Who does not have a dog hunts with a cat

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Senior Member
Portuguese - Brazil

How could we translate literally this sentence?

My Arabic is little... I have tried:
لا لمن كلب يطارد مع قط

This makes any sense?
  • Kinan

    Senior Member
    You can't say he is يصطاد بقطة cos it would mean he is throwing a cat toward the bird, while مع قطة means he has a cat with him which does just like the dog, it goes to search for the hunted bird and bring it to the hunter.


    Senior Member
    Arabic (Hijazi Arabic)
    I would agree with Eskandarani. Here "cat" & "dog" mean using these animals to hunt (that's what's meant in the question I believe, if not, the asker should specify further) . It doesn't mean they're there merely to accompany the hunter.


    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    I would agree with Iskandarani as well.

    مع indicates accompaniment on an equal level, and is most often used with humans (although not exclusively I imagine), e.g. زيد خرج مع سامية, but not خرج زيد بسامية). So يصطاد مع قطة would mean that the cat was accompanying the hunter as an equal, like as a friend.
    بـ indicates concomitance (something occurring with something else in a lesser capacity), e.g. قهوة بسكر, not قهوة مع سكر, coffee with sugar). So يصطاد بقطة would mean he is using the cat to hunt, i.e. using the cats tracking, smelling, or other hunting abilities that a cat might have.


    Josh you are correct. However, Arab can say خرجت أصطاد مع قطتي even when it is used for hunting.

    As for the proverb in question, بقطة is the correct one because here cat and dog are a symbolic of hunting means. So the meaning here is a choosing of good thing, cat, when the better thing, dog, is not available. We should not consider nature of comparative thing here as it is a symbolic.

    There is an equivalent public proverb in Arabic العب بالمقصقص لبين ما يجي الطيار which literally means play with clipped wings bird until you have a volant one (non clipped).
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