il ne sautait être généreux, ou bon.

nancy ping

Member
chinese
Hi,
I'm trying to translate the following sentences, but not sure about the meaning of sauter.
L’être inintelligent est inintelligent en tout. Ses gestes et ses paroles sont grossiers, son sens esthétique nul ; il est immoral ; il ne sautait être généreux, ou bon.

I think "ne" doesn't have any meaning in this sentence and sauter means "jump over"
My translation:
The unintelligent beings are not intelligent at all. Their gestures and words are rude, no aesthetic sense, they are immoral, they don't know how to be generous or good.

Can anyone help me?
Thanks a lot~
 
  • snarkhunter

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Hi,
    I'm trying to translate the following sentences, but not sure about the meaning of sauter.
    L’être inintelligent est inintelligent en tout. Ses gestes et ses paroles sont grossiers, son sens esthétique nul ; il est immoral ; il ne sautait être généreux, ou bon.
    I assume the original sentence actually reads "... il ne saurait être généreux ou bon." (i.e. "he sure wouldn't prove generous, nor good")
     

    Isabelle1650

    Senior Member
    French & English
    Hi Nancy,

    I think there is a typo, it should be "il ne saurait être genereux ou bon". Your translation is good. You could also say "they would have no idea how to be generous or good" or "they wouldn't know where to begin being generous or good".
     

    Argyll

    Senior Member
    French
    Hi, nancy ping, and welcome to the forum.

    There is obviously a misprint in the French text. It cannot be "sautait", and must be "saurait".

    But your general understanding is not far from the truth : "il ne saurait être généreux, ou bon" : "there is no way he/they could be generous, or good".

    I hope this helps.
     
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