Tag Archives: faux-amis

The return of the Frenchie…

20 Déc

It is so nice to have a permanent presence on the web that does not disappear when I enter a time of complete “non-blogging”. It may have seemed that I must have withdrawn from society to go off to intense jedi training or meditation, but in reality, I got to a point of busyness where I could not focus on “fun”, or creative work other than translation projects and my awesome marketing and advertising on-line class at NYU this past semester.

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Concerning « préoccupations » vs. “concerns”

15 Mar

There is reason to be concerned about the potential misuse of false-cognates in French and English. They are a daily occurrence in my life, and because I concentrate on interpreting meaning-for-meaning, I have gotten used to them. And sometimes, there are not faux-amis per se, but just different usage for the derived terms of a word… Lire la suite

Le mot du travail : « benefits » ≠ « bénéfices »

12 Mar

Faux-amis are so much fun… Since I interpret for health insurance companies, state health insurance plans, welfare programs in several countries, human resources departments for large companies, the word “benefits” comes up dozens of times a day (or as we like to say in French: 36 fois par jour). And in some contexts, the homonym works, in others not… Lire la suite

“Anniversary” vs. « Anniversaire »

20 Fév

It is a bit confusing…Happy birthday = Joyeux anniversaire

Happy anniversary = Joyeux anniversaire de mariage

My grandparents celebrated their diamond anniversary last year. = Mes grands-parents ont fêté leurs noces de diamant l’année dernière. Lire la suite

Le mot intello : « engagement »

16 Fév

Etymology: From the latin preposition in- (en, dans) ; From Middle English gage, from Old (and modern) French gager (verb), gage (noun), from Frankish *waddi, from Germanic ( > English wed), meaning to pledge, to bet.

Source: wikipedia

I highly recommend the film: A Very Long Engagement (French: Un long dimanche de fiançailles), a 2004 French romantic war film, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and starring Audrey Tautou. It is a fictional tale about a young woman’s desperate search for her fiancé who might have been killed on the battle of the Somme, during World War I. It was based on a novel of the same name, written by Sebastien Japrisot, first published in 1991. (Source: Wikipedia)

If you liked the film « Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain« , then you will enjoy this one (and I personally love films involving romance in the middle of a war…)! Lire la suite

Allez les (Game)cocks!

10 Fév

If you ever go to a USC (that is University of South Carolina) football game, you will find yourself screaming « Go cocks! »… Very strange at first! We brought my French sister and brother-in-law to a game a couple of years ago, and we could not stop laughing because the other side of the stadium was prompted to scream « Game », and our side had to scream « Cocks »… this lasted a whole game. So we translated with the alternative meaning of cock=rooster (so right, the other meaning…), and in French, that is: « Allez les bites! » (We wanted to text it to the big board but it did not work… I wish! I would have taken a picture!). Lire la suite

Le mot intello : « quiproquo »

9 Fév

Nothing like doing a little overtime and starting my workday at 7:00 am without coffee…
Coffee (or tea) has a wonderful effect on me: the soothing warmth, the spicy scent, the strong taste and of course… the caffeine! It is also the interpreter’s (or translator’s) required beverage before starting the day, because it might help align all the pathways in the brain and ensure optimal performance (or placebo?). Like a fuel and stimulant to my “cervelle”. Thankfully, in the meantime (and until my first morning break), I have a wonderful home-made banana nut muffin to keep me happy.

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Le mot d’action : « embrasser »

7 Fév

Etymology: The prefix “en-” means to “put inside” and “bras” means “arms” in French…  So literally, “to put between one’s arms”.

// Embrasser // First group verb: to embrace, to hug; by extension: to kiss; figuratively: to encompass

First Lady of France Carla Bruni greets U.S. President Barack Obama

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Le mot du travail : « délai »

6 Fév
Google Calendar - add an event
Google Calendar – add an event (Photo credit: Spinstah)

Deadlines, rush jobs and tighter deadlines… The life of a translator! In fact, deadlines are part of our daily lives, whether we deliver services or products, draw up reports or write up articles, or pay any type of bills. Personally, I like to give myself a limit date before the deadline, to leave myself time for proofreading if it has not been done yet, and for unexpected issues. I use my Outlook or Google calendar, to set my projects up with their respective timeframes and priority levels. How do you manage your deadlines, any tips?

Today’s word, as you can tell, is also a “faux-ami” (false cognate); beware not to mix-up with “delay” (retard). You don’t want to run into any delays for your délai…

// délai // masculine noun: deadline, timeframe
Synonyms: la date limite, la date butoir, (due date=) une échéance

Usage:

Dans le milieu de la traduction, les délais sont très serrés (or « justes ») ! // In the field of translation, deadlines are very tight!

Il est primordial de respecter les délais, tout autant que de fournir un travail de qualité. // It is of upmost important to meet deadlines, as much as providing quality work.

Les candidatures doivent être déposées avant le 29 février si on veut postuler pour cette mission. // The deadline to drop off applications is February 29, if you want to apply for this project.

Je suis vraiment navré de vous apprendre que je ne vais pas pouvoir rendre le rapport dans les délais convenus. // I am so sorry to have to tell you that I will not be able to return the report by the agreed deadline.

Good luck in meeting your deadlines; bonne chance pour respecter vos délais !
Don’t forget to comment below if you have any time management tips (des “tuyaux”) to share with us… Have a great week!

2 Fév

Bonjour! I wanted to share one of many great posts by Jeparleamericain.com (just click on the link above to read the full post)… He explained how and why English contains so many French words so clearly and simply. Touché!

je parle américain

Just the other day, I was watching my latest favorite television series, Downton Abbey, and I heard one of the characters use a French word I’d never heard used before in an English sentence: « She’s found her métier—farm laboring. » That struck me as the height of pretension, but then again, it is a show about English aristocrats during the First World War. In any case, métier means « profession, occupation, or trade. » I knew this word from my French classes, of course, but I never knew that we used it in English. I guess being a country boy from South Carolina, I wasn’t high-class enough to have trotted it out in my own conversations. It got me thinking, though, about how much French there actually is in English. As it turns out, between the recent imports and what we inherited from the Normans, there’s a lot more than…

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