1. NoNathanielNo
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    NoNathanielNo Member

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    Making up French names..

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by NoNathanielNo, Jan 17, 2011.

    Hi,

    I want some of my story to be set in a little village/town in Southern France, but I want the names of places to be made up. I have messed about with some letters and have come up with the below at the moment;

    Do you think they sound French? Any tips on how to make up names and places (French or English), or if you have any suggestions.

    Any coments/opinions apprecaited thanks

    Tyroux
    Maruis
    Lyous
    Martois

    Cheers for any feedback guys
     
  2. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    http://french.about.com/od/babynames/French_Baby_Names.htm

    Here's a page of links for About.Com articles on French names. Hope it helps.

    You may be able to find a phone book for Toulouse. I didn't have much luck with that though.

    -Frank
     
  3. Vintage
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    To be honest, they seem more like what an English-speaking person's idea of French names are. The poster above me provided a link with baby names - I suggest using something like that, preferably with anem meanings as well. I like to use meaningful names, but maybe that's just me.

    Still use actual names for an actual location. Don't make up your own unless you also did so with the setting of the story.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i agree they sound like what someone who has no knowledge of french would come up with...

    if you don't want to use the names of actual places, since you haven't been to them and can't describe them accurately, here are some that are not real places, but still fully french:

    pont du lac
    villancourt
    clavert des pins
    bois sur seine
    ville st. pierre
     
  5. NoNathanielNo
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    NoNathanielNo Member

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    Thanks for all the info guys,
    I am more after the place names rather than the peoples names, But I agree with what you say about my suggestions, which is why I sought help :)

    Mammamaia that is pretty much the main reason for wanting to create new names, because I havent been to anywhere in france other than Paris or Val D i'sere so I wouldn't really have any knowledge of explaining it, so I thought if I just made the name up it would make me alot more comfortable with the explanation.

    Thanks for your suggestions, how did you come up with them? Any tips you have on creating new place names?

    Cheers
    Ray
     
  6. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    Ray,

    Mama simply seems to have used common descriptive names and translated into french.

    Plenty of that for real here in the midwest (and I assume Louisiana too).
    Straights (to lake Erie) = De Troit = Detroit
    Rapids of the Saint Mary's (River) = les Sault de Sainte Marie = Sault Sainte Marie
    Big marsh (voyager slang for harbor) = Grand Marais

    We also have a number of places named after french people ie Marquette, Cadillac.

    Another common class of names comes from local industries.

    My french is very rusty, so let's go to translate.google.com and throw in some of my local anglo place names - a couple are little cross roads. Oh, and you will need to keep it lower case lest the translator assume it's already a proper name.

    Rosebush = Rosier
    Pine Stump Junction = Junction Souche de Pin
    Sugar Island = île à Sucre
    Lakefield = Domaine du Lac
    Bay Mills = Baie de Moulin (translator couldn't translate this directly)

    If named after a person, ask yourself when the most modern incarnation of the town was developed, then look to notable people, especially from the south of France. Or, ask yourself what industry would have been important a couple hundred years ago in your town.

    -Frank
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that's not what i did... i've spent much time in all parts of france, speak and write french passably, so merely took existing place names and changed them slightly to create ones that don't exist on maps of france, but could... and yes, i googled to make sure they aren't real towns in france... ;-)

     
  8. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Your names are pretty good and so are Maia's -- as long as you aren't using some obnoxiously long and unpronounceable name, you'll be fine.
     
  9. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    Delacroix is French for "of Christ" (could be the name of a church town, maybe?), and fits the type of descriptions you gave. All of the other's I've got sound better as people names. Sorry :D.
     
  10. impure
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    impure Member

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    Type 'random name generator' in Google and you'll find apps that will generate random names using some database information or something.
    I remember seeing a 'french name' option for that time that I was thinking of making a fake name for my facebook profile :)
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    'christ' in french is 'le christ'... 'croix' is the french word for 'cross'... so 'delacroix' means 'of the cross'...
     
  12. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    I see.... Interesting. I got the name from a baby website (the French section). I haven't taken my high school French quite yet :D.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i took 3 years in high school, audited 2 university levels, and have traveled all over france on too many trips to count, plus lived there for most of a year... so i can't help correcting stuff like this...

    hugs, m
     
  14. Pen
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    Pen Member

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    Simple.

    http://www.fakenamegenerator.com/gen-random-fr-fr.php

    If I'm stuck for a character's name, and it doesn't have to be anything in particular, I use this- just click until a name "fits". I like to think that years from now when my books are required reading on the GCSE syllabus, people will agonise over why I chose the names I did.
     
  15. Heather Munn
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    Heather Munn Member

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    I grew up in southern France.

    Don't have a lot of time just now, but... Tyroux and Martois don't sound bad, for place names; when I thought they were meant to be people names they did. Although Tyroux should probably be Tiroux and Martois sounds like a northern French name.

    My advice is, get a map (GoogleMaps will work) and look at southern France and all the little village names. The whole translating-American-place-names thing isn't bad, but you have to remember France is real different from America, places weren't named quickly by random settlers but slowly by people who were living there generations. So a lot of it's archaic language, and just doesn't follow the patterns we're used to. So, look at the place names and try to figure out the pattern. For example, over at least one section of the south, a lot of place names (and family names) end in -ac. A lot of towns are named after the river they're on, with a hyphenated name and "sur" (French for "on"), like this: [town name]-sur-[river name]. Just have a look, maybe take a few names and combine them, or at least get the idea of what letters and sounds are common, and then it should be pretty doable.
     

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