April 2004

The War of the Words

April 30, 2004

Thanks to Marie for bringing my attention to an excellent article by Terry Jones (ex-Monty Python) in The Guardian on the use of words in the war in Iraq. One of the chief problems with the current exciting adventure in...

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Posted by céline on April 30, 2004
Words

It was as it was

April 29, 2004

This is a letter sent to Le Nouvel Observateur after their article on Mel Gibson's film The Passion (my translation): You say that "However, Jean-Paul II said : 'It was as it was' (ça s'est passé comme ça (this is...

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Posted by céline on April 29, 2004
Culture

Language register

April 28, 2004

To accurately translate a document, it's not enough to convey the meaning. It is absolutely crucial to pay attention to its language register to make sure the tone is also kept. This aspect is part and parcel of a text...

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Posted by céline on April 28, 2004
Technical corner

Referendum

April 26, 2004

So the people of the UK are going to have a referendum on the EU. And possibly more than one, which poses the issue of the plural of the word referendum. In the various articles I've been reading about it,...

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Posted by céline on April 26, 2004
Words

A hundred words for snow?

April 23, 2004

Language Hat has debunked one of my favourite linguistic facts, which has been around for ages and that I've often heard quoted by people who seemed to know what they were talking about. I genuinely believed that Eskimos had one...

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Posted by céline on April 23, 2004
Language

Je ne parle pas français

April 21, 2004

Excellent entry on Language log based on an article in the New Yorker. During a recent press conference, Democrat candidate to the US presidency John Kerry pretended he couldn't understand or speak French (in which he is perfectly fluent), presumably...

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Posted by céline on April 21, 2004
Culture

To watch like a hawk

April 19, 2004

Ah, Scotland. Walking in amazingly beautiful glens, trying (and failing) to decipher what the locals are saying, and scanning the mountain tops for golden eagles (that remained elusive till the end). This last pastime during our holiday in stunning Scotland...

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Posted by céline on April 19, 2004
Idioms

Office health

April 8, 2004

From today I'm taking ten days off and I've vowed not to go anywhere near a computer to make sure I get a proper rest. Why? Because my back has been quite sore in the last few weeks and I...

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Posted by céline on April 8, 2004
Freelance translation

Interpreting jokes

April 7, 2004

Jokes are a nightmare. I dread them. Interpreting between French and English people has taught me that humour is definitely culturally defined. I've often had to say to French people, curious to hear why their English partners were giggling at...

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Posted by céline on April 7, 2004
Interpreting

How not to translate!

April 6, 2004

Margaret Marks over at Transblawg has found a brilliant example of what happens when translators decide to forget about the source text to speak their mind: a photo of a label with washing instructions on a computer sleeve made in...

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Posted by céline on April 6, 2004
Freelance translation

How not to interpret

April 5, 2004

I loved the film Lost in Translation, and in particular (for obvious reasons), the scene where they shoot the commercial, with the interpreter helping the American actor and the Japanese director to communicate. Or is she? Here is the translation...

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Posted by céline on April 5, 2004
Interpreting

Petrichor

April 3, 2004

This word describes one of the most gorgeous smells to be enjoyed on this earth. Which one? Go and see Green Fairy and she'll tell you more. As it has no French equivalent and is formed of two Greek words,...

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Posted by céline on April 3, 2004
Words

Je te connais comme si je t'avais tricoté(e)

April 2, 2004

Now for a little treat, one of my favourite French expressions, although it's really not common at all (1 hit in Google) and I must admit I don't think anyone but my mum uses it. It literally means, "I know...

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Posted by céline on April 2, 2004
Idioms