5 Inspiring Quotes to boost your French
Hi folks, Bonjour,
It's been a long long time since I last shared some French quotes, right? In the 4 Week Course, there's a little exercise in during the third week where I ask everyone to find 5 French quotes. I highly encourage you to do the same.
First of, you can't pass any opportunity you have to dig up for more French to learn you see?
Second of all, quotes are powerful: If you can find a few quotes you like, they become like mantras, they are imprinted on you and can even unconsciously guide you.
Now you might think, what's the point to learn a quote in a different language, but here it is: have you ever heard someone say "as the French / Italians / Chinese (whatever honestly) say ...". What that means is, there are some wisdom, proverbs, customs that you don't know about, simply because they are not part of you language or culture. But that certainly doesn't mean they don't hold wisdom or charm.
Besides the obvious learning French exercise here, it's a poetic yet simple way to reach out for something new and different.
And because I love this exercise so much, today I'd like to share 5 quotes about motivation with you.
1) N'en rêve pas, fais-le !
Translation: Don't dream of it, do it!
- The pronoun "en" replaces the missing (not mentioned) dream. This sentence is actually more of the reply to "I dream about..." to which someone would answer "don't dream of it". This pronoun is complementary and usually replaces nouns introduce by an indefinite article.(learn more)
- "Fais le" half way between advice and order, the verb (faire) to do is conjugated at its imperative form and using the informal pronoun "tu". Check the full conjugation here.
2) "Je ne perds jamais. Soit je gagne, soit j'apprends." - Nelson MandelaOriginal: "I never lose. I either win or learn."
- Are you familiar with "soit". Here, it's a conjunction that introduces a hypothesis or a choice. It usually translates by "either" just like in the quote.
- "Ne ... jamais": There are several forms of negation in French. The most common "ne ... pas" is formed with the structure surrounding the verb. In an informal context, French often forget "ne". In the written language however, both are mandatory.
3) Ça ne se fera pas en un jour, mais un jour, ça se fera.
Translation: It won't happen in one day, but one day it will happen.
- The pronoun "ça" a.k.a "cela" is a demonstrative usually translated by "this / that". To remember, think that demonstratives are those pronouns that can be replaced by pointing at something with your finger.
- In this case, the "something" is more mental than physically and refers to something that is not clearly defined. But your dreams, your goals are. Make sure to know exactly what are your objectives when you learn French, it'll make every step of the way easier and more efficient.
4) Suivez vos rêves, ils connaissent le chemin.
Translation: Follow your dreams, they know the way.
- I love this one, it's so lovely! Once again, the imperative from is use "suivez" this time with the formal second person of plural "vous". Basically you could change this quote a bit:
"Suis tes rêves, ils connaissent le chemin."
- In the second example "suis" is the imperative form used with the second person of singular "tu".
- "Suis" looks like in "je suis" (I am) but is actually a derived form of the verb "suivre" (to follow). Don't mix them up!
5) Réveille-toi avec détermination, endors-toi avec satisfaction".
Translate: Wake up with determination, fall asleep with satisfaction"
- And two more imperative forms, yay! This time, both using the informal pronoun "tu". Or more accurately "toi".
- Why "toi" and not "tu" (If I'd had one dollar for each time I got that questions, I'd live in a castle). Well, in that case, it would sound super weird. (that's for the short explanation).
- If you really want to know, it's because both verbs are pronominal verbs, which means that they need to be conjugated with a reflective pronoun.
Example : Tu t'endors. = You fall asleep. (Tu + t')
So "endors-toi" would literally menas something like "asleep yourself", "make yourself fall asleep".
Alright, that's five quotes for today. I hope you did enjoy the little grammar tips within, proving that learning French and studying grammar doesn't have to be laborious but can also be fun and entertaining.
Share your favorite French quotes below!