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Re: (teach) a friend in need...

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  • Robert L
    ... I have the same understanding of this proverb as you Ryan. However I have also experienced my Chinese students understanding it in from a positive
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 30, 2002
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      >
      >I've got a question about the proverb "A friend in need is a friend
      >indeed." Ryan

      I have the same understanding of this proverb as you Ryan. However I have
      also experienced my Chinese students understanding it in from a positive
      perspective. Students have explained to me that it is taken as a compliment
      if someone asks you for help. ie they are viewing you as a friend and one
      who can help them. Perhaps proverbs can have a cultural definition.
      Robert


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    • The Lees
      I have always considered it as a positive -- If someone you say is your friend is in big trouble and really needs your help (a friend in need) and you still
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 30, 2002
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        I have always considered it as a positive -- If someone you say is your
        friend is in big trouble and really needs your help (a friend in need) and
        you still regard him as a friend and actually help him then he really must
        be a true friend (a friend indeed) because if he was a so-so friend and
        needed a big helping hand you would be inclined to walk out on him because
        it would not be worth the trouble..

        TonyL
      • Ryan Schreck
        Thanks, Robert, I m glad somebody agrees with me. And despite some sound and compelling arguements, I still think our understanding is the most
        Message 3 of 8 , Dec 1, 2002
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          Thanks, Robert, I'm glad somebody agrees with me. And despite some sound
          and compelling arguements, I still think our understanding is the most
          straightforward. But maybe that says more about me than it does the idiom.
          Don't nobody ever ask me for help!
          But in the end I scrapped the whole thing and replaced it with a more
          topical proverb (for those of you up north at least):"don't eat the yellow
          snow." This will, incidentally, begin my much anticipated (by me) unit on
          Frank Zappa and his contribution to modern linguistic theory.

          Ryan

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        • M C
          I always thought it was that when you re in need and someone helps you it proves he is a real friend. Cheers OM = = = Original message = = = I have always
          Message 4 of 8 , Dec 1, 2002
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            I always thought it was that when you're in need and
            someone helps you it proves he is a real friend.

            Cheers

            OM

            = = = Original message = = =

            I have always considered it as a positive -- If
            someone you say is your
            friend is in big trouble and really needs your help (a
            friend in need) and
            you still regard him as a friend and actually help him
            then he really must
            be a true friend (a friend indeed) because if he was a
            so-so friend and
            needed a big helping hand you would be inclined to
            walk out on him because
            it would not be worth the trouble..

            TonyL



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          • Margaret Orleans
            The misunderstanding of this proverb by native speakers seems to arise from its brevity--caused by the rigors of meter and rhyme. More fully expressed, it
            Message 5 of 8 , Dec 1, 2002
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              The misunderstanding of this proverb by native
              speakers seems to arise from its brevity--caused by
              the rigors of meter and rhyme.

              More fully expressed, it might read something like "a
              person who is a friend to you in your time of need is
              a friend indeed." In other words, a true friend will
              stick by you when you need him/her. It is not the
              friend who is needy in the proverb, but the speaker.

              --Peg

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            • Tony Gilbert
              This seems like an overly complex interpretation of the saying. Has anyone considered that it might have started out as:A friend in need is a friend in
              Message 6 of 8 , Dec 1, 2002
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                This seems like an overly complex interpretation of the saying. Has anyone
                considered that it might have started out as:

                "A friend in need is a friend in DEED"...?

                This seems to me to make a lot more sense. Then the interpretation is simply
                that true friends are defined by their actions in times of need. Just my two
                cents worth...

                TonyG
                Nanning

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Margaret Orleans" <tomnpeg@...>
                To: <teflchina@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Monday, December 02, 2002 3:45 AM
                Subject: Re: (teach) a friend in need...


                The misunderstanding of this proverb by native
                speakers seems to arise from its brevity--caused by
                the rigors of meter and rhyme.



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              • Margaret Orleans
                ... Betty Lee quoted the Latin original a few days back. It translates as A friend in uncertain times is certainly a friend. So I would say that indeed is
                Message 7 of 8 , Dec 1, 2002
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                  --- Tony Gilbert <tonyjgilbert@...> wrote:
                  > Has anyone
                  > considered that it might have started out as:
                  >
                  > "A friend in need is a friend in DEED"...?

                  Betty Lee quoted the Latin original a few days back.
                  It translates as "A friend in uncertain times is
                  certainly a friend." So I would say that "indeed" is
                  meant, rather than "in deed."

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                • Margaret Orleans
                  ... Tony, try googling a friend in need and you will get lots of sites with that title. They are all OFFERING help, not BEGGING for it. --Peg
                  Message 8 of 8 , Dec 1, 2002
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                    --- Tony Gilbert <tonyjgilbert@...> wrote:
                    > Has anyone
                    > considered that it might have started out as:
                    >
                    Tony, try googling "a friend in need" and you will get
                    lots of sites with that title. They are all OFFERING
                    help, not BEGGING for it.

                    --Peg

                    <Moderator note: The meaning of this phrase has been bandied about enough that I think it's gone far beyond having much value for teaching. Not picking on Peg's post...it just happens to be the one lined up when I finally decided it's now off-topic. Thanks...Sam, El Moderator temporario>
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