. de_Grieux

    de_Grieux New Member

    romanian
    Ugly is as ugly does...

    To me, this means that a certain thing isn't exactly entirely ugly, but a small part of it... Beyond that, i think that's a rather ironic response given to somebody that made a bad remark.

    My native language is n'either of these too, so I might be mistaken.
     
  26. KaRiNe_Fr

    KaRiNe_Fr Senior Member

    France, Provence
    Français, French - France
    This French phrase came to my mind reading all your posts... Sorry if it doesn't fit, I'm not sure I understood all very well. :p
    "Comme on fait son lit, on se couche".
     
  27. cathie61

    cathie61 Senior Member

    Dinan, France
    France /French
    On trouve souvent l'expression "Handsome is as handsome does" dans les livres de l'époque victorienne. L'expression signifie clairement qu'il ne faut pas accorder à la beauté plus de valeur qu'elle ne le mérite : une personne belle est agréable à regarder mais on ne peut/doit pas en conclure plus, on ne doit pas supposer que parce qu'elle est belle, elle est aussi bonne, par exemple.

    Je ne comprends pas pouquoi certains dans cette thread disent que c'est "childish" car c'est plutôt l'inverse, l'expression "x is as x does" met en garde contre un jugement superficiel.

    Ensuite, on ne peut pas donner une traduction type pour ce genre d'expression car sa traduction devra être spécifique au contexte. Paradoxalement je traduirais "ugly is as ugly does" par "Il n'y a pas que la beauté qui compte"
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2014

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