take something with grain / pinch of salt

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Hi, could anybody help me out with the translation of "a pinch of salt", as in "I take this with a pinch of salt"?

I understand that it's an idiom so I can't directly translate, thanks!
 
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  • swl

    Member
    French
    I'm afraid you're wrong patin.

    "Une pincée de sel" is the direct translation for "a pitch of salt", but here it's an idiom, like in "You have to take everything she says with a pinch of salt. She has a tendency to exaggerate."
    The idiom in french is "avec des pincettes", like in "Tu dois prendre ce qu'elle dit avec des pincettes. Elle a tendance à exagérer".
     

    MIKE38

    Senior Member
    French/France
    Hi,
    I understand the following
    "Anything French officials say should be taken with a grain of salt."
    as " doit être considéré avec prudence" , but I do not see any logic in this phrase...is it correct? I read it on the Internet...so
    Many thanks.
     

    Greyfriar

    Senior Member
    [...]
    Hi, MIKE38,

    In English we have a saying - 'Anything he says should be taken with a pinch
    of salt' which means that it is not the absolute truth and may be grossly exaggerated.
     
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    franc 91

    Senior Member
    English - GB
    You have to be careful here as en français on dit mettre son grain de sel which means to put forward an opinion that the others won't agree with.
     

    The Prof

    Senior Member
    Hi,
    I understand the following
    "Anything French officials say should be taken with a grain of salt."
    as " doit être considéré avec prudence" , but I do not see any logic in this phrase...is it correct? I read it on the Internet...so
    Many thanks.
    Hi Mike

    The English expression that I'm used to is 'to take something with a pinch of salt', not a grain. However, I suppose it might be a BE / AE difference.
    Nevertheless, the meaning would still be the same, and I think that your French version of it is good.

    As far as logic goes, I admit that I've never thought about it - it's just one of those well-used expressions that we use without further thought when we are sceptical about a piece of information, or about the reliability of the person who has said it:

    Having said that, I'm sure someone will soon give you its origins and that might explain the original logic behind it.
     

    MIKE38

    Senior Member
    French/France
    Thank you all for those very pertinent and interesting answers and comments. A special thank to Prof, whose link goes straight to the point.
    Many thanks.
     
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