Il a tourné la page.
ee lah toor-nay lah PAHZH. Click below to hear this.*
He has turned over a new leaf.
I know you want to know what he is reading. It must be a real page-turner, right? Only that’s not at all what it’s about.
Turning over a new leaf in English has nothing to do with trees, either. A leaf, in English, is an old-fashioned word for a sheet of paper, and it comes from the Latin folio. In French, a leaf on a tree is called une feuille. Do you see the family resemblance?
In both cases, we are talking about the book of life, if I may use that cliché. When il tourne la page or he turns over a new leaf, he begins a new phase in his life, he makes a life-changing, or at least a game-changing action.
*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file: