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Hi, all. Nesse episódio do podcast Inglês Online eu vou falar sobre a expressão em inglês que quer dizer “coloque-se no lugar dessa pessoa” e uma outra expressão similar. Enjoy!
Hi, how’s it going? Today we have a new episode of the inglesonline podcast, and we’re going to talk about a very interesting expression, which is ‘being in someone else’s shoes”. Do you get the meaning? Sort of? I’ll have a few examples for you.
Let me get started with what is kind of a saying: “Never judge a man until you walk a mile in his shoes”. What does that mean? Walking in someone’s shoes means seeing, or experiencing something from someone else’s point of view. Let’s say you can’t understand why your friend George takes the bus every day to work. You feel he’s insane: the bus is so crowded in the morning and it takes twice as long to get to the office as it would take by train. Granted, taking the bus is slightly cheaper than taking the train, but you can’t believe anyone in their right mind would choose the bus just because it’s a few cents cheaper.
So you tell your other friend Fred – who’s also George’s friend, by the way… You know, he’s a mutual friend. Anyway, you tell Fred your opinion about George taking the bus to work instead of the train, and, as it turns out… There are a few things about George you weren’t aware of. Fred tells you that George and his family are in a really tough spot right now with very little money saved and a big amount of debt. As Fred puts it, “They’re trying to save as much as they can. Every penny counts”. You tell Fred you had no idea George and his family were facing so many difficulties, and then you say “I guess you can’t really judge a man until you walk a mile in his shoes”.
Of course that doesn’t need to be literal, right? You many not need to actually get into financial difficulty to understand what someone else is going through. Usually we can imagine what it’s like, and that’s one way we can feel what it’s like to be in someone’s shoes. In Brazil we say simply “se colocar no lugar de alguém”. And this is actually something that you can say in English as well: put yourself in someone’s place. Put yourself in Laura’s place and see how it feels. You think someone made the wrong decision? You might feel different if you were in their shoes. Who knows? You might have made the same decision! Now, that’s a shocking thought, huh?
You think someone is a coward? You think your friend made a rash decision? Again, who knows? Maybe if you were in their shoes you’d understand the reasons why they made such a decision. Maybe if you were in their shoes their decision wouldn’t seem so rash, or that person wouldn’t look so much like a coward. It might be the opposite – you might actually understand how brave they are in making their decision. Here’s what someone wrote on Twitter: before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. Put yourself in his place. Try to understand where he’s coming from.
One girl made this comment about a player who switched teams: “If I were in his shoes I would not have given up team ABC for team XYZ”. She’s saying that if she were in this player’s place… she would have acted differently. Can you find an example from your own life? How about someone you know whose decision seemed wrong to you, and then… when you had the opportunity to walk a mile in their shoes, you finally understood why they made such a decision? Let us know in the comments and talk to you next time.
Granted,… = Tudo bem,… (no sentido de “Tudo bem que é assim, mas…)
slightly = ligeiramente
a few things you weren’t aware of = algumas coisas de que você não tinha conhecimento
they’re in a tough spot = estão numa situação difícil
debt = dívida
every penny counts = cada centavo faz diferença
a rash decision = uma decisão tomada rapidamente, sem pensar nas consequências
where (someone) is coming from = as razões de uma pessoa para fazer ou dizer algo
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