October 2004

Break

October 27, 2004

We're off to Prague for a few days, so I've closed the comments on most of my entries (I hope!) to try and deter spammers. Na shledanou!...

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Terrorism

October 25, 2004

The word terrorism stems from "la Terreur", a period in French history. In 1793, the revolution was in danger of being overturned and the country was about to be invaded. As a consequence, the French government implemented the Reign of...

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Posted by céline on October 25, 2004
Words

Payment problems

October 22, 2004

I have a client who I like working with, but I've always had to send reminders to get paid. My payment terms are 30 days from day of invoice, unless otherwise agreed. A couple of weeks ago he called to...

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Shibboleth

October 20, 2004

During my morning reading of the Guardian, I found this sentence in an article by Jonathan Freedland: America's centre of gravity has moved rightward, creating a set of shibboleths that cannot be challenged. Shibboleths? According to the OED, it is...

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Posted by céline on October 20, 2004
Words

Pronunciation issues

October 18, 2004

This weekend I was given a great little book, Schott's original miscellany, by Ben Schott, "a unique collection of fabulous trivia." The first article I read was about curious surname pronunciation. Here are a few examples: As written As pronounced...

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Posted by céline on October 18, 2004
Technical corner

Meeting the clients

October 15, 2004

Yesterday I did something I had never done before: I met clients in the flesh, as well as other freelance translators (Italian, Spanish and German) who have been working for them. It is very odd to think that in four...

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To call a spade a spade and To rain cats and dogs

October 13, 2004

You know the expression "to call a spade a spade"? Well, in French, it's "appeler un chat un chat" (To call a cat a cat). And here, it's raining cats and dogs, but in France it would be raining halberds...

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Posted by céline on October 13, 2004
Idioms

Nobody understands me

October 11, 2004

My sister sells tickets in a French train station and is in amost daily contact with English speakers, so she's been sent on an English course. She has a first assessment this week, during which she'll have to answer simple...

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Inconsistent

October 8, 2004

I'm absolutely snowed under but wanted to take time to share one of those little victories that make me happy to be a translator : I am currently translating human resources documents for a very big Internet company, which I...

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Posted by céline on October 8, 2004
Words

Lame duck

October 6, 2004

These days, it seems that whenever you get "Tony Blair" in a sentence, sooner or later you'll hear "lame duck". Here is the origin of this odd expression : The phrase "lame duck" was first applied on the London Stock...

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Posted by céline on October 6, 2004
Idioms

Wanted: English speaker

October 4, 2004

I received an e-mail from Jenny, a theatre director who's working on translating a French play into English. She asked for my help understanding and translating the following sentence: Elle s'imposait, en une sorte d'excuse, d'indulgence préalable. This is the...

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Posted by céline on October 4, 2004
Culture