你翅膀硬

Yuca007

Senior Member
German
大家好!

A mother speaks about how her older daughter moved out, saying: 你翅膀硬 要飞就飞了吧

Does it mean "You have hard wings" or "You're hard-winged"...? Is this an idiom? I think I have a general idea about what the mother is expressing, but I'd like to make sure.

谢谢!
 
  • xiaolijie

    Senior Member
    UK
    English (UK)
    你翅膀硬要飞就飞了吧 = If your wings (= If you) really want to fly, then fly 吧!

    硬要 is a word meaning "want very much/ insist".
     

    Yuca007

    Senior Member
    German
    Yes, that makes more sense than my guess. I just wonder why they put a space in the subtitles in that position, though. I assumed they were separate sentences because of it.
     

    stellari

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    你翅膀硬要飞就飞了吧 = If your wings (= If you) really want to fly, then fly 吧!

    硬要 is a word meaning "want very much/ insist".

    Actually, 翅膀硬 is a set phrase literally meaning 'sturdy wings', so OP's initial guess was (nearly) correct. It is a complaint used by parents or guardians to describe their children or subordinates who start to have their own opinions and seek for independence, just as little birds who have just got full-fledged wings and try to fly away from the nest.

    Note that when parents say this, it most probably means that they do not like or agree with or support their children's idea. If they do, they would usually say 你长大了, rather than 你翅膀硬了.

    So the whole sentence means:

    So you think you have finally grown up, do you? If you want to fly away, so be it then.
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    翅膀硬, which means literally "wings grown strong" or figuratively "ready to try/spread one's wings and leave the nest", is in some way similar to English full-fledged "having reached full development; ready to fly". As Stellari correctly pointed out, 翅膀硬 is an idiomatic expression typically said by a sponsor/fosterer/superior in reference to a dependent/underling that has become so bold as to have a mind of his/her own.
     

    xiaolijie

    Senior Member
    UK
    English (UK)
    Actually, 翅膀硬 is a set phrase literally meaning 'sturdy wings', so OP's initial guess was (nearly) correct.
    Thanks, stellari! I hadn't met the phrase before so only made a guess based on the word 硬要. The reason for the space between 硬 and 要 is now also clear.
     

    Shimmer Dancer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    请教一下,如果要表达"你翅膀越来越硬了",又要保留这个文化含义,根据以上各位所解释的,能否表达成“Your wings have become more and more full-fledged”呢?
     

    hx1997

    Senior Member
    汉语普通话 Chinese - Mandarin
    英语的 fledged 不带有中文「硬」的贬义吧?
     

    Shimmer Dancer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    有人解释“翅膀硬”是拿小鸟做比喻,刚出生的小鸟羽毛软,长大了羽毛就硬了。不知道是不是这样呢?你说的“硬”的贬义可以解释一下吗?
     

    hx1997

    Senior Member
    汉语普通话 Chinese - Mandarin
    我是说「硬」在「你长大了,翅膀硬了」的语境下是贬义的。fledged 恐怕不能传达出这个意思。
     
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