When the blackbird flies to France
The French translation of ‘Blackbird Fly,’ first in the Bennett Sisters Mystery series, is now available. Woo hoo! Or, excuse me, Ooh-la-la! Emma Cazabonne translated the novel and Gaelle Davis proofread the translation. Both native French speakers, Emma lives in the Chicago area now while Gaelle lives in France.
The title in French, À Vol de Merle, translates to ‘As the blackbird flies.’ One of the issues we had to deal with was of course a French title, and how to capitalize it. The French don’t use capitals as much as we do in English, generally only capitalizing the first word in a title. I overruled my native French speakers however after reading that often the first important noun in a title is also capitalized. (In this case ‘vol’ is the noun ‘flight.’) We also capitalized ‘Merle,’ which means blackbird in French, because it is a proper name in the book. Merle Bennett is unaware of the meaning of her name until late in the book. (That aspect of the story may be a bit awkward.)
I am not fluent in French myself, although I took a number of years in high school. So I’m going to read À Vol de Merle as a way to brush up on my French. I know the story but I will keep my dictionary close at hand (along with a glass of wine of course.)