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A sentimental education Posted by on Jul 12, 2022 in Literature, Music, Vocabulary

In 1869, Gustave Flaubert published his Éducation sentimentale1You can find the integral novel here on Google Books.. This classic example of the Bildungsroman or roman d’apprentissage2coming-of-age story  tells the story of law student Frederic Moreau and his infatuation with the older Mme Arnoux in his hometown in Normandy. This week we’ll have our own éducation sentimentale3emotional lesson as we explore les sentiments en français4emotions in French.

Photo CC0 from Juan Mendez at www.pexels.com

Sentiments ou émotions

On pense, à tort, que les sentiments et les émotions se réfèrent à la même chose mais en réalité ils s’agit de deux notions différentes.5People think, mistakenly, that feelings and emotions are the same thing, but in reality they represent two different ideas. But like our sensations are tied to our senses, les émotions et les sentiments sont étroitement liés6emotions and feelings are tightly coupled. And their differences – for our purposes – are less interesting than what they have in common! “Les sentiments font vivre toutes sortes d’émotions et, à l’inverse, les émotions peuvent générer des sentiments.7Feelings animate our emotions, and in the other direction, emotions can generate feelings.

Whether good or bad, high or low, for me les sentiments et les émotions pimentent la vie!8feelings and emotions spice up life Some of the major feelings and emotions in French include:

La joie (joy)
Je suis heureux/heureuseI am happy (m./f.)
Le bonheurhappiness
Le sourirethe smile
sourire – to smile

La tristesse (sadness)
Je suis tristeI am sad
pleurer to cry
les larmes – tears

[And of course, between happiness and sadness … the best emotion … Elle est plus belle / Que Notre Dame de Paris / Elle est plus jolie / Qu’une mélodie de Satie / Elle est plus belle / Que le printemps qui fleurit / Elle s’appelle la mélancolie]9More beautiful than Notre-Dame, More beautiful than a melody by Satie, More beautiful than the springtime in flower, her name is melancholy

L’amour (love)
Je t’aimeI love you
adorerto adore
le cœurthe heart

La haine (hate)
La jalousiejealousy
détesterto detest
haïr – to hate

La peur (fear) – This classic post from former blogger Josh covers all things fear-related.

La colère (anger, which often is really just la peur trying to put on a brave face!)
Je suis fâchéI am upset/angry
Ca m’énerve That annoys me/makes me mad
Je lui en veux – I am upset with him/her

L’espoir (hope, all that remained when Pandora opened her boîte) – and after all, what do we have if we can’t have hope. Pour être heureux dans la vie, il faut avant tout garder l’espoir.10To be happy in life, above all else, keep hope.

Want more? You can go here, here, or here to go deeper into your exploration of French feelings and emotions.

Le Tour de France

It’s Tour season! As discussed last year, you can follow all things Tour de France on the official website here … that is as long as Covid doesn’t up-end the race. “Le virus est entré sur le Tour de France [et] quatre coureurs testés positif au Covid ont dû quitter la course. Une première sur le Tour.”11The virus has arrived in the Tour [and] four riders have tested positive for Covid and were forced to abandon the race. A first for the Tour.

Le 14 juillet

And of course, this week is Bastille Day! You can find details about this year’s feu d’artifice here, the défilé here, or find previous Transparent Language blogs on the history and happenings of July 14th here.

  • 1
    You can find the integral novel here on Google Books.
  • 2
    coming-of-age story 
  • 3
    emotional lesson
  • 4
    emotions in French
  • 5
    People think, mistakenly, that feelings and emotions are the same thing, but in reality they represent two different ideas.
  • 6
    emotions and feelings are tightly coupled
  • 7
    Feelings animate our emotions, and in the other direction, emotions can generate feelings.
  • 8
    feelings and emotions spice up life
  • 9
    More beautiful than Notre-Dame, More beautiful than a melody by Satie, More beautiful than the springtime in flower, her name is melancholy
  • 10
    To be happy in life, above all else, keep hope.
  • 11
    The virus has arrived in the Tour [and] four riders have tested positive for Covid and were forced to abandon the race. A first for the Tour.
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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Since my first trip to France at 16, I have been a passionate francophile. I love the language, food, music, art, people, and more that make France and la Francophonie in general such an amazing part of our global community. Having lived in France and studied the language and culture for over 35 years, it is my great pleasure to be able to share a little bit of my deep love with you through this blog.


Comments:

  1. beatriz:

    merci beaucoup j ai appris beaucoup avec votre blogs, j aprendre le francais. j adore la langue francaise, merci merci .


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