FWIW, Reverso gives numerous examples of this expression being translated as "on and off" or "off and on" or a more literal "they come and go".* Reverso back-translated "easy come, easy go" as "l'argent vient, l'argent part." WordReference cites "ça va, ça vient" as "easy come, easy go".
Thanks a lot sir. The comments here are quite confusing and only your answers make some sense. I went to reverso.net and found that there were three most common meanings of this idiom:
1) It comes and goes.
Les employés, ça va, ça vient. (The employees, come and go.)
Les clients, ça va, ça vient, on le sait bien. (Clients come and go, we all know that.)
Comme je disais... les crises, ça va, ça vient. (Like I said ... problems, they come and go.)
2) It's up and down.
Eh bien, tu sais... avec la bourse, ça va, ça vient. (Well, you know ... with the stock market, it goes up and down.)
C'est ça les affaires, ça va et ça vient. (Business is like that, up and down.)
3) on and off
Ça fait une semaine que ça va et ça vient. (I've been having them on and off for a week.)
Ça va et ça vient depuis quelques mois. (On and off for the last few months.)
The only reference that came a bit closer to "easy come, easy go" was:
Après tout, l'argent ça va, ça vient. (After all, money comes and goes.) But it would come under the first meaning, "It comes and goes."
I have thought about this some since, and I think that it is largely a play on words which works in French, but does not really translate well to English. Tell me what you think. When a French speaker asks, "ça va ?", he may receive a reply of "ça va, ça vient". I don't think it is about literally going and coming, or up and down, or any such thing. It is simply a play on words, i.e., a playful response that indicates that in general, things are okay, perhaps with the idea that life has its ups and downs. Any thoughts?
+SilfenP - Thanks for your reply, but having "ups and downs" in life, and "easy come, easy go" are not necessarily the same thing. There is a subtle difference between the two, and that is why we have two different phrases in English.
Ups and downs:
If someone experiences ups and downs, a mixture of good and bad things happens to him or her:
Like most married couples we've had our ups and downs, but life's like that.
Easy come, easy go:
Said when something, especially money, is easily got and then soon spent or lost:
I lost £500 in a card game last night, but that's life - easy come, easy go.
Please also read the reply by philbinrap below: Easy come, easy go "means if you didn't work hard or suffer to achieve something then it doesn't bother you much to lose it..."
Literally, "it goes, it comes". « Ça », in this saying, means "good things". If you say « Ça va, ça vient », there's a 50/50 chance that someone will complete the saying with « Et quand ça vient, ça va! » (lit: "and when it comes, it goes well").
Fun fact: In the expression « comment ça va? » — "how do you do?", it is believed by some historians that the verb «aller» refers to an ancient meaning … "to take a dump". Hence two things: 1. When you ask « Ça va? » it's funny to think that this may come from "How are you bowel movements?"; 2. In « ça va, ça vient », it may be the case that the verb «aller» used to have the aforementioned meaning.
I means if you didn't work hard or suffer to achieve something then it doesn't bother you much to lose it. For example, if I were to find a hundred dollars laying in the street and then proceed to lose it later that day, I'd just say "easy come easy go" or "ça va ça vient" and forget about it. On the other hand if I had worked 12 hard hours at minimum wage to get that hundred my head would explode.
You may be onto something there as to how the expression is used when somebody asks you "ça va ?" This response is like saying "it comes and it goes", or like one might say "it's up and down". Just an idiom that suggests there are good days and bad days, life goes on, etc. The most common translation which is certainly not literal was found on Reverso as "on and off" or "off and on".
I have just about finished the Duolingo tree, and I can tell you that there is no way a person can become fluent just from learning on this one site. It's great for learning and practice, but you need a supplement if you want a more solid and in-depth grasp of the language. I spent the last year in Québec, and I learned a huge amount that Duolingo didn't teach me, as well as just about everything on Duolingo, and I'm still only semi-fluent. It's a great starter, but don't expect it to bring you right up to fluency. It should bring you up to "enough to get by", however.
I can read French at a very high level but I cannot honestly say that I can speak it. I am breezing through DL French, just for fun. I did not know any Spanish, and I went about half way through DL Spanish. When I went to Cuba I could read stuff but only understand basic sentences. My conclusion is that DL can teach moderate reading skills but not oral or aural skills. On the other hand it will lay down enough understanding that you will learn to speak much more quickly when you start to talk to real people.
