Famous French Sayings That’ll Inspire You to Learn the Language

Wise sayings have often inspired us or made us smile on a blue and gloomy day. They even manage to strike a funny chord. The French have the ability to capture the hearts of everyone by just saying a few words of inspiration. They are amongst the most influential and repeated words in the world. This collection of famous French sayings below would bring about similar feelings.

“Boy, those French! They have a different word for everything.”

― Steve Martin

French Quotes and Sayings

La vérité vaut bien qu’on passe quelques années sans la trouver

English Translation: Truth is more valuable if it takes you a few years to find it.

― Renard

Le vrai philosphe n’attend rien des homes, et il leur fait tout le bien don’t il est capable

English Translation: The true philosopher expects nothing from others and offers them the best he can give them.

― Voltaire


Les grandes pensées viennent du coeur

English Translation: The greatest thoughts come from the heart.

― Vauvenargues

La critique est aisée, mais l’art est difficile

English Translation: Criticism is easy, art is difficult.

― Destouches

Faites-vous des amis prompts à vous censurer

English Translation: Make friends with those who would be quick to criticize you.

― Boileau

Woman speaking

Généralement, les gens qui savant peu parlent becoup, et les gens qui savant beaucoup parlent peu.

English Translation: Generally speaking, the people who know little speak a lot and the people who know a lot speak little.

― Rousseau

Ce qui manque aux orateurs en profundeur, ils vous le donnent en longueur.

English Translation: Whatever a speaker is missing in depth he will compensate for in length.

― Montesquieu

Sharing secrets

Rien ne pèse tant qu’un secret.

English Translation: Nothing weighs more than a secret.

― La Fontaine

La parole nous a été donnée pour déguiser notre pensée.

English Translation: We were given speech to hide our thoughts.

― Talleyrand

La cuisine, c’est quand les choses ont le goût de ce qu’elles sont.

English Translation: Fine cooking is when the things you have cooked taste as they are.

― Curnonsky

Business woman

La parfaite valeur est de faire sans témoin ce qu’on serait capable de faire devant tout le monde.

English Translation: True valor is to do in secrecy what you could just have easily done before others.

― La Rochefoucauld

Le travail éloigne de nous trois grands maux: l’ennui, le vice et le besoin.

English Translation: Work delivers us from three great evils: boredom, vice and want.

― Voltaire


Un sot trouve toujours un plus sot qui l’admire.

English Translation: A fool can always find an even bigger fool to admire him.

― Boileau

Il est difficle de vaincre ses passions, et impossible de les satisfaire.

English Translation: It is difficult to master your passions and impossible to satisfy them.

― De La Sabliére

L’orgueil est le consolateur des faibles.

English Translation: Pride is the consolation of the weak.

― Vauvenargues

Woman thinking

Qui craint de souffrir, il souffre déjà de ce qu’il craint

English Translation: He who fears suffering is already suffering that which he fears.

― La Fontaine

Toute chose appartient à qui sait en jouir.

English Translation: Everything belongs to those who can appreciate it.

― André Gide

Il n’y a qu’un bonheur dans la vie, c’est d’aimer et d’être aimé.

English Translation: There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.

― George Sand

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