to fall (metaphorical)

ThomasK

Senior Member
Belgium, Dutch
In Dutch (and German) we have some expressions containing the verb 'fall' [I am concentrating on those having a non-personal subject mainly]:

- bevallen: please (and give birth)
- meevallen: ... (something works out well, produces a good result)
- tegenvallen: the opposite
- uitvallen : to turn out

I cannot possibly translate those literally in English. But do you have any equivalents containing 'vallen' ? We can sometimes use other active verbs as well (as in uitkomen, which is somewhat similar to uitvallen).

If yes: why 'fall' ? I suppose it has to do with things we cannot control.
 
  • Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    In Arabic you have:

    وقع الأمر = waqa'a al-amr = the issue/situation/thing "fell"; it means the thing happened.
    الأمر الواقع = al-amr al-waaqi' = the "fallen" issue/thing; it means the status qou or the "what has already happend".
    الموقع = al-maouqi' = (don't know how to translate it); it means "the place where the thing happend"
    وقّع = waqqa'a = he made it fall = to sign (i.e. to "put down" your signature)

    These are derived from waqa'a = to fall (on a certain spot).

    Also:

    سقط = saqaTa = to fall; meaning to fail in an exam
    سقَّطت المرأة = saqqaTat al-mar'a = the woman made/had it fall; meaning she had an abortion or mis-carriage.

    These are derived from saqaTa = to fall (in general).
     

    Hermocrates

    Senior Member
    Italian & British English (bilingual)
    Well, in English there are expressions such as:

    to fall in love
    to fall out of favour
    to fall off the back of a lorry (said of goods acquired dishonestly ;))

    Rye
     

    apmoy70

    Senior Member
    Greek
    In Greek the verb is «πέφτω» [ˈpef.tɔ] --> to fall, fall off, drop < Byz. Gr. «*πέπτω» *péptō < Classical v. «πίπτω» pī́ptō; the modern «πέφτω» is the product of dissimilation of /p/ to /f/ and contamination from the aorist form «ἔπεσον» épĕsŏn.

    It's used as the euphemism of someone dying in war, similarly to the English usage.
    The fallen one is «πεσών» [peˈsɔn] (masc. nom. sing.) < Classical aorist participle «πεσών» pĕsṓn, plural «πεσόντες» [peˈsɔn.des] (masc. nom.).
     

    Yendred

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    In French, common idiomatic expressions are:
    ça tombe bien/mal - Literal translation: it falls well/bad - meaning: that's good/bad timing
    tomber sur quelqu'un/quelque chose -
    Literal translation: to fall on somebody/something - meaning: to meet somebody/to find something by chance
    tomber des nues -
    Literal translation: to fall from the clouds - meaning: to be taken aback/to be flabbergasted
    tomber sur la tête - Literal translation: to fall on the head - meaning: to get crazy(*)

    And as in English:
    tomber amoureux - to fall in love
    tomber sous le charme - to fall under the spell
    tomber malade - to fall/get sick

    (*) Maybe some of you remember this Botswana 1980 movie The Gods must be crazy. Its French title is indeed "Les dieux sont tombés sur la tête".

    If yes: why 'fall' ? I suppose it has to do with things we cannot control.
    Yes, obviously these expressions are linked to random incontrollable events.

    I'll be interested in Spanish expressions.

     
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    Dymn

    Senior Member
    I'll be interested in Spanish expressions.
    Some expressions and uses off the top of my head:

    - caer en la cuenta (lit. "to fall on the account"), alternative to "darse cuenta": "to realize", also caer en alone: caí en que había estado equivocado todo el rato ("I realized I'd been wrong all along").
    - caer bien (lit. "to fall well"): of a person, to be liked, e.g. "me caes bien" "I like you" (I like the way you are, not romantic). You can place any adverb to change the meaning of course: me caes mal ("I don't like you"), me caes fatal ("I don't like you at all")
    - "to fall on" as in a date or something: este año mi cumple cae en martes ("this year my birthday falls on a Tuesday")
    - "to be located", somewhat informal: me cae muy lejos ("it's very far for me"), you could also use pillar ("to catch"): me pilla muy lejos
    - "to crash, to go down", e.g. el sistema se ha caído ("the system is down")
    - "to fall upon" (negative circumstances), this is almost a cliché in Spain: con la que está cayendo, va y nos entretenemos con estas chorradas (~ we shouldn't waste our time with bullshit because we have bigger problems to face)
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Thanks, Apmoy and Yendred!

