Would it be better if the profile of a French Notable was written in French?

+6 votes
206 views

 First a bit of background:

The other day I went to a lecture about a very brave French woman. She was a member of the resistance throughout the war. She managed to duplicate the subversive La France newsletter on the office duplicator and steal blank identity cards from there (she worked at the police headquarters) She also couriered information to the South of France and the Pyrenees . She was awarded various medals including the Croix de Guerre  and Legion d'honneur. Her daughter has written her biography making good use of her mother's journal which she kept thoughout the war.  In some ways I'm not unhappy to write about her in English since she married an Englishman and moved to England in 1947.  Her children are English 

(I think she should be a notable but she has no wikipedia page There is very little in French about her)

Her brother on the other hand was a Frenchman and a patriot throughout his life . He was the youngest chief of a resistance group (Orion). After the war he became a politician, first a Gaullist , later one of the co-founders of the UDF.

He also was the founder of the Figaro Magazine and the author of many books.

He has a wikipedia page and is certainly a notable.

I started writing his bio (the bit I've done needs editing down) but then got cold feet. It  somehow didn't seem right writing  about him in English. (and with my own perspective on his later politics) The people who were most likely to be interested are more likely to be French. What do others think?

Is anyone who writes French willing to take him on? (I've created his father and know some details of his mother who was Belgian, and his grandparents ancestors who came from the Savoie)

 Apart from the information from his sisters biography (written by her daughter in English)  which is mainly about the war,  any other  information I would use would be from obituaries and who was who . I haven't been able to find many other sources (official list of resistants, memorial to the group and his gravestone)

(note, I lived in France for 17 years and can read French well but I can't write it very accurately and I'm what the French might term Anglo-Saxon in culture)

WikiTree profile: Alain Griotteray
in Genealogy Help by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (326k points)
edited by Helen Ford
I would be happy to provide a French translation of his biography. I would not feel equal to writing it however.

4 Answers

+9 votes
Sometimes I run into profiles in languages I can't read. Because wikitree has a large number of English users, can I please suggest that '''when possible''' biographies in any other language be '''added''' to an English biography.
by N Gauthier G2G6 Pilot (143k points)
There is NO reason why a profile cannot have a Bio in 2 languages - the persons native language and english.

BUT there should be something in English at least.
I agree.  

If the bio is currently in English, then a French translation can be added either above or underneath. :)
I think that's a great idea, N, not just because of English users though.  I think it would be great to have biographies written in multiple (as in 2+) languages whenever there is anything about the person that makes it appropriate.
My understanding is that WikiTree aims to be truly international which means members of this community for whom English may be their second language or even may have no or little written English skills.

I don't think we can have any expectation that biographies will be in English or should be in English, unless there are people willing and able to provide English translations.  As Robynne and Gaile have said, there is no reason not to have biographies in more than one language.
+6 votes
Sometimes when I'm too tired or when I'm untangling many generations (often with the same names) of a Swedish family, I usually write in Swedish.

But there is a maintenance category for Sweden Project, "Needs translation to English" that I usually add if there seems to be a need for a translated biography. Then it is easy to find again later plus that anyone else could also work on the translation, not just me.
by Maggie Andersson G2G6 Pilot (122k points)
+3 votes
I could help you out with the French if you have the details.  I've lived in France since 1972.  Or I could proofread if someone else wants to translate but is uncomfortable in written French.
by Mary Shelley Hough G2G4 (4.8k points)
+2 votes
If you do go ahead in English and plan to later somehow also do profile in French, I would advocate a bilingual approach. In my experience, I find that there is little use in duplicating such aspects as children listing, census  enumerations and etymology in both languages and/or distinct profile.heading sections. As there hundreds of thousands of WikiTree profiles, standardization along these lines should be reflected in the form of project guidelines.
by Anonymous Lambert G2G6 Mach 1 (10.9k points)
edited by Anonymous Lambert

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