Monday, April 30, 2007
It appears as though translators had the last word to say when they provided the subtitles for Mr. Sarkozy' speech: "S'unir à moi" transformed into "rally my inflated ego".
Whether this helped this candidate is still to be seen. Reminds me a bit of the alledged origins of the word sabotage, which consisted of throwing clogs (sabots) into machinery to create a breakdown.
For some reason, we have not seen this happen in Canada - too civilized for that sort of thing ? :-).
Saturday, April 28, 2007
During a recent jaunt to
Nous sommes d’habitude de petits mangeurs, c’est donc avec plaisir que nous avons découvert que les plats que sert A16 sont relativement petits et que l’on peut composer un repas respectable d’hors d’oeuvres, de salades et de desserts.
Un hors-d'œuvre que nous avons
Les brochettes de lapin grillé dans un four au bois accompagné de carottes et de pois grillés étaient d’un goût exquis. Le vin rouge des environs de
This link to the Fork & Bottle article provides photographs of some of the foods. We literally fell in love with A16 and …. came back for three more meals! It is possible to leave more than one’s heart in
While checking my sitemeter for visitors, I found that one of them had had my site translated into Chinese. I forwarded the link to a Chinese translator friend of mine for comments. Here they are:
The indiscriminate use of translation software does indeed represent a great danger. That is why I caution my clients about it and will go to great pains to explain what risks they are taking. Buyer beware!
Monday, April 09, 2007
Il est intéressant de noter que dans la lecture des siteweb français et allemands sur les cimetières militaires, je n'ai trouvé ni rancune ni fanfaronnade. On déplore le sacrifice humain, c'est tout.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Voici un néo-zélandais que l'histoire passionne et qui nous donne une description détaillée des combats et des tactiques. Il nous rappelle aussi que c'est alors que le Canada a participé au Traité de Versailles à titre de signataire pour la première fois.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
The locals are expecting some 100, 000 tourists to visit Arras this year: remembrance tours are in vogue, says an English tourist.
What is interesting is a detail about the authors of the famed underground tunnels that are found around the area: they were built by New Zealand sappers to conceal some 25 000 British soldiers who were going to attack the Germans.
La Première Guerre était bel et bien une guerre internationale. Les alliés en font foi. WWI was very much an international war - here is a fine example of the Allies working together.
Almost immediately after I learned of my friend’s daughter’s trip to Vimy, I started an Internet search about Vimy and WWI. Because of my fluency in both English and French, I was able to access and study websites in both languages. Very quickly, I realized that stories abounded on the various aspects of WWI and not all agreed. Michael Valpy’s article in the Globe & Mail on the myth of Vimy Ridge confirmed my misgivings.
In the early sixties, I was able to visit many a war cemetery in
I will definitely watch the proceedings in Vimy on Canadian television as there are always new things to learn, but as the saying goes – I will take the rhetoric “avec un grain de sel”.
It is rather interesting that there is an organisation in
Maybe our young Canadians might be interested in this as well?
Read what they think in Ottawa.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Shopping in the local Canadian Tire store, I chanced upon the bathroom section, which showed various tub accessories: showerheads, soap caddies, etc. One package caught my eye: It was called Corner Caddy – it was triangular, had suction cups and allowed the user to store soap and shampoo on a little shelf wedged in the corner of the bath wall.
The French side wasn’t as cute. It said: Serviteur d’angle
I guess a golf caddy can be a server, a helper, but it is not human – serviteur is. As for angle – a corner can indeed be an angle, but it usually protrudes. Let us look as specific equivalents:
Un coin de rue - a street corner
Un coin d’une boîte - a corner of a box
Un coin d’une table - a corner of a table
Devices that support something may be described as follows:
Porte-bouteille - bottle caddy
Porte-clés - key chain
Porte-bagages - luggage rack
Porte-cartes- (business) card holder
So to convey the idea that the item fits in a particular way and performs a specific action, we could say:
Porte-savon en coin (in the shape of a corner)
Why do you think French-speaking customers get upset when they see this kind of communication?
I was listening to the 4:30 p.m. Radio-Canada news today where is it was announced that Prime Minister Harper had ordered corrections to be made to the mistakes found on signs at the Vimy Monument in France, before the official ceremonies start on Monday.
Un peu plus tôt dans la journée, le logiciel de visiteurs de mon blogue me signalait qu’un lecteur du gouvernement fédéral avait lu mon blogue – coïncidence? Je suis persuadé que c’est surtout l’article de Radio-
The important is that the mistakes be corrected so that no one participating be insulted or belittled.8 p.m. Another link gives the dénouement of the story.
Mistakes can be made, but when they happen in a public place, the reaction is much stronger. Proofreading mistakes in "official" utterences is an absolute must.
Les contrôles ordinaires (si ils existent) n'ont pas suffi pour éviter ce genre de bévue. J'espère que le ministère responsable prendra l'initiative immédiatement pour faire corriger les erreurs en cause ou pour au moins signifier aux lecteurs que les fautes seront corrigées.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I have noticed that newspaper titles are used in many different ways, especially when they serve as a link to the story. I was somewhat taken aback this morning when I found a heading on the Globe & Mail website that said:
Building permits plunge.
A bit intrigued, I clicked the title and lo and behold found:
Building permits plunge
Canadian building permits unexpectedly plunged to their lowest level in a year, paced by declines in
So it was not an animated building that decided to try the waters.
On the French side of things, on the CBC especially, the Google and MSN transcribers have a rough time. French titles are usually preceded by a qualifying statement, for example: Vie sociale – De l’importance de votre cortex. Without the explanation, the title is much harder to understand.
Another one was: Crise politique en
Reminds me of the classical heading translation example:
“PROFESSOR BURNS LEAVES ON COMMENCEMENT.” The all-cap approach conceals the fact that Burns is a proper name, not a verb. You can image what a beginner translator might do with this and describe a new ritual of burning leaves at a graduation.
Context is everything in translation. Make sure you provide all of it to the translator you hire – otherwise, he too might take the plunge.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Back in May of last year, I posted this translation fishbone diagram but failed to provide a French version - here it is.
Voici la version française de mon diagramme de cause à effet sur la traduction. J'ai découvert que mes clients industriels comprennent mieux ce genre d'explication que des explications écrites.