Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I came across this black board in the restaurant where we at lunch yesterday:1. Bonheur, je t'ai reconnu au bruit que tu fis en partant - Philosphe Alain. "Happiness, I recognized you by/from the sound you made as you left." I immediately thought of David when I saw this, and of his post wondering how complaining came to be the French national sport. I don't have an answer to that, but this one little phrase sure sums it up pretty well!

2. L'habitude est le commencement du rendement et la fin du progrès - Me. This one is a lot harder to translate properly in English. I'm sure we have a saying for it somewhere, but I can't think of it off-hand. Maybe something about not getting stuck in a rut because then you stop innovating?

Either way, I thought they were two really random sayings to put together, especially since the first one describes the French mentality in a nutshell and the second one is so much more American.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Global Librarian said...

Don't speak a word of French, so I haven't a clue. But from what you said about the second quote, perhaps the American equivalent is "Excellence is a moving target."

January 15, 2009 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Rochelle said...

Well I think you can look at the first one in a positive way. People don't realise that they are happy or that they had a good thing going until it's too late so we should appreciate what we have here and now.

January 15, 2009 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger The Bold Soul said...

"Habit is the beginning of productivity and the end of progress"

Whoever "moi" is, s/he hit the nail on the head.

January 15, 2009 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger PAULINE said...

I’m with Rochelle I saw the first one as positive – I guess it depends if your a glass half full/or glass half empty person.

January 15, 2009 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger jonnifer said...

Taking happiness for granted seems to be a universal phenomenon. That second one is particularly meaningful to me -- the constant struggle to balance routine and progress, or adult responsibilities and personal aspirations.

January 15, 2009 at 6:36 PM  
Blogger fashion survivor said...

Yeah, yeah, deep thoughts--but what I really want to know is how to make my handwriting look like that.

January 16, 2009 at 12:36 AM  
Blogger The Bold Soul said...

How you make your handwriting look like that is you get born in France and then spend the next 20-odd years of your life being taught by anal-retentive teachers who criticize everything you do. (Seriously, heavy criticism is part of the French educational model. They don't coddle the kids or worry one iota about their self-esteem later in life.) French children are taught to write in SCRIPT from the very beginning (our 7-year old was doing it when he was 6), and there is a "right way" and a "wrong way" to do it. So you'd better believe most people probably end up learning to write that way by rote, just to avoid the criticism of the maitresse, even if they'd rather write in another way.

Then somewhere along the line as adults, some of them (like my husband) seem get lax with their handwriting and it becomes illegible. While most French people I've met seem to have that nice, neat, uniform script, he has this big sprawling handwriting that I can barely read sometimes. It really surprised me when I met him as I expected the usual beautiful script.

I wish I could write that way, too.

January 16, 2009 at 11:31 PM  
Blogger Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

most times I get the feeling you really aren't too keen on the French ...

January 22, 2009 at 8:47 PM  

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