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I'm looking for help with finding a few French words that my hefty Barron's French-English dictionary doesn't seem to have--but then again, the words I'm looking for would more likely be seen in an urban fantasy novel than in a high school exercise.  :)  The on-line translators I tried didn't give me results I trusted, so are there any French speakers out there who would know the French for "shapeshifter" and "elemental" (both supernatural beings)?

Merci beaucoup!  :thankyou
#1 - August 12, 2012, 04:48 PM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
www.marissadoyle.com
www.nineteenteen.com

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Marissa, I'll put this question to a friend who is a professor of French, but he's on the road right now and won't read his e-mail for a few days.
#2 - August 12, 2012, 05:23 PM

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Thank you, Rebecca!  That would be perfect.
#3 - August 12, 2012, 05:30 PM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
www.marissadoyle.com
www.nineteenteen.com

And Helene Boudreau should be able to help, too.  If she's still checking in here.  If you can't reach her and want to, PM me and I can get in touch with her for you.
#4 - August 12, 2012, 07:56 PM

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I'm only conversationally fluent in French, but as an author I do have some tips and tricks for finding foreign words. Google Translate + Google Images is a good way to check current usage of a word. If you see what French speakers associate with a word, like "élémentaire de feu" for instance, you can get a better idea of connotations. Also, there's Wikipedia!

I found:
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A9tamorphe
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89l%C3%A9mentaire

Hope this helps!
Karen
#5 - August 12, 2012, 08:37 PM
« Last Edit: August 12, 2012, 08:39 PM by Karen K »
Out now: DEADLY DELICIOUS

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Twitter: @karenkincy

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I speak French but I would have no idea how to translate those specific words since I don't read much French fantasy. I mostly speak to my 9 and 11 year-old (we live in an English area) so if you want to know how to 'make your bed' or 'get ready for school' or 'pick up your socks', I'm your girl! *wink*
#6 - August 13, 2012, 04:46 AM
www.heleneboudreau.com

Author of the REAL MERMAIDS tween series, RED DUNE ADVENTURES chapter book series, I DARE YOU NOT TO YAWN (2013) and more.

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Thanks, everyone!

After I posted here, I went back to noodling around on the internet, and ended up doing something similar to what Karen posted--I was looking at the relevant articles on Wikipedia, hoping to find a helpful link, then noticed the column on the right where it listed entries in other languages...and ta da!!  I'm definitely going to have to remember this...now only if there were Wikipedia entries in Breton... :)
#7 - August 14, 2012, 09:18 AM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
www.marissadoyle.com
www.nineteenteen.com

ecb

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Marissa, have you read Marie de France's Lai de Bisclavret, or Gillian Bradshaw's marvelous retelling thereof, THE WOLF HUNT? It's a medieval French romance about a Breton werewolf, and the nuances of French and Breton terminology are addressed in both. You might find them tangentially helpful!
#8 - August 14, 2012, 03:33 PM

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I read The Wolf Hunt some years ago, but had forgotten about it--I'll have to have another look at it.  Thanks, e!
#9 - August 15, 2012, 07:19 AM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
www.marissadoyle.com
www.nineteenteen.com

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I love that idea, Karen! Very genius way of learning slang, too, I bet. When I was studying in Uruguay, I loved that they were always playing episodes of "Friends" with subtitles in Spanish, so I could check them for accuracy and also see how various idioms and jokes were translated, since I already knew the stories well enough (and, you know, since the show was still playing the English audio).

Also, I wonder if IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) has any resources like this for writers. They tend to be mostly crit people and education people, but it might be worth digging through their website or journal.
#10 - August 19, 2012, 06:42 PM

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I love that idea, Karen! Very genius way of learning slang, too, I bet. When I was studying in Uruguay, I loved that they were always playing episodes of "Friends" with subtitles in Spanish, so I could check them for accuracy and also see how various idioms and jokes were translated, since I already knew the stories well enough (and, you know, since the show was still playing the English audio).

The Google Images plus Wikipedia method is how I survived my first year of college Mandarin. It really helped whenever I wanted to double-check something. Also, just plain Googling a phrase and then seeing how many hits come up will tell you quite quickly if you have a horribly ungrammatical or impossible sentence. ;)

Karen
#11 - August 19, 2012, 07:52 PM
Out now: DEADLY DELICIOUS

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Twitter: @karenkincy

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