I have started to read the following book in the original French
Le Comte de Monte-Christ par Alexandre Dumas
It’s maybe a little too advanced for me, but it is going OK. A problem for me is that the French version seems to be missing quotation marks, so I have to guess if is dialogue or not. When I click on the English translation, it does have quotation marks for the dialogue. So either the quotation marks are there and I just can’t see them or only the translated version has quotation marks? Is this a common issue? I have tried to look through the settings to find any options related to quotation marks. Is there a solution to this issue?
It could depend on the edition you use. I checked a few editions, they all mark the beginning of spoken words with a dash:
C’était un jeune homme de dix-huit à vingt ans, grand, svelte, avec de beaux yeux noirs et des cheveux d’ébène ; il y avait dans toute sa personne cet air calme et de résolution particulier aux hommes habitués depuis leur enfance à lutter avec le danger.
— Ah ! c’est vous, Dantès ! cria l’homme à la barque ; qu’est-il donc arrivé, et pourquoi cet air de tristesse répandu sur tout votre bord ?
— Un grand malheur, monsieur Morrel ! répondit le jeune homme, un grand malheur, pour moi surtout : à la hauteur de Civita-Vecchia, nous avons perdu ce brave capitaine Leclère.
— Et le chargement ? demanda vivement l’armateur.
Like @benscheelings wrote in the example, there are thoses dashes for the French dialogue. Maybe you have also those « » at the beginning and end of an entire dialogue.
Then who did the translation in English used the related English quotation marks, which are different.
Thanks for you replies. Yes, those are good tips. I also noticed the page layout, which I miss out on a little in sentence mode, also helps to identify dialogue. But there are numerous exceptions like below where dialogue stops and resumes again.
Sentence 55 in chapter 1:
-Oui, dit Danglars en jetant sur Dantès un regard oblique où brilla un éclair de haine, oui, c’est jeune, et cela ne doute de rien.
“Yes,” said Danglars, casting an oblique glance at Dantes, where a flash of hatred shone, "yes, it is young, and that doubts nothing.
Every book I’ve ever read in English and Danish clearly marks dialogue with quotation marks like this. Doing some Google research, it seems that French does this differently?
This is obviously not very relevant, but the style described sounds to me like the one used by Spanish; instead of marking the start and end with quotation marks, a change of speaker is marked with a dash at the start (and nothing at the end).
Thanks for the reply. Yes, this seems exactly what is happening here too. Never seen this before so it confused me for a bit, guess I will have to adapt to this style!
I am French and work as a literary translator. I can confirm with absolute certainty that in all modern editions of books, dialogues start with a long dash called a “tiret cadratin”. Quotation marks are not used so much these days because they make the layout more confusing for the reader.
@SeoulMate: just to learn a bit more, are they also using these « » to define the beginning and end of a dialogue? With the “tiret cadratin” in the middle?
I saw old texts that had this combination:
Yes, this is the “old” formatting. It can still be encountered, and some “old school” publishers still insist on it, but it is used less and less nowadays.