(urth) OT: French translations

Jerry Friedman jerry_friedman at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 5 06:49:15 PDT 2009

--- On Wed, 8/5/09, gwern0 at gmail.com <gwern0 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi everyone. This is a rather
> off-topic request, but bear with me. I'm desultorily
> learning myself some French this summer, and I've decided
> that since I'm only really interested in reading French (and
> not so much in speaking or writing it), that the best thing
> to do would be to simply translate some large French work
> into English and learn as I go*.

Si tu m'avais posé la question, je t'aurais dit que c'est
complètement fou.  Mais tu te connais á toi-même, et moi
je ne te connais pas.

(Lucky for you my French isn't good enough to answer your
question, so the rest of this post will be in English.)

> But when I tried with one text, I discovered my motivation
> was zero - as it was already translated. So I need something
> which hasn't been translated before; unfortunately, all the
> texts I know worth translating are the ones which *have*
> been translated!
> Since Urth.netters seem to know everyone and everything
> worth knowing in literature, here's my challenge: what
> reasonably short, reasonably basic yet untranslated French
> text is there which I could translate? Bonus points if it's
> in the public domain, and triple bonus points if it's also
> Gene-Wolfe-related.

I don't know any, but have you tried searching for "Gene
Wolfe" on French-language pages (using Google Advanced
Search, for example)?  Or searching http://www.amazon.fr/ ?

I suppose a French text on this subject is unlikely to be
at a basic level, though.

For non-Wolfe pages, see


If you decide to do that, you'll also want to read


Wikipedia is nice for this (and likewise for practicing
writing in a foreign language, for those who want to do
that) because you often get corrected.

I know people who have gotten good results from a different
strategy for learning a foreign language--read a book in
that language that they know well in their own.  If you
choose TBotNS, you can learn the French for quite common
words such as "bordereau".

Jerry Friedman


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