January 2009

Constipada

January 30, 2009

This morning in my Spanish class, I learnt that "estoy constipada" means "I have a cold". Talk about false friends. So how did this word come to take a different meaning in English and in French? Its etymology reveals all:...

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Posted by céline on January 30, 2009
Words

Caché (Hidden)

January 28, 2009

Last night, I watched a very powerful film, which, to me, is an allegory on France’s colonial guilt: Caché (Hidden). I learnt about the 17 October 1961 massacre, during which the French police killed between 200 and 300 Algerians during...

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Posted by céline on January 28, 2009
Culture

French translation of Obama's inaugural speech

January 22, 2009

I’ve read the French translations of Obama’s inaugural speech in Le Monde and Libération. They are very different and on the whole, I prefer the one in Le Monde: it is generally more sympathetic to Obama’s style. Compare Libé’s “Nous...

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Posted by céline on January 22, 2009
Culture

More translators' tricky situations

January 16, 2009

Following my post advice to a translation student, a reader has asked me what I would do in the following situations: You send your translation to the client. The client is not happy. You know the translation is good, how...

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Misunderestimated

January 13, 2009

I'm completely snowed under at the moment but I wanted to mention this latest Bushism, which Twitter was buzzing about recently. During his final press conference, George Bush said: "At times you misunderestimated me". It is a term he first...

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Posted by céline on January 13, 2009
Words

Bedlam

January 5, 2009

Maggie swallowed hard, but before she could say anything, they heard a wail from one of the high barred windows. It began low in pitch and volume, then ascended the scale, growing louder and higher until it became a scream...

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Posted by céline on January 5, 2009
Words