Bonne année !

Happy New year! It now time to make the dreaded and dreadful new year’s resolutions. I am ambitious enough to have several resolutions in mind, but will keep silent concerning the past ones. Let’s say they lasted a few days and did not get to live a long life.

My first resolution is quite simple, and fairly easy to achieve; i have held on to my promise for 3 days. i told my daughter this new resolution of mine so she can warn me if I waver. Here it is: I shall quit drinking coke. There, I said it. Good-bye high fructose crap or deadly aspartame. Not an easy task, mind you, in the USA.

The Empire State Building (aka ESB) is flashing its new year’s light show as I type my words. Beautiful sight…

By the way, what is the translation for high fructose corn syrup in French? I checked wikipedia, which I do not always trust, and reverse. It is basically “sirop de maïs”. The long scientific name is “sirop de maïs à haute teneur en fructose (SGHF, or HFCS if you use the American acronym). Its generic name is “sirop de glucose-fructose”. It indicates that HFCS is used because of its cheapness compared to sugar cane or beets.
Again, money is more important than people’s health.

As we say in French: “Bonne Année, Bonne Santé”!

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Breaking Bad: A Typical American Show?

Breaking Bad is no more but the truth of it stays the same. At least here in the United States.

I lost my dad to cancer, and i was amazed at the support he had during the last year of his life, and i don’t mean support from his family but support from the medical and healthcare world. He was allowed free psychological counseling, and my mom too. He was entitled to one free wig a year, something that would not even cross insurance companies here. He was too weak to drive to the hospital for his chemo. So a cab would come pick him up, drive him there and he would be given a ride back home. Oh, and I forgot the best, for FREE. These are just a few of the perks of being sick in France. I dread the day when it will be my turn because I know that, here in New York, I will be very much alone.

Why Breaking Bad would not have been successful in Europe.

European Breaking Bad - 1

European Breaking Bad - 2

Action !

Here I am, typing away, glued to the computer screen and slouching on my chair. I had been working like this for the past hour while my dear daughter was reading her Geronimo Stilton book on the couch, right behind my back. I just cannot stand people standing, or sitting, or simply being there behind my back. but that’s beside the point.

Suddenly, I heard her say: “I will never be a translator.” Imagine the sadness filling my heart because my own flesh and blood is not remotely proud of her Maman. No, seriously, I do not really care. I have enough pride for me, myself and I.

“OK,” I replied. “Why is that?

“I don’t want to spend my time in front of a computer.”

“Well, it is a very interesting job, you know. It is more than just sitting (on your ass…no, I did not say that).”

“Mommy, you know me. I need action.”

This was her nice way of saying my job is boring. It is what it seems like for a seven year-old. I was not surprised a bit by her saying that. SHe wants to be an ice-hockey player. We are far from the quiet and thoughtful world of translation.

The reason why the world needs real translators

Image

 

Question:

How can this so short and so SIMPLE text be mistranslated? I just hope it is not a real person with a brain who came up with something like this.

I find it hilarious that “can” is translated by “boîte”. Somehow the indefinite article “a” was not translated. I wonder why.

I used Google Translate to compare with the original translation.

Here it is:

Grow your own                               Cultivez votre propre

Can grow up to 600% its size         Peut atteindre jusqu’à 600% de sa taille

Grow a Christmas tree                    Pousser un arbre de Noël

 

It is actually not bad for a machine.

makes for good laughs, right?

 

 

Shameless self-promotion

I completed this certificate in a year and a half, the last semester of which was, to say the least, eventful. I took my last course, Advertising and Marketing, in the winter of 2013. Guylaine, the instructor, was very supportive and patient. I thank her from the bottom of my heart.I also managed to get my first big contract; translating the subtitles to Richard Longland’s documentary about biofilms. 25000 words to be translated in 2 weeks. Then Sandy happened, right before I could start working on that first project. No power, no water, 11 floors to walk up and down with gallons of water to drag and my 6 year-old on tow. The power returned five days later, but still no heat for another 4 days because the steam pipe had been damaged. Then my dishwasher broke down because of a defective electrical installation (it was this way when we moved in) and blew up most of the electrical outlets in my kitchen. Then my fridge broke down; it took me 2 weeks to find a new one that would be thin enough to fit in the tiny kitchen space. I had to deal with all this at the same time. I thought I would blow a fuse myself but no I did not because too many fuses had already blown in my kitchen. I know I should not complain; we were all safe and the apartment building did not sustain significant damages. Tout est bien qui finit bien.

 

So here it is:

My certificate from NYU:

NYU Certificate in Translation

NYU Certificate in Translation