French translation: se trancher/couper le nez pour s'embellir le visage
Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.
You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs (or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
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?
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.