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Famous French Quotes That Signify the True Essence of Life

Famous French Quotes
The French are known for their ability to capture the heart by merely words. France is the symbol of romance, style, food, wine, and fashion. This place is also the home of some great authors who have written various quotes signifying the true essence of life.
Quotabulary Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
"Don't just stand there with your Eiffel Tower smile. Tell me you love me, and tell me in French.

― Jarod Kintz, Love quotes for the ages
For those of you who don't know, the French way of saying those three divine words (I Love You) is Je t'aime. Isn't the language just so beautiful, like the people of this country? France has become synonymous with the essence of style, romance, love, good food, wine, poetry, prose, and perhaps all the pleasurable things that exist in the world today. Truly said by the famous French writer François de La Rochefoucauld, "Tout arrive en France" which literally means, "Everything happens in France"!

The French are known to be one of the most expressive people in the entire world. They are known as the ones who never keep anything within their hearts, they are loud and open when they love or appreciate something, or even when they dislike something! Their perception of life is highly exuberant. Which is why we have some of the most illustrious writers, poets, painters, and other renowned artists from this part of the world, because this is the place where feelings evolve and reach out in the open. This article will help you recreate the same magic of love and life, and bring out the very same essence of life―just as the French see it!
Famous French Sayings About Love
France is love, romance, passion, and emotions. It is a place of people who are ruled by feelings and cacoethes of indulgence. Considered to be one of the most romantic places in the world, let us begin our collection of French sayings with the quotes that reflect love. Love is an irrational feeling that consists of happiness, pain, fear, confusion ... perhaps every feeling that a human heart can possibly feel. France being the home of some of the most renowned writers, it is certain that the following quotes will enlighten the timid flame of love and passion in your heart once again.
Aimer, ce n'est pas se regarder l'un l'autre, c'est regarder ensemble dans la meme direction.
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
Le plus grand faible des hommes, c'est l'amour qu'ils ont de la vie. .

English Translation: Man's greatest weakness is his love for life.
― Molière
C'est cela l'amour, tout donner, tout sacrifier sans espoir de retour.

English Translation: That is love, to give away everything, to sacrifice everything, without the slightest desire to get anything in return.
― Albert Camus
Amour veut tout sans nombre, amour n'a point de loi.

English Translation: Love says it all without number, love knows no law.
― Pierre de Ronsard
L'amour est une passion qui ne se soumet à rien, et à qui au contraire, toutes choses se soumettent.

English Translation: Love is a passion which surrenders to nothing, but to the contrary, everything surrenders to love.
― Madeleine de Scudéry
Quand l'amour veut parler, la raison doit se taire.

English Translation: When love wants to talk, the reason must be silent.
― Jean-François Regnard
Le seul vrai langage au monde est un baiser.
Le prix d'Amour, c'est seulement Amour... Il faut aimer si l'on veut etre aimé...

English Translation: The price of love is love itself. One must love if one wants to be loved ...
― Honoré d'Urfé
La vie est un sommeil, l'amour en est le reve, et vous aurez vécu, si vous avez aimé.

English Translation: Life is sleep, whose dream is love. You will have lived, if you have loved.
― Alfred de Musset
J'ai aimé jusqu'à atteindre la folie. Ce que certains appellent la folie, mais ce qui pour moi, est la seule façon d'aimer.

English Translation: I have loved to the point of madness. That which is called madness, that which to me, is the only sensible way to love.
― Françoise Sagan
L'amour c'est être stupide ensemble.

English Translation: Love is being stupid together.
― Paul Valéry
Il n'est rien de réel que le rêve et l'amour.

English Translation: Nothing is real but dreams and love.
― Anna de Noailles
L'amour fait les plus grandes douceurs et les plus sensibles infortunes de la vie.

English Translation: Love makes life's sweetest pleasures and worst misfortunes.
― Madeleine de Scudéry
Un seul etre vous manque et tout est depeuple.
Aimer et être aimé sera la grande affaire de toute notre vie.

English Translation: To love and be loved will be the greatest event in our lives.
― Rousseau
L'amour est le miracle de la civilisation.

