Francophiles: What is the correct translation of "Le Malade Imaginaire"?

Bopping around Amazon, I find that Moliere’s play “Le Malade Imaginaire” is frequently translated into English as “The Imaginary Invalid,” but also sometimes as “The Hypochondriac.” Now, I studied French for a number of years in school and am not fluent by any means, but I was under the impression that the best translation would be “The Hypochondriac.” Not so?

Any help you have to offer would be much appreciated. (I really wish we had a smiley with a little beret on it… :slight_smile: )

Francophone here (but not a native French speaker). From the story, it’s pretty obvious the title means, “The Hypochondriac”. It’s not the existence of the title character that’s in doubt, but the existence of his illness.

Litteraly, the title means “the imaginary sick man”. In french too, it would normally means that the character himself is imaginary (though maybe at the time of Moliere, “malade imaginaire” was commonly used to mean “hypochodriac”). Except that everybody knows about the play, and knows what you’re talking about.

You translate it any way you want, IMO. Though I don’t like much “the hypocondriac” because it sounds too much like modern medical parlance for a play from this era.
By the way, doesn’t the word “malade” exist in english?

Not to my knowledge…we do have the word “malady”, though, which means “illness” (as opposed to “malade” in French, which of course has the dual meanings of “illness” and “one who is ill” depending on the part of speech it’s used as).

We have the noun malady, meaning illness, akin to *la maladie * in French. I don’t think we have the adjective *malade * though.

I can’t really think of a single-word translation of malade, given what I know about what it means. ‘Invalid’ means someone incapacitated (or nearly so) by illness or injury, ‘patient’ means someone under a doctor’s care, and ‘sufferer’ is extremely vague with no obvious connotation of illness. In English, we’d resort to a phrase like ‘ill person’ or ‘sick person’ and so on.

There is “marmalade”. I wonder if this means sea-sickness.
Disclaimer for pedants: Yes, I know the etymology is from quince.