So for a while now I've noticed something curious about French translations of English-language literature. First of all, if the author is contemporary and from the US, the book tends to say (on the front or back cover, usually): traduit de l'américain, rather than the traduit de l'anglais that appears on books by British authors. Secondly, all the Americans I know in France seem to be offended by this, as if this suggests that American English is somehow cast as inferior, as if it somehow doesn’t qualify as 'English'. But I was wondering if it could also be taken in the other direction, and seen as a sign of respect, suggesting that American English has somehow acquired special status that is worth noting to foreign readers of literature. So I would like to know what other people think of this: what does 'américain' mean to francophones, what connotations does the term have, and why do you think it is used? (The books never say traduit de l’anglais américain.) And what do Americans think? Are you offended, flattered or indifferent? And do such distinctions appear in other countries? Some further comments: last time I was in a big bookshop, I did a little survey and discovered that: 'classics' (pre-WWII) simply said traduction de Machin Chouette (presumably we're supposed to know that Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne et les autres John Steinbeck are American) (did that 'autres' work, Wordsmyth, or should I quickly edit it out?); Canadian texts nearly always said traduit de l'anglais, although two novels by Margaret Atwood said traduit de l'anglais (Canada); books by Australian, South African, and Indian authors, and anyone who moved around too much just said traduit de l'anglais. (Sorry, couldn't think of any authors from New Zealand. ) And if some discerning moderator thinks this thread belongs in the culture forum, I won't be offended.