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French Genealogy

Discussion in 'Europe - More resources' started by GrahamSimons, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. GrahamSimons

    GrahamSimons Member

    I would recommend www.genealogie.com as a French-language genealogy forum. People on it have been hugely helpful in my research.
    • Useful Useful x 2
  2. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    I have a small arm of my Tree that requires some French research, but have always been put off because, like many, I have little more than schoolboy French. I was pleased to see your recommendation and have in fact registered on the site and am pleased with what I see (& understand). I can interpret the headings and understand search results; even those that find nothing and tell me to modify my search. However asking questions via their Forums will be daunting to say the least. You say people have been hugely helpful, which is encouraging. Can I ask if you have been able to express yourself in French, or have you communicated in English? I will make my own attempts of course, but would like to know how you went about it and have any tips to pass on. Thanks
  3. Jennie

    Jennie LostCousins Member

    Have just been on this website, put in your forum surname of Spiers and came up with 451 individuals with that name and a few more derivations.

    I know there is an instant translator but have not noted where the message is so would suggest this in the meantime, to get you ‘up and running’:

    To me, the terminology used in French looks quite Englais in places with a touch of Latinese. The unfamiliar words can be easily translated by Google Translator, simple and straightforward.

    The Pays box and Département boxes are for your chosen location(s) but I left my option open to all of France. However, at this stage I suggest you don’t get bogged down with all the ramifications of the French political, geographical etc, boundaries. If you do have any French place-names or clues, just put them in an online search box (I use Google) and you’ll easily find its main region etc.

    When you click on the document that has a name that may be relevant to your search, ALT + PRT Scr, paste to your photo-editing program, translate that, read the registering process, terms and conditions and excuse the pun “Bob’s your Uncle!” You’re nearly there and we’ll be here. Good luck :)

    PS: Click on thumbnail image, it will open to full size.

    LC Spiers French.jpg
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  4. Jennie

    Jennie LostCousins Member

    Have just thought. If you paste the information given when you click on a document (on the right-side of the screen) into a Word document, you can Save and then add this and all your further translations and create your own easy reference source.
  5. GrahamSimons

    GrahamSimons Member

    I've written in French - tried to be grammatical! On occasion I have posted in English in a hurry when trying to help someone else - and then wonderfully another poster has offered a translation.

    The French Genealogy Blog may be of interest, too: http://french-genealogy.typepad.com/
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  6. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    Thanks for your help it is much appreciated. Only one small point my 'French connection' (apologies for that) is a long way removed from my paternal 'Spiers' line. On second thoughts perhaps not as the connection is via my sister's second marriage. Both are naturalised Australians, my sister of British origin, her husband French. Their surname is Pinot, like the wine! He was a wartime baby born in occupied France in Paris (and evacuated to a farm outside Paris). He knows his parents of course but has little idea of his paternal grandparents and none at all of his maternal ones. So that is what I am setting out to explore.

    Your suggestions regarding translation and saving into Word are very helpful. I wonder if I can reverse the process of writing in English and having Google translate - which I hear does not always provide a literal (or should that be literate) translation - before posting in a Forum. I suppose I can get my brother-in-law to transcribe/translate by emailing him, although I prefer not to. It is likely I will have to ask him questions along the way anyway.

    As soon as I have finished my current research project, I will see how I get on with the French site and will bear the points you kindly provide in mind.
  7. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    Just spotted your reply, very many thanks. I will give it a go and see how I get on. Nothing ventured and all that.
  8. Jennie

    Jennie LostCousins Member

    Yes, you can easily reverse the process. On the top of the page are two boxes, for translation To and From. Under each is a dropdown list, then choose your language for each. You would need English and French for your written word. If you wish to translate French into English, just click on the arrows in the box between these two different languages. Another good feature, imo, is that if you want to translate a language that you do not recognise, above these boxes is a Detect Language heading to click on.

