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c'est le mouton a 20 pattes

English translation: as rare as hen's teeth

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:c'est le mouton a 20 pattes
English translation:as rare as hen's teeth
Entered by: mportal
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

17:57 Jul 10, 2008
French to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial - Human Resources / Employment market for engineers
French term or phrase: c'est le mouton a 20 pattes
Does anyone know the equivalent saying in English!?
Context:
(talking about dual skills in product marketing)
'En France, il n'existe pas de formation pour ca: faire le line entre ce que veut le marche et ce qu'il faut mettre dans le produit, des gens qui savent lire des enquetes marketing, c'est le mouton a 20 pattes!'
mportal
Local time: 11:10
as rare as hen's teeth
Explanation:
I like PJ Teale's suggestion too - just thought I'd put another one forward, partly because I like the image it conjurs up!

Although, according to this Guardian article, a toothed hen might not be as rare as previously thought!

http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/research/story/0,,171...
Selected response from:

Irene McClure
Local time: 12:10
Grading comment
Thank you very much, Irene. Personally, I like the 'hens' teeth' implication, because it is also talking about a hyperbolically-distorted animal (or, here, a bird).
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +5it's a very rare bird indeedPTeale
3 +2as rare as hen's teeth
Irene McClure
4[people like that] are one in a million
Helen Shiner
4Finding people who can read...is like finding a needle in a haystackMatthewLaSon


  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +5
it's a very rare bird indeed


Explanation:
mouton à cinq pattes + "a rare bird", so 20 pattes is even rarer.

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Note added at 4 mins (2008-07-10 18:02:18 GMT)
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Obviously, in your sentence, it would need to be plural, i.e. these people are very rare - could also say that finding a person who can do XYD would be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

PTeale
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:10
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks very much PTeale - both your suggestions are possible translations. It's a matter of personal preference here, to some extent.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Eutychus
6 mins
  -> Thanks, Eutychus

agree  Donald Scott Alexander: Nice solution for a difficult term.
19 mins
  -> Thanks, Scott

agree  Dave 72: Spot on!!
28 mins
  -> Thanks, Dave

agree  Mark Nathan
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, Mark

agree  Philippa
12 hrs
  -> Thanks Philippa
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
as rare as hen's teeth


Explanation:
I like PJ Teale's suggestion too - just thought I'd put another one forward, partly because I like the image it conjurs up!

Although, according to this Guardian article, a toothed hen might not be as rare as previously thought!

http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/research/story/0,,171...

Irene McClure
Local time: 12:10
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16
Grading comment
Thank you very much, Irene. Personally, I like the 'hens' teeth' implication, because it is also talking about a hyperbolically-distorted animal (or, here, a bird).
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks, also, for the newspaper article! I hope their next trick will not be to produce a 'mouton a 20 pattes!@


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  myrden
16 hrs
  -> thanks myrden

agree  B D Finch
18 hrs
  -> cheers bd
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Finding people who can read...is like finding a needle in a haystack


Explanation:
Hello,

My try...

I hope this helps.

MatthewLaSon
Local time: 06:10
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 52

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  PTeale: I'd already suggested that in my comment below my original suggestion - I agree it's a valid alternative
10 hrs
  -> I never saw that in your explanation. Sorry. At least we're thinking on the same lines.
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2 days18 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
[people like that] are one in a million


Explanation:
Just another suggestion, perhaps more commonly used.

Unusual bird described as 'one in a million':
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2572205.stm

People described in same way:
http://www.successful-blog.com/1/one-in-a-million-award-for-...

Helen Shiner
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:10
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
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Changes made by editors
Jul 15, 2008 - Changes made by mportal:
Created KOG entryKudoZ term » KOG term


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