French Quotes and Translations Part 1 – How to improve our writing with 20 quotes from famous French people?

Have you ever wanted to enhance your writing with some French quotes and translations? If you are like me you enjoy using quotes either when you talk to friends or in your writing to improve it. They actually often give more weight to your ideas and can also be very useful to give a vivid picture to something that you can’t express with words.

After our series on French meals that you will find here, I have decided to share with you a French quotes and translation series. The quotes that I will be featuring here are from famous French people and refer to different aspects of the French life and culture.

Our First French quotes are 20 French translated quotes all written by André Gide who is a famous French writer. André Gide is well known for his numerous books amongst which some of the quotes below are taken from.

André Gide’s French quotes and translation

1. « Je n’aime pas les hommes ; j’aime ce qui les dévore » (André Gide, Le prométhée mal enchaîné)

“I do not like people; I like what they are passionate about” (André Gide, Le prométhée mal enchaîné)

2. «Toute chose appartient à qui sait en jouir.» (André Gide, Si le grain ne meurt)

“Everything belongs to those who can appreciate it.” (André Gide, Si le grain ne meurt)

3. «C’est un art de contempler ce que les ans nous apportent plutôt que ce dont ils nous privent.» ( André Gide, Les cahiers de la petite dame)

“It’s an art to contemplate what getting old offers us rather than what it takes away from us.” (André Gide, Les cahiers de la petite dame)

4. «Les hommes, lorsqu’ils s’adressent aux dieux, ne savent pas que c’est pour leur malheur, le plus souvent, que les dieux les exaucent.» (André Gide, Thésée)

“When people talk to their gods they don’t realise that the gods often answer their prayers because they want them to be unhappy.” (André Gide, Thésée)

5. «Plutôt que de répéter sans cesse à l’enfant que le feu brûle, consentons à le laisser un peu se brûler : l’expérience instruit plus sûrement que le conseil.» (André Gide, Les faux-monnayeurs)

“Instead of incessantly repeating to the child that fire burns, let’s agree to let him get burnt a little. Experience teaches better than advice.” (André Gide, Les faux-monnayeurs)

6. «Que l’on parle bien quand on parle dans le désert !» (André Gide, Les cahiers de la petite dame)

“We are so eloquent, when we talk in the desert!” (André Gide, Les cahiers de le petite dame)

7. «L’intelligence, c’est la faculté d’adaptation.»
(André Gide)

“Intelligence, it’s the skill of being adaptable!” (André Gide)

8. «Le parfait est ce qui n’est plus à refaire…» (André Gide)

“Perfection is what does not need to be redone.” (André Gide)

9. «On ne peut à la fois être sincère et le paraître.» (André Gide, L’immoraliste)

“We cannot be at the same time sincere and seem to be sincere.” (André Gide, L’immoraliste)

Even more of André Gide’s French quotes and translations

10. «Pour moi, être aimé n’est rien, c’est être préféré que je désire.» (André Gide, Extrait d’une lettre à Paul Valery)

“For me being liked is nothing, to be preferred is what I long for.” (André Gide, Extrait d’une lettre à Paul Valery)

11. «La mélancolie n’est que de la ferveur retombée.» (André Gide, Les nourritures terrestres)

“Melancholy is only a shattered enthusiasm.” (André Gide, Les nourritures terrestres)

12. «Les plus détestables mensonges sont ceux qui se rapprochent le plus de la vérité.» (André Gide, Extrait de l’autobiographie Si le grain ne meurt)

“The most hateful lies are the ones that are closest to the truth.” (André Gide, Extrait de l’autobiographie Si le grain ne meurt)

13. «Croyez ceux qui cherchent la vérité, doutez de ceux qui la trouvent.»(André Gide)

“Believe those who are seeking the truth, doubt about those who find it.” (André Gide)

14. «L’art naît de contraintes, vit de luttes et meurt de liberté.» (André Gide )

“Art is born because of restrictions, lives because of fights and dies because of freedom.” (André Gide )

15. «Les femmes n’ont rien à dire, mais elles ont tout à raconter.» (André Gide )

“Women have nothing to say, but everything to tell.” (André Gide)

16. «L’immortelle n’a pas d’odeur.» (André Gide )

“Immortality has no smell.” (André Gide)

17. «Que l’importance soit dans ton regard, non dans la chose regardée !» (André Gide, Les nourritures terrestres)

“May the importance be in your gaze, rather than what you gaze at!” (André Gide, Les nourritures terrestres)

18. «La prière, croyez-moi, n’est souvent pour beaucoup que le besoin, quand on se sent seul, de parler à la seconde personne.» (André Gide, Prétextes)

“Believe me, prayer is often done through the need to talk to another person whenever one feels lonely.” (André Gide, Prétextes)

19. «Je préfère accorder de bonne grâce ce que je ne pourrais pas empêcher.» (André Gide, Les faux-monnayeurs)

“I would rather oblige wholeheartedly what I will be unable of preventing.”(André Gide, Les faux-monnayeurs)

20. «Ah ! Jeunesse – l’homme ne la possède qu’un temps et le reste du temps la rappelle.» (André Gide, Les nourritures terrestres)

“Youth! People possess it for a certain time and spend the rest of their life recalling it” (André Gide, Les nourritures terrestres)

These were some of  André Gide’s quotes. Like them? Be sure to read in the next episode part 2 of our French quotes and translation series. In the meantime, if you’d like to know more about André Gide, you’ll find a whole collection of his books here. Cheers and thanks again for reading my posts.

French Quotes and Translations:

* French quotes and translation part1 – how to improve our writing with 20 quotes from famous French people?

* French Quotes and Translation Part 2 – Andrée Chedid

* French quotes and translations part3 – François Nourissier

Related articles:

* French movie: Le hérisson

* Top French things and attractions in France: The Eiffel Tower

* Popular French music: Objective Terre- Elle pleure ma planète

* French meals: what do French people eat for breakfast?- Part 1

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