February 2005

Cultural references

February 28, 2005

Do I feel French or English, and how does this impact on my work? It's a question I find difficult, because I know both cultures intimately and feel comfortable in both countries. As a matter of fact, I've lived here...

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Guest blogger: Post Valentine’s Day – Are we losing the language of love?

February 25, 2005

By Kate Smith Don’t get me wrong: when I was at school, getting a card on Valentine’s Day mattered. Anything was better than the indignity of the empty pigeonhole, even a card from my dad, (except when he signed it)....

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Posted by céline on February 25, 2005
Culture, Guests

Fancy being a guest blogger?

February 24, 2005

I get quite a lot of mail from fellow translators who want to discuss aspects of our work or of language. Some of these have made it into the blog, but others aren't so easy to write about, because I...

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Posted by céline on February 24, 2005
Guests

Editing issues

February 22, 2005

I really enjoy editing other people's work because I can concentrate on spotting the odd typo and grammatical mistake and improving the style of a text, which is made easier and more productive by the fact that I haven't already...

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Eggcorn

February 18, 2005

The word eggcorn was coined by the Language Log linguists and indicates odd spellings of words (like eggcorn for acorn), which mean that they can be interpreted differently. For a comprehensive history of the term, please click here. According to...

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Posted by céline on February 18, 2005
Words

As dull as ditchwater/dishwater

February 16, 2005

"It was as dull as a dishwasher." My friends' giggly response suggested that what I had said wasn't quite right. Whilst this isn't as unusual as I'd perhaps like to admit on this blog, I hadn't expected the ensuing squabble...

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Posted by céline on February 16, 2005
Idioms

Dutch courage and Dutch treat

February 14, 2005

Béné asked me the following question in the comments on the French side: "I've encountered "Dutch treat" and "Dutch courage" in a translation. Do you know equivalent expressions using nationalities?" These two expressions are a good illustration of a basic...

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Posted by céline on February 14, 2005
Idioms

The gender of proper nouns

February 11, 2005

A colleague contacted me for help. She had to translate a sentence containing "Alaska", and was wondering how to deal with its gender. Her dictionary was telling her that Alaska is masculine, but she thought it should be feminine, as...

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Posted by céline on February 11, 2005
Technical corner

Verlan

February 9, 2005

Frequent commenter Neij asked me a while back to write an entry about verlan, a form of French slang where the letters or syllables of a word are loosely interchanged, effectively making a new word. The main thing is that...

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Posted by céline on February 9, 2005
Words

Avoir les jambes en coton

February 7, 2005

I was reading an article about Stanislav Petrov, the man who saved the world in 1983 (via hopping from blog to blog, and hence unable to provide a reference), when I saw this sentence: "I was not sweating," Petrov said,...

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Posted by céline on February 7, 2005
Idioms

Veritas

February 4, 2005

British readers will be aware that Robert Kilroy-Silk has left the UK Independence Party in a flurry of publicity, to found a new political party called Veritas (from the Latin word for truth). I'm sure the irony of the fact...

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Posted by céline on February 4, 2005
Words

A Very Long Engagement

February 2, 2005

Living in England means that I miss a lot of French films I would certainly go and see if I was in France, so it's nice when they're successful or big enough to make it across the Channel, like A...

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Posted by céline on February 2, 2005
Culture