lieu-dit

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proustina

Member
usa, english
Friends and Colleagues,

Would you please give me an example of a "lieu-dit" which WRef defines as "place name."

The philosopher Edouard Glissant puns on the literal meaning "lieu-dit" as "place-saying" or "place-thus spoken" but I want to be clear what the ordinary meaning is that he is punning on. For all intents and purposes, what name of a town, city, country ISN'T a place name? This is where my confusion lies.

Many thanks in advance, much obliged,
Proustina
 
  • JeanDeSponde

    Senior Member
    France, Français
    Usually we use lieu-dit for small places, whose name would ring no bell for anybody not living close to it.
    Hence we say e.g. l'accident s'est passé au lieu-dit "les joyeux modérateurs" to explain that "les joyeux modérateurs" is a name place (35 souls, 2 bars, 1 bakery) - which could have not been obvious.
    Nobody would say j'habite au lieu-dit "Paris" - unless arriving in another galaxy.
     

    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    English - USA
    to me, un lieu-dit usually defines a geographical place so small that it's what people call it locally without having any political/administrative identity. A few houses grouped together out in the countryside but nothing more...

    a hamlet?
     

    Callista

    New Member
    Belgique, Français
    to me, un lieu-dit usually defines a geographical place so small that it's what people call it locally without having any political/administrative identity. A few houses grouped together out in the countryside but nothing more...

    a hamlet?
    This is a great explanation.
    It's often what's called a "hameau" in French and it generally comes from the history or folklore of the place.
     

    proustina

    Member
    usa, english
    Thank you very much, esp. JeanDeSponde. To reward you all, I should say that it IS very important for Glissant that the smallest, most abandoned places in the world be taken up into the Tout-Monde. I am currently revising an article accepted for a philos. journal, so it's especially important that I get my concepts straight. Here is Glissant's beautiful line in the original:

    Cette mesure-là [l’écho du souffle humain] fait que nous dérivons au plein (ou au plan) du monde, le rapportant à notre lieu-dit. – Glissant, Traité du Tout-Monde

    Thank you again to my collaborators! ~ amities, proustina
     

    tilt

    Senior Member
    French French
    Un lieu-dit is a very specific place, usually in the country side, which name comes from an historical or topographical particularity. They are traditional landmarks for people living there. I don't know if it's the same in the UK or in the USA, but in the towns of France, districts names often come from former lieux-dits that have been swallowed up by urban expansion.

    This is a great explanation.
    It's often what's called a "hameau" in French and it generally comes from the history or folklore of the place.
    Un hameau (hamlet) is a place where few houses are grouped, but too small to be considered as a village.
    When I was a kid, I've been told S'il y a une église, c'est un village, sinon c'est un hameau. :)

    Un lieu-dit doesn't imply any reference to houses or people living there.
     
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    proustina

    Member
    usa, english
    Tilt and all others, I thank you as well. Below, here's the last mention of "lieu-dit" that proves that you all have provided me with the keys to interpretation. Merci mille fois ~ proustina
    -----
    “Le lieu recrée sa Plantation, d’où cette voix sans voix crie. Plantations du monde, vases de solitude, enclos dénaturés, qui vous touchez pourtant. Mangles, bayous, lagons, muskegs, banquises. Ghettos, banlieues, volga-plagues, barrios. Quatre-chemins, Lieux-dits, pistes de sable, anses des fleuves. Villages qu’on abandonne, labours livrés aux routes, maisons fermées à leur entour, voyants qui hurlent dans leurs têtes.” Glissant, Poétique de la Relation
     

    Merle

    Senior Member
    English
    This was really interesting -- thanks to all. How would you translate lieu dit:

    "une parcelle sise lieu dit XXX..."

    "a plot located in the place called XXX...?"

    Thanks!
     

    LILOIA

    Senior Member
    I'm living in a lieu-dit : "Gourdou". It's only a house and a barn (it used to be a farm) in the countryside : no street name, no road name, no number, so it's got to have a name!
    It used to be a hamlet with up to 9 families. The people have died and the houses have been sold. Another house has been called "Gourdou bas", and another one "Michaut" : it's easier for the post.
    This name Gourdou is on the cadastre (land register). It's a very rural commune : apart from the bourg (50 inhabitants), there are only lieux-dits. There are lots of rural communes in France.
     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Hello,
    Perhaps I've gotten the wrong end of the stick, but it's my understanding that "lieux-dit" are generally places too small to have their own town hall (mairie).
    En France, la commune est une division administrative, la circonscription la plus petite de la France.
    The closest term I can think of in English for "lieu-dit" is "townland" ; only this usage is specifically Irish.
     

