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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Tunisia
      • Current Location:
      • Tunisia

    • Join Date: Apr 2004
    • Posts: 1,247

    Terms of address

    Dear teachers,

    When translating a French text in English what initials should we use to address the characters? French or English ones?

    M. (= Monsieur) Pecuchet pourra-t-il venir ?
    Will M. or Mr (?) Pécuchet be able to come ?

    Is there a rule for that?
    Thank you for your help.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 902

    Re: Terms of address

    The old convention, before WWII, was to apply the native honorific: M. Laval; Herr Hitler; Signor Mussolini.

    Today the English honoric Mr. usually replaces the foreign one.

    To use the French "Monsieur" or "M." needlessly emphasizes that Mr. Pecuchet is a foreigner, or grants him excessive respect. In Canada, for example, if the leader of a political party is from Quebec (say Stephane Dion), the reference "Mr. Dion" is neutral, and "M. Dion" is used either with hostility by his opponents, or conversely fawning admiration from members of his own party.

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