French Proverbs-Episode 6: Ask and you shall receive

So has anyone ever asked a favor of you? It’s usually no biggie, no? What if it’s your friend and the favor is a big one? How do you decide what to do or what not to do? Everyone’s different, so there’s no easy answer.

Check out the article for some more do’s and don’ts of the French!

French Proverbs-Episode 6

Make sure you read the proverbs below – when you hear them in conversation, you really want to know what they mean – or else you may be excluded from the group fun.

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.
Money is an overly used subject in today’s media – but don’t think that the traditional culture doesn’t give it its deserved place.

Human behavior around money changes and proverbs won’t miss that – taxing it in a bitter sweet way, just enough to make it memorable.

French language has such a depth of wisdom, and it tells us how to relate, what to expect, how others think, helping us to find our niche in the society based on our preferences and desires.

Here are some of the most popular proverbs that refer to money and wealth.

To do or not to do?

« La parole est d’argent, le silence est d’or. »
Silence is safer than words.

« Qui ne dit mot consent. »
If you are silent or don’t say your opinion means you agree.

« Dans le doute abstiens-toi. »
If you are not sure, it is better to refrain from doing anything.

« Les murs ont des oreilles. »
You have to talk quietly because someone may always hear what you say.

« Il n’y a que la vérité qui blesse. »
Complaints or criticisms hurt us only when they are true.

« Toute vérité n’est pas bonne à dire. »
It’s not always good to say what you think, even if it’s true.

« Pas de nouvelles bonnes nouvelles. »
No news is always better than bad news.

« Il vaut mieux parler à Dieu qu’à ses saints. »
It is best to talk directly to the most important person.

« Avec des “si” on mettrait Paris en bouteille. »
With assumptions, everything is possible.

« L’habit ne fait pas le moine. »
Do not believe the appearances, they are often misleading.

« Un homme averti en vaut deux. »
One who is warned doubles their chances.

« Il ne faut pas être plus royaliste que le roi. »
Do not be overzealous, more catholic than the pope.

« Tous les chemins mènent à Rome. »
There are thousands of ways to achieve the same result.

« La nuit porte conseil. »
It is best to defer a decision to the next day, and take time to think.

« Prudence est mère de sûreté. »
We must act cautiously even when we feel confident.

« Qui ne risque rien n’a rien. »
You have to take risks if you want to succeed.

« On ne fait pas d’omelette sans casser des oeufs. »
If you want to clean the mess, you must get dirty.

« Il faut battre le fer pendant qu’il est chaud. »
If the situation is favorable, do not wait to act.

« Quand le vin est tiré, il faut le boire. »
When we started something, you have to follow through and accept the consequences, good or bad.

« La fin justifie les moyens. »
Only the final objective counts, how to get there does not matter.

« Il y a loin de la coupe aux lèvres. »
The road to success is long, and success is not always assured.

« Paris ne s’est pas fait en un jour. »
Be patient because it takes a long time to succeed.

« Qui a bu boira. »
A vice can never be completely eliminated.

« Toute peine mérite salaire. »
Any work or service must be duly rewarded.

« C’est en forgeant qu’on devient forgeron. »
It is only through practice that we learn.

« Vouloir c’est pouvoir. »
It is the will that allows us to succeed.

« L’oisiveté est mère de tous les vices. »
When we remain idle, we fall victim to all temptations.

« Chacun son métier et les vaches seront bien gardées. »
It is better to leave some tasks to specialists.

« Bon à tout, bon à rien. »
Someone who claims to know everything can not do anything in particular.

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Llyane S.
TutorOcean Tutor | + posts

Hi, I'm Llyane! I am a french tutor licensed by the Ministry of Education France who is also in the process of obtaining n the process of obtaining the International Certificate of Language Coaching. I offer personalized French language coaching for students of all ages and abilities.