Joie de vivre

For a while I’ve been looking for french phrases that I want to express artistically on the walls in my house. I even asked my French pal, who didn’t exactly understand what I meant as she gave me phrases like: 

“One in the hand is worth two in the bush”

“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch”

And other idioms those. While clever and good advice, these phrases aren’t exactly what I’d want on my wall.

Looking for french sayings on my own isn’t easy because it’s not my first language. I’d say I’m fluent enough to carry on a conversation with an 8 year old. The thing with sayings is that they almost never translate verbatim so I can’t exactly apply the french vocabulary I know to make an english phrase I like.

In my daily french practice (ok, maybe not EVERY day), I found a section on idioms. Perfect! I’ll practice my french while also learning new idioms that may be appropriate for wall adornment.

Même pas mal. (Didn’t even hurt) Meh. Maybe for my workout room?

Je ne sais quoi. (I don’t know what) Haha. Maybe for my desk?

In my search for french sayings, I discovered that many sayings are exclusive to language. I can’t simply take an english phrase and make it french. It’d be like taking tofu and trying to pass it off as chicken. It may taste like chicken and look like chicken. But it’s not chicken. And deep down, we know it.

Many of the best phrases are a reflection of culture.

Joie de vivre. (Exuberance of life or Joy of living) Yes! That’s a great one! It sounds like the name of a travel magazine but I think it gives off a positive vibe. 

I think this saying could go anywhere. At times when life’s got me down and I’m feeling sorry for myself, my Joie de Vivre poster could be a simple reminder to enjoy life. Plus it’s super fun to say.

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