artKouros (artkouros) wrote in correct_french,

hey there

Hi - I'm building a sundial and looking for a motto in French to go on it. I've tried a few with some of my LJ friends who know some French, but French being French, they suggested that I consult some experts.

The intent of the motto is to communicate the Zen idea that everything is transitory, along the lines of "you're not going to see me again". (Because the next time you look at the sundial it won't be the same.)

Candidate translations are:

Vous n'irez plus jamais me revoir
Vous ne me reverrez jamais
Vous ne me reverrez plus

Any ideas about which, if any, are the correct grammar?

Or any other similar phrases? An actual French saying (something that would be commonly known) would be a plus.

Thanks in advance!
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February 16 2013, 15:24:00 UTC 5 years ago Edited:  February 16 2013, 15:24:59 UTC

Hi! Your project sounds very interesting.
There are a couple of issues with your sentences:

1. Vous n'irez plus jamais me revoir

The sentence is grammatically correct, but it doesn't really work in this context.
For example, you would say, 'Ce film est excellent; j'irais le revoir la semaine prochaine.' Here, you're talking about something you have already seen and were planning to see again. There is also the implication of physical motion, i.e. going to a destination (like a cinema or a friend's house) to see something or someone.
If I were you I wouldn't use it as your motto.

2. Vous ne me reverrez jamais

This is the best one.

3. Vous ne me reverrez plus

While grammatically correct, it's not idiomatic. We French would say: 'Vous ne me reverrez jamais plus.'

"Vous n'allez plus jamais me revoir." The other two sentences are correct.

A similar phrase ? Why not "Tout passe." ? But I have to warn you that many French people couldn't read it without thinking of "Tout passe, tout lasse, sauf les glaces."
What does that translate to? Google gives me, "everything passes everything except ice tires".



February 17 2013, 09:16:14 UTC 5 years ago Edited:  February 17 2013, 09:18:10 UTC

“Everything passes, everything wears out, except ice-creams."
Originally, the proverb was "Tout passe, tout lasse, tout casse." (“Everything passes, everything wears out, everything breaks."). But now, French people tend to associate this piece of philosophy with this :


Even proverbs change.