1. Poziga
    Offline

    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    273
    Location:
    Slovenia

    Leaving the original names?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Poziga, May 24, 2016.

    Hello. :)

    I am currently writing about Paris and I was wondering what should I do with the names. The Louvre and the Eiffel Tower I wrote in English, since they are so very famous, but I was writing Jardin des Tuileries, Avenue des Champs-Élysées and some other landmarks in french so as to leave some french ambient in the book.

    It doesn't seem right to write Eiffel and Louvre in English and the others in French. Should I write all of them in English or French (I prefer French then), or can I write the names of landmarks in two languages?

    Thank you. :)
     
  2. izzybot
    Offline

    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    867
    Likes Received:
    957
    Location:
    SC, USA
    I'd say do both, if that's what you want to do. You could also just establish the French names in the first couple mentions and then switch to using them full-time, if they come up often. I like the idea of sneakily teaching the reader what the French names are.
     
    Poziga likes this.
  3. ManOrAstroMan
    Offline

    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    342
    Location:
    Missouri
    Le Tour Eiffel and Musee du Louvre aren't too big of a stretch. It's pretty obvious to what the narrator is referring.
     
    Simpson17866 and Poziga like this.
  4. Iain Aschendale
    Offline

    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,033
    Likes Received:
    1,013
    Location:
    The Hopton Stoddard Home
    I agree with izzybot, there are certain things that are so famous many readers won't think of them in their original language. French is close enough and familiar enough to English that most readers shouldn't have too much trouble with the other place names. If you were to call the Forbidden City in Beijing "Zijin Cheng" or "Gugong" on the other hand, you'd just confuse the heck out of people. (yes, I had to look those up)
     
    Poziga likes this.
  5. Poziga
    Offline

    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    273
    Location:
    Slovenia
    Ok thank you for your answers. I was afraid that maybe I would sound too pompous if I were to use french names. But I like the idea of writing all names in original language (I will also write about Barcelona) as well, so that's what I'll do.

    Thank you :)
     
  6. Sack-a-Doo!
    Offline

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,231
    Likes Received:
    1,511
    Location:
    [unspecified]
    Actually, Eiffel is a surname (the tower was named after the guy who designed it) and so it's not really English or French unless you write the full name tour d'eiffel.

    I've read spy thrillers wherein all landmarks were written in their native language. I don't think it's a problem to do that and it might add to the ambiance.
     
  7. ManOrAstroMan
    Offline

    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    342
    Location:
    Missouri
    I think a big part of it is the nationality of the POV character. Yes, you're using third person, but the narrator is sort of perched on a single character's shoulder, right? If the character is a native Francophone, they'd likely use the names they grew up hearing.
     
    peachalulu and Mckk like this.
  8. peachalulu
    Offline

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,829
    Likes Received:
    2,382
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    I agree with ManOrAstroMan - Whose the mc?- if they're French I could totally see them keeping things in his/her language or if the mc is a foreigner but embracing the culture - but a tourist might just say Eiffel Tower.
     
  9. Poziga
    Offline

    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    273
    Location:
    Slovenia
    That's a very good point. Three characters are English and one is American. So it's better if i keep it in English?
     
  10. ManOrAstroMan
    Offline

    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    342
    Location:
    Missouri
    If they're Anglophones, yeah, use the English names--unless the character happens to be kind of pretentious. The French characters, however, can use their native language however they like.
     
    Simpson17866 and Poziga like this.
  11. Soufiane
    Offline

    Soufiane New Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Montréal
    In my opinion, you should write the names in French as it brings a touch of uniqueness. I don't know about you, but when I read something such as a name or a place written in its native tongue, I can picture it better and it's more enjoyable for me.
     
    Poziga likes this.
  12. Fullmetal Xeno
    Offline

    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,364
    Likes Received:
    141
    Location:
    Kingdom of Austniad
    I think the safe route is to do both. That way it keeps it realstic since they're constantly referred to as both.
     
    Poziga likes this.
  13. Poziga
    Offline

    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    273
    Location:
    Slovenia
    Well, after looking for English terms I found out that for most (except the most famous ones) the English also use French names (Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Place de la Concorde, Arc de Triomphe) so I decided to use french names, except for the places where there are also English (Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, The Catacombs).

    This brings me to the next problem. I intend to write French names in italics and English names in normal font, but that just looks weird... I like the idea of using both, but I don't think I can write both languages in the same font, French should be used in italics, I think...

    I may have to stick with only French names for stylistic reasons.
     
    Sack-a-Doo! likes this.

Share This Page