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Não peças a quem pediu, nem sirvas a quem serviu.

English translation: Don't beg of a former beggar and don't serve a former servant.

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Portuguese term or phrase:Não peças a quem pediu, e não sirvas a quem serviu.
English translation:Don't beg of a former beggar and don't serve a former servant.
Entered by: Henrique Magalhaes
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16:17 Jul 4, 2003
Portuguese to English translations [Non-PRO]
Portuguese term or phrase: Não peças a quem pediu, nem sirvas a quem serviu.
This saying is just good common sense about people...to whom we are about asking or serving.
Henrique Magalhaes
Local time: 15:14
Neither beg of him who has been a begger, nor serve him who has been a servant.
Explanation:
Peguin Dictionary of Proverbs again :)

It is very much like one of the answers proposed above... if you prefer a shorter phrase...but if you use the one above, I really think you must make it:

"Don't beg of a former beggar nor serve a former servant"



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-07-05 09:46:07 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Note to Sergey who commented on my comment on the meaning of \"plead\".
I am sorry to have to disagee with you again.
plead
v 1: appeal or request earnestly; \"I pleaded with him to stop\"
2: offer as an excuse or plea; \"She was pleading insanity\"
3: enter a plea, as in courts of law; \"She pleaded not guilty\"
4: make an allegation in an action or other legal proceeding,
esp. answer the previous pleading of the other party by
denying facts therein stated or by alleging new facts

These are the meanings of \'to plead\' and it can be a synonym of \"to beg\", but it can never mean \'to beg for money\' (as beggers do) and that is the meaning it has in the above sentence. I am absolutely sure of this.
Selected response from:

Paula Vaz-Carreiro
Local time: 15:14
Grading comment
I rather chose 'Don't beg of a former beggar and don't serve a former servant.'It is shorter and has more impact.Thanks Paula.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +1Neither beg of him who has been a begger, nor serve him who has been a servant.
Paula Vaz-Carreiro
5 +1Don't beg to a former beggar nor serve to a former servantsilviafont
5Don't ask anything of a beggar, don't serve [be of use to] a servantJane Lamb-Ruiz
4don't beg to whom have been a begger and don't serve to whom have been a servantCarlos Monteiro
3don't beg from beggars and don't serve (wait upon) servants - read first, then disagree!!
moken
4 -1Don't plead with the one you pleaded, never serve the one you served.
Сергей Лузан
4 -1Don't ask whom you asked, or serve who you werved.
Michael Powers (PhD)


  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
Don't ask whom you asked, or serve who you werved.


Explanation:
literal translation

Michael Powers (PhD)
United States
Local time: 10:14
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 3474

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ricardo Fonseca
3 hrs

disagree  Paula Vaz-Carreiro: I sorry, but I think the above is not correct. 'pedir' has two meanings in Portuguese, to beg or to ask. In this case it is to 'to beg'
5 hrs

disagree  Jane Lamb-Ruiz: your grammar is off:a quem pediu is litgerally: of whom who has asked, NOT the one who asked something of or begged something of
23 hrs
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47 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
don't beg to whom have been a begger and don't serve to whom have been a servant


Explanation:
literalmente e julgo que sem perder o verdadeiro sentido

Carlos Monteiro
Portugal
Local time: 15:14
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in pair: 18

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ricardo Fonseca: has been?
3 hrs
  -> you're right

disagree  Paula Vaz-Carreiro: This sentence can't be translated literally.
5 hrs
  -> Why not ???

neutral  Jane Lamb-Ruiz: right meaning but grammar is off: to beg FROM; HAS been NOT have; and you can't say serve TO WHOM
22 hrs
  -> Sorry Jane!! you're right!!
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Don't beg to a former beggar nor serve to a former servant


Explanation:
This means people are sure to retain resentment for their previous underprivileged position. A former beggar will hold no mercy for others and a former servant won't be a good master.

silviafont
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ricardo Fonseca
1 hr

disagree  Paula Vaz-Carreiro: I mean, the phrase is not bad but it most definitely "Don't beg Of a former beggar nor serve A former servant"
2 hrs

agree  Patricia Baldwin: I agree with Ricardo
7 hrs

neutral  Jane Lamb-Ruiz: no BEG TO, it's BEG FROM and you can't serve TO
20 hrs
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
Don't plead with the one you pleaded, never serve the one you served.


Explanation:
Hope it helps. Good luck, Henrique Magalhaes!

Сергей Лузан
Russian Federation
Local time: 17:14
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in pair: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Paula Vaz-Carreiro: In this case the meaning in Portuguese is not 'to plead' but to 'to beg'
1 hr
  -> "To plead with" conveys exactly the meaning, Paula Vaz-Carreiro!
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Neither beg of him who has been a begger, nor serve him who has been a servant.


