Check out this interesting debate on the translation of "pop-up window" on Jean Véronis’ excellent site. The délégation générale à la langue française et aux langues de France has decided it should be "fenêtre intruse" (*intruder window), which seems a very bad choice, as not all pop-up windows are unwanted, which the French translation seems to suggest. This choice is all the stranger as there are quantities of other terms in use out there. One of my clients, a software developer, asks me to use fenêtre contextuelle, but there are plenty others: fenêtre automatique, fenêtre autonome, fenêtre en incrustation, fenêtre surgissante, fenêtre jaillissante, fenêtre éclair, fenêtre flash, fenêtre furtive, and even fenêtre pop-up. The French government’s insistence to control, codify and freeze language will never cease to amaze me, especially when the choices that are made are so odd.
About the Author: Celine
I am Céline Graciet, a freelance English to French translator. Since 2003 I’ve been writing on all sorts of areas linked to translation and the life of a translator.