Posted by Word Camel on February 07, 2002
In Reply to: French expressions posted by TM on February 06, 2002
: I was actually looking for french expressions that can be translated
into english litteraly....
: For example:
: he who risks nothing has nothing - qui ne risque rien n'a rien
: Money is the root of all evil-l'argent est la racine de tous les maux
: I am not quite sure what is was that people posted in reply to my question.... but it wasn't what I was looking for. I guess I wasn't clear with my question, sorry :) So there are some examples of what I am looking for. Can anyone come up with some more???
C'est La Vie = That's life or such is life.
This is the only one that springs to mind - and that's mainly my ignorance of French. Of course it's possible to find translations of French phrases, but as I discovered in my Rooster post, the translations are often aimed at conveying the meaning of the proverb by giving its equivalent English version, rather than being true to the language. But then, translation is always a balancing act between being true to the language and conveying the meaning. It seems to me that a sensible way do do what you are asking, would be to start with preexisting English phrases and then compare them to the equivalent French and find which are literally the same. Sadly, as I said, I have only enough French to be polite and to order food.
Having said all this, it's surprisingly common for English speakers to use the original French rather than going through the trouble of translating it. I think that's the point many of the posts were trying to point out.