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”!

How to illustrate the names of the Paris subway stations.

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




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