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 inspirational and motivational sayings about love, life, and more. They include common phrases, mottos from old coats of arms, and quotes in the public domain.



Of course, these don’t have to be for tattoos. You can share them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else you like.

In my previous career as a greeting card writer, I drew a lot of inspiration from motivational quotes and positive sayings, and they give me more optimism for life in general. I hope you enjoy them, too!

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 phrases 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.


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.


l’amour l’emporte

“Love wins.” Always!


amour sans fin

“Endless love.”


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.


cœur fidèle

“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 perserverance, 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

“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.


belle âme

“Beautiful soul.”


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 (and one with Christian overtones, too.)


Créer, c’est vivre deux fois.

“To create is to live twice.” Also Albert Camus. I love this one.


toujours debout

“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.”


Beautiful French Phrases for Tattoos, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Just to Inspire You #inspirational #romantic #life mottos #French sayings


Do you have other French phrases or quotes that you like? Let us know in the comments! Thanks for reading, and bonne journée!