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Prawn
10-10-2008, 10:36 PM
J’espere que vous seriez interesee par mon roman, Sins of Omission, qui parle d’un flic israelien qui trouve une tuee palestiniane, et veut, a tout prix, trouver les responsibles.


Merci!

ManyAk
10-10-2008, 10:41 PM
J’espere que vous seriez interesee par mon roman, Sins of Omission, qui parle d’un flic israelien qui trouve une tuee palestiniane, et veut, a tout prix, trouver les responsibles.


Merci!

I am not a native french speaker, but I speak it on a daily basis nonetheless. I think that the structure of your sentence is a bit weird. Here's how I'd put it :

J'espère que vous seriez intéressés par mon roman Sins of Omission, qui parle d'un flic israélien qui veut à tout prix trouver les responsibles du meurtre d'une femme Palestinienne.

Prawn
10-11-2008, 01:16 AM
Merci!

reenkam
10-11-2008, 04:53 AM
I'm not a native speaker, but I've studied the language for several years. I think I'd just work to make the sentence a little more streamlined. Something like:

J'espère que vous vous intéresserait à Sins of Omission, un roman qui parle d'un flic Israélien et ses recherches pour retrouver les tueurs d'une femme Palestinienne.

ManyAk
10-11-2008, 05:39 AM
I'm not a native speaker, but I've studied the language for several years. I think I'd just work to make the sentence a little more streamlined. Something like:

J'espère que vous vous intéresserait à Sins of Omission, un roman qui parle d'un flic Israélien et ses recherches pour retrouver les tueurs d'une femme Palestinienne.

Sounds good, only a small error with the verb. It would be INTÉRESSERAI (with no t at the end).

EDIT : Btw, that synopsis reminds me A LOT of The Little Drummer Girl by John Le Carré.

ideagirl
10-11-2008, 06:58 AM
You came to the right place, posting your question here!


J’espere que vous seriez interesee par mon roman, Sins of Omission, qui parle d’un flic israelien qui trouve une tuee palestiniane, et veut, a tout prix, trouver les responsibles.
Merci!

Even if you kept this sentence structure (which you shouldn't--see below), why are you using the conditional (seriez) there? It's like saying "I hope you would be interested..." You want the indicative instead: que vous serez. But that's not how a French speaker would say "I hope will be interested by..."; French speakers use a different sentence structure--the equivalent of "I hope X will interest you."

What you really need is a completely different sentence structure, so here ya go. Note that I can't type accents here, so they're omitted, but I've marked the letters that need them--underline = accent grave, underline with italics and bold = accent aigu:

J'espere que mon roman vous interessera. Intitule Sins of Omission, il raconte l'histoire d'un policier israelien qui retrouve le corps d'une Palestinienne et se decide, a tout prix, de retrouver ceux qui en sont responsables. [or: ceux qui l'ont tuee.]

"Palestinienne" is capitalized because adjectives of nationality are capitalized when they refer to a person. I changed "flic" to "policier" because "flic" is too slangy for a business letter (which is what a query letter is). Also, I don't know where you're sending this--to Canada, France or wherever else--and while "flic" means "cop" in France, I can't guarantee it has any meaning elsewhere in the francophone world.

ideagirl
10-11-2008, 07:00 AM
Sounds good, only a small error with the verb. It would be INTÉRESSERAI (with no t at the end).

No, it wouldn't. The second-person plural (i.e., "vous") future form of interesser is interesserez ("vous vous interesserez de cela..."). Interesserai is the first-person singular (i.e., "je") future. With a -t on the end, it's the third-person singular ("il/elle/on") future.

Fenika
10-11-2008, 07:10 AM
Also try http://forum.wordreference.com/forumdisplay.php?f=3 for all your translation needs :)

reenkam
10-11-2008, 08:36 AM
No, it wouldn't. The second-person plural (i.e., "vous") future form of interesser is interesserez ("vous vous interesserez de cela..."). Interesserai is the first-person singular (i.e., "je") future. With a -t on the end, it's the third-person singular ("il/elle/on") future.

Wow, you're definitely right. That's an embarrassing typo...woops.




And Prawn, idealgirl's translation is probably best. It's the closest to your original sentence without sounding...English-y.

