Translation:There are good things to eat, if you feel like it!
Not in English, no. But "si le cœur vous en dit" is idiomatic in French, since it doesn't mean "if your heart tells you to", but "if you feel like it". I think many of us expected all idioms to be idioms on both sides. But "haste makes waste" isn't idiomatic in French either, for example.
This sentence is actually pretty literal and not nearly as poetic or philosophical as that beautiful phrase,¨si le coeur vous en dit¨ might suggest. Some research has indicated that¨if you feel like it¨, really is a good translation; as is ¨if you're so inclined, if you want to, and more all rather banal yet like ¨s'il vous plaît¨, a commonly used phrase. Ssso appears we were reaching too far in trying to attribute something more profound than simply, ¨there's some good things to eat , if you feel like it!¨.
Ah, what tripped me up was expecting the entire sentence to be the idiom, not just the phrase "si le coeur vous en dit". I was able to translate the whole sentence literally (well. . . at least close enough to make a stab at trying to find an equivalent English idiom) but for the life of me I couldn't think of an English idiom involving good things to eat if the heart tells you.
So - "si le coeur vous en dit" means "if you feel like it" or "if you have a mind to" -- at least those are the two meanings I found in an old (very old) book "French Idioms and Proverbs" online.
Addendum 7/25/15 - I also found this phrase written as:
si le cœur t'en dit
if you feel like it, if the fancy takes you
In the Larousse Français / Anglais online dictionary under the entry for 'coeur'.
When an adjective comes between the plural partitive (or indefinite) article "des" and the plural noun, "des" becomes "de." Essentially, "des" must be immediately followed by its noun, not an adjective.
- J'ai des amis.
- J'ai de jeunes amis.
- J'ai des livres intéressants.
It's a rather sweet way of offering something without obligation to try. In English we might fumble about saying something like, "give it a try, you might like it, but you don't have to. I mean, I won't take offence..."
I've been in that position numerous occasions, and a short but sweet idiom would have helped in those cases! It's one of the things I love about idioms. At least when conversing with people who understand them. It limits any chance of being misunderstood. So learning them in other languages is a huge help, even if we don't recognize it now.
This is my stab at a literal translation; can anyone shed some more light? Il y a (there are) de (because adjective?) bonnes choses (good things) a manger (to eat), si (if) le coeur (the heart) vous (to you, in reference to the telling) en (??I thought en meant some/any) dit (speaks (to you)).
Yes, «de» because there is the adjective «bonnes» before the noun.
It's "your heart" for «le coeur» here because body parts use the definite article when the possessor is clearly identified.
As a pronoun, «en» is a very versatile word and has a number of different meanings, ranging from back reference to specific objects, to merely providing a weak link with what has been said previously, to there only being an implied link. This use often has no equivalent in English and is not always easily translatable.
As a rough guide, usually «en» placed before the verb means "(some) of it" or "(some) of them" -- it or them being previously mentioned. But we don't usually translate it like that, and it can shade into a lot of other, similarly referencing translations as well, or be left completely untranslated.
C’est une histoire fascinante. On devrait en faire un film. = That's a fascinating story. They should make a movie of it.
Combien de soeurs avez-vous? J'en ai deux. = How many sisters do you have? I have two.
Si tu n'as pas de sel, je peux t'en donner. = If you don't have any salt, I can give you some.
Des oranges? Elle n'en a pas envie. = Oranges? She doesn't want any.
Voici une fourchette. Servez-vous-en. = Here is a fork. Use it.
Quel est son prénom ? Je ne m’en souviens pas. = What is his first name? I don't remember it.
Le sort en est jeté. = The die is cast. This is passive construction, and I see «en» used a lot in it; I think of it as equivalent to "thus" or "so" in order to remember.
The closest literal translation for «si le coeur vous en dit» that still sounds like actual English is probably "if your heart tells you so". It might be accepted, but I don't know whether it is. I wonder whether "if your heart so desires" or "whatever your heart desires" are accepted; IMO those would be quite idiomatic in this context, more so than "if you feel like it".
With the translation, « There are good things to eat, if you want them! » (which is currently accepted as being correct), it makes me think of a parent admonishing his or her child for complaining of hunger whilst refusing available food.
As mentioned above, the idiom is actually in the latter part of the phrase, but I can see how you'd arrive at « suit yourself » as a potential meaning.
Maybe we're the outliers, lol.
The first time I translated this, "There are good things to enjoy, if your heart will allow it." That was wrong. Then I said, "There are good things to eat, if your heart will let you..." Again wrong. Am I the only one who thinks that the heart is actually involved in the idiom?
Si le cœur vous en dit. Is the idiom, and the first part of the sentence (good things to eat) is not. So its meaning is something along the lines of: 'as you like it', 'as you fancy', 'as you desire'. Interesting to read all comments, and see what people think it is or might signify.
Always good to see you...I've always taught that, as Laura Lawless puts it: The partitive article refers to an unspecified quantity of food, liquid, or some other uncountable noun. English has no equivalent article – the partitive is usually translated by the adjectives "some" or "any," or may be left out entirely." So, when the french use the preposition "de" to express a non-specific "part" of a whole, I've called that "partitive..." So in that, the plural indefinite becomes the "partitive." Since I've never had a French speaker in my classes in forty years...It's delightful to have all my presumptions challenged. Merci!
I looked around and conclude that this phrase is very rare on the Internet, and perhaps only the second half of the sentence is the idiom: "si le cœur vous en dit" and so we are being misled into thinking about food when it's just about that phrase, meaning along the lines of "as you fancy" " "as you are moved" or "if you like" http://context.reverso.net/translation/french-english/si+le+coeur+vous+en+dit
if you are referring to "...if you feel like it," then I can explain that the word "it" is referring to the whole experience of eating, not to the good things. In (American?) English, the idiom "to feel like it" means to want to or be inclined to do something. So, for example, I could also say, "you may read more on the Internet if you feel like it."
Totally off the subject, but just noticing the flags that go with the languages. For ENGLISH, the flag is the US one, not the UK or England flag. ENGLAND is where English originated, I don't see why Americans take credit for it. Not dissing Duolingo, I love it, Just pointing out a common theme w/ English Language. Anyway back to learning French in Quarantine ;)
Duolingo is an American business and it is its right and prerogative to teach American English, even when they rebuild their courses according to the CEFR structure (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).
but it seems to me that certain courses e.g French are not being rebuilt. I got asked what 'bathroom' (toilet in US English) is in French. I said 'Salle de Bain' and it corrected me as 'les toliettes'. Sorry for being so moany, I just need somewhere to rant cos I have nowhere at the minute ;)
This problem in particular is fascinating! Salle de bains is what they call a bathroom in Québec...making everything more complicated...but this way you learn all the parochial issues with language. I understand, as Spanish is spoken in so many lands...and that they have no governing Académie, their problem is exacerbated. Les toilettes is used as we use washroom, and, since in many French homes, the toilet is often separate from the bathroom, they will call the toilet the WC, and the bath the salle de bain. The first time I discovered this, living in France, I asked for the bathroom...and ended up with a room with a bath, a sink but no toilet...and a bidet, which I had never seen before in my life! I could not imagine how one would flush, but was very happy I did not have to discover the answer to that mystery at that moment...I only needed to pee.