Mais vale cair em graça do que ser engraçado

English translation: It's better to be likeable than to be funny. / Falling into grace is worth more than being funny.

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Portuguese term or phrase:Mais vale cair em graça do que ser engraçado.
English translation:It's better to be likeable than to be funny. / Falling into grace is worth more than being funny.
Entered by: Oliveira Simões
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16:13 May 26, 2018
Portuguese to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Cinema, Film, TV, Drama / Subtitles
Portuguese term or phrase: Mais vale cair em graça do que ser engraçado
This is a Portuguese popular saying and I want to know if there's any English equivalent (as I can't think of any).

Thanks in advance for your help!
Tania Pires
Portugal
Local time: 11:17
It's better to be likeable than to be funny.
Explanation:
Sugestão baseada no artigo postado anteriormente. Não me parece ser um dito popular, mas, de qualquer forma, penso que traduz o sentido do dito português.
Selected response from:

Oliveira Simões
United States
Local time: 03:17
Grading comment
This is one of those cases where I wish I could pick more than one answer. This time I didn't want to take a risk so I picked the one that I knew to be closer to the context, but if anyone looks up this page please scroll down because there are excellent answers here for other contexts. Thank you everyone for your troubles.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +3It's better to be likeable than to be funny.
Oliveira Simões
5 +2it is better to be in someones good graces than ingratiate yourself
Nick Taylor
4 +2Falling into grace is worth more than being funny
Katarina Peters
3 +1It is better to hit it off, than "to be" funny / it's better to fall into grace, than to be gracious
JohnMcDove
3It is better to be appreciated than to be absurd.
Muriel Vasconcellos
Summary of reference entries provided
Cair em graça é, fundamentalmente, agradar.
Charles R. Castleberry

Discussion entries: 12





  

Answers


41 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
It's better to be likeable than to be funny.


Explanation:
Sugestão baseada no artigo postado anteriormente. Não me parece ser um dito popular, mas, de qualquer forma, penso que traduz o sentido do dito português.


    Reference: http://scrollwork.blogspot.com/2012/01/would-you-rather-be-f...
Oliveira Simões
United States
Local time: 03:17
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
This is one of those cases where I wish I could pick more than one answer. This time I didn't want to take a risk so I picked the one that I knew to be closer to the context, but if anyone looks up this page please scroll down because there are excellent answers here for other contexts. Thank you everyone for your troubles.
Notes to answerer
Asker: Obrigada! Também não me parece ser uma expressão, mas a ideia é essa.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Katarina Peters
7 mins
  -> Thank you, Katarina.

agree  JohnMcDove: Yes, indeed. (Your answer wasn't here while I was writing mine, but it is a very popular saying in Spanish, at least. :-) /./ You're welcome. ... a César o que é de César... ;-)
8 mins
  -> Thank you, John, for the "agree" and comment.

agree  R-i-c-h-a-r-d
22 hrs
  -> Thank you, Richard.
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34 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Falling into grace is worth more than being funny


Explanation:
or: being accepted is better than being ridiculed

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Note added at 47 mins (2018-05-26 17:01:31 GMT)
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yes, but check the explanation, too. I couldn't think of any other popular saying in English.


Katarina Peters
Canada
Local time: 06:17
Native speaker of: Native in HungarianHungarian, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8
Notes to answerer
Asker: This is a direct translation of what I wrote.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  JohnMcDove: Yes, the "funny" thing in Portuguese, Spanish, Catalonian or Galego, is that "graça" and "engraçado" use the same root word, which makes it more "funny"... ;-) /./ Yes, alas, it would be nice to find a synonym that could duplicate the play on words.
17 mins
  -> and in English, grace and funny are not related

agree  Mario Freitas:
4 hrs
  -> Thanks, Mario!
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
it is better to be in someones good graces than ingratiate yourself


Explanation:
it is better to be in someones good graces than ingratiate yourself

Nick Taylor
Local time: 11:17
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 36

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Marian Vieyra: I like this one, Nick as it replicates the pun and the meaning.
16 hrs
  -> Thanks Marian - I was hoping it would come across :-)

agree  JohnMcDove: I like the pun, and play on words. I am not sure if "ingratiate yourself" could come across with some irony. I was about to give a neutral, but maybe just adding these quotation marks might possibly do the trick...
21 hrs
  -> Thanks :-) yes the quatation marks would help to reinforce the jeu de mots.
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
It is better to be appreciated than to be absurd.