    Yes, again. Keep your words and sentences short and simple and your translation may be OK. As with all languages, the literal translation from one language to another can often be quite amusing and/or complete goobledegook (like that word!). If French to English, check you have entered or copied in the words correctly - I've found this is where many of my translation errors occur in the first place. Usually, if I use, say, English to French Google translation, I add a note at the top of the translation "Traduction par Google" ("Translation by Google"). Start with a "Bonjour" plenty of "s'il vous plaît" (please) and "merci" (thank you) or "merci beaucoup" (thank you very much) and you'll probably find the people very helpful and possibly fluent in English. You can copy and paste original Text and translated Text also to a Word document taking care only to highlight your actual words. If a short translation, I often include the original English for alternative reading.

    Then, if you wish, copy and paste all this to a Word document file for future reference, give it a go, and before you know you'll be wearing a stereotypical black beret! ;) And if all else fails, your bro-in-law will appreciate not having to translate it all, just the part where the Google translation cannot be understood. Good luck!
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  9. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    What fun the Google translator is and to test it out I have written a short part English part French email to my sister -to pass on to my Bro-in-law - whose French is better than his English [for obvious reasons] and to test it out. Apparently it passes muster if, as you say, it is kept simple. So with that behind me I posted a letter in a Forum asking for help. I added a footnote about using Google translator and apologising for any errors but will adopt your "Traduction par Google" suggestion next time.

    Unfortunately a reply to my email causes me to have to correct some assumptions first passed on to me. A good example of this is place of birth for his father of Boulogne-Sur-Mer (which I challenged as the family were supposed to be Parisian born) and turns out to be Boulogne-Billancourt (aka Boulogne-sur-Seine) -a Parisian Commune - and a few of that ilk. But all will come out in the wash as we say (that might be fun to translate).

    It only remains to thank you & Graham -who first posted about the Genealogie site- and, following your joint advice, take it from there.

    Alors merci beaucoup et au revoir pour l'instant
  10. Jennie

    Jennie LostCousins Member

    Monsieur Robert, bonjour et comment allez-vous?

    Am so pleased you found it fun and a very useful tool and it could 'ouvre' many doors! I forgot to mention it - at the bottom right hand side of the boxes is a sound icon, click on this and you can hear an oral translation of just one word or whatever you've typed. It can be repeated as many times as you like. I often use this if I am stuck on the pronunciation of a word. The possible downside is that my French sentences could be a mixture of many different dialects :rolleyes:

    Au revoir et merci beaucoup!
  11. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    Just a small comment after registering and using the Genealogie site for a while. It will come as no surprise to anyone that like its English counterparts, the site allows free generic searching and (so far) allows free posting to Forums, but if you try to follow through when the response seems promising, you will get a message like or similar to [and needs little translation] "La consultation du document concernant [xxxxxxxxxxx] est réservée aux membres de l'offre illimitée".....(Unlimited)

    The unlimited offers are respectively: (sterling is approx):- for 3 months [one payment] 38.97€ (£33)-for 6 months 54€ (£46) and by monthly installment ad infinitum (until cancelled) 19.99€ (£17).

    So you "pays your money and takes your choice" - or NOT as the case may be. I have yet to have a Search result or Forum Response that begs to be taken further. If this happens, then of course, that is the time to consider the subscription options. There is a note about a percentage reduction for being a member of a recognised Genealogy Society; but their approved list only shows French Genealogical Societies - so no surprise there either.
  12. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    As an offshoot in taking up the recommendation for the French Genealogie site, I have now found and subscribe to a most interesting Newsletter entitled "The French Genealogy Blog". It is free to subscribe (you just provide an email address) and best of all is in English. It offers interesting - and varying - facts about Departments & Regions in France and pinpoints where Departmental Archives are located and tells you how to go about researching.

    The current Newsletter offers interesting facts about Limoges. Did you know for instance that to be sent to Limoges (or to be "Limoged") means to be stripped of responsibility, or to coin an English phrase "Put out to grass". It explains how this came about.

    Departmental Archives for the current region (Haute-Vienne) are shown and it provides website links to other Departments by Number or Name.

    Check it out for yourself at French Genealogy Blog
  13. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    See my next newsletter for more French genealogy tips....

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