ManyAk
10-11-2008, 04:41 PM
No, it wouldn't. The second-person plural (i.e., "vous") future form of interesser is interesserez ("vous vous interesserez de cela..."). Interesserai is the first-person singular (i.e., "je") future. With a -t on the end, it's the third-person singular ("il/elle/on") future.

Exactly. And you want the futur form of the verb because you wrote "J'espère que vous vous intéresserai...''

If you want the present form, you would go with ''J'espère que vous serez intéressés...''

ideagirl
10-11-2008, 07:12 PM
If you want the present form, you would go with ''J'espère que vous serez intéressés...''

That isn't the present form. "Serez" is the second person plural FUTURE form of "etre" (the present is "etes," with a circonflexe accent over the first e). But the distinction between the two sentences you're discussing isn't that one is present and the other is future--they're both future (though one is incorrect--see below). The distinction is that they are two different verbs: "etre interesse(e)" and "s'interesser."

"Etre interesse" doesn't mean "to be interested" in the sense of being interested in a novel; it means "to have an interest or stake in" something. Like, Sarah Palin "est interessee" (or I should say, "etait interessee"--past tense) in the outcome of the Troopergate investigation, or someone who's part-owner of a business "est interesse" in how much the business gets sold for (i.e., they have a financial stake in it). The verb for being interested in the English sense--interested in a novel, etc.--is "s'interesser," i.e., je m'interesse, tu t'interesses, vous vous interessez etc.


Exactly. And you want the futur form of the verb because you wrote "J'espère que vous vous intéresserai...''

I'm not sure what you mean there. You can't say "vous vous interesserai"--that would be like saying "you am interested" (I'm using a present-tense example in English because the English future tense is identical for all persons: I will be, you will be, he will be etc.).
Your options for that verb (s'interesser) are:
Vous vous interesserez, or
Je m'interesserai.
But in any case, as I said in my other post, that isn't how a French speaker would structure the sentence.

Ms Hollands
10-11-2008, 08:09 PM
In future, can any reference to those of the croissant nationality please be 'franch spikkers'? I'd really like that (although the French may not).

Half the French people argue about the correct way of saying something when I ask them the best way, and it's their native language. Are any of the replies from native French speakers? If so, great. If not, I'll ask my native Franch spikker other half.

ideagirl
10-12-2008, 06:26 AM
In future, can any reference to those of the croissant nationality please be 'franch spikkers'? I'd really like that (although the French may not).

I prefer "Fronsh spikkAIR." It should be the same for singular as for plural, since a French person would forget to pronounce the final S. :)


Half the French people argue about the correct way of saying something when I ask them the best way, and it's their native language. Are any of the replies from native French speakers? If so, great. If not, I'll ask my native Franch spikker other half.

Fronsh pipol simply like to argue, no??
I am not strictly "native," but I started learning French at age 7, have BA and MA degrees in it, lived in France for several years, and did well in various university classes (contract law, French business structures, etc.) in French universities. So, as close as you're gonna get without actually being native. French people often mistake me for French--a side benefit of starting to learn the language so young.

rugcat
10-12-2008, 06:49 AM
An interesting side point -- my French is rusty and was never that good in the first place. But I understood the letter immediately, with no problem.

Just like I had trouble understanding Parisians, but never any problem understanding the Dutch or Germans whose French accent and fluency were not much better than my own.

Non native speakers tend to think alike, I believe.

ideagirl
10-12-2008, 09:53 PM
By the way, I want to clarify something I wrote too hastily:


"Palestinienne" is capitalized because adjectives of nationality are capitalized when they refer to a person.

What I should have said is, they're capitalized when they are used BY THEMSELVES to refer to a person (une Americaine, un Allemand, trois Francais, etc.). When they're used to modify a noun, they stay noncapitalized: une chanteuse americaine, un poete allemand, trois etudiants francais, etc.

Ms Hollands
10-13-2008, 04:24 PM
Okay, from a French boy, as he would expect it to be written:

J’ espère que vous serez interesée par mon roman, Sins of Omission, qui parle d’ un policier israélien qui découvre le corps d' une palestinienne, et veut, a tout prix, trouver les responsables.

