From Belgium, with chocolate (and friends)

Here’s a tiny bit of a translation lesson, just to expose you to the wild and wacky world of languages in Europe.

This past weekend, my wife and I stopped in the village of Salviac after a foie gras shopping expedition, and enjoyed some very nice coffees. At our usual Salviac café, the host behind the bar first offered us a cookie with our coffees, but we declined. Kindly, he pressed on — and offered what I really prefer with my espresso, a good bit of chocolate.

Nicely wrapped, the square of milk chocolate was from that ancient French house of chocolate perfection, Côte d’Or — better known as Kraft Foods Belgium. Ah well. (After several minutes of grueling Internet research, I learned that Côte d’Or is the No. 1 brand in Belgium. So there.)

Aside from the fact that the chocolate was very good, I also enjoyed the little sayings that were printed (in three languages) inside the wrapper. Here they are:

  • First came the English (no, really, it was printed first): “There is no sincerer love than the love of chocolate.” (I can’t say that I like sincerer, but what the heck.)
  • Next came the Dutch (at least I think it’s Dutch). Even if you can’t read Dutch (or whatever it is), you’ll see immediately that this is a straight translation of the English: Er is geen oprechtere liefde dan liefde voor chocolade. (Going from Dutch to English, Google Translate gives us this: “There is no truer love than love for chocolate.”)
  • Finally, the French. And here’s the amazing thing: It’s a completely different thought. Dans les cookies de la vie, les amis sont comme les pépites de chocolat. That is to say, “In the cookies of life, friends are like the chocolate chips.”

So the different sayings seem to represent a nice mix of thoughts. Chocolate is good. So are friends. As we say here, C’est si bon!

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This entry was posted in Cafés in France, French food, French language, Life in southwest France and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to From Belgium, with chocolate (and friends)

  1. Letitia & Roy says:

    C’est si bon! Absolument.

  2. Lesley says:

    One would hope that the translations are more accurate for the instrucions on some electrical product, or whatever.
    My early years were blessed with reading the reverse of the H.P. sauce bottle in French. No flowery nonsense there, and ‘cette sauce de haute qualite…’ has been the bedrock of my French ever since.

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