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

Following our first release, Interlinear Books brings a second French book to help you!

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 second French Interlinear Book:
"La Fille aux yeux d'or" by Honoré de Balzac

We have made a French to English Interlinear translation of the book "La Fille aux yeux d'or" written by the Honoré de Balzac, perhaps the most famous French writer of all time.

The Girl with the Eyes of Gold - An Interlinear Translation Cover

The Girl with the Eyes of Gold - An Interlinear Translation Text

A French classic. Entirely in Interlinear.

Our Translation

The translation includes:

  • 168 standard-book pages of text - almost twice the length of our first book in French
  • over 23 thousand translated words and expressions
  • the original text with aligned Interlinear translations
  • printable/electronically readable PDF, EPUB file for e-readers, and a MOBI file for Kindles - improved usability!
  • + 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 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 Honoré de Balzac

Honoré de Balzac's "The Girl with the Eyes of Gold" in Interlinear Translation

"The Girl with the Eyes of Gold" is a 'a story by Balzac and a classic of French literature.

Honoré de Balzac was a 19th century French novelist, one of the founders of realism, the author of La Comédie Humaine, an influencer of countless writers, philosophers, and artists, and, all around, perhaps the most recognizable name in French literature.

"The Girl with the Eyes of Gold" is a popular classic, one of Balzac's most famous works. It is a tale involving hedonism, rivalry, cynicism, and a range of other human emotions. It's a good depiction of Parisian life and mores in the XIX-th century, and also an excellent introduction not only to French literature, but also to classical French writers, and especially Balzac himself.