1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Vive la France !"

"Vive la France !"

Translation:Long live France!

January 3, 2014

61 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterCollings

I looked at this for ages knowing pretty much exactly what it meant, but not being able to work out a decent English translation. Ah well!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/greatlanguages

The good news is that you understand the meaning which is the whole point of this program. Whether you type it perfectly and lose/not lose a heart is really very secondary. Congrats.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LINHARS

If understanding the meaning is the whole point of this program, DL ought to accept many more solutions in the English translation. I think I use more energie trying to remember the English translation than I use on learning the French. And why do we write so many English sentences anyway. We ought to write more French.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adlihtam

Learning the language is the point of Duolingo, proving you understand the French is the point of translating into English. We do write more French than English in this (at least if listening exercises are turned on). a but the thing is, being writing in a language over than the target one


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LINHARS

I am sorry, but I don't understand what you mean here. I am now doing the reverse French, and that is much better. I write French much more than English. I did the listening exercises when I did the French tree, and I'm quite sure I wrote more English than French even with them. I counted. When I refreshed a lesson, I wrote more French. It's the opposite in the reverse tree, so I don't do many refreshing lessons, to avoid writing English most of the time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LINHARS

Yes, you pretend being French learning English. You just choose French as your own language and English as the language you want to learn. I turned off the sound because I didn't want to hear the English voice. I am here learning French and I found the reverse French much better than the normal French course. I suppose you can do that with most of the languages you are learning, if you get fed up writing English all the time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dosAidos

Reverse French? What do you mean? Learning English as a French user? I am curious because I have the same issue with the app...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JWolf88

This can't be spoken. It must be screamed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmperorTheo

France: Vive La France. England: God Save The Queen(Or "Britannia Rules The Waves) USA: America, F*ck yeah. Sweden: För Sverige I Tiden.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

Australia: Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmairanyLopezM

México: Viva México, chinga


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

@EmporerTheo, I agree with you on all of those except the vulgar American one. I just woke up, so forgive me the brain fog, but the only American one that came to mind is: Give me liberty or give me death. Maybe someone else can recall the actual national cry.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/InvertedGo

I believe it is "God bless America". I could be wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianBoru4

America First?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danlhead

I imagine this is an idiom but the dictionary hints made me believe that the translation would be "live the france" or "live france". Where does "long" come from? Even Google Translate has the translation of "Vive la France" as "Vive la France".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cadilhac

This really is idiomatic. Vive qqc, hooray for smthg, no longer bears a strong link with vivre, to live. I'd even say that long live is a little too literal a translation. WordReference proposes Go France!. Note that the verb vive is subjunctive, hence there is a hidden que, that is, Que vive la France, which may be translated as May France live.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BillPiazzetta

I wrote "Horray for France" because that's almost exactly the way we say it in Portuguese, the words look the same, the structure's the same so I assume the meaning must be "horray" too as in Portuguese ("Viva a França").

But Duo doesn't see it this way apparently... :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterCollings

The only problem I see is that we'd normally spell it "hooray" in English. Perhaps Duo's typo detector is on a coffee break


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

Hooray, hurray, hoorah, hurrah...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OakDoc1

No such luck! 'Hooray' is likewise not accepted. It is so obvious that the sentence translates as '[long] live France!' that I tried 'Hooray for France!' to test it. No dice. I think the implied meaning is the same, however.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

I wonder if Might France live would be preferable to May France live since 'might' can be the subjunctive form of 'may'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

I think you are overthinking this by a large margin. It's just a cheer!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nnamdi96119

Thank you for explaining why this is in the subjunctive section. I needed confirmation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joelinguo

Vive la revolution !


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

This almost feels untranslatable. The French version is known in English and any translation is woefully insignificant.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StaringAtYou

Yeah, it does seem it's taken on its own identity as an English idiom, but now you know what it means in its native language - and more importantly how the construction makes it translate that way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2147

"Vive la xxxx" is an idiom and as such one does not attempt a word-for-word grammatical translation. It means simply "long live xxxx". http://www.wordreference.com/fren/vive%20la


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArdeJohnson

You'd need to know how to translate it if you wanted to explain it's French origin and what it means in that language.

Besides, nothing's more embarrassing than claiming you speak French, someone coming up to you, asking you what an extremely common expression taken over from French into English means, and you standing there unable to give a proper answer.

Don't make of yourself a fool, translate idioms.