English Translation: Love is the miracle of civilization.
― Marie-Henri Beyle
Il est difficile de définir l'amour. Dans l'âme c'est une passion de régner, dans les esprits c'est une sympathie, et dans le corps ce n'est qu'une envie cachée et délicate de posséder ce que l'on aime après beaucoup de mystères.

English Translation: It's difficult to define love. In the soul it's a passion to rule; in mind it's sympathy; and in the body it's only a hidden and tactful desire to possess what we love after many mysteries.
―François de La Rochefoucauld
L'amour est l'étoffe de la nature que l'imagination a brodée.

English Translation: Love is the cloth which imagination embroiders.
Vivre sans aimer n'est pas proprement vivre.

English Translation: To live without loving is to not really live.
― Molière
Famous French Sayings About Life
Life is a journey―a beautiful one indeed! As they say in French, "La vie est belle", which literally means "Life is beautiful". However, not all of us are successful in deciphering the beauty that this life contains. Or to say, that not all of us have the eye to witness and appreciate the simplistic beauty of life. Lost in the daily chores, struggling between work and home, we fail to sit back and relax. If it wasn't for the French way of living, where they enjoy each and every sip of wine as if they are tasting something ethereal, the way they are so passionate about their food and life, we would have never known how it is to really live with liveliness. Different people or places inspire us differently to live and love life, and we sure can say that these different things that inspire us definitely constitute the French culture. This very same essence is reflected by the following quotes and sayings.
Rien ne sert de courir, il faut partir a point.
Toute chose appartient à qui sait en jouir.

English Translation: Everything belongs to those who can appreciate it.
― André Gide
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
Il y a des gens qui n'ont de leur fortune que la crainte de la perdre.

English Translation:There are those who get nothing out of their fortune other than the fear of losing it.
― Rivarol
Il est difficle de vaincre ses passions, et impossible de les satisfaire.

English Translation:It is difficult to master one's passions, and impossible to satisfy them.
― Marguerite de la Sablière
Je me suis souvent repenti d'avoir parlé, mais jamais de m'être tu.

English Translation: I have often repented for speaking, but never for staying silent.
― Philippe de Commynes
Un sot trouve toujours un plus sot qui l'admire.

English Translation: A fool always finds one still more foolish to admire him.
― Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux
A vaincre sans peril, on triomphe sans gloire.
Tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner.

English Translation: To understand all is to forgive all.
― Leo Tolstoy
La mort n'a peut-être pas plus de secrets a nous reveler que la vie?

English Translation: Perhaps death doesn't have any more secrets to reveal to us than life?
― Gustave Flaubert
Nous promettons selon nos espérances, et nous tenons selon nos craintes.

English Translation: We promise according to our hopes; we fulfill according to our fears.
― François de La Rochefoucauld
La mort ne surprend point le sage: Il est toujours prêt à partir.

English Translation: Death never takes the wise man by surprise, he is always ready to go.
― Jean de La Fontaine
Si jeunesse savait, si vieillesse pouvait.

English Translation: If youth only knew, if age only could!
Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es.
Il faut vivre comme on pense, sans quoi l'on finira par penser comme on a vécu..

English Translation: You have to live the way you think, otherwise you'll end up thinking the way you lived.
― Paul Bourget
Du sublime au ridicule il n'y a qu'un pas.

English Translation: It's just one step from the sublime to the
― Napoléon Bonaparte
Qui se couche avec les chiens se lève avec des puces

English Translation: He who sleeps with dogs gets up with fleas.
Pour exécuter de grandes choses, il faut vivre comme si on ne devait jamais mourir.

English Translation: In order to achieve great things, we must live as though we were never going to die.
― Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues
Quand le vin est tiré, il faut le boire.

English Translation: When the wine is drawn, it must be drunk.
Rien ne pèse tant qu'un secret.

English Translation: Nothing weighs more than a secret.
― Jean de La Fontaine
Everything about this language is so beautiful and intense, who wouldn't fall in love with it? The aforementioned quotes surely do a marvelous job in capturing the essence of France, be it about their perception towards love or life. In fact, to the French, there is no life without love! These are just a fraction of the many awe-inspiring and heartfelt quotes that come from the land of the French. If only we could enlist all such wondrous words that exist! Do you have a favorite French saying or quote? Feel free to share your picks with us through the comments section below.