French proverbs – Episode 1: Nature’s wisdom

So, do you like proverbs?

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe tells us that: “I will not be as those who spend the day in complaining of headache, and the night in drinking the wine that gives it.”

Wise words, no?

Proverbs and sayings like Johann’s have been around since time itself!

Check out the article below for some lovely insight into the world of knowledge!

French Proverbs-Episode 1

Proverbs are usually recognized primarily by their form: they are short, quick, and most importantly, they have rhythm, like a free-form poem. Their feel is musical, which makes them easy to remember, and even easier to memorize. They are full of lexicons and cliché, built into the language as phrases or jingles.

The most fascinating element of proverbs is their multi-dimensionality for sure, but their strongest dimension is cultural. They act as references, intervening in situations where communication is shared by speakers of the same language, but where metaphor is needed. With it they express the often conservative and contradictory wisdoms of the time, as well as everyday experience.

They also show a colorful way of thinking about an event, an action or a character. All proverbs have a long history, they are the remnants of ancient times. They are, however, far from being the ruins, because proverbs continue to have an important place in modern language.

Here are some of the most popular proverbs that live to this day in our language.

How wisdomous are you?

« Après la pluie, le beau temps. »
A happy time usually follows a period of misfortune.

« Autres temps, autres mours. »
Attitudes and values change with each generation.

« En avril, n’enlève pas un fil, en mai, fais ce qu’il te plaît. »
It is best to keep her winter clothes in April but in May, you can dress as you wish.

« Il n’y a pas pas de fumée sans feu. »
Nothing comes from nothing.

« La fête passée, adieu le saint. »
We quickly forget to whom we owe a happy moment.

« Le soleil luit pour tout le monde. »
Everyone can benefit from what nature or society has given to everyone.

« Chacun voit midi à sa porte. »
Each person may have a different perspective on something.

« Chassez le naturel, il revient au galop. »
We can not hide his humble origins, they always come out.

Did you know any of these?

« Petite pluie abat grand vent. »
The most serious disputes are often relieved by small things.

« Pluie du matin n’arrête pas le pèlerin. »
We must not be discouraged at the first difficulty.

« Une hirondelle ne fait pas le printemps. »
You can not base a conclusion on a single clue.

« Les jours se suivent mais ne se ressemblent pas. »
Every day is new, the conditions can change quickly.

« Une fois n’est pas coutume. »
Situations are often repeated.

« Jamais deux sans trois. »
If something has happened twice already, it is likely that it will happen again.

« Un malheur ne vient jamais seul. »
Bad news is always followed by more bad news.

« Il n’est jamais trop tard pour bien faire. »
It is always possible to correct your own mistakes.

« Rien ne sert de courir, il faut partir à point. »
To be sure of success one must start at the right time.

« Il vaut mieux tard que jamais. »
It is better to do something late than not doing it at all.

« Ne remets pas au lendemain ce que tu peux faire le jour même. »
Do not postpone for tomorrow what you can do today.

So, now that you have a collection…

Of course, you can memorize these proverbs and try to do your best at using them, but the true art is to master the French language so well, that you become skilled at understanding it even if you don’t know each word on its own.
In the J’Ouellette® Intensif program, I show you how to organically master French, using fun stories and relaxed exercises using patterns and intuition.

Even if you think you don’t have great intuition, I’ll show you how to enhance it and how to start to like it.

After all, a language is to be spoken, not to sit in dusty books and in vague memories from your middle school.

Now it is your turn:

Immerse yourself as you FINALLY reach your dream of becoming bilingual, learn to speak Parisian French, and BREAK your language barrier!

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Ana Itoafa is the Social Media Specialist at TutorOcean. Ana is a third-year honors student studying commerce at Carleton University and completing her coop at Tutor Ocean. Reach out to her on any TutorOcean socials or through her LinkedIn!

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