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Walk a mile in his shoes, you can't really know a man until you

 

An idiom is an expression whose meaning is not readily apparent based on the individual words in the expression. This forum is dedicated to discussing idioms and other sayings.


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Old May 12, 2010, 02:09 PM
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Walk a mile in his shoes, you can't really know a man until you

How would you translate "you can't really know a man until you walk a mile in his shoes?
I checked in the net and found other forums where someone asked about the origin for the phrase "walk a mile in my shoes" and someone else gave not the origin, but the complete phrase: (Quote) DON'T JUDGE A MAN UNTIL YOU HAVE WALKED A MILE IN HIS BOOTS - "Don't criticize another person's work until you've tried to do it yourself; don't judge another person's life until you've been forced to live it. The word 'criticize' may be used instead of 'judge' and 'shoes' instead of 'boots.' The main entry is one of the 101 most frequently used American proverbs, according to lexicographer Harris Collis." From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" (1996) by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996). (UNQUOTE)

In the translation I would go for something like, "No puedes conocer a un hombre, hasta que no has pasado por lo mismo que él" or "hasta que no has estado en su piel" "hasta que no has estado en su pellejo".

Does anyone else have any other or better ideas?

In another place we have a joke,
Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in his shoes. Then when you do criticize that person, you'll be a mile away and
have his shoes.

Here the expression has to be translated more "literally", otherwise, with "piel" or "pellejo" we lose the joke a bit. (Or becomes a bit "out there".) "Entonces cuando critiques a esa persona, estarás a más de un kilómetro y medio de distancia y dentro de su piel...

Any ideas and refreshing viewpoints on this will be appreciated... (and I don't think anyone one has to walk more than a few yards in my shoes to... judge me "guilty!" )

Last edited by JPablo; May 12, 2010 at 02:11 PM.
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Old May 12, 2010, 03:07 PM
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poli poli is offline
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Although I am not a native Spanish speaker I will guess that you may use
a phase something like this: No conoce a alguien hasta que conoce la
piel que esa persona habita

Just a guess.

OOPS. In reviewing what you wrote I now I see you mentioned something similar.
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Old May 12, 2010, 03:57 PM
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Tendría que estar en tus zapatos/tu pellejo, para poder juzgarte.
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Old May 12, 2010, 04:07 PM
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Hey Poli, thank you for your guess. Yes, what you say is similar to what I already noted. (Just that your sentence "sounds" a bit "strained" to be idiomatic in current Spanish... it could even be an "older Spanish language" way of expressing yourself. Like in the 16th or 17th century Spanish, when people were very aware of the concepts of "soul" and "body", as two separate entities.)
I checked a bit more deeply around, and found many other things, like the expression being an Indian proverb, (using "moccasins" instead of "shoes" or "boots"), then again, some Latin versions, using "sandals"... and also there are references to having a version of the saying in the city Babel several millenia ago... In the context I am translating since it is a subtitle and I need to make it as short as possible I am using, “No conoces a un hombre hasta que no has seguido sus pasos”. This goes fine with the rest of the text. However, it will be good to have more ideas an viewpoints on this, for future reference and use. (In researching this "subject" I found many other "shoes" proverbs, and another version of the joke I already wrote in my original question, which I like better in English, "Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, if he gets angry, he’ll be a mile away - and barefoot.")

Anyhow, have fun, whether you walk in my my shoes, my boots, my old runner Adidas, my Nike basketball shoes, my sandals or my blue suede shoes!

Hey, I just saw your answer, Chileno. Yes, you're right. In Spain I think we go more with "pellejo", but the version with "zapatos" sounds good to me to. Your input is very much appreciated.

Last edited by JPablo; May 12, 2010 at 04:10 PM. Reason: Just saw the answer by Chileno
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