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Canadian French translators

Community Guru
Luce N Member Since: Oct 9, 2016
11 of 33

@Bill H wrote:

Luce, earlier you said "I'm not so sure." I am sure.

 

Pronunciations are a challenge. A woman in Montreal answered my question with "It's the ermine." Three weeks later, I realized she had actually said, "It's winter." That's a single example from a list a thousand pages long.

 

Canadian French and French-French are largely mutually intelligible, unlike UK-US English, which have enough differences to lead to inevitable embarassment. However, legal and medical documents are written quite differently in Canada and France. Fiction - I once spent an hour trying to decipher something that I thought read "The butter rode the subway conductor to the graveyard," or something equally nonsensical. In the US, we confuse ourselves with punctuation. I read, "Right off, the bat therapy was painful." I'm sure it was. I wrote the author, who explained that it was a misplaced comma. "Right off the bat, therapy was painful."


In my opinion, there is also a little psychology involved. People seem to unsderstand a variant form of their language bettter if they like the country where that variant is used. 

 

Anyway, I'm sort of a linguist, I enjoy the challenge of understanding different pronunciations of whatever language I speak. To me, it's fun.

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
12 of 33

@Bill H wrote:

 

 

Canadian French and French-French are largely mutually intelligible, 


When I reverted to English after a failed attempt to understand a grocery store owner in a remote rural town in Québec, to whom I asked about an ATM, I owned my life only to Canadian strict gun laws.

 

If the shop owner had a gun, I'll be dead.

 

So I beg to differ.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Melanie M Member Since: Jul 13, 2016
13 of 33

I cannot address French translation specifically, but I wonder if it is similar to the differences between American and Canadian English. I write articles for a non profit organization that assists battered women in Canada. In one of my pieces, I made a comment about not judging a woman until one has walked a mile in her pumps. I noticed that when the article was posted on their website, the coordinator had changed "pumps" to "shoes." I asked her why in the world would she have changed the phrasing back into the cliche. She told me that women in Canada do not call their closed toe heels, "pumps." I had no idea! There's more to it than just changing "color" to "colour," etc. 

Community Guru
Luce N Member Since: Oct 9, 2016
14 of 33

@Melanie M wrote:

I cannot address French translation specifically, but I wonder if it is similar to the differences between American and Canadian English. I write articles for a non profit organization that assists battered women in Canada. In one of my pieces, I made a comment about not judging a woman until one has walked a mile in her pumps. I noticed that when the article was posted on their website, the coordinator had changed "pumps" to "shoes." I asked her why in the world would she have changed the phrasing back into the cliche. She told me that women in Canada do not call their closed toe heels, "pumps." I had no idea! There's more to it than just changing "color" to "colour," etc. 


 Melanie, this is what I would expect: Canadians asking for translation into French could then have the translation proofread/edited to make sure it sounds Canadian. It shouldn't be that complicated.

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
15 of 33

Luce N wrote: 

....Canadians asking for translation into French could then have the translation proofread/edited to make sure it sounds Canadian. It shouldn't be that complicated.


Indeed they could. Not quite sure what you mean by “[not] that complicated.” Isn’t hiring two professionals more complicated, and expensive, than hiring one?

Community Guru
Luce N Member Since: Oct 9, 2016
16 of 33

@Douglas Michael M wrote:

Luce N wrote: 

....Canadians asking for translation into French could then have the translation proofread/edited to make sure it sounds Canadian. It shouldn't be that complicated.


Indeed they could. Not quite sure what you mean by “[not] that complicated.” Isn’t hiring two professionals more complicated, and expensive, than hiring one?

 


 Not that complicated means that. When your look at jobs offered, many companies have their translations checked. 

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
17 of 33

@Luce N wrote:

@Douglas Michael M wrote:

Luce N wrote: 

....Canadians asking for translation into French could then have the translation proofread/edited to make sure it sounds Canadian. It shouldn't be that complicated.


Indeed they could. Not quite sure what you mean by “[not] that complicated.” Isn’t hiring two professionals more complicated, and expensive, than hiring one?

 


 Not that complicated means that. When your look at jobs offered, many companies have their translations checked. 


We seem to differ in our understanding of “complicated.” 

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
18 of 33

Written French is pretty much standardized. A Parisian reading an article published in a newspaper from Montréal about an international event wouldn't notice that it was written by a Quebecer.

 

However, when it comes to fiction, a text with dialogues from French Canadian characters would be hard to understand for a Parisian. Indeed, spoken French in Québec differs significantly from written French and standard French and is full of informal vocabulary rarely used in formal written Canadian French.

 

While Québec strongly enforces the French language charter, also known as Law 101, which somehow prohibits the usage of English words in many circumstances, technical vocabulary in Québec still uses many Anglicisms. This is true in automotive for instance. Mechanics borrows a lot of its vocabulary from English. The reason is that it relates to concepts that were invented long after the French colonization of North America.

 

Anyone seeking to translate technical, legal or fiction material should definitely hire a Quebecer.

 

PS: This post was written by a well-traveled French linguist living in France, who loves everything about Québec but the poutine.

 

PPS: poutine in Québec is a food. Don't eat it though, unless you are lost in the wild and stranded in a snowstorm and running out of real food. It's totally disgusting.

 

PPPS: I'm serious. Don't try.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Reinier B Member Since: Nov 3, 2015
19 of 33

@Rene K wrote:

Written French is pretty much standardized. A Parisian reading an article published in a newspaper from Montréal about an international event wouldn't notice that it was written by a Quebecer.

 

However, when it comes to fiction, a text with dialogues from French Canadian characters would be hard to understand for a Parisian. Indeed, spoken French in Québec differs significantly from written French and standard French and is full of informal vocabulary rarely used in formal written Canadian French.

 

While Québec strongly enforces the French language charter, also known as Law 101, which somehow prohibits the usage of English words in many circumstances, technical vocabulary in Québec still uses many Anglicisms. This is true in automotive for instance. Mechanics borrows a lot of its vocabulary from English. The reason is that it relates to concepts that were invented long after the French colonization of North America.

 

Anyone seeking to translate technical, legal or fiction material should definitely hire a Quebecer.

 

PS: This post was written by a well-traveled French linguist living in France, who loves everything about Québec but the poutine.

 

PPS: poutine in Québec is a food. Don't eat it though, unless you are lost in the wild and stranded in a snowstorm and running out of real food. It's totally disgusting.

 

PPPS: I'm serious. Don't try.


 Just Googled poutine. It looks really, really, disgusting, so I won't try it- even if I could get cheese curds.

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The problem with silver linings is that they always come with dark clouds attached - RB
Community Guru
Luce N Member Since: Oct 9, 2016
20 of 33

@Reinier B wrote:

 

 Just Googled poutine. It looks really, really, disgusting, so I won't try it- even if I could get cheese curds.

 Poutine doesn't appeal to me, but do snails appeal to you, Reinier? What about insects or frogs?

 

We all have our preferences...

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