Foreign Words and Phrases in Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov

F=French, G=German, L=Latin,

il faudrait les inventer (F)
They would have to be invented [variation on a phrase by Voltaire: "If God did not exist he would have to be invented."]

J'ai vu l'ombre d'un cochier, qui avec l'ombre d'une brossefrottait l'ombre d'une carrosse (F)
I've seen the shade of a coachman who, with the shade of a brush, rubbed the shade of a coach.

un chevalier parfait (F)
a perfect knight, or gentleman

Mater Dolorosa (L)
sad or sorrowing mother [traditional image of the Virgin Mary grieving for the slain Christ]

plus de noblesse que de sincerité (F)
more nobility than sincerity

noblesse (F)
nobility

il y a du Piron là-dedans (F)
he's like Piron

den Dank, Dame, begehr' ich nicht (G)
Thank you, Ma'am, I ask for nothing*

Merci, maman (F)
Thank you, Mother

professions de foi (F)
declarations of faith

s'il n'existait pas Dieu il faudrait l'inventer (F)
if God did not exist he would have to be invented [Voltaire]

Notre Dame de Paris (F)
Our Lady of Paris [title of famous novel by Victor Hugo]

Le bon jugement de la trés sainte et gracieuse Vierge Marie (F)
The good judgment of the very holy and gracious Virgin Mary

bon jugement (F)
good judgment

ad majoram gloriam Dei (F)
to the greater glory of God

quid pro quo (F)
this for that [one thing in return for another

Dixi (L)
I have said it

Ci-gît Piron qui ne fut rien,/Pas même académicien (F)
Here lies Piron, who was nothing,/Not even a member of the [French] Academy

c'est fini (F)
it's finished

vous comprenez, cette affaire et la mort terrible de votre papa (F)
you understand, this affair and the terrible death of your father

qui frisait le cinquantaine (F)
who's almost fifty

c'est charmant (F)
it's charming

c'est noble, c'est charmant (F)
it's noble, it's charming

c'est chevaleresque (F)
it's chevalric, chivalrous

Satan sum et nihil humanum a me alienum puto (L)
I am Satan and nothing human is alien to me

C'est du nouveau, n'est-ce pas (F)
That's something new, right?

Quelle idée (F)
What an idea

le diable n'existe point (F)
the devil doesn't exist

je pense, done je suis (F)
I think, therefore I am [Descartes]

Ah, mon pere, ça lui fait tant de plaisir, a moi si peu de peine (F)
Ah. father. it gives him so much pleasure and me so little trouble

Ah, mais c'est bête enfin (F)
Oh. but that's crazy!

Monsieur sait-il le temps qu'il fait? C'est à ne pas mettre un chien dehors (F)
Does Monsieur know what the weather like? I wouldn't put a dog out in it.

a ne pas mettre un chien dehors (F)
I wouldn't put a dog out in it.

le mot de l'enigme (F)
the answer to the riddle

Gott der Vater, Gott der Sohn, Gott der heilige Geist (G)
God the Father. God the Son. God the Holy Spirit

le diable n'existe point (F)
the devil doesn't exist

vivos voco (L)
I appeal to them as witnesses


*An excerpt from Schiller’s Der Handschuh, in which a woman drops her glove among lions, forcing the hero to leap among them and retrieve it. He proves his courage, but also his disdain, by flinging the glove in her face and delivering this stinging rebuke. (Source: Essais historiques sur Paris by M. de Saintfois.)

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