    @apmoy70: can you use them as in French below?
    In French, common idiomatic expressions are:
    ça tombe bien/mal - dat valt goed uit
    tomber sur quelqu'un/quelque chose - ik ben erop gebotst (8I have bumped into it)
    tomber des nues - uit de lucht (the air) vallen
    tomber sur la tête - op je hoofd vallen

    And as in English:
    tomber amoureux - no expression (except verliefd worden)
    tomber sous le charme -
    vallen voor (pour) iemands charme
    tomber malade - ziek vallen (not too common)

    (*) Maybe some of you remember this Botswana 1980 movie The Gods must be crazy. Its French title is indeed "Les dieux sont tombés sur la tête".



    Yes, obviously these expressions are linked to random incontrollable events.

    I'll be interested in Spanish expressions.I just hope someone can help you (and me)…
     

    Loulamer

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    In Mexican Spanish : Me cayó el veinte = I just understood/realized something

    In French : Le vent est tombé = There's no more wind
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    In Russian "to fall" is, basically, "падать" (pádat', imperf., intr.).

    Its morphological derivatives with less predictable meanings (sometimes ancient) include:
    выпасть (výpast', perf., +dat.) - ~to have befallen smb, lit. "to fall out" (likely in relation to dice games);
    напасть (napást')
    a) v. perf., + на (acc.) - to attack (lit. ~"fall onto");
    b) n. fem. - misfortune;
    пропасть (propást', perf., intr.) - to vanish, to disappear, lit. ~~"fall through";
    пасть (pást', n. fem.) - a maw;
    выпад (výpad, n. masc.) - a passade, a thrust; a (verbal) attack; lit. "falling out".

    Idiomatic expressions with more predictable derivates include:
    запасть в душу (zapást' v dúshu, perf.) - to stick with smb., to cut smb. to one's soul; lit. "to fall into one's soul".
    :warning::warning::warning:на хуй не упасть (ná khuy ne upást’, +dat., normally in the past tense only) - to be not needed at all to smb, to be the last thing smb needs; lit. :warning:"not to fall onto smb's dick"; euphemistic replacements and shortenings are possible.

    I don't count apparently pan-European calques with the meanings like "to fall in battle", "to fall low" etc.
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    Fall in Czech (with plenty of verbal prefixes):

    v. impf. padati, perf. padnouti, noun pád; mostly connected with falling or attacking:
    volný pád = free fall, der freie Fall; výpad (lit. out-fall, probably a calque from German der Ausfall) = a sudden attack, a lunge (in fencing);

    figuratively:

    pád = a case (generally or in grammar), der Fall; na každý pád (acc.) = auf jeden Fall (acc.) = lit. on every fall (= in any case);

    výpadek
    (lit. out-fall) = outage, drop-out, cut, der Ausfall; výpadek proudu = power blackout/cut/outage, der Stromausfall;
    Vypadl [elektrický] proud. = lit. The [electrical] current fell out. (= power is down)
    Vypadl [operační] systém. = lit. The [operating] system fell out. (= the system crashed)
    výpadovka (lit. out-fall-road) = city exit (road), Ausfallstraße;

    nápad
    (lit. on-fall) = idea, thought (esp. sudden), Einfall; geniální nápad = stroke of genius; dostat nápad = to have a brainwave;
    napadnouti = (1) to attack (anfallen), (2) to cross sb's mind (einfallen);
    Napadlo ho, že ... = Es ist ihm eingefallen, dass ... (It occurred to him that ..., He had a brainwave that ...);

    odpad
    = waste, garbage, rubbish, Abfall: radioaktivní odpad = radioaktiver Abfall;

    The strangest meaning is:

    vypadati [jako] = to look [like], lit. to out-fall [like];
    I thought that it is also a calque from German, but in German it is aussehen, ausschauen [wie] (to out-see, to out-look [like]).

    Vypadá zdravě. = He looks healthy. = Er sieht/schaut gesund aus.
    Vypadal překvapeně. = He looked surprised.
    Vypadá to na déšť. = It looks like rain.
    Jak to vypadá? = What does it look like? How does it look?

    However it is still possible that the verbs (1) vypadati (to fell out) and (2) vypadati [jako] (to look [like]) are not etymologically related.

    Vypadaly mu vlasy. = lit. His hair fell out. (= He lost his hair.)
    vs.
    Jeho vlasy vypadaly jako sláma. = His hair looked like straw.
     
