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zachte handjes maken diepe wonden

English translation: See below

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04:24 Mar 9, 2001
Dutch to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary
Dutch term or phrase: zachte handjes maken diepe wonden
does anybody know a good english equivalent for this Dutch saying? The context is an interview with a company executive, discussing policy
Simon Jones
Local time: 06:10
English translation:See below
Explanation:
Hi,

I know this saying as: zachte heelmeesters maken stinkende wonden

van Dale: +/- desperate diseases need / must have / require desperate remedies

FWIW,

Carla
Selected response from:

Carla Zwanenberg
Netherlands
Local time: 07:10
Grading comment
This makes good sense within the context although all the answers were helpful. Thanks a lot.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
na"A gentle handshake can cure a deep wound" or "A gentle handshake can make a deep wound."Fuad Yahya
nasee detailKen Cox
nayou have to be cruel to be kind
Christopher Smith
naSee below
Carla Zwanenberg


  

Answers


6 mins
See below


Explanation:
Hi,

I know this saying as: zachte heelmeesters maken stinkende wonden

van Dale: +/- desperate diseases need / must have / require desperate remedies

FWIW,

Carla


    van Dale Nl>En
Carla Zwanenberg
Netherlands
Local time: 07:10
Native speaker of: Native in DutchDutch
PRO pts in pair: 187
Grading comment
This makes good sense within the context although all the answers were helpful. Thanks a lot.
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2 hrs
you have to be cruel to be kind


Explanation:
The general idea behind this expression is that failure to do what is necessary, out of squeamishness or misplaced kindness, will only make the situation worse.
Having just re-read the context, I must say that I agree with the previous answer and suggest this only 'ter info'.

Christopher Smith
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:10
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 312
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10 hrs
see detail


Explanation:
I don't know of anything directly equivalent, but something of the same idea is expressed by the English saying "halfway measures are worse than none" and its variant, "half-hearted measures are worse than none at all"

Ken Cox
Local time: 07:10
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1385
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10 hrs
"A gentle handshake can cure a deep wound" or "A gentle handshake can make a deep wound."


Explanation:
The ambiguity comes from the word "maken," a devilishly multifaceted word.

If "maken" means "to cure" here, then the meaning is obvious: a small, but sincere, gesture of good will can assuage ill will and mend otherwise broken bonds.

If "maken" means "to make," then the meaning could be one of two:

1. That a friendly gesture can be used as an instrument for hurting; or

2. That "band-aiding" a situation with the equivalent of a gentle handshake will only make the problem more profound.

You did not provide us with sufficient context, but you have the context in front of you, so you are in a much better position to decide which color to pick from this kaleidoscope.

Fuad

Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 18
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Changes made by editors
Jan 1, 2006 - Changes made by Fuad Yahya:
FieldOther » Art/Literary


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