Saturday, 4 April 2020

Languages & Usage: The Translation of 唔見棺材唔流眼淚 is Never Good Enough

Image from RTHK
Image from RTHK

This beautiful Cantonese saying 唔見棺材唔流眼淚 is one of the toughest metaphors to find an equivalent in English. Translation can match either its images or meanings in one clause, but to have both, you will need two. And you will lose the brevity. #WARS #Translation #Saying #Metaphor

LegCo translation 1: This is the so-called "he will not cry until he sees the coffin (refuses to be convinced until one faces the grim reality)"

LegCo translation 2: come to its senses only at the eleventh hour.

LegCo translation 3: "will not weep until it sees the coffin"

References:

指有官員對疫情樂觀 袁國勇引俗語:唔見棺材唔流眼淚
https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/ch/component/k2/1518681-20200403.htm?spTabChangeable=0

Officials taking outbreak lightly: Yuen Kwok-yung
https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1518699-20200403.htm

https://www.linguee.com/chinese-english/translation/%E4%B8%8D%E8%A6%8B%E6%A3%BA%E6%9D%90%E4%B8%8D%E8%90%BD%E6%B7%9A.html

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