Explanation:
Peguin Dictionary of Proverbs again :)

It is very much like one of the answers proposed above... if you prefer a shorter phrase...but if you use the one above, I really think you must make it:

"Don't beg of a former beggar nor serve a former servant"



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-07-05 09:46:07 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Note to Sergey who commented on my comment on the meaning of \"plead\".
I am sorry to have to disagee with you again.
plead
v 1: appeal or request earnestly; \"I pleaded with him to stop\"
2: offer as an excuse or plea; \"She was pleading insanity\"
3: enter a plea, as in courts of law; \"She pleaded not guilty\"
4: make an allegation in an action or other legal proceeding,
esp. answer the previous pleading of the other party by
denying facts therein stated or by alleging new facts

These are the meanings of \'to plead\' and it can be a synonym of \"to beg\", but it can never mean \'to beg for money\' (as beggers do) and that is the meaning it has in the above sentence. I am absolutely sure of this.


Paula Vaz-Carreiro
Local time: 15:14
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 421
Grading comment
I rather chose 'Don't beg of a former beggar and don't serve a former servant.'It is shorter and has more impact.Thanks Paula.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jane Lamb-Ruiz: agree with meaning but it's BEG FROM; THOUGH the old fashioned meaning it is beg of in sentences like: I beg of you, don't reveal the secret
17 hrs
  -> Yes, I think you can also say BEG FROM but BEG OF is also correct in what you sa, and also in my translation. My translation came directly from the Proverb Dictionary and it uses OF. It seems to me the two proverbs match exactly.
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23 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Don't ask anything of a beggar, don't serve [be of use to] a servant


Explanation:
The first one is sort of like: Beggards can't be choosers....




--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-07-05 16:52:34 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Paula
This is literary translation and sometimes a literal passes to a non-literal to MEAN THE SAME THING...

If you say: never ask something of a beggar...it\'s obvious that it means beg in a certain sense. Precisely what makes the Portuguese so good is the fact, in my opinion, that the first pedir is ask something of someone and the SECOND is beg....without that you just get: Don\'t beg from a beggar, which does not have the right click to it in English. IF on the other hand, you say \"Never ask anything of a beggar\" you are implying it, because to ask something of someone is in fact a kind of \"begging\". :)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-07-05 16:54:16 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I also understand that people that answered the question didn\'t grasp this subtle transformation in the English expression of the phrase. There was misunderstanding in both languages and you were the only one to point out the ground zero meaning of the phrase. However, a literal meaning usually requires rewriting. IMO

Jane Lamb-Ruiz
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in pair: 3273

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Paula Vaz-Carreiro: I am sorry Jane but the meaning of 'pedir' in the Portuguese proverb is most DEFINITELY NOT 'ask'. It is 'BEG'.
46 mins
  -> Paula, there is ambiguity which can translate as "to ask something of" you would't say literarily beg something of a beggar; you would say ask something of a beggar, which re-inforces it; to ask something of someone CAN BE a kind of begging metaphorically

agree  moken: there's more of "takes one to know one" here than in the previous one. an EX-BEGGAR knows beggars' traits as does an EX-SERVANT know those of a servant. your grammar is all mixed too. plus, none of "be of use to", in any case "wait upon"
20 hrs
  -> Alvaro, I gotta tell you something about my grammar. It's about as good as it gets. You meant MIXED UP not mixed.
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1 day19 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
don't beg from beggars and don't serve (wait upon) servants - read first, then disagree!!


Explanation:
i realise that beggar an ex-beggar are not the same thing, but i believe that the only reason for making a difference between a beggar and somebody who has been a beggar, or servant and ex-servant is to underline the fact that the outcome is not due to what THEY are, but to their knowledge of what YOU are. however, since this makes the english translation rather more complicated i would consider leaving the "has been" part out of it.

like i said in my comment upstairs, there is more of the english saying "it takes one to know one" in this phrase than in the previous one, although in english, it takes one to know one is used in a different sense (which falls short of its real possibilities).

the core of both sayings is based upon the same fact - that two people who are similar, know (exactly?) what the other is like.

however the portuguese saying goes a little beyond the shallowness of the english saying, since it implies also an outcome (begging/serving won't be any good to you, since your intentions/actions will be anticipated), whereas the english saying is generally used just as proof of recognition of the other. this is a shame, since were the saying not so superficially used, it could be turned around to mean exactly the same as the portuguese saying.

obviously my comment to jane should be a disagree, not an agree. additionally, this saying has absolutley nothing to do with the saying "beggars can't be choosers" except for the fact that they both mention beggars.


saludos y sonrisas,

álvaro :O)

moken
Local time: 15:14
Native speaker of: Spanish
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