Off topic: Villepin or de Villepin?
Thread poster: Timothy Barton

Timothy Barton
Local time: 14:14
French to English
+ ...
Nov 8, 2005

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4600907.stm

 

Christine Cramay-Valentini
Italy
Local time: 13:14
Member (2004)
Italian to French
+ ...
M. de Villepin Nov 8, 2005

Yes, in this case the "de" is not capitalized and the name can't be shortened. Only people who feel contempt for aristocracy in general take the liberty of abbreviating the name of M. de Villepin.
A lot of French people are still revolutionary-hearted and jealous.
Their feelings are clearly shown when they shorten the name of any aristocratic person. So don't follow this bad example and be well-mannered and respectful.
ALL newspapers should apply this rule.

Christine


 

Timothy Barton
Local time: 14:14
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Re Nov 8, 2005

Christine Cramay wrote:

Yes, in this case the "de" is not capitalized and the name can't be shortened. Only people who feel contempt for aristocracy in general take the liberty of abbreviating the name of M. de Villepin.
A lot of French people are still revolutionary-hearted and jealous.
Their feelings are clearly shown when they shorten the name of any aristocratic person. So don't follow this bad example and be well-mannered and respectful.
ALL newspapers should apply this rule.

Christine




According to the article, you *can* remove the "de" in certain contexts when the sirname is longer than one syllable.

I've never been given a satisfactory response as to whether one should repeat a "de" in French, as in "les discours de (de) Gaulle".


 

PFB (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:14
English to French
+ ...
De Gaulle - For information Nov 8, 2005

I've never been given a satisfactory response as to whether one should repeat a "de" in French, as in "les discours de (de) Gaulle".[/quote]

I've never heard or read in an article or book "les discours de Gaulle". You have to use "de" twice here: "les discours de de Gaulle". But yes, it may sound odd which is why you will often find "général" or "président" just before, as in "les discours du g./p. de Gaulle".

If you still find it odd, you can always say or write "les discours gaulliens" - different from "gaulliste(s)", of course, as this word is the adjective for the party/politicians that supported him.

[Edited at 2005-11-08 14:07]


 

RHELLER
United States
Local time: 05:14
French to English
+ ...
if it's okay for "Le Figaro"... Nov 8, 2005

Christine,

I understand your call for respect but how can non-native translators know for sure when "Le Figaro" uses Villepin (not de Villepin) in their headlines?

http://www.lefigaro.fr/


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 14:14
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Don't know about French, but it would be silly in German Nov 8, 2005

Nobody would say: Ein Gedicht von von Goethe
or
eine Sinfonie von van Beethoven.
Only when the whole name is mentioned is it justified to mention the "von".
And how about the telefone directory: are they all unter "D" in France? I hardly think so.

Regards
Heinrich


 

PFB (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:14
English to French
+ ...
From "Le Robert des difficultés du français" Nov 8, 2005

I quote:

"
Comme particule nobiliaire, "de" s'omet le plus souvent quand le nom patronymique est seul: Chateaubriand, Retz, La Rochefoucauld. Mais l'usage est complexe. Devant un nom à initiale vocalique ou réduit à une syllabe, la particule se maintient: d'Aubigné, de Thout. Quant à "du" ou "des", il ne disparaissent jamais: du Bartas, des Esseintes.

"

It follows that you keep it for de Gaulle (one syllable), you get rid of it for Villepin. But lots of people in the media or in the street still say "de Villepin".

Sorry if this is not as clear cut as one might have hoped:a difficulty indeed for native and non native speakers.


 

Timothy Barton
Local time: 14:14
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Just as the BBC article said Nov 8, 2005

Philippe Boucry wrote:

I quote:

"
Comme particule nobiliaire, "de" s'omet le plus souvent quand le nom patronymique est seul: Chateaubriand, Retz, La Rochefoucauld. Mais l'usage est complexe. Devant un nom à initiale vocalique ou réduit à une syllabe, la particule se maintient: d'Aubigné, de Thout. Quant à "du" ou "des", il ne disparaissent jamais: du Bartas, des Esseintes.

