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What is French Romance? Oh L'Amour...

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Firstly, why do we call Paris the city of love?

Paris is called the "City of Love" for a number of reasons, including its sights, its native language and its popularity as a honeymoon destination. Although other cities sometimes claim the same moniker, Paris earns its name as a place where romance blossoms. Paris is so well-known for its romantic walks along the Seine River, sidewalk cafe dining and, of course, the Eiffel Tower all aglow at night. The other beautiful architecture, lovely hotels and fine art also help earn the city its name and reputation. Couples in love also enjoy being where they hear French, the "language of love," spoken all around them.

What is it to be a romantic?

romantic

rə(ʊ)ˈmantɪk/

adjective

  1. 1.
  2. conducive to or characterized by the expression of love."a romantic candlelit dinner"
  3. synonyms:amorousintimatepassionateinformallovey-dovey"a romantic candlelit dinner"

Many famous French authors have long lists of romantic sayings extracted from their writings. The sayings below are from various centuries of French literary talents, but all of them are sure to make a big impression when uttered at the right moment or perhaps written inside aValentine's Day card.

  • Le prix d'Amour, c'est seulement Amour, ... Il faut aimer si l'on veut être aimé. This famous quote, written by Honoré d' Urfé, can be translated as follows: The price of love is only love, ... one must love if one desires to be loved.
  • En sa beauté gît ma mort et ma vie. Written by Maurice Scève, this quote literally translates to: In her beauty rests (both) my death and my life. You can make this into a phrase to tell someone directly that you love them by replacing the "sa" (her) with "ta" (your) so that it reads "in YOUR beauty."
  • L'amour fait les plus grandes douceurs et les plus sensibles infortunes de la vie. This line by Madeleine de Scudéry is less of a direct romantic saying and more of an abstract line about love. It translates to: Love is responsible for the greatest pleasures and the worst problems in life. This quote is a good one to use at a melancholic moment, such as when being separated from a loved one.
  • Je serai poète et toi poésie. This line from François Coppée is a very romantic and simple line. It means: I'll be a poet, and you'll be poetry. This is a great inscription for a card or on another gift. Alternatively, say it in person at a heartfelt moment.

Aimer, ce n'est pas se regarder l'un l'autre, c'est regarder ensemble dans la même direction. This famous quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is almost as famous as his quotes from Le petit prince. This quote means: Love does not consist in looking at each other, but rather in, together, looking in the same direction.

Today, French Romanticism remains difficult to define because it is so diverse. Baudelaire’s comments from the Salon of 1846 may still apply: “romanticism lies neither in the subjects that an artist chooses nor in his exact copying of truth, but in the way he feels.”

What is what we call Le Coup de foudre?

The French expression le coup de foudre has a literal and a figurative meaning, though the latter is a bit more common. Literally, un coup de foudre is a "bolt of lightning" or "thunderbolt."

Figuratively, it indicates "love at first sight," which I think makes perfect sense, as that feeling is like a huge a shock to the system.

The two verbs you can use with the figurative meaning give it slightly different nuances:

être le coup de foudre - to be love at first sight

   Quand je l'ai vu, ça a été le coup de foudre. When I saw it/him, it was love at first sight.

Avoir le coup de foudre (pour) - to fall in love (with) at first sight

J'ai eu le coup de foudre pour Thomas / pour Paris. I fell in love with Thomas / Paris at first sight.

To fall in love (not necessarily at first sight):

   tomber amoureux (de) [not "tomber en amour avec"]

   avoir un coup de cœur (pour)

   (literary) s'éprendre (de)

   (informal) flasher (sur)

To become infatuated (with):

   s'amouracher (de)

   (formal) s'enticher (de)

   (informal) se toquer (de)

Some french important vocabulary for Valentine's Day:

Joyeuse St. Valentin or Bonne St. Valentin Happy Valentines Day

Je t'aime I love you

Je t'adore I adore you

Je pense à toi I'm thinking of you

Sois mon valentin Be my valentine (to a boy)

Sois ma valentine Be my valentine (to a girl)

Les fleurs Flowers

La rose Rose

Le chocolat Chocolate

Le Coeur Heart

Le baiser Kiss

Cupidon Cupid

Mon amour My love

Mon ange My angel

Mon chéri My dear (to a boy)

Ma chérie My dear (to a girl)

Mon trésor My treasure

Mon petit chou My little cabbage

Les bijoux Jewelry

L'amour Love

Tomber amoureux I'm falling in love

Grosses bises Big kisses

Embrasse moi Hug me

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