Q: What’s worse than sloppy written records in French?
A: Sloppy written records in Latin!

In the old European world, the Catholic Church and parishes were the registry for all vital records; baptism, marriage and burial, until the French Revolution that is. Parish Priests were well versed in Latin, and certain parts of France and in Wallonia, records were written by them in either in Latin or French. In French Canada, older records are also written in Latin. Not only indicator words; date, type of record, relationships, and even the names of countries and towns. So what to do? Here are a few things:

Download this Latin translation list from Wallonia asbl website here

As always, read and study the words, and the form of writing. Another good website for Latin word translations is Latin Word List From About.com. Bookmark or print out the list.

Download free (with some restrictions) ‘Latin for Beginners’ e-Books by Forgotten Books. IN fact they have several ebooks on learning a foreign language. There is a small subscription plan to ($2.99 a month for 10 books) download books with no restrictions at all.

You can also try Learn French fast

Here are some common Latin to French first names:

Anna = Anne
Antoinii/Antonius/Anthonius – Antoine

Bernadus = Bernard

Catherina – Catherine

Franciscus = Françoise
Francisco = François

Jacobus = Jacques
Joanna = Jeanne
Joannis – Jean
Josepha – Joséphine

Ludovicus – Louis
Ludovica = Louise

Maria = Marie
Marguerita = Marguerite
Michael = Michel

Petrus = Pierre
Philippi = Philippe

Stephanus = Stephane, Etienne