Yesterday I received an email from a client which finished by a cheerful: "So see you Wednesday morning, bright and early!!"
Bright and early indeed. A taxi is coming to pick me up at 4:45am and I’m off to France for a two-day interpreting job. This reminded me that I recently learnt an excellent French equivalent for this expression, which for a translator, is always a great delight. We’re a simple breed. It was recently shared with me by a colleague and it is "De bonne heure et de bonne humeur" (early and in a good mood). I can’t tell you how chuffed I was. I think it’s a great translation because not only does it convey the meaning perfectly (if you’re happy that "bright" here means "cheerful" and doesn’t refer to bright sunlight), but it also incorporates two separate expressions ("de bonne heure" – early and "de bonne humeur" – in a good mood) which rhyme. What more can a translator ask for?