Industry related, examples
- The dubbing and translation related industry has country specific
ramifications; there is competition for the translation rights to
American productions; sometimes France dubs for the world, sometimes
Quebec does, sometimes each go their own way etc.
- The majority of English movies distributed in France had their title translated to French in 2010 (this is one source); there is nothing specific to Quebec in that respect.1
- Some of the industry traditions vary depending on the market; in France
you will have renaming of some English titles per se (see this
insightful article 2). A renaming can also occur for
various reasons from one variety of the French language to another -
for instance the same article lists Lance et Compte (1987)
from Quebec, renamed Cogne et gagne in France3. Obviously with
speech you're trying to cater to what is familiar within
the target dialect or sociolect to create an immersive experience;
there are possibly as many differences between markets as there are
differences in France itself, and between France and other countries in the Francophonie in
terms of what the viewership considers usual and natural spoken
French; and those differences can be considerably greater than with the written language.
Observations about the Black Pearl
- The stance on the integral borrowing of casual words from the English language might differ between France and Quebec and this might steer the speaker's choice.4 One can't say for certain what the translators had in mind when translating here, but we can expect a translator to be first and foremost a speaker. From my point of view, in my world, English is not a prestige variety for the
French language; there is no context where it is "authentic" in written form except when one writes in English. This is not a movie where people use English car terminology because they're dealing with English speaking suppliers etc. Furthermore, English
pronunciation within a sentence in French is often incompatible with
French phonetics; constantly having to "switch" from French to a
standard English pronunciation in the middle of a sentence, then back
again, is disturbing and tiresome, especially to say basic words which
already exist in the language. Parsing English words within French text
also hinders readability as one naturally expects French when they read in French; this is not speech this is written French text in a title. Finally, if the Black Pearl is not
some exotic string of words in English then why should it be so in
On the other hand, as someone mentioned, the underlying generic
is the galleon here (galion, n. m., a type of gallère, n. f.).
The interest lies in how you're going to leverage grammatical gender
in the context of a boat name with varying underlying generics. Gender has an impact on how this sounds.
Bateau, vaisseau, navire are masculine; goélette, frégate and such are feminine etc.. Then again, it is possible to use the masculine irrespective of the gender of perle (n. f.) for instance, and
the French Marine nationale does so, which is consistent with modern trends in the field. The Le bon usage (Grevisse and
Goosse, ed. Duculot) discusses boat names at §475; you basically
have an equal set of examples where authors use an article which
reflects the gender of the underlying generic, or not. The most well
known case is undeniably that of Verne's le Nautilus, which has both the
masculine article and the capitalized N. But it's a simpler case also involving a sous-marin (n. m.) and Nautilus doesn't have a feminine ending. I did not watch the movie you speak of and don't have access to possibly different versions of the dialog to see if they refer to any underlying type of boat or generally how they would deal with using Perle noire5.
Generally proper nouns start with a capital letter and LBU at §99a)2
indeed refers to boats sometimes being equated with such nouns. If
a noun, especially a nickname, is made out of many words, all of them
would usually start with a capital letter. The current French Navy ships include La Grande Hermine and Belle Poule, but the adjective comes first and this makes a difference as someone explained. I can't come to terms with this complexity and with applying the rules to the boat name form found in this case. More generally, one can look into the topic of capital letters to add significance and how generally capital letters should only be used if required. The subject requires a much more careful study (see specific uses).
1. You would think it's common business sense to present your product in French when the overwhelming majority of your customers happen to be French speaking. In that respect the Charter of the French Language simply makes sure you have comparable results to what ends up happening in France in a different but comparable scenario. History's lessons are remembered; money talks louder than good intentions so you need laws to strike a balance against carelessness or ignorance; and a balance has been struck. But this is really about the idea of inscriptions on products for sale i.e. labels, not content; there's no guideline for translating a movie title, and this is not about the name of a business. La Malédiction du Black Pearl is a title in French containing two English words; I don't see what relevance the law (section 51) has here and why it was brought up (in the answers). One should also note the Charter doesn't require a movie to be dubbed to French, and in that case no French material or label is required (see q. 29, 30 here). Otherwise according to Wikipedia it seems New-Brunswick went along with the Quebec version of the title/movie.
2. It lists 8 other titles renamed besides the one provided in an other answer: American hustle/American bluff, Silver linings playbook/Happiness therapy, Two mothers/Perfect mothers, The purge/American nightmare, Escape plan/Evasion, Prince avalanche/Prince of Texas, Baggage Claim/Destination love. It doesn't come with an explanation; it most likely connects with some cultural references in France.
3. Beyond titles, in terms of spoken French, see Paul Newman's Slap shot (La Castagne (!), 1977) audio track translated in Quebec for a taste of how far the differences with language and references can go (nsfw).
4. For instance, consider the case of the cranberry, or that of the book in the fashion industry; and many other examples, such as sponsor (it always were commanditaire in the French Code de commerce). How one can consider any of those words properly "integrated" into the language is a mystery: there are perfectly usual French counterparts which are perfectly in sync with the evolution of the language. This begs the question of what is the rationale for using such and such a loan word. Nobody seems to know. For a careful case by case assessment of some such integral loan words in Quebec, and their usefulness, or lack thereof, see this.
5. I think I would have gone for La malédiction du Perle noir, which I find the best of both worlds as it uses French words and the masculine for of the underlying galleon. But it may sound slightly off without mentioning the generic (du galion Perle noire); but then will that word galion be casual enough to be understood, will people make jokes about it etc. these considerations might also govern the choices translators make.