    Merle

    Senior Member
    English
    Re: lieu-dit
    This is all really interesting -- thanks to all for the explanations. But in a sentence, for example the tax document concerning an inheritance that I'm translating for school, does anyone know of an official translation for the WORDS lieu dit:

    "une parcelle sise lieu dit vigne rouge..."

    "a plot located in the place called vigne rouge...?"

    I feel that "crossroads" isn't right, that would be a carrefour, townland isn't AE, simply leaving it out isn't good translation practice...

    Thanks for your patience!
     

    broglet

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hi Merle

    In legal documents 'lieu dit' or 'lieudit' signifies location. You say 'leaving it out isn't good translation practice' but I cannot see why not. It all depends on what, precisely, Vigne Rouge is, but the translation could be "a plot situated in the hamlet of Vigne Rouge" or it could be simply "a plot situated in Vigne Rouge". Following Mies van der Rohe, less can be more.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    My lieu-dit is Lankerhouad in Breton, Languerouet in French - 9 houses around a crossroads. It's one of ten or twenty lieu-dits all of which (taken together with the bourg - the village centre) make up a commune of 220 inhabitants. The bourg has a church, a mairie and a café/general stores.

    So in British terms, this is ten or twenty hamlets around a village.

    The general UK rule used to be:
    • A group of houses is a hamlet
    • A hamlet with a church is a village
    • A village with a market is a town
    • A town with a cathedral is a city.
     

    BexTrad

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I think we would definately call it a hamlet in british English if we had to refer to it as something, but I think that broglet's suggestion is best: in this case, you don't actually need to use the term "lieu dit", you can just leave it out.
    We definately do not use the term "crossroads" in British English though, that would only refer to the actual road itself.
    If you think about it, it's quite unusual to say "I live in XXXX town" .. we normally just say the name. Unless, of course the fact that it's not a town or village needs to be specified in the context, and that is up to you I'm afraid!
    :)
     

    Gwan

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    This is pretty much chat, I know... but thanks for the thread, very interesting! I've just realised I used to live in a 'lieu-dit' (lieu dit Kastel Velt to be precise :)). I knew what 'lieu dit' meant, literally, but I never really thought about it... Now I can tell people that I used to live somewhere even worse than a petit patelin - a lieu-dit!

    PS after looking at the wikipedia entry, now I want to know what 'Kastel Velt' means and how my lieu-dit got its name. I assume it's Flemish...
     

    LILOIA

    Senior Member
    Re: lieu-dit
    This is all really interesting -- thanks to all for the explanations. But in a sentence, for example the tax document concerning an inheritance that I'm translating for school, does anyone know of an official translation for the WORDS lieu dit:

    "une parcelle sise lieu-dit Vigne Rouge..." :thumbsup:
    It's exactly what would be written (above all) on a tax document : all the "parcelles" being drawn on the cadastre with their exact boundaries and names. It's a cause for so many "litiges" !
    It's definitely not a crossroads, that would be called "quatre-routes" (there are many in France).

    PS : If you mean a translation into english of a french document, with a french location such as "lieu-dit", I would keep the french word. Or you can write the name of the place alone : ie Vigne Rouge, 33*** Etang-sur-Rivière ("lieu-dit" is never written before the name of my house).
     
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    Lezert

    Senior Member
    french, France
    As Tilt said , a "lieu dit" doesn't implies at all that there is one or several houses: it is only a place ( un lieu ) that has a name (dit = called). A liitteral translation would be "a place called"
    I know a "lieu dit": "la pierre plantée": no house, nothing but a stone in a field ( un menhir )
     

    Merle

    Senior Member
    English
    I kept poking around for a standard translation of lieu dit. I think in certain documents it is important to translate it - it means something.

    ProZ gives "a place known as" or "a place called."

    I hope this might be helpful to others.

    A Forum Fan,
    Merle
     

    dunkhy

    New Member
    french french
    I agree with you Merle, because "place called" is the literal translation with the proper meaning. And definitly, a "hameau" is not a "lieu-dit". There can be a hameau at a lieu-dit, but a hameau is defined by its content: few houses, while the "lieu-dit" is linked only to the place itself.
    It may be of use at middle-age, to refer to a place of certain importance, where people use to go, whatever a water point, a place where grows special flowers for cure... People living there had a common way of naming the place, and so it is a "lieu-dit".

    I would translate it by "place called".

