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to play dumb

English translation: to play ignorant

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09:26 Dec 2, 2010
English to English translations [PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
English term or phrase: to play dumb
I´d like to know if there´s a synonym that I can use to express this. This phrase doesn´t sound very polite to me.
The person knows what the problem is but pretends he doesn´t and even says something to show he doesn´t know but he knows perfectly well what you´re talking about.
patsyarmando
Local time: 01:38
English translation:to play ignorant
Explanation:
To play ignorant is one suggestion...

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Note added at 3 days22 hrs (2010-12-06 08:24:17 GMT)
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Or, as per the discussion box, "don't pretend you don't know what I'm on about" (colloquial)
Selected response from:

Sarah Bessioud
Germany
Local time: 05:38
Grading comment
Although "stop playing dumb" isn´t offensive, I think that "stop playing ignorant" is more appropriate ! Thanks
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +12to feign ignorance
Jenni Lukac
5pretend like nothing is wrong
Kimberlee Thorne-Harper
4 +1to act/play stupid
Thayenga
4to turn a blind eye on ...
Alexandra Taggart
4to play ignorant
Sarah Bessioud
3pretending to be ignorantS halder


Discussion entries: 7





  

Answers


6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
pretending to be ignorant


Explanation:
IMO

S halder
Local time: 05:38
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +12
to feign ignorance


Explanation:
Examples: 5 Nov 2010 ... Maybe he's not 'feigning ignorance'. The first time I ever speak was early on in his tenure at CAFC at a conference in Seattle on IP in Asia ...
www.techdirt.com/.../chief-patent-judge-feigns-ignorance-of... - En caché; Boehner Feigns Ignorance That His GOP Retreat Is Attended By Goldman Sachs, Other Corporate Lobbyists. By Lee Fang on Jan 29th, 2010 at 11:40 am ...
thinkprogress.org/2010/01/.../boehner-lies-lobbyists/ - En caché - Similares

Jenni Lukac
Local time: 05:38
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 392

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  B D Finch
4 mins
  -> Cheers and thanks, B.D.

agree  British Diana: Hope the readers will know this wonderful expression
5 mins
  -> Thanks Diana. I think they will.

agree  juvera
14 mins
  -> Thanks very much Juvera.

agree  Sheila Wilson: Certainly the formal synonym, although I don't think "play dumb" is impolite, simply colloquial
26 mins
  -> Thanks Sheila. "Play dumb" isn't impolite, but it is informal.

agree  Mwananchi
29 mins
  -> Cheers and thanks, Mwananchi.

agree  Jack Doughty
49 mins
  -> Cheers and thanks, Jack.

agree  Suzan Hamer
54 mins
  -> Greetings and thanks, Suzan.

agree  Amel Abdullah: Definitely the best choice from all responses listed
1 hr
  -> Cheers and thanks, Amel.

agree  Stephanie Ezrol: quite elegant
2 hrs
  -> Cheers and thanks, Stephanie.

agree  jccantrell: This one sounds very posh to my 'merrican ears. However, it is correct and I agree with Sheila W. that to "play dumb" describes your situation exactly.
5 hrs
  -> Cheers and thanks, jc.

agree  eski: Absolutely! (Thank goodness, I've been chained to the pc doing translations, but I WILL find the time to "flesh out" the 3 new chapter sketches for MIPS. ASAP, please send me a list of the chapters I've already sent you: Besos, Jenn.
6 hrs
  -> Thanks very much. Am I up to date on all new chapters?

agree  Alp Berker
20 hrs
  -> Greetings and thanks, Alp.
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
to act/play stupid


Explanation:
Or to pretend to be stupid/ignorant.

Thayenga
Germany
Local time: 05:38
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  eski: Claro que también vale! Saludos: eski
4 hrs
  -> Muchas gracias, eski. Saludos. :)
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
pretend like nothing is wrong


Explanation:
This expression is used when someone sees something happening and acts as if it weren't happening.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2010-12-02 12:05:27 GMT)
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Not proper English? Sorry, but I don't think you understand English. Check out all these Google links:
http://www.google.com/search?client=gmail&rls=gm&q=decree ru...

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Note added at 3 hrs (2010-12-02 12:35:14 GMT)
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It may be improper, but it's still in common use and although you may not agree with it, millions of people say it. As the saying goes, "When in Rome...." I also highly doubt that those millions of people who are using "improper" language will change just because you think they're using incorrect English.


    Reference: http://www.english-test.net/forum/ftopic5104.html
    Reference: http://onlinedictionary.datasegment.com/word/play+dumb
Kimberlee Thorne-Harper
United States
Local time: 21:38
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Cilian O'Tuama: "pretend like" isn't proper English // Millions of hits for "I seen him" - but equally wrong.
1 hr
  -> Please check your references before disqualifying anyone that it's not proper English.

agree  Amel Abdullah: Although I prefer "feign ignorance," your response is perfectly good and is common in the U.S. I don't understand why Cilian felt the need to disagree.
1 hr
  -> Thank you. I'm an American and the expression is very common in the US.
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5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
to play ignorant


Explanation:
To play ignorant is one suggestion...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 days22 hrs (2010-12-06 08:24:17 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Or, as per the discussion box, "don't pretend you don't know what I'm on about" (colloquial)

Sarah Bessioud
Germany
Local time: 05:38
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
Grading comment
Although "stop playing dumb" isn´t offensive, I think that "stop playing ignorant" is more appropriate ! Thanks
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 days   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
to turn a blind eye on ...


Explanation:
"To turn a blind eye" - to ignore things deliberately, not to take any action.

Alexandra Taggart
Russian Federation
Local time: 07:38
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in category: 4
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Voters for reclassification
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PRO / non-PRO
Non-PRO (1): Cilian O'Tuama


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