(That's my new slogan. )

(..OOH! I just translate it into a subjunctive French expression...)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luscinda

Absolutely. I would translate Vive le roi as Long live the king but I would never translate Vive la France.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Capt_Spock

Vive la liberté!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stardecki

Vive le Québec !


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CvetelinaH

why not with inf. VIVRE LA FRANCE?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StaringAtYou

Good ole subjunctives. From Wiki:

"The subjunctive is an irrealis mood (one that does not refer directly to what is necessarily real) [ ... ] Subjunctives occur most often, although not exclusively, in subordinate clauses, particularly that-clauses."

So in this case, it's not that France is living currently (as "Vivre la France" suggests); the sentence is expressing a desire for France to live. From what I'm gathering, in French, that requires the subjunctive form, requiring 'vive': 'Vive la France' - 'that France may live'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DrMankowitz

Like cadilhac's comment says above, there is a hidden que, «que vive la France!» ("may France live!")


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnPMChappell

Not really ... although it can help to think of it that way. Subjunctive mood doesn't require que though verbs that follow it are essentially always going to be in that mood. The true conjugation is without the que but French textbooks have been teaching it that way for some time, it seems. It helps to avoid confusion where forms are similar between subjunctive mood and indicative mood.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jacobthedrummer

So what does all this have to do with the subjunctive?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

As has been mentioned above, the verb is actually in the subjunctive case, and the "que" that should precede it is "understood".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianBoru4

Years ago when I (unwillingly) learned Latin, there was something called the 'jussive subjunctive' in which the subjunctive, which normally conveys a sense of uncertainty, actually expresses a command. As French is a Romance language I have always assumed the same applies in this phrase. So there doesn't have to be a 'que' understood. The simple subjunctive here could be translated literally as 'May France live' or 'Let France live'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianBoru4

There's another famous example of the subjunctive being used in a jussive way: the French form of 'Let them eat cake' which Marie Antoinette (apparently never) said is 'Qu'ils mangent de la brioche'.

I guess (I don't know) that the Que construction is needed to show that it is the jussive subjunctive because the 3rd person plural of manger in the present tense (mangent) is the same in the indicative and subjunctive. Without Que it would simply be a statement that they are eating cake.

No such possible confusion with 'vive la France'. Vive is a purely subjunctive form and its position at the start of the phrase makes it obvious that it's being used as an imperative directed at everyone and no-one. (The use of the normal imperative of 'vivre' -- Vis la France! -- would presumably be an instruction directed towards France, if it meant anything at all).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CalebSample

Why is it not "le"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

Countries, like all French nouns, are designated as masculine or feminine. Since France is a feminine country it uses 'la'. One trick to telling whether a country is masculine or feminine is that most countries ending with an 'e' are feminine and all countries not ending with an 'e' are masculine.


[deactivated user]

    Just realised that this can't directly translate to English. In Tagalog language, this is directly translatable to "Mabuhay ang Pransya" so I was able to figure the meaning out.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IonaRos3

    Vive la France.

    Indeed.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/girly43

    One of the few French sentences I knew before I started this French course...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sally410

    Probably will not be printed but the UK could do with some gentle help to find its way forward from our neighbours. We fought for freedom and human dignity. Engage with us, please.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paul-san

    Hail France doesn't work?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UrsaTempest

    It's petty, but I admit I'm mildly annoyed I got it wrong because the lack of exclamation sign.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sbmassey

    vivent les vivants!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fbb.d

    Deuxième étoile !


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BruceSmith51040

    I think it is important to note that the verb is in the subjunctive. I'd consider the three words to be following something like Je souhaite que ...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karen541899

    Well, I think vive la France in English is also simply vive la France - everyone knows instinctively what it means!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sevorane1

    Also mentioned in an episode of the Hornblower TV series (Frogs and Lobsters), where both “Vive la France” and “Vive le roi” were used. I had no idea they were subjunctive tense until now.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/norma_moas

    Wow so vive la france is actually subjuctif ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mehdi312056

    and this is "medical", how?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

    Haha, how about because it's promoting Life? Which sentences show up in which skill sections are, I believe, sometimes misassigned because they have a word in them that may have more than one meaning or application - one appropriate to the sentence and a different one appropriate to the skill set. I've seen it happen, but, of course, at the moment I can't think of an example.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kartikey4

    Vive la France ! Vive le Monde !

    Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.