    About Kastel, it s obviously linked to castle :) In south of France you have plenty of cities with "castel" in their name. But a "castel" at this time was not always the image we have of the traditional fortress, it may have been just a fortified camp.
     

    lagar19

    Senior Member
    French & English - Paris and US
    I also would use "the place known as" or "locally known as" or "called". I think this is a typical case of an exact translation being impossible to use, and so you have to find the English term that is closest to what the general context tells you about the sense of "lieu-dit" in a particular setting: hamlet, isolated house, or uninhabited place remarkable for something.
     

    proustina

    Member
    usa, english
    Thank you lagar19. I believe I found an English precedent but not commonly used now: in TS Eliot's long poems The Four Quartets, each quartet is named after a place that appears to be a place name, i.e. "Burnt Norton." Many thanks for replying to this old thread.
     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    ... I believe I found an English precedent but not commonly used now: in TS Eliot's long poems The Four Quartets, each quartet is named after a place that appears to be a place name, i.e. "Burnt Norton." ...
    Hi proustina,
    I'm not so sure, as each of these place names (apart from the rocks called "les trois sauvages") is an administrative village of parish.
    "Burnt Norton", is the name of a Gloucestershire manor house, which the poet visited in the summer of 1934.
    The other 3 place names are 'East Coker', 'The Dry Salvages' and 'Little Gidding' :
    East Coker is a village and civil parish in Somerset, England from which Eliot's ancestors emigrated to Boston in 1660.

    His second quartet, 'The Dry Salvages' in his own words ‘begins where I began, with the Mississippi; and ends where I and my wife expect to end, at a parish church of a tiny village in Somerset’. These Dry Salvages, Eliot explains, are a mispronunciation of the French ‘les trois sauvages’. They are a group of rocks with a lighthouse on them... near Cape Ann, Massachusetts aux états Unis. Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, a city on the Mississippi River, Eliot spent his summer holidays with his family in sight of the sea on Cape Ann.

    Little Gidding is a secluded place in remote Huntingdonshire countryside, visited by Eliot in 1936.
    Like the Irish usage of "townland", the French "lieu-dit" doesn't really have an administrative equilevant outside of France. For this reason I feel Liloia's post is perhaps closest to the mark.
     

    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    English - USA
    Précision pertinente dans cet article de Wikipédia :
    On fait souvent l'amalgame entre hameau (ou écart) et lieu-dit. La différence vient du fait qu'un lieu-dit n'est pas forcément un lieu habité, le hameau si.

    Hamlet is therefore not always un lieu-dit. Such an uninhabted place might just be a spot/place known as "XYZ"...
     

    tilt

    Senior Member
    French French
    On fait souvent l'amalgame entre hameau (ou écart) et lieu-dit. La différence vient du fait qu'un lieu-dit n'est pas forcément un lieu habité, le hameau si.
    Voilà qui m'étonne et me laisse perplexe.
    Il est vrai que la notion de lieu-dit n'est pas liée à la présence d'habitations, contrairement à celle de hameau. Mais même au-delà de cette différence, je ne vois pas comment on pourrait amalgamer les deux. On peut trouver des lieux-dits dans des agglomérations de toute taille (hameau, villages ou ville) ; les deux termes ne recouvrent pas du tout le même concept.
     

    FannyB

    Senior Member
    English & French
    Re: lieu-dit
    This is all really interesting -- thanks to all for the explanations. But in a sentence, for example the tax document concerning an inheritance that I'm translating for school, does anyone know of an official translation for the WORDS lieu dit:

    "une parcelle sise lieu dit vigne rouge..."

    "a plot located in the place called vigne rouge...?"

    I feel that "crossroads" isn't right, that would be a carrefour, townland isn't AE, simply leaving it out isn't good translation practice...

    Thanks for your patience!
    Am thinking of locality, because you could maybe write locality of Vigne Rouge in this context. :)
     

    SolangeC

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    7 months later, the debate is still alive! I'm translating a realty description, and I have a similar question. The pertinent parts of the sentence: une parcelle sise lieu dite Dévé, cadastré section X sous le numéro X dite Vitet....
    My take: a parcel located at a place called Dévé, Section X in the land registry under Number X, also known as Vitet
    Better idea, anyone?
     

    lagar19

    Senior Member
    French & English - Paris and US
    you may want to make it super precise by saying "locally called", but that's just my personal opinion, I don't know the official stance on this.
     

    SolangeC

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Actually, "locally known as" isn't a bad option, because it's fairly common to hear rural locals refer to "Carl Pfeiffer's field" even though Carl has been dead for years, or "the old Carter place", etc. I was raised in a small town that had a settlement nearby called "Russelville" because so many Russels lived in the area. The official address was for Arcola, but everybody referred to it as Russelville. Good suggestion. Thanks to all.
     

    franc 91

    Senior Member
    English - GB
    Un lieu-dit when used in official documents such as a cadastre is simply a place name used to identify or place the plot of land that is mentioned - obviously it could be a hamlet/hameau but it could be any topographical feature such as the name of a field or group of fields, a tree, a boundary stone (une borne, une pierrefitte etc), a wood and so on. I know of two earth tracks that intersect at a tree called l'Orme du Berger - where a local shepherd used to sit, there are no houses just une borne with incised markings that I can't read but it is un lieu-dit.
     

    dunkhy

    New Member
    french french
    the previous post provides a good example of what is a lieu-dit. but as some may still have difficulties to understand the concept of a "lieu-dit", i ll answer (even if too late!) fanny b question.

