Our friend, Stéphanie, thought of our blog when she saw this article on French words that resonate with learners. I see why! Her favorite is ‘ronronner,’ which is very onomatopoetic. You can just hear the cat purring. Still, I would not have picked these words as favorites. A former colleague thinks the word ‘papillon’ (butterfly) is beautiful. I can’t think of one I think of as more beautiful than others, just like I can’t find one in English, but I do often stumble across French words that English doesn’t have AND vice versa.
Two words French has that English doesn’t: ‘le lendemain’ (the next morning) and ‘même’ (very, in the sense of ‘that very day’). We can’t translate either of those words with one sole English word.
Two that English has that can’t be translated satisfactorily: “privacy” and “relationship.” I find ‘intimité’ and ‘rapport’ unsatisfactory translations!
As for the article Stéphanie sent us, le voilà: