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Les aventures de Sherlock Holmes - help with translation!


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In order to continually TRY to improve my French before our move across to the Creuse next year, I thought that I would start to read French books - fiction, rather than text books.

I bought the adventures of Sherlock Holmes in a charity bookshop today and opened the first page...read the first sentence and became 'stuck'!

Could anyone help? The sentence is, Isa Whitney, 'frere de feu Elias Whitney.....' The literal translation, as far as I know is '....brother of fire???????'

If anyone could offer any sort of help for what this actually means, I would be most grateful. Otherwise, I'll probably give up again and redo all of my Michel Thomas CDs.

Thanks, in advance. Ann.
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Just an idea - why not get the book in English too? Then keep it by you as a parallel text. You used to be able to buy parallel text books, but I'm not sure if you still can. Alternatively, buy a book in French that you know well in English, it will help you get the gist. My daughter had read the Harry Potter books time and time again, and at 14 she read the first book in French. It's not so much the standard of her French but the fact that she could probably quote most of the book in English. Even so, it helped her understand the book in French.

OK, I can see you needed that one translating literally, but remember you really shouldn't do literal translation. It's the over all effect. I read lots in French, but I don't understand every word. If I had the dictionary by me it would become a chore - but after you've come across the same word several times in different contexts, you become more certain of what it means. I hope this helps.

Jill (99)
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