Explanation:
I think 'appreciated' captures the first idea; not so sure about 'absurd', but at least it provides a sense of alliteration.

Muriel Vasconcellos
United States
Local time: 03:17
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
Notes to answerer
Asker: I like this one too. Thanks Muriel!

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48 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
It is better to hit it off, than "to be" funny / it's better to fall into grace, than to be gracious


Explanation:
This saying is very well known in Spanish, Gallego and Catalonian:

https://cvc.cervantes.es/lengua/refranero/Ficha.aspx?Par=590...

https://cvc.cervantes.es/lengua/refranero/Ficha.aspx?Par=590...

https://cvc.cervantes.es/lengua/refranero/Ficha.aspx?Par=590...


"Literal" translation, noted in the "Centro Virtual Cervantes" is this:

[It's better to please than being funny]

https://cvc.cervantes.es/lengua/refranero/Ficha.aspx?Par=590...

https://cvc.cervantes.es/lengua/refranero/Ficha.aspx?Par=590...

I hope the links work appropriately, but the sense of "opportunity" in the saying is that it is better to "connect" with the persons you meet, than "to be" "funny".

That is, it is better that other people (who you just met) consider you a funny - likable guy or gal, "than to be funny".

In other words, it is better to "hit it off with charm" than "to be charming".

The point in Portuguese and Spanish (Galego, Catalonian, etc.) is that there is the play with "cair em graça" (to be considered charming, nice) and "ser engraçado", as in "being funny".

That is, "it is better to ingratiate yourself, than to be a funny person".

Example: I might be a horrible person telling jokes, that is, I am NOT a "funny" person, but I can say something to my boss, which he considers really funny. Then that is better than "to be funny"...

Another way to put it, would be, it is better to "do the action that is funny" than "to be funny", that is "it it better to amuse, than to be amusing".

I hope some of the above is of some help!


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2018-05-26 17:13:50 GMT)
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You're welcome, Tania! :-)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2018-05-26 20:03:46 GMT)
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https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/hit it off

I was trying to come up with something like "better to charm than be charming", or something with an word that sounds the same (I have not been able to find a good EXISTING expression in English), but then focusing on the meaning, the first option of "hit it off", (as in the first impression, or "at first glance"), seems to better convey the idea.

So (depending on your context), "It is better to hit it off [with someone/ with some specific person], than to try to be "funny" [with everyone - and really no one in general].

"It is better to come across as a charming/likeable person than to "try to force yourself to be charming"... (i.e., a bit of a lucky thing)


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Note added at 4 hrs (2018-05-26 20:26:26 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Thank you, totally understood. No trouble at all on my part. (It is fun! ;-)

Just thought about this one,

"It is better to hit it off than to be off-color!" ;-)

That is probably a bit too risqué, but, hey, the "ser engraçado", like the Spanish, "ser gracioso", undoubtedly has a sarcastic or ironic connotation, of actually "being annoyingly funny" type of idea...

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/off-color



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Note added at 1 day 3 hrs (2018-05-27 19:45:25 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

It is better to FIND the FAVOUR of someone, than to trying to be "funny"...

Alliteration with meaning... ("funny" in quotation marks!)

JohnMcDove
United States
Local time: 03:17
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks, John! That's a very good explanation!

Asker: The thing is, I love your explanation, but I'm going with Oliveira's answer because I need 'funny' to be in my context and it's the answer that's closer to what I need. I really wish there was a way to do the play on words, but I need the 'funny'. I really appreciate your trouble though.

Asker: Thanks :)


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Katarina Peters: Yes, but "gracious" does not mean "funny" in English...
37 mins
  -> Muito obrigado, Katarina. :-) / Yes, you're totally right. It would be a false friend situation, but I was trying to keep the phonetic repetition -- and that's why went off onto my looong explanation... ;-)
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Reference comments


21 mins peer agreement (net): +2
Reference: Cair em graça é, fundamentalmente, agradar.

Reference information:
O que é cair em graça? Não estamos aqui a falar da graça divina, mas sim em cair na graça das pessoas. Cair em graça é, fundamentalmente, agradar.

http://azweblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/mais-vale-cair-em-graca...

Charles R. Castleberry
United States
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Note to reference poster
Asker: Thanks for the reference, Charles!


Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  Teresa Borges
22 mins
agree  JohnMcDove: Exatamente. :-)
32 mins
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