5 French Proverbs that exemplify the beauty of the language

French Proverbs, French Music, Paris Streets

In the brief that I’ve spent in France, I’ve come to understand one this in its utmost certainty – you need to learn the language. Like all other things French, the language too is not as necessary for survival here as it is for the quality of life. Besides, irrespective of the love and hate relationship I personally have with this language, I can’t help but agree that it is indeed beautiful. So, now that I’m learning all about it (or at least trying to), it is only fair that I share it with you. Especially the beauty of the French Proverbs.

As a voracious reader, literature, history and culture of any place fascinates me the most. And the proverbs of the land hold more volume in them than any detailed texts, which is why this is the starting point I chose. Here’re a collection of 5 French Proverbs that exemplify the beauty of the very language.

1. “Qui vivra verra”

Yes! It is from the article I wrote about my expat story. Well, it is a widely used and understood proverb that literally means, “He/she who lives, shall see.”. The elegant phrase is a literal translation of “Time will Tell”, to be used in times of uncertainty but sometimes even tainted hope.

2. “Chacun voit midi à sa porte”

Translating literally to“Everyone sees noon at his doorstep.”, it beautifully explains, the unfortunate subjective nature of truth. Basically, that it is not absolute. It is a rendition of the fact that every individual’s first and foremost concern is in their personal interest, which leads to them to feel in a certain way about situations owing to their subjective opinions as objective truths.

3. “Qui n’avance pas, recule”

Translated as, “Who does not move forward, recedes”, this is one of my favourites in the list because I certainly believe in it. After all, you can either continue to grow and the make the best out of what you have or live in the illusion of being stable long enough to be stagnant.

Quoting my favourite author- William Blake, “Expect poison from the standing water”.

4. “Quand on a pas ce que l’on aime, il faut aimer ce que l’on a”

Translated to mean, “When one doesn’t have the things that one loves, one must love what one has.” this proverb is basically everything I preach at Ertsy. Well, life is in fact always generous and beautiful, it just takes the right kind of attitude to see and appreciate that. If you have created that, you don’t need to conquer bigger things because you’ll find your greatness in what you have.

BTW, if you say this at the right time to a French, they may even be impressed by your ‘wisdom’. *wink*

5. “Il n’y a pas plus sourd que celui qui ne veut pas entendre”

Translates as “No one is as deaf as the one who does not want to listen.”, this is a deep-set expression to avert self-assertive behaviour.

Ironically though, The French, especially Parisians, are widely seen as intellectual ringleaders. Here in Paris, debating is almost a sport. So, when each party believes in their argument, they end up using this phrase for the other.

5 French Proverbs that exemplify the beauty of the language

Voila! These are my favourite French Proverbs so far. They represent the beauty of the French language and reflect my ideologies well, too. Do share if there’re other ones you think I should read and know.

Read more about Travel in Style, culture and ertsy next week. Till then, be your own desire!

Shoutout to Shyam Sharma for 3/4 of the amazing pictures used in the article.

P.S.: I’m still learning French, so would like to apologise in advance for any mistakes in the above. I must also thank www.fluentu.com for I used the site as a reference for spellings and translations. The content, however, is original.

Copyrights to All images are reserved by the owner and Ertsy 2017

Aditi Parashar
"We rise when we lift others"~ 26; Traveling in Style | PositiveVibes | Feminist |