Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Ce qui se concoit bien s'exprime clairement

et les mots pour le dire viennent aisement.

Brilliant, brilliant aphorism (? I think). My second landlord in Brussels made me learn it, and learn to pronounce it properly - apparently its the strapline for the Figaro newspaper though I've never checked that out.

It's almost impossible to translate into English with any style - something like "that which is well conceived, will express itself clearly and the words to say it will come easily". In English that's clumsy and I'd want to go for something more like "if you really understand what you want to say, you'll be able to do it clearly and the words will come easily". But it's a real shame to have to lose the focus on the idea itself.

Only other thing anyone insisted on my pronunciation over was learning to say "du the au lait" because the oo-ish sounds are very different and very hard. Still haven't got it nailed.

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