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to cut off one's nose to spite one's face

French translation: se trancher/couper le nez pour s'embellir le visage

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04:11 Feb 23, 2001
English to French translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: to cut off one's nose to spite one's face
This is just a bit of fun really, but someone asked me to translate this from English to French. What are your ideas?
George.
George Calia
Local time: 04:59
French translation:se trancher/couper le nez pour s'embellir le visage
Explanation:
guess that this plastic surgery must be limited to elephant-men or women!
van gogh tried with one of his ears so!!
it means some things can't be solved
hope it helps a bit
Selected response from:

Albert Golub
Local time: 05:59
Grading comment
Thanks! George xxx
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
namettre un cautère sur une jambe de boisAlbert Golub
na"Se tirer dans le pied"?Louise Atfield
naagir par esprit de contradictionLala
nase trancher/couper le nez pour s'embellir le visageAlbert Golub


  

Answers


11 mins
se trancher/couper le nez pour s'embellir le visage


Explanation:
guess that this plastic surgery must be limited to elephant-men or women!
van gogh tried with one of his ears so!!
it means some things can't be solved
hope it helps a bit

Albert Golub
Local time: 05:59
Native speaker of: French
PRO pts in pair: 2094
Grading comment
Thanks! George xxx
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3 hrs
agir par esprit de contradiction


Explanation:
C'est une expression figée.

Lala
France
Local time: 05:59
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 4
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3 hrs
"Se tirer dans le pied"?


Explanation:
Literally, the translation would be:
"Se couper le nez pour vexer (ou contrarier) son visage".

This is an expression that refers to the action of trying to hurt someone else, but ending up hurting oneself instead. See also:
"To cut off one's nose to spite one's face - to do something in anger to hurt someone else which also hurts oneself."
http://www.chennaikids.com/bodylanguage/bodylanguage5.shtml

I can't think of a French expression that is the exact equivalent of this English expression (maybe someone else will...) But the English saying is somewhat similar to the expression "to shoot oneself in the foot", which really means "to hurt oneself" or even "to sabotage one's own efforts".

This last expression is used as well in French: "se tirer dans le pied", and I think you might use it as a fair translation of "cut off one's nose..."

If I can think of something else, I'll write again.


Louise Atfield
PRO pts in pair: 577
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4 hrs
mettre un cautère sur une jambe de bois


Explanation:
doesn't cure a wooden leg to use a cautery, it burns and it's worse after! just as if you cut off your nose to look handsome
hope it helps

Albert Golub
Local time: 05:59
Native speaker of: French
PRO pts in pair: 2094
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