About translations

We try to write our stories so that the translations will be as close as possible. This allows you to learn by comparing.

However, it is important not to try to match words one by one. Often, words or ideas will appear in a different order between languages. Sometimes, words may be added or removed, or the whole sentence will be different. This is a natural result of translation.

Furthermore, words across two languages rarely correspond perfectly. Our translations will use appropriate words, but these may have broader or narrower meanings in each language. You can only come to understand this by reading the word many times in many different contexts.


The characters in our stories may have different names across the translations. This does not mean that the names are translations of each other. We select a name that sounds appropriate in each language, but this is an artistic choice only.


Every language has many versions and dialects. On Fabulang, our stories use the following versions of each language:

  • English – British
  • French – Standard, using passé composé instead of passé simple (see below)
  • Italian – Standard, using passato prossimo instead of passato remoto (see below)

Narrative Tenses

Some languages have tenses that are typically used only in literature (sometimes called narrative tenses), with an equivalent tense that is used in spoken language (sometimes called conversational tenses).

Fabulang stories do not use narrative tenses. Strictly, this is not correct. These are written stories, and so the narrative tense is more appropriate.

However, the conversational tenses are much more useful to most learners. So, we decided to conjugate all verbs in our stories as if the text was spoken language.


In many languages, native speakers will often use foreign words for certain things, even when a native word exists – these foreign words are loanwords.

In general, we avoid loanwords in the text of our stories – so that you always remain in your chosen language. We would use the loanword only if it would be egregiously wrong to use anything else.


We’re not perfect, but we want to be! If you spot a spelling error, grammar mistake or issue with a translation, please let us know.