French: Madame se meurt (suite et fin)


here is the following paragraph of the Bossuet eulogy about Henriette-Anne, the king’s brother’s spouse. It’s shorter and, I think, there’s no difficulty.

Next time, a lighter text…

Edit: corrections done.

Edit: At the behest of Mr Salkilld, here are the first three lines of the text and the transcription in French:

I don’t have the courage to do all the text, though…

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23 comments Add yours
  1. Very cool, thanks for posting the continuation. I’m finding Sténographie Gregg now to be more straightforward to follow, even with the formal language level in which this one is written (perhaps because I’m also practicing Sténographie Gregg as well). Here’s is my transcription (as always, question marks on my doubts):

    Mais et les princes et les peuples gémissaient en vain. En vain Monsieur, en vain le roi même tenait Madame serrée par de si (ses?) étroits embrassements. Alors, ils pouvaient dire l’un et l’autre, avec saint Ambroise : « Je serrais les bras, mais j’avais déjà perdu ce que je tenais. » La princesse leur échappait parmi ces embrassements si tendres, et la mort plus puissante nous l’enlevait entre ces royales mains. Quoi donc ! Elle devait périr si tot ! Dans la plupart des hommes les changements se font peu à peu, et la mort les prépare ordinairement à son dernier coup ; Madame, cependant, a passé du matin au soir(?), ainsi que l’herbe des champs. Le matin elle fleurissait ; avec quelles grâces (quel grâce?), vous le savez : le soir nous la vîmes séchée ; et ces fortes expressions, par lesquelles l’Ecriture sainte exagère l’inconstance des choses humaines, devaient être pour cette princesse si précises et si littérales !

    A couple of things:

    1. en vain – try to curve the beginning of the v a little more so that the phrase is not confused with en général.
    2. échappait – the e is in the reverse direction. so it reads erchappait.

    1. Thank for the corrections, Carlos… 🙂
      1. en vain. I think I understand how to do it, now…
      2. first time, I did it right, though… strange.
      par de si (ses?) étroits embrassements: si;
      La princesse leur échappait parmi ces embrassements si tendres,: parmi des embrassements…
      Elle devait périr si tot !: tôt
      du matin au soir(?),: yes…
      avec quelles grâces (quel grâce?), : avec quelles grâces.

      As usual, the modifications will be made shortly…

  2. I suppose that there wouldn’t be a key to French Gregg written in English. I don’t speak French (or any other language — I’m English so that explains it!!). Or is there one for German or Japanese?

    I’m finding the contributions in French very intriguing.

      1. Thanks Christine. I might try that. I have translated some things using Google translate before, but to do that for a whole text book (lots of typing words in French and then print it out, then place those things at the right place) — in my hands it would be a confused jumble.

        It’s really rather silly of me to ask this, for why would an Englishman want to know such things? But Gregg apparently learnt something from Gabelsburger’s German shorthand system (seemed a very peculiar method to me). So it’s just out of interest, but probably not to the extent of DeepLing a whole textbook.

    1. If you don’t speak French, or Irish, or any of the other languages for which there were Gregg adaptations, I’d suggest just ignoring them.

      I actually have the 1924 Sténographie Gregg by Farmer, with the Clef de la Sténographie Gregg . . . all in French.

      And I have the La Sténographie Gregg en 32 leçons, Collection 90, from 1979, also with a transcription, but also all in French.

      The 1979 book represented a shift from an English-based approach to Gregg Shorthand in French, to a more fully French-based approach.


      1. I know what you mean Lee. I have no intention of committing them to memory. But I might find it interesting to see how a system specifically perfected for the English language (with its set of vowels and consonants) was adapted for French which seems to have a far greater subtlety in its vowels. And German which seems to have strange consonants. And Japanese (which actually I tried to learn for a while without success) with its very different structure, its 5 vowels, and its polite word endings.

        Only out of interest in how Gregg’s principles were applied elsewhere.

        1. And I thought you were interested by the text itself… 🙂

          Actually about the vowels, it seems to me that Gregg is more logical and easier about the vowels in French. Using the big circle for sounds as differents as the “a” of cat and the “a” of came and using the small circle for the vowels that are also very different in the words “need” and “get” feel very confusing…

          Of course, there are confusions that are possible in some French forms like “sûr”, “sourd”, “sœur” and “sueur” but it seems to me they are less of them.