    "une parcelle sise lieu dit vigne rouge..."
    "a plot located in the place called vigne rouge...?"
    I feel that "crossroads" isn't right, that would be a carrefour, townland isn't AE,

    there might be a crossroads at the place called "vigne rouge", but a "lieu-dit" is not defined by what is now there. It is either named following what was there when people felt the need of naming the place so that they can transmit the idea of its location to someone else (a need similar to the naming of the streets in a city, to know where to go), or what happened there of some importance so that people gave to the place the name of a particular event.
    So in the case of "vigne rouge", i would suppose it is either that in this place used to grow up some special variety of grapes, red ones. (it would not help to call a place vigne rouge, if there were many places with red grapes around...). Or if it s an event, you may imagine many things, that the vinyard at this place was destroyed by disease/muschrooms that made the grapes look really red, so people of the villages around talked about it, of the "vigne rouge", and so they started to refer to this particular place as "vigne rouge".

    no literal equivalent in the UK? Giving names to special locations in forests, for example where used to take place religious ceremonies by celtic tribes, certainly required to name those places. (i know ancient celts did not speak english, but such names often survived changes of language :)
     

    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    English - USA
    I think the French- vs. English-speaking worlds have different approaches to this kind of phenomenon...

    We also have out-of-the way places with "nicknames" but I don't think generally they are administratively defined or codified.

    Just a different way of viewing the world, I guess...
     

    pollycat34

    Senior Member
    English - NZ
    In legal documents 'lieu dit' or 'lieudit' signifies location. You say 'leaving it out isn't good translation practice' but I cannot see why not. It all depends on what, precisely, Vigne Rouge is, but the translation could be "a plot situated in the hamlet of Vigne Rouge" or it could be simply "a plot situated in Vigne Rouge". Following Mies van der Rohe, less can be more.

    Another vote for Broglet!
    Please don't try to translate everything literally. Translate it the way an English speaker would write it.
     

    Merle

    Senior Member
    English
    I plead that style is based on context. For legal or technical documents, staying as close as possible to the source text and bringing all meaning forward can be critical. Lawyers look for loopholes or lack of precision, and scientists need to know exactly what the original text said, no details left out. What jars a translator's ear can be a key piece of information to a technical person.

    For marketing texts, a flowing, pleasant style is the principle goal.

    This distinction is according to my translation teachers, otherwise known as my gurus.
     

    pollycat34

    Senior Member
    English - NZ
    I have studied law myself and I don't know how leaving out lieu dit in the example that Broglet uses would cause any problems. However, for the philosophy text that was discussed at the beginning of this thread, it is different, and an alternative obviously would be required.

    Cette mesure-là [l’écho du souffle humain] fait que nous dérivons au plein (ou au plan) du monde, le rapportant à notre lieu-dit
    For, this I would suggest using "location". It all depends on the context though.
     
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    burghead

    New Member
    english - queens county
    In the Burgundy wine world 'lieu dit' is a common term, and means a 'locale,' ie a lieu-dit is a 'place-name.' Such names are typically historic from a time before the cadastres were created. In wine, a lieu-dit refers to a 'smaller than appellation' parcel of land, such as a named location within a communal (villages) appellation, or within a grand cru appellation. Also it can be more complicated, as the lieu-dit, can be the entire appellation referenced place, as with most 1er crus.

    'Lieu-dit' is also used in Bordeaux, though less commonly (see an old map of Chateau Lafarge). Very often only the local people know of such designations. It's probably used throughout agricultural France in a similar way by local people, but I have no direct knowledge.
     

    EXPRESSions

    Senior Member
    US, English
    Old discussion, but I thought I would address the plural, lieux-dits, which I often come across in tourism translations. I have concluded that it is best to cover both inhabited and uninhabited named places with "hamlets and local landmarks." Here in Québec, a lieu-dit can be a curve in the road, a rocky outcrop, a bridge over a tiny stream, an isolated house. My own home is known locally as the "maison Trefflé-Gagnon," even though M. Gagnon passed some 50 years ago and at least three families have owned it since that time.
     

    franc 91

    Senior Member
    English - GB
    You get similar places named this way in France too. In la Haute Provence, for example, there must have been a time, possibly just after the Revolution, but I don't know for sure, when families went up to the top end of a valley and staked a claim to the land there and built a house. You see names such as Les Michels or Aco de ...followed by a name. Today, very often all that's left is a ruin with a path leading up to it and the name in the map (Série Bleue).
     
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