FOR NARNIA!! (a Narnian word translating discussion)

Hello! I am a HUGE Narnia fan (probably C.S. Lewis's number 1 fan!) and was wondering how to say a couple words from the Chronicles of Narnia in French. Maybe the French just pronounce it that same as English or British do, but that is what I am unsure of... Also, I don't think these are real words anyway so probably no language has a set way of pronouncing it. So with that being said, lets just get on with it! here are the words I wanted to know in French:

  1. Narnia (obviously)
  2. Aslan
  3. Harfang
  4. Calormen
  5. Cair Paravel

And that's it! I hope someone out there knows the answer to my question! Feel free to post other Narnian words you guys want to know in French. Thanks for the help! Have a nice day! :)

April 18, 2018


Most of those words are names of people or places, so it is more likely that they are spelled the same in French but pronounced differently.

April 18, 2018

Hello, nice to meet another fan of Lewis and Narnia. I can answer for one word with certainty: Aslan, as this is the Turkish word for Lion, and in French lion is, well, Lion. Harfang could/might translate to Snowy Owl and Calormen could/might refer to a people or a place in a warm climate. I believe, as you suggested, Cair Paravel is a Lewisian invention, a version of two words from Old English: Caer Paravail, which refers to a court or a place of gathering. Good luck in your quest.

April 18, 2018

Ok, thanks, guys! Yeah, I thought that Cair Paravel was probably something he just made up but it is nice to know what the other words mean. Thanks again!

EDIT: wow i just realized something... Harfang as you said means Snowy Owl, right? And in the book The Silver Chair, Harfang was introduced and there were many owls in the sotry line! Maybe Lewis picked that name for a reason...

April 18, 2018

I am guessing there is a lot of interconnectedness between the stories. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the second, in the timeline, in The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Magician’s Nephew (probably) introduces characters and names appearing in later story lines.

April 18, 2018

Yeah although I have noticed connectedness from the books but only a few things. I wish I could ask Lewis himself! And one of my assumptions was that Digory, from the book The Magician's Nephew, is the Professor in The Lion, The Witch, And the Wardrobe that created the wardrobe. (considering that his name is Digory Kirke... and that is a lame assumption too lol)

April 18, 2018

If I remeber rightly it says at the end of Magician's Nephew that Digory planted the seeds from the apple he brought back and it grew into a tree which blew down (or maybe had to be cut down) and he made it into the wardobe. I'm pretty sure it says something like 'another little girl had adventures in it' although it's been a long time since I last read that one.

April 19, 2018

Yes, absolutely! You will notice this implication in the film version from 2007, with Jim Broadbent playing the older Digory.

April 18, 2018

Oh my goodness ya!! I actually read a billion books about Lewis's reasoning for his words in The Chronicles of Narnia. I am such a HUGE fan!!

April 22, 2018

As FrenchWarriorCat says, it is very likely that the names/terms are simply used in French translation and "re-pronounced" in French, but as whistlingypsy says it may be that the translator, being more creative, will have tried to re-do the terms in French based on their roots, if these can be determined.

An easy way to find out, when it works, is to look up an article on English Wikipedia, such as The Chronicles of Narnia and look at the French version. On the website the related articles in foreign languages will be listed on the left of the page, and on a tablet (or at least on Android, anyway) there will be a little two-character dropdown ending in "A" near the article's title that will list the possible links. On Wikipedia in French you'll find Le Monde de Narnia, where the characters and important terms are listed.

You can try to buy (or borrow from a library) a copy of one or all of the books. They may be available used from ebay or abebooks, from (say), or from or some other large French online booksellers such as FNAC or Decitre. Here, for instance, is an omnibus edition.

(FWIW, when I order French books new, the best deal is usually from one of the French booksellers, as usually lists foreign language books at a much higher price than do the French sites, and if several books are ordered at once, the shipping and handling charges will be distributed among the several books and the total cost will be less.) . . . Check out the used prices on, however, when you search in "books" for Monde de Narnia.

Even if you do not order from a French bookseller, take a look at the Customer Reviews at such a site, say for the link above, which can be fascinating and are usually in the present tense, as a bonus. One can spend hours . . . :)

Why not look for a copy of some of the movies dubbed into French? They should be available. You'll have something like this.

The Narnia books are a really good choice as reading material for you, since you are familiar with them already, and the prose, being very clear to start with, is usually translated quite clearly. I've used some of them for Russian and Spanish with success and quite enjoyably, although I never read them in English (despite my wife's being a huge fan--figuratively, of course :) ). On the Russian book page, click on the little images to the left towards the top to see what the book looks like.

Hope you find what you are looking for.

April 18, 2018
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