On ne peut pas vivre d’amour et d’eau fraîche.
awn puh pah vee-vruh daa-MOO ray doe FRESH. Click below to hear this.
You can’t live on love alone.
Since we are still in the week of Valentine’s Day, let’s do a little reality check with all those starry-eyed lovers out there. That means you! Hey…you need an income!
Actually, the English-language version is even more blunt than the French. At least the French lets you have a glass of water: literally, it says You can’t live on love and cool water. Love won’t buy you a loaf of bread.
Note that eau fraîche is not fresh water, but cool water, even though the word sounds like fresh. Of course that’s where we got our English word from, because food that is fresh generally feels cool to the touch.
This is the feminine form of the word; the masculine form is frais. Notice that the feminine loses the s and acquires a ^ over the i. That’s because, at some time in the history of the language, someone decided that we needed to be reminded of that fairly useless little fact.
The other thing to notice about this saying (other than its practical wisdom) is that in English we talk about living on something (on bread and water, for example, or on wine and chocolate). We also say by (“Man does not live by bread alone”). But in French, we say d’amour et d’eau fraîche.De generally translates as of, so it may sound odd to English-language ears. (Yes, yes, I know, ears don’t talk; but they are trained in how to listen to a specific language). But that’s how French speakers say it.
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