Voici des mots clefs pour parler de la littérature.
Here are some key words for talking about literature.
During my thirty years of speaking French, any time that I had to speak about a topic or subject that was new to me, I would be frustrated to discover all the holes in my vocabulary. For example, if you have ever had the experience of needing to talk about literature in French, you may have come to realize that you lacked a certain specific vocabulary.
For students wanting to participate in a book club or to study literature to improve their language skills, this list might be of interest to you. I put together a list of words and expressions that were needed for the conversations I would have during courses in which we discussed books and short stories. Below are some expressions that you may find handy or essential in order to more easily discuss what you read (or even films you see) in French.
If you are interested in a Book Club course, please see my page on courses offered for details.
Il s’agit de… = It’s about…
Traiter de = Concerns, deal with, to be about
L’histoire a eu lieu… = The story took place…
Cela m’a fait penser à… = It made me think about..
Ce livre parle de… = This book talks about..
Tu as raison/ tort… = You are right/ wrong..
Je ne m’y attendais pas… = I did not expect that…
Je me rends compte que… = I realize that…
À mon avis – In my opinion..
Je suis en train de lire… = I am in the middle of reading, I am reading…
Ce livre m’intéresse parce que… = This book interests me because…
Je suis intéressé(e) par ce livre parce que… = I am interested in this book because…
La langue de l’écrivain est (élégante, riche, poétique, …) = The language of the writer is (elegant, rich, poetic…)
Langage haut en couleur, langage imagé = Colorful language
Genre = The style, type (of literature)
Roman historique, roman noir, roman d’aventure, une autobiographie = Historical novel, mystery novel, adventure novel, autobiography
Un récit, une histoire = A story
Le personnage principale, le/la protagoniste, le héros du livre = The main character, the protagonist, the hero of the book
Le lecteur = The reader
La lecture = Reading
L’auteur(e), l’écrivain(e) = The author, writer
Le dénouement, la résolution, la révélation ou catastrophe, la conclusion = Falling action
Le conflit, l’apogée, le moment décisif = Climax
La présentation, l’introduction, l’entrée en jeux = Exposition, introduction
Le déroulement, l’enchaînement, la progression de l’action, le développement de l’action, l’évolution du conflit, le point culminant = Rising action
le noeud, la péripétie = The entanglement, twists and turns
Le narrateur, la narratrice (omniscient)= The narrator (omniscient)
L’antagoniste, l’adversaire = The antagonist, the adversary, the enemy
Les personnages secondaires = Supporting characters
Le décor, la scène = The setting, scenery, the scene
L’intrigue = The plot
Le complot = The conspiracy
Une oeuvre = One or several works by an author
Un oeuvre = Describing the ensemble of works for a writer
Un recueil (de nouvelles, de poésie) = A collection (of stories, of poetry)
Le thème =The theme