          The thing I regret deeply is that prefixes and suffixes are less obvious and practical: I would like something as easy as “over” and “under”, I still no idea what change I could make as the solution that has been adopted is very unsatisfactory. The same for the ending “-ly”. The equivalent in French is “-ellement”/“-ment” which makes quite long endings.

          Generally speaking, forms tend to be longer than in the English version. That’s why I appreciate my version and its efforts to abbreviate the forms.

          It’s still a nice version… I regret it’s not popular.

          1. Thanks Christine. That was very enlightening. (I’m sorry I didn’t make myself clear as to what I was interested in, but I always start, thinking that everyone knows exactly what I mean!)

            Who then was it that made the version for French? And from what you say, I think they did not make such a detailed analysis of what was needed for the French language as did Gregg when he developed his system for English.

            But you speak of “your version”. Are there several? Was there an original? (At least with the developments of the Gregg system in English over the years they all come from one authoritative group of experts.

            1. The first edition of Sténographie Gregg, as Lee mentioned before and on this post, was written by British physician Ernest Farmer in 1924, along with a separate key, a reading book (Lectures and lettres commerciales), and a progressive exercises book (Exercises progressifs) with a separate key — this manual was apparently reprinted in 1927 (I’m not sure if a revision was made then). A new adaptation was written in 1931 (139 pages) and revised in 1939 (which looks like the Anniversary Manual, 160 pages, Deuxième edition) by R. J. Sénécal, who at the time was “Prefect of Studies, Commercial Course, Shorthand and Bookkeeping” at the University of Ottawa. Subsequent series were also published (Simplified in 1954 and 1961, DJS in 1966 and 1975, and S90 in 1979) and were based on simplifications of the Sénécal version and consistency with the English version, since most students that were learning Sténographie Gregg at the time were also learning English Gregg Shorthand. Starting with the Simplified book (which had 42 lessons), the shorthand was written by Sister Marie Perpétue, who although has a legible style, is not as artistic as in the previous editions of Sténographie Gregg (some of these were written by Mrs. Ramsey, who had a beautiful style). The DJS book (Collection du 75e anniversaire) came in two editions, the first one in which the shorthand is presented in 50 lessons and written in one column format (1966), and the second edition that has the shorthand with the two column format and a reduced number of lessons (La sténographie Gregg en 32 leçons, 1975). The S90 book (Collection 90, 1979) and the second edition of the DJS book are virtually identical in content, save for a few brief forms and words. This definitely reduced the cost of printing as not all shorthand plates needed to be redone.

              (Incidentally, I would love to see Sénécal’s 1931 edition, but I’m not sure if any library has it.)

              1. Thank you Carlos. I did not realise that there was such a lot of development going on with foreign language versions of Gregg. But I get the feeling that even “approval” from Gregg/Leslie did not result in an “excellent” adaptation. I followed with interest the link you showed.

                1. I have the 1945 Price List from the Gregg Publishing Company. For foreign language adaptations it lists books available in:



                2. Among the foreign languages, the Spanish adaptations of Gregg Shorthand (Taquigrafía Gregg) were in my opinion the most developed, because they were used in Latin America (more countries, more customers).

          1. Lee – that is “my favourite website”. I had seen it long before I joined this group and have looked at it many times. It mentioned the German Gregg at least.
            Thanks, Nick

    2. (Replying to Christine’s edited initial post — There was no “reply” to click shown after that edit.)
      Thanks for taking the trouble to do that for me Christine. It was very interesting to see exactly how Gregg was applied. I jotted down a little page of notes. And saw that the joined small circle suffix was used for ‘aient’ & ‘ais’; the dot suffix for ‘ant’; the large circle for ‘oise’; and noting several presumed brief forms. I went on to compare the rest of your script with Carlos’s translation. In your update for me I was puzzled until I went on to the rest — you missed putting in “je” just before the end.

      Thanks very much. I won’t be investigating any more though. Nick

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