Would you like to improve your French by reading a book?

Well, now you can thanks to Interlinear Books!

Interlinear makes it easy to read French.

Interlinear is a revolutionary method for learners.

Interlinear is a translation method that allows you to learn a language by reading and enjoying books in it. Interlinear achieves all this without dictionaries or similar hassles.

Presenting our French Interlinear Book:
"A Simple Heart" by Gustave Flaubert

We have made a French to English Interlinear translation of the book "A Simple Heart" written by the French writer Gustave Flaubert, known as the author of Madame Bovary.

A Simple Heart - An Interlinear Translation Cover
A Simple Heart - An Interlinear Translation Text

A French classic. Entirely in Interlinear.

Our Translation

The translation includes:

  • 92 standard-book pages of text
  • over 10 thousand translated words
  • the original text with aligned Interlinear translations - allows you to appreciate Flaubert's French, as he is known for always looking for "the right word" ("le mot juste")
  • printable/electronically readable PDF and experimental EPUB files
  • + we help you find free readily available audiobooks of the story to listen along

Translation Methodology

Translation Methodology

We have based this Interlinear translation on certain principles.

How do we translate?

Example of an Interlinear Translation in progess.

Translation Principle

Literal but understandable

Just like all the other Interlinear translations, this book translates words one by one and in their literal meaning. There is only one exception to this rule: when a literal translation would impair understanding. If it would, this translation prioritizes understanding.

For example, even though the more usual translation of the following phrase is "Actually, this was her entire literary education." we have opted for a completely literal translation as it is still understandable, especially since the reader is supposed to have at least some prior knowledge of French:
Interlinear translation - the dog followed not after him

But try reading this translation if it were literal:
literal Interlinear translation from French

As you can see, in such cases, if translated literally, the phrase would be hard to understand. Thus we have chosen a more understandable and less literary Interlinear translation:
not exactly literal Interlinear translation from French

In summary, our translations are literal, even if slightly clumsy. Unless such clumsiness hinders understanding, in which case we have opted for understanding.

Yet, French and English have not only similar vocabularies but also similar word order, thus the bigger part of the translation is both literal and understandable at the same time - even if sometimes the adjective comes after the noun in French and not before it like in English..

Embracing to cognates

Our Interlinear translation makes use of the fact that English and French share a lot of common words and word roots (due to the Norman invasion and subsequent word borrowing). This translation tries to highlight such commonalities, which makes it easier for the reader to remember the original French words.

For example, the original text includes the word "fidèle." Dictionary and most ordinary translations translate this word as "faithful." But the word "fidèle" also has a root in English, which you can trace in words like "fidelity." And, actually, English itself has a word "fidelious," which has now fallen out of use, but is still understandable by most native English speakers. Therefore, we translated "fidèle" as "fidelious" and not as "faithful" in order to show the links between French and English and to help the learners remember such words better: :
French Interlinear translation in English

Similarly, we have translated the French word "médecin" as "medic" (and not "doctor"), "probité" as "probity" (and not the more common "integrity"), "profond" as "profound" (and not "deep"), and so on. Unlike usual translations, which choose the equivalent which fits best in the English sentence, we tried to find cognates and to have them whenever possible, in order to help you learn.

The Original Book

French book cover - Interlinear Translation of Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert's "A Simple Heart" in Interlinear Translation

"A Simple Heart" is a Flaubert's story and a classic of French literature.

Gustave Flaubert was a 19th century French writer, the author Madame Bovary. He wrote realistic and romantic fiction, and was known for his perfectionism. He guided and taught such writers as Guy de Maupassant, and influenced generations of future authors, ranging from Kafka and Vargas Llosa to Nabokov and Sartre.

"A Simple Heart" is a story of a simple life of a simple person. It is also about loss, and how she deals with it. Written as a realistic narrative, it not only describes what life for ordinary people was like at that time in France, but also raises questions about the living of life, the examining of it and attitudes towards this. Because of its relatively short length, relatively modern language and clear writing style, this story is well suited for French learners who want to get additional reading practice and people interested in classical French literature.