Proverb – Paris, France

--Informant Info--
Nationality: French
Age: 26
Occupation: Student
Residence: Arcadia, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: April 12, 2008
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): French

French:                                                            Translation:

“Après la pluie le beau temps”                        “Beautiful weather comes after the rain”

Informant: “I learned this in primary school in Paris when I was very young. I do not remember the time that I learned it, I felt that I grew up with this phrase being used a lot. To me it is a proverb of encouragement, to remind someone that trying times will eventually pass. I use it a lot because it is not only meaningful to emotional strife but can be used casually, i.e. when someone has a bad day or is going through a stressful period with work or school.”

In my opinion, a similar non-literal English translation would be that “Every cloud has a silver lining”, not only does it include the reference to weather, but also that something bad is not permanent. I do feel however that the “Every cloud has a silver lining term” makes more reference to the fact that there is always something good in something bad, whereas the French proverb in this case uses “Après” (after), which is a direct reference to time and therefore speaks more literally to a less fortunate period of time, which does not last forever. My informant is unaware of how long this phrase is existed but believes that every French person has heard and used this phrase at least once in their lifetime. Although she stresses that it is still popular and current, she has as of 1996 been a US resident and although she visits her home country frequently is not exposed to the French citizens and residents very often. Within her francophone community in the USA however she claims that it is a popular saying.