"

It follows that you keep it for de Gaulle (one syllable), you get rid of it for Villepin. But lots of people in the media or in the street still say "de Villepin".

Sorry if this is not as clear cut as one might have hoped:a difficulty indeed for native and non native speakers.



Yes, this is precisely what the BBC article said.


 

MariaChiara
English to Italian
+ ...
BBC article also says... Nov 8, 2005

[/quote]

Yes, this is precisely what the BBC article said.[/quote]

"It is Dominique de Villepin. And if you use an honorific, like Monsieur, you keep the particle," Blanche de Kersaint of the Bottin Mondain - France's high-society directory - told the BBC News website.

What if you lose the Monsieur? Did "de Villepin" shake the president's hand, or was it plain "Villepin"?

"Villepin did. In that case the particle goes."

*****The rule is this - a "de" attached to a single-syllable name stays no matter what. Anything longer, and removal of the honorific means removal of the "de". *****


This may account for Le Figaro's choice and (hopefully) make things clearer!


 

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:14
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Noblesse oblige Nov 8, 2005

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

Nobody would say: Ein Gedicht von von Goethe
or
eine Sinfonie von van Beethoven.
Only when the whole name is mentioned is it justified to mention the "von".
And how about the telefone directory: are they all unter "D" in France? I hardly think so.

Regards
Heinrich


Yes, Heinrich,

In France all noblemen and many Dutchmen are listed under the D.

Regards,
Gerard de Noord


 

Timothy Barton
Local time: 14:14
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Mr Noord ;-) Nov 8, 2005

Gerard de Noord wrote:

Yes, Heinrich,

In France all noblemen and many Dutchmen are listed under the D.

Regards,
Gerard de Noord


 

MariaChiara
English to Italian
+ ...
...but not too clear! Nov 9, 2005

Gerard de Noord wrote:

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

Nobody would say: Ein Gedicht von von Goethe
or
eine Sinfonie von van Beethoven.
Only when the whole name is mentioned is it justified to mention the "von".
And how about the telefone directory: are they all unter "D" in France? I hardly think so.

Regards
Heinrich


Yes, Heinrich,

In France all noblemen and many Dutchmen are listed under the D.

Regards,
Gerard de Noord





Heinrich is right, for what I know, BUT: names of Dutch origin (and English names of French origin)don't follow the same rule.

As for "de" in front of "de", here is what my Larousse (Les difficultés de la langue française, A.V. Thomas) says:


"Si le nom est monosyllabique (ou si la seconde syllabe est muette), la particule doit s'exprimer [...].
Si, dans ce cas, la particule est heurtée par un "de" préposition non élidé, il est d'usage d'y mettre la majuscule:
"La mort de De Thou. L'arrivée de De Lattre. (Mais il est préférable de tourner sa phrase autrement: L'arrivée du maréchal de Lattre)"


And as for "the light side" :
« Il est toujours avantageux de porter un titre nobiliaire. Etre de quelque chose, ça pose un homme, comme être de garenne, ça pose un lapin. »
(Alphonse Allais.)


 

Timothy Barton
Local time: 14:14
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
From this morning's edition of the Catalan newspaper "Avui"... Nov 9, 2005

"Aquesta llei va ser aplicada per primer cop a l'Algèria colonial i tres anys després a la metròpoli, coincidint amb el retorn ***de De Gaulle*** al poder.

(For anyone slightly confused with the "va ser", this is a past tense in Catalan, equivalent to the Spanish "fue". One could also say "fou", but this would be more literary.)


 

PFB (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:14
English to French
+ ...
And from today's edition of "Le Monde" Nov 9, 2005

"Face à la crise des banlieues, Villepin décrète l'état d'urgence".

It's all clear!

[Edited at 2005-11-09 08:57]


 

Odette Grille  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:14
English to French
+ ...
It is a rule May 26, 2007

Rita Heller wrote:

Christine,

I understand your call for respect but how can non-native translators know for sure when "Le Figaro" uses Villepin (not de Villepin) in their headlines?

http://www.lefigaro.fr/


I do believe the rule is NOT to use the de, il you omit the first name or title M. or Gnal, etc...


 


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