I still don't follow why the response for those questions about business or customers cannot be "easy come, easy go". What MPasternak may be thinking of may be comme ci, comme ça (so-so).
If ça va, ça vient did not mean easy come, easy go then these examples of the phrase in usage woulld not make sense:
It seems to me easy come, easy go is indeed a fairly good translation for ça va, ça vient.
Also you have to realize words change their meanings when they appear in phrases:
Il fait = he does/makes
Il fait chaud = it is warm (weather)
Nous sommes = we are
Nous sommes lundi = it is Monday (as in, today is Monday)
de = of/from; rien = nothing -- de rien = you are welcome (said as a response to "thanks!")
I'm afraid that has a different meaning. "Win some, lose some" is what you say to someone to console him or her after a loss or failure. "Easy come, easy go" means things that you get without effort can be lost without much regret.
Your kid loses a boxing match and is disappointed. You say to him, "No big deal! You win some, you lose some." IOW, "don't worry kid, it isn't the end of the world. Your day to be champ is yet to come."
You win the lottery and have more money than you ever had. You squander it within a year and have little to show for it. No one is shocked that you are not the least bothered by the status quo because easy come, easy go.
It's telling me that both "easy come, easy go" and "on again, off again" are both acceptable. But to me, in English at least, these two sayings have completely different meanings! For example, just about everyone on the planet would describe "Friends" Ross and Rachel's relationship as "on again, off again" - one minute they're together, then they've split up, then they get back together ... that's not the same as "easy come, easy go"!
Can anyone explain??
Ça va ça vient. I think is an expression which could cover a wide range of human experiences. It points to the impermanance of things. Whether its losing something you didn't have to spend much time and effort for or something for which you've worked a good part of your life. I think it condenses the dynamic nature of the universe. In hindi its something like "aata hai, jaata hai". Nothing is the same forever. Nothing stays in the same place forever. We come we meet we love we part.
If you scroll up, you will see it has been explained, but let me try to do so again.
"Easy come, easy go" = things you get easily without having to put in a lot of effort to get them tend to be lost easily without there being much heartache or regret.
For example, if it took you a long time to save money to buy a car, when you are finally able to afford the car, it would mean so much to you because of the sacrifices you had to make to get it. If you got into an accident where your car got smashed to bits, you would probably be devastated.
On the other hand, if you happen to be a rich, spoiled kid whose parents are tycoons who have always given you whatever you asked for and were given a car simply because you said you wanted it, you may be happy about the gift but you probably would not value it as much as the person who worked hard for his or her car. If your car was destroyed in an accident, you may simply shrug your shoulders and say "Oh well!" without really feeling bad. Why? Because it is no big deal to you. You can easily get another. In other words, for the rich kid, easy come, easy go!
Actually, that idiom has a different meaning. "Easy come, easy go," means that something that was acquired without much difficulty isn't going to missed much when it's gone (or is apt to be lost/damaged more quickly, since it doesn't seem as important as something gotten with difficulty).
"What goes up must come down," or "what goes around comes around," means that what you do to others will either happen to you as well, or that you will suffer the consequences for your actions.
For some reason, I can say anything on the microphone, and I say the answer... But sometimes I can't pronounce it properly (or I just don't want to), I say, "pooh," or, "ugh," or just some other random word, "gah"! It's funny. But my computer is not a Mac, so I suffer with the Toshiba company, and glitch and glitch. It isn't even my computer, it's my mothers. I'll probably have to go with a Lenovo (Not touchscreen) or Acer, (Not touchscreen) or another meek computer. (I want a Mac, though.) Mac-book "Pro," "Air," or "Corn!" I forgot to tell you, the answer is always correct, whatever I say. Correct.
One of the accepted translation to this phrase is the English phrase "easy come, easy go". I find it interesting that in the French phrase the "va" (go) comes before the "vient" (come) while in the English equivalent it is the other way around.
I wonder if this change of order has its roots in some deep cultural difference between French and English.
It is a saying, I get that, but why not in the reverse order "Ça vient, ça va". It is very confusing to see it written as ça va, ça vient, which to my mind says easy go, easy come! Very confusing. This language follows many rules, and every now and then, it tosses them out the window, why, just because!!