Love Quotes in Translated Literature

Instructor: Jeff Calareso

Jeff teaches high school English, math and other subjects. He has a master's degree in writing and literature.

Quotes on love can remind us how it feels to fall in love. Literature from around the world is full of stories of love. Read on for love quotes found in literate that has been translated into English.

Love Quotes in Translated Literature

Love transcends many types of borders, including language. Literary works of both England and the United States are full of love quotes, but so are works originally printed in other languages. Here are several authors who wrote in languages other than English and their notable loves quotes.

Leo Tolstoy

All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.

Translated from Russian, this love quote comes from author Leo Tolstoy's 1869 masterpiece War and Peace. The full quote reads: Love hinders death. Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.

Hermann Hesse

Hesse
If I know what love is, it is because of you.

Hermann Hesse wrote this line in his 1930 novel Narcissus and Goldmund. Originally written in German, the book was first published in English under the title Death and the Lover.

Victor Hugo

The supreme happiness of life consists in the conviction that one is loved; loved for one's own sake-let us say rather, loved in spite of one's self; this conviction the blind man possesses.

This love quote comes from French author Victor Hugo's 1862 work Les Miserables. Since this novel was originally written in French, the English translation of the quote sometimes varies slightly, as you may find with other translations.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Dostoyevsky
With love one can live even without happiness.

This is yet another love quote in translation from the 1860s. This line comes from Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky's 1864 novella Notes from the Underground. This excerpted quote may seem bittersweet, as it seems to imply that happiness is unnecessary. But the full quote helps clarify the sentiment: With love one can live even without happiness. Even in sorrow life is sweet; life is sweet, however one lives. In other words, love makes life sweet, even if that life was not abounding in happiness before love.

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