1. irka_hcmc Senior Member

    Vietnam, Saigon
    French, Dijon
    Hi all,

    I wonder if you have the following translation from french to english. Those are funny quotes... which i like

    - Je donne ma langue au chat ( Usually you say that in french when you dont have the answer to a question )

    Thanks a lot !!!
  2. gnoel Member

    Belgium (french)
    yep, you give your tongue to the cat when you give up answering a riddle or so
  3. calembourde

    calembourde Senior Member

    Genève, Suisse
    New Zealand, English
    Jean-Michel Carrère asked the same question in this thread. There are some answers there.
  4. irka_hcmc Senior Member

    Vietnam, Saigon
    French, Dijon
    :) Perfect, thanks a lot i appreciate, in fact i think this quote is come from english and not french.....

    So the good translation would be : The cat got your tongue, and for the opposite which we doesn't have in french is the cat bitten your tongue.

    Thanks for the thread link, i suggest everybody to click on it if they wants to know the real meaning of the CAT !!!

    PSIONMAN Senior Member

    Nottingham, UK
    Br English
    I think I have only heard "has the cat got your tongue?" as a question and never as a statement "the cat's got your tongue". It's generally said to children when they won't answer a question

    Great aunt to 3 year old: "Hello. What's your name?"


    "Has the cat got your tongue?"

    I've never heard it it in the context of not being able to answer a question, only not willing

    And I've never heard of the cat biting your tongue. Is that AE?
  6. calembourde

    calembourde Senior Member

    Genève, Suisse
    New Zealand, English
    Actually no, 'the cat got your tongue' does not mean the same thing as 'Je donne ma langue au chat'. I guess they are faux amis.

    Although the original question on that thread was about 'the cat got your tongue', Jean-Michel Carrère then asked about 'Je donne ma langue au chat' because it is another phrase about cats and tongues. But even though the phrases seem similar they mean different things.

    To summarise that thread:

    [The] cat got your tongue? = tu as perdu ta langue?


    je donne ma langue au chat = I give up/You got me/I'll bite
  7. gnoel Member

    Belgium (french)
    un début d'explication?

    On disait primitivement : " donner sa langue aux chiens ", par adaptation d'une expression venue des religions égyptienne et grecque. L'origine est liée au Sphinx, animal fabuleux à tête humaine et corps de lion, qui passait pour être capable de poser des problèmes d'une grande difficulté ou des énigmes impénétrables.

    Perché sur une roche à l'entrée de Thèbes, le Sphinx posait une question aux voyageurs qui voulaient entrer dans la ville. Tous ceux qui ne parvenaient pas à solutionner son énigme étaient immédiatement tués et dévorés


    Si après ça on ne m'appelle pas maître Capello... je devrais p-ê changer mon login! :D
  8. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    For those in need, we happen to have an entire Forum dedicated to "the cat's got your tongue" and similar expressions in French and English, which can be found HERE.

    Of particular note is the animaux/animals thread which has this and other expressions. It's a great resource for anyone looking up these types of expressions.

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