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I am attempting to translate "Create Page" into French. This sort of directive is very common in English within the context of menu options for software applications.

My question is can I simply translate this to "Créer Page"? or is it considered bad form to omit the indefinite article in French (unlike in English)?

Should I always include the indefinite article in all my directives? for example "Créer une Page" etc.

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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

"Créer Page" is definitely not correct. You could use:

  • Créer une page
  • Ajouter une page
  • Nouvelle page
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Excellent. Can you please confirm that while it is correct in English it is considered definitely incorrect in French? I mean is it not normal to shorten phrases so that they fit in confined spaces? –  Noel Abrahams Dec 12 '13 at 17:21
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Noel: If there is no other way, you can shorten it, but do your best to avoid it (it sounds rather contrived in French). Using adjectives like in “Nouvelle page” is a good idea. –  Stéphane Gimenez Dec 12 '13 at 19:18
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@NoelAbrahams It is definitely incorrect. It's comprehensible but feels like there's a word missing and shows that the text was not written by a fluent speaker. –  Gilles Dec 12 '13 at 20:55
    
@NoelAbrahams I concur: "créer page" is a language you would tolerate from a child under 5, not from anyone else. –  Olivier Dec 12 '13 at 22:11
    
don't know much french but checked the menu options in my phone settings in both languages just now, because like you I was skeptical that abbreviations wouldn't be used in contexts with extremely limited space. But in fact English "Create message" indeed becomes French "Ecrire un message." –  hunter Dec 13 '13 at 15:12
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Although it is not a "correct" sentence, many people will not be disappointed with it.

As software users can often see "Insérer objet" (insert object) or "Suppr. fichier" (delete file) in many software, you may use this of writing to gain space in your application (this is what I sometimes do although I am native french).

It depends also on the people who will use the software (young people will less notice this mistake than older ones). So, for software, "Créer page" is correct for me.

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Software developers -- I'm one -- speak a jargon which is too far from common usage to serve a model of good practice. A menu "Créer" with an entry "Page" won't raise any objection from me, but when seeing an entry "Créer page", my reaction is "that's a bad translation". –  Un francophone Dec 13 '13 at 7:57
    
In my mobile (after switching language) I see "Suppr. contacts", so @lauhub has a point, but only in so far as the abbreviation is made explicit. It's pretty clear from all other comments that "Créer page" is incorrect. –  Noel Abrahams Dec 13 '13 at 11:49
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