My French Heaven


Month: January, 2012

At the market yesterday

I had never noticed the line of emerald scales on the back of salmons:


PĂȘcher de gourmandise

It is really interesting to see how language can help define a culture. There are for example several words that exist in the French Language and do not have an equivalent in English and vice versa of course.

Take for example the words “empowerment” or “Leadership”. They do not translate in French. The word power translates of course, but it is always used in a negative way…

In French, a word like “gourmandise” can only be translated in English as “gluttony” or “greed”. Almost always regarded as a sin with the image of a large person in mind. For the French, it actually is a quality.Then again, although we are mostly a Catholic people, we regard most sins as wonderful qualities… For instance we say that you should never trust a thin chef (or a thin person for that matter :0)

Someone who is “gourmand” is thought of as jovial, as someone who enjoys life, a “bon vivant”. He or she is not necessarily a person who is unhealthy looking and eats too much. He or she simply loves food; even the idea of it. It has more to do with the idea of kids in a candy store with their eyes wide open than the idea of a big slob feasting. To be “gourmand” has almost become a philosophy for those who see life as a banquet…

Should you wonder why this photo is here… please review your classics!

Anyhow, just think of the words that don’t translate. They have a lot to say about how we see things. No judgement here, just a fun fact.


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