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Old 06-23-2015, 09:08 AM   #1
AlexBell
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Convention for de, du, Le as parts of names?

I'm preparing Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant for the MR library, and am using a 19th century American English translation as the source text. In chapter 5 there is the text 'the door opened and Mesdames Forestier and De Marelle appeared.'

Should not that be de Marelle? Is there a convention or 'best style' for de and du as parts of names? So far as I can tell Le as part of a surname is always Le rather then le; is that correct?

The ebook I am preparing will be in British English, if that makes any difference.
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Old 06-23-2015, 10:42 AM   #2
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According to this page :
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Particule_(onomastique)

It should indead be "de" and not "De" If wikipedia can be trusted....
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:59 AM   #3
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Hi Alex,

I agree with Eowyn for de.

It should be the same for le (and not Le): for example: Pierre le Grand, not Pierre Le Grand.

AFAIK, the British way of wording is often nearer (for some patterns) to French than the USA way.

PS If you want to see how complex this simple matter is, go here: http://www.btb.termiumplus.gc.ca/red...psect3&info0=3 and look 3.3.9 Noms de famille: this is daunting, but useful!

Last edited by Arios; 06-23-2015 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:59 PM   #4
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Many thanks to you both.

I could get by in French when I worked in Canada, but lost nearly all I had learned when we returned to Australia in 2000. So I'm afraid I can't cope with articles in French.

PS: How should I spell 'Le Fanu'?

Last edited by AlexBell; 06-24-2015 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 06-24-2015, 07:43 AM   #5
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Another question:

Later in Bel Ami the main male character changes his surname from Duroy to du Roy - or at least that's the way I think it should be spelled; the source text often uses Du Roy.

Is du Roy correct when the name is in the middle of a sentence? When the name is the first words in a sentence should I use Du Roy?
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Old 06-24-2015, 11:41 AM   #6
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As curious as it sounds, you should say Le Fanu the same way, for example, as La Fontaine and le duc de La Rochefoucauld because they are part and in front of family's name.

If there is a rationale behind the rule above, I would bet for: Duroy or Du Roy because Du now is in front and part of the name. (In the version mentioned below, Duroy is used).

Alex you can go here: (http://www.ebooksgratuits.com/ebooks.php) and download this http://www.ebooksgratuits.com/newsen...1289&format=so The source doc for "Bel-Ami Édition illustrée" so you can do a search for problematic names. BTW this a nice édition.

PS IMO (and you know that of course!), one good rule is to have the same names systematically across the novel.

Last edited by Arios; 06-24-2015 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 06-25-2015, 03:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexBell View Post
Another question:

Later in Bel Ami the main male character changes his surname from Duroy to du Roy - or at least that's the way I think it should be spelled; the source text often uses Du Roy.

Is du Roy correct when the name is in the middle of a sentence? When the name is the first words in a sentence should I use Du Roy?
This change of name is of course essential to the story btw. In the French version, he is then called du Roy. Du Roy here, since it is the beginning of my sentence.
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Old 06-25-2015, 03:40 AM   #8
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As curious as it sounds, you should say Le Fanu the same way, for example, as La Fontaine and le duc de La Rochefoucauld because they are part and in front of family's name.

If there is a rationale behind the rule above, I would bet for: Duroy or Du Roy because Du now is in front and part of the name. (In the version mentioned below, Duroy is used).

Alex you can go here: (http://www.ebooksgratuits.com/ebooks.php) and download this http://www.ebooksgratuits.com/newsen...1289&format=so The source doc for "Bel-Ami Édition illustrée" so you can do a search for problematic names. BTW this a nice édition.

PS IMO (and you know that of course!), one good rule is to have the same names systematically across the novel.
What a marvellous idea! I've downloaded the book and am now on my way to unzip it and read it. Thanks again.
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Old 06-25-2015, 05:48 AM   #9
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Le Fanu was of course not French; he was Irish, and his name should therefore be treated according to the normal rules of the English language (ie capitalised).
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Old 06-25-2015, 12:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Le Fanu was of course not French; he was Irish
True, but...

Quote:
«Le nom de Le Fanu vient des ancêtres huguenots (ancien nom donné aux protestants français d'obédience calviniste durant les guerres de religion) de l'écrivain, qui avaient émigré de Caen en Irlande, lors de la révocation de l'Édit de Nantes par le roi Louis XIV, le 18 octobre 1685 (l'Édit de Nantes fut remplacé par l'Édit de Fontainebleau).»
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheridan_Le_Fanu
(A bad and short translation here: The name Le Fanu comes from Huguenot ancestors of the writer (Hugenot: former name given to the French Calvinist Protestants during the wars of religion), who had emigrated from Caen to Ireland...)

So Harry, if the source of fr.wikipedia is good, from a genealogical point of view, Le Fanu has French origin. (Some people named Le Fanu can be spotted in Normandy: http://vincent.lerouvillois.free.fr/html/n31.htm).

Alex aceflor is right: variation in the wording of the name is important and need to be respected (see pages 205-206 in the Bel-Ami word document).

I have read this novel a long time ago, sorry for my mistake!
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Old 06-26-2015, 05:51 AM   #11
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I wonder if we're drifting perilously close to a Facsimilite versus Bowdlerite controversy here.

I have looked at Bel Ami in the original French and was puzzled to see that after the name change the spelling is occasionally du Roy and occasionally Du Roy, even within a few lines of each other in the same paragraph. As far as I could tell if the name followed any punctuation mark it was Du Roy. If the name did not follow a punctuation mark it was du Roy.

Also, I got hold of the Penguin version of Bel Ami from the local library this afternoon. So far as I can tell after the name change every time the name occurs it's Du Roy. That to me is just as ugly as the variation in the French version.

Rightly or wrongly, for good or for bad, in my edition of Bel Ami if the name follows a full stop I'm going to make it Du Roy. If the name does not follow a full stop I'm going to make it du Roy.
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