I have in my possession a book entitled “101 French Proverbs”. Now I am not sure if all of these proverbs are in regular use in France. I know I also found that my book of Japanese proverbs only elicited looks of blank incomprehension from the Japanese people I tested them upon so perhaps I shall be causing the same effect on those people of much more superior French than I by quoting here.
I know that many “young people” these days seems to have no idea about what used to be common English proverbs and so I quote these French sayings for their quaintness rather than their currency.
Il y a plus d’un âne à la foire qui s‘appelle Martin
Literal Translation: There is more than one donkey in the market place called “Martin”
English Equivalent: Don’t jump to conclusions
I like this one as it seems to imply that Donkeys in France are regularly named “Martin” and that you would be intent on actually finding one in the first place.
Qui se ressemble s’assemble
Literal Translation: Those who resemble, assemble
English Equivalent: Birds of a Feather Flock Together
I like this one for its neatness and also because it rhymes.
Un chien regarde bien un évêque
Literal Translation: A dog may well look at a Bishop
English equivalent: A cat may look at a king
Kings and bishops may well sit on their thrones but we can look at them….
Hmmm…I think I would rather sit on a throne.
Bon Weekend Mes Amis!