se brûler les ailes

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by nejma85, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. nejma85 Member

    France - French

    How could I translate this French expression into an English equivalent?

    "se brûler les ailes" (litterally "to burn his/her own wings") means in my context that a person while trying to achieve his goal (trying to reach the sun), is in fact losing everything because of that (burning his own wings)...

    I hope I am clear enough...

    Thank you for your help...
  2. melu85 Senior Member

    Cette image vient de la mythologie (Icare)
    J'imagine que tu peux donc la garder: to burn one's wings?
  3. nejma85 Member

    France - French
    bah voilà... C pour ça que j'aimerais l'avis d'un anglophone histoire d'éviter la boulette!
  4. nejma85 Member

    France - French
    Any native Englishspeakers here? Please? Is "to burn one's wings" correct??
  5. floise Senior Member


    Maybe 'he got too close to the sun'?

    A few examples of this expression found in a google search (notice sports and politics seem to use the expression):

    Penn State got too close to the sun against No. 10 Nebraska and crashed back to Earth.

    Obviously, Icarus-like, they got too close to the sun, but without the information they (illegally) provide I don’t think you’d see a wealth of, well,

    The Rockies got too close to the sun and the Broncos are at least starting to lose as well. So you can be forgiven if the basketball season

    But Spitzer got too close to the sun when he tried and lost the market-timing case against one lowly trader, and if Cuomo does the same, ..
  6. LouisQuatorze Senior Member

    Iran, Farsi
    Yes the expression is "flying too close to the sun"
    He was flying too close to the sun

    It is a reference to Daedelus and Icarus
  7. Cinquantenaire New Member

    English - English
    To burn one's wings is literally right. Flying too close to the sun is also right in the sense that it is a reference to Daedalus and Icarus. But maybe 'sailing too close to the wind' or 'getting one's fingers burnt' would work better depending on the context in which the expression is being used.

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