French Language Blog

Vérités Éternelles* Posted by on Nov 1, 2016 in Culture, Vocabulary

C’est La Toussaint aujourd’hui. And since the holiday falls on a mardi (Tuesday) this year, it’s a safe bet that a lot of folks in France took yesterday off too to faire le pont from le week-end. And nice long weekends like this are great for catching up on your reading. Since I live and work  in les Etats-Unis (the United States), I didn’t get a long weekend, but I did have some time to read.

I’m currently reading les Liaisons dangereuses which I picked up on a recent visit to my local librairie française (French bookshop). Reading classics in French may seem daunting, but I think it is actually easier than tackling some of the great English novels from the past. Thanks to the Académie Française – French, particularly written French, has remained fairly consistent over the years in a way that English has not. And the classics are great because they not only allow us to get a glimpse into the past, but they so often also allow us to see something about ourselves and the world we live in today. I guess that’s part of why they remain classics. For example:

L’humanité n’est parfaite dans aucun genre, pas plus dans le mal que dans le bien. Le scélérat a ses vertus, comme l’honnête homme a ses faiblesses. Cette vérité me parait d’autant plus nécessaire à croire, que c’est d’elle que dérive la nécessité de l’indulgence pour les méchants comme pour les bons.Les Liaisons dangereuses, Laclos

[Humanity/man is not perfect in any manner, no more so in the bad than in the good. The villain/scoundrel has his virtues, as the honest man his weaknesses. This truth seems even more necessary to believe, as it is the source of the need to be indulgent towards the wicked as to the good.]


Vrai or faux, ce qu’on dit des hommes tient souvent autant de place dans leur vie et surtout leur destinée que ce qu’ils font. Les Misérables, Tome 1, Hugo

[True or false, what people say about someone has as important a place in their life and even more in their desitny than what they do.]

On a lighter note, ma tante Rose (my aunt Rose) has been at it again! Here is her latest blague (joke) from the internet. Ironically, she refuses to use Facebook!

En ce moment, j’essaie de me faire des amis en dehors de Facebook,
tout en appliquant les mêmes principes. (I’m trying someting new, to make friends off (outside of) Facebook, but using the principles of Facebook.)

Alors tous les jours, je descends dans la rue et j’explique aux passants
ce que j’ai mangé, comment je me sens, ce que j’ai fait la veille, ce que
je suis en train de faire, ce que je vais faire ensuite, (So every day, I go out into the streets and I explain to passers-by what I ate, how I feel, what I did the night before, what I’m doing, what I’m going to do next,)

je leur donne des photos de ma femme, de ma fille, du chien, de moi en train de faire le
jardin, à la piscine et plein d’autres choses encore. (I give them pictures of my wife, of my daughter, the dog, of me gardening, at the pool and loads of other things too.)

J’écoute aussi les conversations des gens et je leur dis « j’aime ! ». (I listen to their conversations and I tell them I “Like” it!)

Et ça marche! (And it’s working!)
J’ai déjà 3 personnes qui me suivent: (Already 3 people are following me:)
2 policiers et un psychiatre. (Two police officers and a psychiatrist.)

* Eternal turths – Note that while accents on capital letters are not required (except for proper nouns and in situations where the absence of the accent would lead to confusion) it is never wrong to include them, so including them is a best practice.

Image Credits:
^By Editor Eugenio Hansen, OFS [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
^^ Attributed to Joseph Ducreux [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
^^^ By Nadar – “Bibliothek des allgemeinen und praktischen Wissens. Bd. 5” (1905), Französische Literaturgeschichte, Seite 55. Scan by User:Gabor, Public Domain,

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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.