I know this means “one must learn to walk before running”, but is there a less literal translation that is perhaps more appealing to an English-speaking audience?
Is there an English equivalent to the French expression: “il faut d’abord apprendre à marcher avant de courir”?
We use the same!
“Learn to walk before you run” / “you can’t run before you can walk” / “you can’t learn to run before you learn to walk” or even “don’t try to run before you can walk” – all of these and many other close variations are in widespread use amongst English speakers, will be understood and are all considered idiomatic. We don’t have a single set phrase, as long as you get across the same idea 🙂
“you need to learn to walk before you can run” is a well known expression in English. It’s perfectly natural in English.
While we do say this literally sometimes in English, we have a more common idiom that many people would probably think of first, if they weren’t translating.
You have to crawl before you can walk.
At least in American English, this idiom is very popular.