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September 2019
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Avriet: Style-Type Questions

Writing: During the course of writing Avriet, I am being inconsistent in my use of titles. I have used the French versions of baron, count, and duke, but the English versions of king, queen, and doctor.

I am mainly doing this because 1. Avriet is an homage to a group writing project I used to be a part of, called Children of the Vortex. I loved it, and its setting was pseudo-French. And 2. I don't like the way 'Roi' sounds, and since I have substituted 'king' for it, I felt compelled to use 'queen.' I was uncertain whether I should use 'doctor' or 'docteur' and went with the English version for simplicity's sake.

Should I be completely consistent with all of the titles?

Also--should I use the French titles, at all? I remember reading a comment from a fan writer once who disliked seeing writers of manga fan fiction insert bits of Japanese into their writing, just to show that they knew some Japanese phrases. Should I just put the whole thing into English?

Also, does anyone know what the French word for 'chakras' is? Amazingly enough, it isn't in my French-English dictionary, and this Indian word sticks out like a sore thumb amid all of the otherwise French usage. I suppose I could claim that its origin is Invari in the book, but it's still intrusive, stylistically.

Comments

Re: 'Chakra', I have no idea. But considering I believe there is no English equivelant for Chakra itself - the word, like Prana, Kundalini etc being the Indian originals merely used in an English context - maybe Chakra is the only French spelling. But double-check.

Regarding the general to-Anglicise-or-not issue - of course, it's up to you. But I would say English is a bastardised language to start with, and always has been, so base your context around that.

For example - if you consider the language to be at a more Frenchified state of being (for example, like us before Shakespeare but after the Norman invasion) then for every word you use, check if it originated in France. If it did, then bear that in mind. I mean, like your example - King is British, but the term "Royal" seems of obviously originally French, or possibly from the root latin original - so perhaps use the word Royal grammatically like the word "Roi" would be used in French. This is a link to an Etymology Dictionary online I saw recently but I can't vouch for it's accuracy.

I'd be classically confused myself - while I speak French, not German, I studied Anglo-Saxon (ie, Old English - in written form as Latin-spelled Saxon/Celtic influenced old British language, so it was conjecture how it sounded, mind) and yet I'd prefer if possible placing things in Cornwall/Devon, Wales or Ireland to go for the Gaelic. Gah!

Rich--I like your idea of using English words which are derived from French in the book. Very neat, and it would be a subtle way of maintaining the feel of a French-like culture.

Thanks for the Etymology Dictionary link! That could prove quite useful.

Heh...Gaelic or even pseudo-Gaelic in a book would be fun to read--and even more fun to spell! (g)

Chantal

The Gaelic would take someone braver then me. I struggle with regional dialects on occasion as it is (less since I got lots of the South-West one this year. How strange is that?)