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ViewMate Posting VM 22560

Submitted by Lois Barnet

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Information Picture Question
Category: Translation - Other
Approval Date: 4/22/2012 4:33 PM
Family Surname: Blumen
Date of Image: 1930
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Would appreciate a translation from the French.
This is on the back of an old recently found family photo.
Thanks in advance
Lois Barnett

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On  Response 
4/23/2012 8:55 AM En souvenir à mon cher neuvey et niece Bessie Blumen-Levy Davidoff
To remember my dear nephew and niece Bessie Blumen-Levy Davidoff
Note: The grammar of this phrase is not correct: "mon" would agree with "nephew" but not with "niece". It seems that the writer changed his/her mind in mid-sentence. Also, it is not clear whether Bessie is the person on the photo or whether Davidoff is her surname or that of the writer.
4/23/2012 11:39 AM Additional notes. The translation of the phrase En souvenir appears to be more that she is giving this photo to her nephew and niece in memory of her. I agree that the signer is Bessie Blumen-Levy, and suggest that she added Levy to her name when she married. Davidoff may be part of her signature or may be another person's signature. Note that above is the ink stamp of S. Davidoff, engraver (short for photo-engraver?), with a Paris address.
4/24/2012 7:54 AM My French isn't perfect, but it looks like "En souvenir a mon cher neveu et niece" (not good with doing accents on the computer), which translates roughly to "in memory of my dear nephew and niece". Hope that helps.
4/24/2012 9:10 AM I agree with the second response. This is something for her dear niece and nephew to remember her by.
"en" preceeding a very means "some" so this is a souvenir of her, for her dear niece and nephew.
4/24/2012 9:11 AM I have a good knowledge of French and differ in part from the previous writers. The handwriting, with accents, reads: “En souvenir à mon cher neveu et nièce” and is signed by Bessie Blumen-Levy, with the handwritten and underlined "Davidoff" either as part of her name or perhaps indicating where the photo was produced: at the Davidoff studio. There is no gender error with the gender of "cher"--it is good form when modifying multiple words of different genders to use the gender of the closest noun it modifies, which is here masculine ("neveu" for "nephew"). The date is December 30, but I'm not sure of the last figure, which looks like a bit like a capital Y. I suspect that is is "21" for "1921," and the final "1" (one) has been allowed to trail into a tail.

I would add that the address in the S. Davidoff stamp ("graveur" means "engraver") is 12, Rue de Picardie, in the 3rd arrondissement (quarter) of Paris. This is part of the Marais district on the right bank. The Marais was and to some degree still is the Jewish quarter of Paris. You can Google for a map showing arrondissements, for the street address, and for information on the Marais. You may also be able to find information on Davidoff.
4/24/2012 9:22 AM I forget to mention that the phrase that was written means that Bessie is most likely sending the photo as a token of remembrance TO her niece and nephew, not that she is sending it in remembrance of them, having been deceased. "En" is a preposition in this case, before the noun "souvenir"--"in remembrance." The previous writer is thinking of the PRONOUN "en," which can mean "some," but this is not it. An example of its use is in the phrase "Il en mange"--"He ate some (of it)"-- in place of "Il mange de la viande"--"He ate some meat."
4/24/2012 9:22 AM I forget to mention that the phrase that was written means that Bessie is most likely sending the photo as a token of remembrance TO her niece and nephew, not that she is sending it in remembrance of them, having been deceased. "En" is a preposition in this case, before the noun "souvenir"--"in remembrance." The previous writer is thinking of the PRONOUN "en," which can mean "some," but this is not it. An example of its use is in the phrase "Il en mange"--"He ate some (of it)"-- in place of "Il mange de la viande"--"He ate some meat."
4/26/2012 11:01 PM Concerning the meaning of this sentence, the last writer is right. Being a native french speaker I can also tell you that this sentence is not quite correct. What is missing here is just a comma.

En souvenir, à mon cher neveu et nièce. Bessie Blumen-Levy
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