Hey, friends! Many people have enjoyed my post about Badass Latin Phrases for Tattoos and now that I’ve started to study French, I thought I’d share some French quotes and proverbs about love, life, and more. They include common phrases, old French military phrases, and quotes in the public domain.
Of course, these don’t have to be for tattoos. You can share them as classy French Instagram captions, on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else you like. I don’t know if they’re common French sayings or if they’re more obscure, but either way, they’re inspirational.
Because I’m just doing research on the Internet, and I’m a complete beginner with French, please double- and triple-check the spelling and the meaning before you use any of these French expressions in a permanent fashion. (Don’t ask me to pronounce them correctly, either…I’m still working on my French ‘r’ and several vowel sounds.)
joie de vivre
This is my “word of the year,” even though it’s a phrase rather than a word. It’s a great motto to live by.
La famille avant tout.
This is one of the simplest French quotes about family: “Family comes first.”
Il ne faut pas attendre d’être parfait pour commencer quelque chose de bien.
A quote from the religious leader L’Abbé Pierre. “Don’t wait to be perfect to start something good.” Wise advice.
One of the best French quotes about love: “Love wins.” Always!
amour sans fin
Savoir, penser, rêver. Tout est là.
“To know, to think, to dream. That is all.” By the wonderful writer Victor Hugo.
Il n’est rien de réel que le rêve et l’amour.
“Nothing is real but dreams and love.” This terribly romantic quote is from the French writer Anna de Noailles.
“A faithful heart.”
J’accepte la grande aventure d’être moi.
“I accept the great adventure of being me.” The great Simone du Beauvoir.
Petit a petit, l’oiseau fait son nid.
I was looking for a phrase about persistence and perseverance, and I found this one: “Little by little, the bird makes its nest.” I don’t know why, but I think it’s so cute…and it really does speak to the nature of success.
n’oublie pas de vivre
This pithy French quote means, “Don’t forget to live.”
la vie en rose
“Life in pink.” This means seeing life through rose-colored glasses. Some people might see that as a negative, but I don’t.
l’amour et l’amitié
“Love and friendship.”
L’amour est la poésie des sens.
“Love is the poetry of the senses,” a quote from the writer Honoré de Balzac.
qui cherche trouve
This is a Christian one: “Seek and ye shall find.” Matthew 7:7.
Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît pas.
“The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing.” This is a quote from the mathematician and philospher Blaise Pascal. It’s no excuse for unethical behavior, of course, but an acknowledgment that sometimes, you have to follow your heart.
Voyager, c’est vivre.
“To travel is to live.”
Sois belle á ta façon.
“Be beautiful in your own way.”
je passe quand même
“I pass, anyway.” This is a good saying for someone who feels unstoppable.
Qui n’avance pas, recule.
“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.” It’s so true…we always have to keep on learning and growing.
ce que femme veut, Dieu le veut
“What woman wants, God wants.”
C’est cela l’amour, tout donner, tout sacrifier sans espoir de retour.
This is a quote from Albert Camus: “That’s love, to give away all, to sacrifice all, without the desire to get anything in return.” It’s a very romantic and noble sentiment.
Créer, c’est vivre deux fois.
“To create is to live twice.” Also Albert Camus. I love this one.
“Always standing,” or still standing. This is a good message for someone who’s a survivor.
vouloir, c’est pouvoir
“To want is to be able.” This reminds me of the quote attributed to Hannibal: “I will either find a way or make one.”
Do you have other French expressions or quotes that you like? Let us know in the comments!
And if you’re in the mood for more beautiful thoughts and inspiration, you may like with my new gratitude and manifestation journal, The Book of Dreams Come True. It’s full of writing exercises designed to make you feel better about life and about yourself, to start dreaming again…and to make those dreams into realities. Check it out here!
Thanks for reading, and bonne journée!