Sunday, November 12, 2006

An evening at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

The construction of the building appeared to take a lifetime, so it was with great interest that I read the article in the February 2006 issue of Canadian Geographic:

After having endured years of discomfort (in the seats and on the ears) at the old O'Keefe Centre, my wife and I were really looking forward to the performance of the Canadian National Ballet, the Sleeping Beauty. We were not disappointed.

The venue feels cosy and intimate, in a way the O'Keefe was not. Light coloured woodwork and stainless steel give the place a sense of airyness. Inside the hall, another surprise: it is light beige and silver. The seats appear to be larger than those of the O'K. and have a ventilation outlet underneath them - what a clever idea!

In the past, our seats were in row T, which felt quite far from the stage. In the FSC, it felt like some 30 feet had been removed in front of us. The orchestra pit is larger and shallower but it is the sound of the music which really surprised me. It did not sound like music coming from a loud-speaker! As the Canadian Geographic article describes it, acoustician Robert Essert used a "sound-burst diagram" in which sound emanating from the stage is depicted as tiny points radiating through the hall and reflecting of its every surface. ....."as the particles reflect back toward the stage, up to 90 percent of the sound audible to the audience will have bounced off the walls".

Pendant le ballet, un petit détail: les lumières dans les allées indiquant les rangées de sièges restent allumées (par précaution de sécurité?) mais sont distrayantes. Les services techniques devraient les mettre en veilleuse.

Le spectacle lui-même s'est mérité les éloges du Globe & Mail :

Les artistes de la soirée, Sonia Rodriguez et Alexandr Antonijevic, se sont admirablement acquittés de leurs rôles et ont bien mérité les applaudissements de l'auditoire.

En un mot, une soirée bien agréable, précédée par un repas for appétissant au nouveau restaurant Tundra de l'hôtel Hilton, sis à une rue au sud du FSC.

De passage à Toronto? Ne manquez pas une visite au FSC.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Adaptation is more than translating/ L'adaptation dépasse la traduction

In 1982, Tom Peters and Robert Waterman wrote the influential book "In search of excellence" which created new approaches to business. The book served as an inspiration to many companies and its title was used for many different programs aimed at improving sales.

When GM used the title as a tagline, a challenge presented itself for the Quebec market. A translator will always look for the "official" rendering of a book in another language. I thus discovered that the book had been translated in France by "Excellence intégrale".

It was thus decided that this tagline would be used on nametags connected with this particular sales activity. I remember witnessing the meeting of two sales people, one English and one French: the French one looked at his colleague's nametag and said "you are still looking for excellence, we have found it"!

This is a typical example of the French "way of seeing things", usually as a final result, not as a process. As long as the two titles are not set side by side, each one is ok. Side by side, they can create misunderstandings.

C'est pour cette raison que lors de l'élaboration d'un slogan pour le Québec, je le crée toujours à côté de l'anglais, pour m'éviter des surprises comme L'excellence intégrale. Ainsi, pour un récent client, j'ai trouvé l'équivalent suivant :

XX company delivers more than ideas, we deliver results

La XXX : plus que des idées, des résultats

Notez la disparition des verbes et du "we".

Pour indiquer que les clients du client sont également ceux du propriétaire du site Web, j'ai modulé

ABCD: Recognized by your customers


ABCD : Vos clients sont nos clients!

Ingrown toenail II (Onychocryptosis)

In my first post, I was proud of myself for having found the answers on the Web. I must admit now that I learned much more speaking with Lada Milos Lee, the Chiropodist, who performed a small operation on my toe and removed the nail spike that was giving me so much pain.

An injection of anesthetic really helped as I am sure I could not have stood the pain without it.

On m'a informé que mes visites quotidiennes au gymnase doivent être interrompues pour laisser à la plaie le temps de guérir. Un suivi dans une semaine devrait donner au pédologue un aperçu de ma guérison.

Une autre leçon: surveiller son corps, et en l'occurrence ses pieds pour remarquer à temps toute modification : douleur autour d'un ongle, rougeur ou boursouflure. Les personnes à risque sont celles qui ont des ongles incurvés et les personnes âgées (c'est bibi).

Conseils: ne pas porter de chaussettes ou bas trop ajustés et porter des chaussures qui laissent assez de place aux orteils.