He said the capitalisation of the nationalities is not what he would write. Also, it's only interesée if you're addressing a female. If it's a bloke, it's 'interesé', but I'm guessing you know that already.

gophergrrrl
10-13-2008, 08:17 PM
Ahh.. well, I was going to suggest www.freetranslation.com , and then pay for the human translation... but it looks like ya'll got it all under control here. =o]

ideagirl
10-14-2008, 04:56 AM
He said the capitalisation of the nationalities is not what he would write.

Yeah, it's a rule that confuses a lot of people, native speakers included. It's one of those finer points of grammar that not everybody masters (like, say, the use of the subjunctive in English). What it is, technically, is a "nom de nationalite" (noun of nationality) that happens to be identical to the adjective of nationality. When you're using it as a noun to designate a people (les Francais, les Juifs, les Parisiens), you capitalize it. When you're using it as a noun to designate a person as a member of a given people, ditto: capitalize it (une Francaise, un Juif, un Parisien). But when you're using the same word as an adjective--une chanteuse francaise, un chauffeur marocain, etc.--you don't capitalize it. And when you're using it as a noun to designate a language, it's also not capitalized: le francais, le russe, l'italien etc.

Nationality words are capitalized when--and only when--used as nouns to designate a people or an individual member of a people. That is, the citizens or people of a nation (les Americains), a region (les Bourguignons/people from Burgundy), a city (les Toulousains), or a distinct people without its own nation: les Peaux-Rouges (literally the red-skins, a somewhat old-fashioned word for Native Americans), les Juifs. And here's another potentially confusing detail: you write les Juifs to refer to Jewish people in general, and un Juif/une Juive, but if you're talking specifically about Jewish people as members of a religion, rather than as a people, it's not capitalized: les juifs orthodoxes, for example, are members of a religion, and religion names don't get capitalized. It just so happens in the case of Judaism that the word for the religion and the word for the people are the same--hence the potential confusion.

This rule can get especially confusing when the nationality word is next to another word that can be either an adjective or a noun--and there are lots of those in French. For example, "des jeunes Arabes" (some young Arabs): jeune can be an adjective, and when it is one, it comes before the noun (un jeune homme/a young man). It can also be a noun (trois jeunes se sont approches de moi/three young people approached me). The same is true of the noun vieux/vieille (old man/old woman): the SAME WORD can be an adjective meaning "old." So at least technically, "les jeunes A/arabes" could go either way. In terms of grammar you may have to analyze such phrases pretty closely, and in context, to figure out which is the adjective and which is the noun.

But in terms of usage, in most cases--maybe there's an exception, but I can't think of one--in sentences like that, the nationality word is going to be understood as the noun; a French person who wanted to use it as an adjective would construct a different sentence, one that makes the nationality word clearly of secondary importance (i.e. functioning as a modifier) rather than primary (functioning as a noun). So they might say something like "un jeune d'origine arabe" or something to that effect. So, in those weird cases like "les jeunes Arabes," where two words are next to each other and both could be either adjectives or nouns, the nationality word is generally going to be understood as a noun, and thus capitalized.

And by the way, I don't normally recommend this as a reliable research method, but type "une palestinienne" into a google search box. See what comes up? Tons of French newspaper headlines about "une Palestinienne." The query letter we're discussing here needs to capitalize that word.

Ms Hollands
10-14-2008, 12:45 PM
I'm just the messenger. it's why I typed that he wouldn't capitalise it. He is not a French language professor, but he is very representative of a native French speaker. Either way, if the rule is so confused in France, I doubt very much that the recipient of the letter is going to tut over whether a native English speaker has got that particular bit right or not. Was trying to illustrate that point so Prawn doesn't spend restless nights over deciding whether to use a typical French speaker's words or the correct (but maybe not common) words.

RJK
10-15-2008, 11:52 PM
I plugged the OP's sentence into Babelfish (http://babelfish.yahoo.com/translate_txt)and it came up with the below translation. With the exception of "tuee", it makse sense to me.


I hope that you would be interested by my novel, Sins off Omission, which speaks about an Israeli cop which finds a tuee palestiniane, and wants, at all costs, to find the responsibles ones.

ideagirl
10-17-2008, 04:36 AM
I plugged the OP's sentence into Babelfish (http://babelfish.yahoo.com/translate_txt)and it came up with the below translation. With the exception of "tuee", it makse sense to me.

Babelfish is pretty good for getting the gist of something. But would you want to send a query letter to an agent with that sentence (the English translation) in it?