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    apmoy70

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Thanks, Apmoy and Yendred!

    @apmoy70: can you use them as in French below?
    Not exactly but we do have a few idioms that resemble the French ones:
    «Μου έπεσε βαρύ» [mu ˈe.pe.se vaˈɾi] --> it fell heavy on me, usually said for food which causes indigestion.
    Colloq. «πέφτω πάνω του/της» [ˈpef.tɔ ˈpa.nɔ tu] (masc.), [ˈpef.tɔ ˈpa.nɔ tis] (fem.) --> to fall on him/her, to meet a friend or an acquaintance unexpectedly.
    «Πέφτω απ'τα σύννεφα» [ˈpef.tɔ ap.ta ˈsi.ne.fa] --> to fall from the clouds, said either by the disillusoned, or sarcastically when a negative effect of an ill-thought action is obvious to a third party, but not to the actor of the action. The naïve people who are constantly falling from the clouds, are called sarcastically «πεφτοσυννεφάκηδες» [pef.tɔ.si.neˈfa.ci.ðes] (masc. nom. pl.) --> those-falling-from-the-clouds.
    And as in English:
    tomber amoureux - to fall in love
    tomber sous le charme - to fall under the spell
    tomber malade - to fall/get sick
    We have specific mediopassive/reflexive verbs for these expressions, I'm afraid
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    @apmoy70: I recognize the three in Dutch, to some extent at least.
    - iets ligt zwaar op mijn maag (it lies, not it falls on my stomach): indigestable, both fig. and lit.
    - op iemand (s'one) vallen: implies falling in love with us, but not necessarily expressing that
    but that was a coincidence, somehow: toe-val-lig (ad-cident-al)
    - uit de lucht vallen (falling from the air): when we are quite surprised about a certain turn of events (implicitly: but you should have been aware of that before)
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    I see quite some parallels with Dutch!
    Fall in Czech (with plenty of verbal prefixes):

    v. impf. padati, perf. padnouti, noun pád; mostly connected with falling or attacking/ aan-vallen
    volný pád = free fall, der freie Fall/ de vrije val; výpad (lit. out-fall, probably a calque from German der Ausfall) = a sudden attack, a lunge (in fencing); een uitval

    figuratively:

    pád = a case (generally or in grammar), der Fall; de naamval
    na každý pád (acc.) = auf jeden Fall (acc.) = lit. on every fall (= in any case);in elk geval

    výpadek (lit. out-fall) = outage, drop-out, cut, der Ausfall; výpadek proudu = power blackout/cut/outage, der Stromausfall; stroomuitval
    Vypadl [elektrický] proud. = lit. The [electrical] current fell out. (= power is down)
    Vypadl [operační] systém. = lit. The [operating] system fell out. (= the system crashed)/ uitvallen (possible)
    výpadovka (lit. out-fall-road) = city exit (road), Ausfallstraße; NO - uitrit (ride-out)

    nápad (lit. on-fall) = idea, thought (esp. sudden), Einfall/ inval; geniální nápad = stroke of genius; dostat nápad = to have a brainwave;
    napadnouti = (1) to attack (anfallen/ aanvallen), (2) to cross sb's mind (einfallen/ invallen but more often: te binnen schieten [to shoot inward, ...]);
    Napadlo ho, že ... = Es ist ihm eingefallen, dass ... (It occurred to him that ..., He had a brainwave that ...);

    odpad = waste, garbage, rubbish, Abfall: radioaktivní odpad = radioaktiver Abfall; afval

    The strangest meaning is:

    vypadati [jako] = to look [like], lit. to out-fall [like]; same: het viel vreemd uit (it turned out strange)
    I thought that it is also a calque from German, but in German it is aussehen, ausschauen [wie] (to out-see, to out-look [like]).

    Vypadá zdravě. = He looks healthy. = Er sieht/schaut gesund aus./ Not quite...
    Vypadal překvapeně. = He looked surprised.
    Vypadá to na déšť. = It looks like rain.
    Jak to vypadá? = What does it look like? How does it look? Hij viel sympathiek uit (he proved sympathetic)

    However it is still possible that the verbs (1) vypadati (to fell out) and (2) vypadati [jako] (to look [like]) are not etymologically related.

    Vypadaly mu vlasy. = lit. His hair fell out. (= He lost his hair.)/ uitvallen
    vs.

    Jeho vlasy vypadaly jako sláma. = His hair looked like straw.
     
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