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clairedete's avatar

French translation?

Asked by clairedete (331points) June 2nd, 2008

I am thinking of getting “Nothing is heavy to those who have wings” as a tattoo. I know the saying is “Alis grave nil” in latin but I would rather have the option to get it tattooed in french. If you are well versed in french I’d be curious to see what that phrase is in french.

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17 Answers

St.George's avatar

Rien n’est lourd à ceux qui ont des ailes

Got this when I plugged it into a translator.

jlm11f's avatar

i wouldn’t follow a translator if i was getting something tattooed permanently on myself. that said, what megan posted seems pretty right. but my french isn’t fluent, so someone who is should answer this Q.

jrpowell's avatar

I have to agree with PnL.

I wouldn’t ever trust anything anyone told you over the Internet for this. You might try a local University to find a instructor that teaches French. I would actually ask a few of them and make sure their answers match. And don’t tell them it is for a tattoo. People can be assholes about those things. You don’t want to end up with, “I kill kittens and babies” tattooed on you.

yannick's avatar

Actually, megan was pretty close. I would say ‘Rien n’est trop lourd pour ceux qui ont des ailes.’ I would add the ‘trop’ (too, in english), just because it has a better ring to it in french. The direct translation back into english would then be ‘Nothing is too heavy for those who have wings’.

Kudos to whatever translator that was, it is pretty accurate.

And yes, I’m fluent in French…

shrubbery's avatar

Haha I was about to say, I know who can help! But he’s already on the ball.

spendy's avatar

I would go with the translation that @yannick provided. Definitely add ‘trop’ to the phrase. It wouldn’t sound quite right without it, for the purpose of rolling off the tounge. Of course, it’s probably a bit longer than you’d hoped…compared to the latin translation. Where were you considering having this phrase tattooed? ;)

FYI, I’m also fluent.

themherme's avatar

Rien n’est lourd à ceux qui ont des ailes

Rien n’est lourd à ceux qui ont des ailes

Rien n’est lourd à ceux qui ont des ailes

no matter where I looked it up it was still the same lol

Nulla è pesante a quelli che hanno le ali———thats Italian

什麼是沉重的那些誰有翅膀————traditional chinese lol

Niets is zwaar aan die die zijn vleugels———————- dutch :*)

भारी करने के लिए कुछ नहीं है जो उन लोगों के पास पंख——hindi (thats pretty)

何も重いwhoている翼を有する———- japanese….

lol thought you might like a little variation :*)

gailcalled's avatar

What about using the subjunctive “aient” instead of “ont”? More subtle or simply incorrect? People don’t have wings, literally, so you might be talking about possibility.

jlm11f's avatar

@ themherme – the hindi translation is way off and not a fluid sentence.

clairedete's avatar

@spendy – i’m thinking of having it tattood right on the arch of my left foot. It’d be my first & it’s totally something that I’m doing to rebel but that saying really fits me. It’s gonna hurt like no other though!

themherme's avatar

well thats what I got by typing it into the google translator lol :*/

yannick's avatar

@spendy – thanks for the backup. what megan and themherme got from translators is close, but it just isn’t right. If clairedete got their version tattooed on her foot, it would literally mean ‘Nothing is heavy at those who have wings’. Haha…

@wildflower – Good suggestion with the use of ‘aient’, but to use the subjunctive you’d need to use it in the proper context. You could say ‘Pour que rien ne soit trop lourd, il faut qu’ils aient des ailes’. This would translate to ‘For nothing to be (too) heavy, they need to have wings’ or flipped around, ‘They need to have wings for nothing to be (too) heavy.”

That’s probably as close as you’d get, because using ‘aient’ with ‘n’est’ would be a clash of tenses.

@clairedete – you should get it tattooed across your back in a large font. Or maybe that’s too radical…

@all – I think the lesson we’ve learnt here is that translators can be close, but should never be trusted when it comes to something permanent such as a tattoo..!

gailcalled's avatar

@yannick; It was moi who asked about the subjunctive. And your elegant examples would be – what – cumbersome as a tattoo.

And speaking of clashes of tenses, what about this: J’aimerais mieux que vous partiez tout de suite.

Or this? Je suis heureuse que vous aimiez Robert

yannick's avatar

Oh, my bad, kinda answered that in a rush. And, what about those exactly..?

gailcalled's avatar

You mentioned the “clash of tenses.” ‘Rien n’est trop lourd pour ceux qui ont des ailes.’

You then used “Pour que” which, if I remember, requires the subj. in both the clauses.

I was siting examples of compound sentences where only the second verb is in the subj. OTOH, I am not bi-lingual and studied French a long time ago.

spendy's avatar

It’s actually ‘qui’ @gailcalled, which means ‘who’ ...not the ‘que’ you mention, which means ‘that’. But you’re right…‘pour que’ requires the subj. ;)

Brome's avatar

French being my mother tongue, I’d be glad to help.
I thought about the best way to make this sound elegant, with a literary style, and came up with :

“Nulle charge n’est trop lourde pour qui a des ailes”

Or alternatively “Nulle charge n’est trop lourde à ceux qui ont des ailes”.

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