get blood out of a stone / squeeze blood from a turnip

nbo69

New Member
french
Moderator note: Threads were merged to create this one.

Hi,

I've picked up this expression last week, and cannot find any translation into French. I see the meaning of this sentence, but is there really an equivalent ?

Thanks,
Bye
 
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  • edwingill

    Senior Member
    England English
    The expression is:It is like trying to get blood out of a stone = c'est comme si on parlait à un mur
     

    Suehil

    Medemod
    British English
    Actually it is trying to do something that is impossible, rather than useless. It's a fine distinction, but talking to a wall is perfectly possible, you just won't get a reply.
     

    nbo69

    New Member
    french
    According to what I can read, I'm not sure there is an exact equivalent in french.
    But it was very interesting to see the precise meaning of this idiom.
    Thanks for your help !
     

    Magenta12

    New Member
    "Trying to get blood from a stone" is an expression which means you can put a great deal of effort into achieving an end but finally you will not succeed because it is impossible.

    e.g. trying to get a corrupt politician to tell the absolute truth about a matter would be like trying to get blood from a stone.

    Hope it's clear.
     

    LARSAY

    Senior Member
    BI-NATIONAL FRENCH-ENGLISH.
    No; tirer les vers du nez means "to get information from somebody whom is not very willing to give them" (by insisting and other dialectic, not by violence)
     

    nbo69

    New Member
    french
    For me, tirer les vers du nez has not the same meaning. It relates to something difficult, and insists on the fact that the other person is reluctant to give the needed information.
    It doesn't mean that this is not possible.
     

    edwingill

    Senior Member
    England English
    I can think of 2 contexts for "it's like getting blood out of a stone" namely making someone speak or making someone pay
     

    Chris' Spokesperson

    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    Wow, all that discussion and no answer!

    Does anyone have any suggestions now that the meaning has been given?

    Exemple: "There's no use asking him any more questions - it's like trying to get blood out of a stone." (ie, il ne dit rien, c'est pas la peine de le questionner encore)

    Can we get the subject title changed too please: trying to get blood out of a stone

    Merci bien tout le monde
     

    Nicomon

    Senior Member
    Français, Québec ♀
    Hello,

    I quite like : On ne peut rien en tirer.

    And catheng suggested c'est mission impossible in this thread

    As found in Harrap's idioms dictionary : ce n'est pas une mince affaire / c'est toute une histoire.

    Also found (but I don't remember hearing it) :
    Il tirerait de l'huile d'un mur, il tirerait de l'huile des pierres, se dit d'un homme hardi et entreprenant à qui tout semble réussir, qui sait tirer profit de tout.
    On tirerait plutôt de l'huile d'un mur que de l'argent de cet homme-là, se dit d'un homme avare et tenace, ou d'un homme qui ne peut payer, et aussi, en général, d'une chose impossible.
    Here's another page : On ne saurait tirer de l'huile d'un mur

    Now, I'm not giving it as a suggestion, as it really isn't a common expression, but here's something I heard, which I thought funny :
    Autant essayer de tatouer une bulle de savon. :D

    Note : to me « se heurter à un mur » would be in English "coming up against a stone wall".
     

    Nicomon

    Senior Member
    Français, Québec ♀
    Nicomon - in English we already have "throwing yourself/hitting/punching a brick wall".
    Then my version may be more American. This, below, is copied from a dictionary of French and English idioms.
    - We came up against a stone wall when we tried to convince them = Nous nous sommes heurtés à un mur en essayant de les persuader.
     

    Dr. Baha'i

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    My impression is that this expression is very often related to money. Levying higher taxes on the common people in North Korea or Zimbabwe may be like trying to get blood from a stone, because they probably have almost nothing.

    One can also say "to get blood from a turnip." Same idea.
     

    Nicomon

    Senior Member
    Français, Québec ♀
    Hello,

    "To get/squeeze blood out of a turnip" seems to be the American version.

    When people say that you can't squeeze blood out of a turnip, it means that you cannot get something from a person, especially money, that they don't have. Source
    Larousse, just as Harrap's idioms, also translates the expression as : Ce n'est pas une mince affaire

    As found googling (people are creative:D)

    - On ne peut pas peigner un diable qui n'a pas de cheveux (apparently a Belgium proverb)
    - On ne peut pas tondre un œuf/un pelé
    - On ne demande pas à un cheval de pondre un œuf
     

    Kitcitwapien

    Senior Member
    Français - Québec
    Je me suis amusé à faire une petite recherche. J'ai trouvé celle-ci:

    On ne peut pas tirer du feu d'un caillou

    Il existe aussi des versions positives:
    à tirer des larmes de bronze fondu des yeux de Satan
    à tirer des larmes d'une pierre
    à faire rire une brique
     

    orlando09

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    No; tirer les vers du nez means "to get information from somebody whom is not very willing to give them" (by insisting and other dialectic, not by violence)
    In my opinion, this is the most common sense in which the English phrase is used (even though the literal meaning of the image suggests "trying to do something impossible") - eg. "I asked him to explain to me why he did it, but it was like trying to get blood out of a stone". So I think this could be the right translation in many cases, though it depends on the context.
     

    eileen marie

    Senior Member
    French
    Je ne sais si le contexte s'y prête, mais en langage parlé, il y a aussi :
    C'est comme pisser dans un violon.
    J'ai beau lui demander de ranger sa chambre, c'est comme si je pissais dans un violon...
     

    ladyk

    Senior Member
    USA
    French - France
    Hello,


    Now, I'm not giving it as a suggestion, as it really isn't a common expression, but here's something I heard, which I thought funny :
    Autant essayer de tatouer une bulle de savon. :D
    .
    :tick: well I must say I love it, never heard it before but I would understand the image though....

    J'ai trouvé ceci (mais je ne connaissais pas l'expression non plus)
    « Tuer un âne à coups de figues (molles) »
    [http://www.expressio.fr/expressions/tuer-un-ane-a-coups-de-figues-molles.php]

    par contre je connais celle-ci :
    « Faire passer un chameau par le chas d'une aiguille »
     

    Nicomon

    Senior Member
    Français, Québec ♀

    Modest-boy

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Hi everybody

    I would like to know from you , how do you say a proverb : "You can't squeeze a blood out of a turnip" in Frensh

    Which one of these sentences is nice
    1)On ne peut pas tondre un oeuf
    2)La plus belle fille du monde ne peut donner que ce qu'elle a
    3)Nul ne peut donner ce qu'il n'a pas


    Thanks in Advance
     

    SwissPete

    Senior Member
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    This has been covered before, [link removed].

    Please note: I would like to know from you , how do you say a proverb : "You can't squeeze a blood out of a turnip" in French
     
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    vegetables

    Member
    English
    is there a phrase that talks about blood "sang" and turnip "navet", I doubt it, so if you do not want to translate it literally, you may need to find a good French phrase which means the same thing - "blood out of a stone" etc
     
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