Foreign indicators are used to show the solver that a piece of fodder must be translated into its foreign counterpart or to indicate a foreign word in a clues answer.
Here are some examples:
To get from WOMAN to MADAME, the setter may write:
Nice woman ...
... here, NICE is the foreign indicator (meaning the French city) which gives the solver the hint that WOMAN should change to MADAME.
To get DER from THE the setter may write:
The German ...
... here the indication seems more straight forward. The solver must change THE into its German counterpart. However, this could be DER, DAS or DIE and only checking how it works in the answer will let the solver know for sure.
Any word or phrase that fairly suggests a bit of fodder is to be changed into its foreign language counterpart may be used as a foreign indicator. Here are some more examples:
Foreign indicators: PARISIAN/ACCORDING TO NAPOLEON
NOTE: Setters will normally stick to well known foreign words, so you are unlikely to have to go scrabbling for Google translate too often when solving foreign word clues.
Here are a few examples:
Nice friend gifted with such a disposition (7)
nice - french language indicator (nice as in Nice)
friend - AMI (friend in French)
gifted - able
with such a disposition - end of semi&lit definition
Team the Spanish has tied with (6)
team - definition
the - EL ('the' in Spanish)
Spanish - Spanish indicator
has - positional indicator
tied - even
with - 2nd part of positional indicator