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Off topic: The word you hate the most
Thread poster: ViktoriaG

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:51
English to French
+ ...
Jan 19, 2008

I would simply like to find out which is the one word you hate the most. It can be in a language other than English, but please provide the translation. If you feel like it, explain why.

(I am mostly interested in words that bother you simply because of their meanings, but if you hate some words because you hate to translate them, you can tell us about that as well.)

Here's mine: consumer.

Why? Pretty easy to figure out - but I remembered how much I hate this word after having read this thread: http://www.proz.com/topic/94555

So, what is the word you hate the most?


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Elisabete Cunha  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 09:51
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
What an interesting topic Jan 19, 2008

I will just refer the first two that popped into my mind and really annoy me.

"competitive" - why? The word seems to have a positive meaning, I know, but try to associate it with rates... When a client asks you for "competitive" rates, most of the times what they mean is "low" rates. So annoying...

"discount" - why? Needless to say Some people must think we're grocers or something



[Edited at 2008-01-19 03:48]

[Edited at 2008-01-19 03:49]


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Yolanda Bello  Identity Verified
Mexico
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Ignorance & apathy Jan 19, 2008

I am sure it is about the concepts they stand for and their connotations .... but still.

Y

[Edited at 2008-01-19 04:40]


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Evi Wollinger  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:51
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
With Viktoria Jan 19, 2008

I also hate the word consumer - it makes me think of a balloon, that just keeps getting bigger and bigger...especially nasty in this context: 'consumer of health care services'

Evi

[Edited at 2008-01-19 08:48]


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:51
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Perfectly clear Jan 19, 2008

From a politician. "Let me make it perfectly clear" always precedes some evasion or obfuscation.
also "looking into" to give the impression that something is being done when the speaker has no intention of doing anything at all.


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:51
English to Arabic
+ ...
From a translator's perspective... Jan 19, 2008

(not exactly what you intended, Victoria, but..)

I once started a thread on the Arabic forum on "words you hate to translate" from English into Arabic. There are some words which just don't have an exact Arabic equivalent, and although most of them are very common in English, they continue to be a headache for the Arabic translator. Some words from my own list and those suggested by colleagues were:

Access, business, online, community, professional, event, career, attitude, input, approach, profile, corporate...

Needless to say, we just LOVE it when these words are used together to make up a new term, such as "online community", "corporate profile", "professional attitude", "community access", "business event" etc. The possibilities are endless!

[Edited at 2008-01-19 10:37]


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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:51
German to Italian
+ ...
Human resources Jan 19, 2008

Especially when it's shortened into resources (at least in its Italian equivalent, I don't know how common it is in English). It gives me the idea of exploitation, but maybe it's just me.
And also "exclusive", when used as a euphemism for "totally overpriced"


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 10:51
Italian to English
"Sicuramente"... Jan 19, 2008

... its synonyms and its equivalents in English, such as "emphatically", because they generally mean that the speaker is unsure of his or her facts but won't listen to argument.

Lorenzo Lilli wrote:

And also "exclusive", when used as a euphemism for "totally overpriced"


I don't much like "prestigioso" in Italian or "aspirational" in English for exactly the same reason

Buon uichend,

Giles


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:51
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Travaux ... appropriate ... access used as a verb Jan 19, 2008

I still feel uncomfortable translating "travaux" which crops up all the time - yes, I know it means "works" but I don't think that sounds good in English. Operations? Or what ... any ideas?
And I hate "appropriate" - mealy-mouthed, self-satisfied and smug, the darling of those politicians Jack mentions.
And "access" or any other noun used as a verb, or verb used as a noun, all the rage these days - I blame Blair.
Regards,
Jenny.


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:51
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
All that so called politically correct stuff Jan 19, 2008

Why on the Earth do they say "afroamericans"? What is it supposed to mean? And how would we call black men of Africa? "Afroafricans"? And I especially hate that word penetrating into Russian as "афроамериканцы".

Another one is "gender". What´s up with the old good "sex"? And again, when it turns into "гендерный" in Russian, it almost causes vomiting.


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Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:51
Member (2006)
English to French
Frenchability Jan 19, 2008

I hate these kind of new French words - often derived from English - finishing with "-bilité" such as jouabilité (playability) implémentabilité, employabilité, adaptabilité, consommabilité and so on. I hate the sound of them and usually their meanings as well

[Edited at 2008-01-19 12:16]


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Christiane Lalonde  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:51
Member
English to French
Débilité Jan 19, 2008

Stéphanie Soudais wrote:

I hate these kind of new French words - often derived from English - finishing with "-bilité" such as jouabilité (playability) implémentabilité, employabilité, adaptabilité, consommabilité and so on. I hate the sound of them and usually their meanings as well

[Edited at 2008-01-19 12:16]


Ces mots-là sont pour les paresseux. Je bannirais de ma table tous ceux qui oseraient employer le mot implémentabilité. Il faut 2 mots de plus pour dire la même chose en vrai français...


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Jeannette Gustavus  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:51
German to English
Preis "anpassen" Jan 19, 2008

I hate the German term "Preis anpassen". It means "adjust the price" literally...but in reality it has one meaning only: RAISE the price. In the rare event that the phone, electric, etc. company lowers their prices, they scream the news from the rooftops. In the much more common event that they raise their prices, they discreetly say they will be "adjusting their prices" and then change the subject to talk about how outstanding their services are. I wish they would just come right out and say "guess what, we're RAISING our prices on you AGAIN at the beginning of the year, hurrah!" They must think their customers are really, really stupid.....

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Christiane Lalonde  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:51
Member
English to French
La meilleure façon de faire... Jan 19, 2008

I think of dozens of English words that are so hard to render properly in French. Or jargon/concepts such as "best practices", and so on. Why would we say "meilleures pratiques" or "pratiques exemplaires" (which I prefer if I have to use it) when what we really want to say is "les meilleures façons de faire" (or something along this line). Trying to make French language as "snappy" as English language is a tough job and you ends up most of the time with completely unreadable and boring texts.
I am totally convinced that French readers would enjoy a much more "efficient" reading, even if that means you need to read 500 words more.
A text makes you "feel" something - this is language, communication.


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:51
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
I can't choose between "content" and "resource" Jan 19, 2008

Imagine my loathing when I'm referred to as a "resource" who/that should translate "content" for "consumers".


Gerard


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