Poirot French Translations - Complete French to English from Each Poirot Novel
Agatha Christie’s most famous detective Hercule Poirot often speaks in French and regularly makes short or brief utterances in his mother tongue such as ‘mille tonners’, ‘mon amie’ or ‘les femmes’.
Often we are able to remember enough from learning French at school to translate these or at least gain an understanding from the wider context of the narrative to follow along and keep up with the plot but sometimes there are longer sentences or phrases that prove a bit trickier for some to understand.
So for our Poirot French translations, where do we turn?
I am aware that increasingly, children learn Spanish rather than French in schools these days and so thought this would prove useful to those younger audiences who are picking up their first Poirot novel and whom we don’t want to be deterred from enjoying the wonderful world of Agatha Christie just because of a bit of French.
For this reason, I have started to translate out each section in French from all of the Poirot novels. Although time consuming on my part, I hope these Poirot French translations will save a lot of you having to look up sections of text yourself so you can quickly find the translation and carry on enjoying the Poirot novel. After all, if Dame Agatha took the trouble to write it, we should take the trouble to understand it.
We shouldn’t just skip sections written in italics so I hope the below list of the most commonly used French phrases as helpful. Indeed, some of the things Poirot says in French can be critical to the plot or hold an essential clue so its always worth trying to understand exactly what it is he is saying. Its not just French that Christie writes in either – often German or Spanish is used within the Poirot novels thanks to her often multi-cultural characters. These have also been translated to the best of my ability so you can have a one stop reference guide not just for the Poirot French translations but the other languages he speaks too. (For more information on Poirot as a linguist, check out this page.)
Now, I am by no means a language expert, indeed I rely on my GCSE French to get by with most of the Poirot novels so please don’t take all these as perfect, grammatically correct translations – I have done my best to keep the context close to the narrative so I’m sure there will be errors in the detail, but I hope you can get enough accuracy from the translations given for it to be useful – at least it saves you the trouble of having to look them all up individually too!