Via James @ The Bloomers.
Ce billet explique quelques données politiques de l’Europe continentale. Comme la quasi-synonymie entre «libéral» et «de droite» en France. On parle aussi de Derrida et Habermas et leur initiative en faveur d’un «noyau fort» européen.
/ˌser.ənˈdɪp.ɪ.ti/ is definitely taking the risk of becoming, quite unintentionally, something like a Language Log commentary column. It is a little humiliating to admit that I can’t seem to be able to keep up with the Language Log linguists, and today I probably ought to have retired to the bed with a cup of hot milk, a handful of aspirin and a good murder mystery to nurse my inflamed airways. But this is impossible; I just can’t. The inexhaustible Mark Lieberman has opened not just a can of worms, but the entire contents of a worm farm. The topics at issue are the notion of “core Europe” (“Kerneuropa“), apparently embraced by Jacques Derrida and Jürgen Habermas, the proper locus on the European left-right political spectrum of this notion on the one hand and of the two philosophers on the other hand, the relationship between “intellectuals” and “conservatives” — opposed? identical? occasionally collaborating? — and finally, the general meaning of the terms of European politics and intellectual debate and how they (don’t) jibe with those an American intellectual would employ. read the post »
Comment un slogan publicitaire anglais est «traduit» en français, loi Toubon oblige.
As you probably know, there is a law in France, called “loi Toubon” after the former minister of culture who sponsored it, that requires all product descriptions and adverts (“be they in spoken, written or audio-visual form”) to be in French. If several languages are present (read: if the slogan is in English) the French version has to be at least as prominent, readable, audible, comprehensible as the foreign original.
You probably know as well that this law has been much ridiculed, M. Toubon been nicknamed Mr AllGood (tout=all, bon=good), and that no one really obeys. All over the billboards there are slogans in English with no French translation in sight … except when you look very closely along the edge of a poster.
Then you might be able to decipher some French equivalent, printed in 2 cm high letters on a billboard that measures five metres by three. The opposite of a fig leaf, in a sense.
On the Kitkat bar I ate the other day (“Have a break, have a Kitkat”), it wasn’t the difference in size that got my attention, but the decidedly minimalist approach to the translation problem. Here is a scan of the relevant part of the wrapper.
Language Log brings it to our attention that a hoax might be giving millions of web users the wrong idea about the history and etymology of NYC’s nickname The Big Apple. The term didn’t in fact originate with an early 19th-century immigrant from France named Eve, who (supposedly) ran a brothel and called the women […]read the post »
Adobe’s site has a beautiful page about the history of the ampersand, the way it developed from a ligature of the letters e and t of the Latin word et. (Via Language Hat, who got it from aldibronti at Wordorigins.) In French, the &-sign is or used to be called pirlouette, perluette, perluète, éperluète or esperluette. […]read the post »
Oh the serendipitous nature of blogging! It has only now come to my attention that crime author Ian Rankin’s site provides audio extracts (AmE: excerpts) from nine of his Inspector Rebus novels. If you click here, eg, you will be taken to a two minutes or so snippet (in Macromedia Flash format) of Black […]read the post »
Mes activités bûcheronnes du weekend, et un peu de langue ludique.
Yesterday, I unexpectedly got to duty as a lumberjack’s assistant. Two thirds of an old and creaky plum tree had come down under the weight of its ripening fruit in the backyard of some friends I was dropping in on. So today’s BBC News headline Saws face axe in forests of future caught my attention […]read the post »
After last month’s dismal elections, the EU parliament’s (newly renamed) Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality is getting a new member from Britain, UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom. The Guardian tells us a little more about this champion of women’s rights. In his own words: I want to deal with women’s issues because […]read the post »
Here is a nice and useful list of French/English false cognates. (A strange term, that. Most of them are real cognates after all. Aren’t we allowed to say false friends? It’s got a nice alliteration.) Purple is French, Green English.read the post »
Le Génie du Genre (entendez: sexe) est un petit logiciel que prétend savoir déterminer si un texte (anglais) a été écrit par un homme ou par une femme. Résultat: soit ça ne marche pas, soit je ne suis pas une vraie femme.
“That is one butch chick,” is the Gender Genie’s unchanging comment when I once again inform it (him? her?) that I am, in fact, not male. Its verdict has a very funny side since I am not butch either, though several of my dearest friends are, and proud of it, and I of them. But […]read the post »