Thread poster: Theresa Pisani Moniez
I\'m not sure where to best post this, but I think it will be seen by more people here. This is a one-time defense, so if you want to massacre me afterward, do not wait for a response...I\'m not planning to reply to it anymore because there\'s nothing else I wish to say in this matter.
To my fellow colleagues, and, most especially, my fellow Americans:
I have spent the afternoon replying to a volley of emails received in response to something I said.
In a Kudoz request for \"haricot verts\", a Pro commented that it could be kept on a menu in the original French for snob value. In reference to that comment I maladroitly said that it would be best even in that context to be translated into English \"green beans\" so that the wait staff wouldn\'t have to waste time explaining it to American tourists.
The statement was innocent. I got fire-bombed because my profile states that I live in France, which I do, but I am also an American citizen born and raised who worked in restaurants to pay for college. I had a manager ask me to refrain from wishing people \"bon appétit\" because we have the perfectly servable expression \"enjoy your meal\" in English. I have also lived the embarrassment of being told my Americanisms are not English.
When other Proz post to keep a term in the original French, I take it with a grain of salt, but I also go a step further. Programs like IM are good vehicles for testing our answers. I have IM contacts of many different geographic and socio-economic backgrounds, and I test answers in real time. When 8 out of 10 people tested don\'t understand a French term posted as \"easy\", I don\'t see why I\'d use it in a translation! Our job is to render things comprehensible to others; terms used for snob value that are incomprehensible to the targetted public do not do them any service whatsoever.
I apologize most heartfully for any feathers I may have ruffled. In all sincerity, I was thinking of my parents when I made that comment, so my intention was not disrespectful. It was a statement one of my high school English teachers would have called \"half in jest and all in earnest\". Please forgive my improprieties.
Theresa Pisani Moniez
expatriot from Lancaster, Pennsylvania living in France.
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| | Ralf Lemster
Local time: 08:57
English to German
| Uh-oh, the "PC police" has struck again... || May 1, 2002 |
Don\'t panic - just include the e-mail addresses of those who attacked you privately for this \"attack\" in your junk mail filter...
But hang on a second here.
Yes, strictly speaking (and I mean, VERY strictly speaking!), your grading comment was outside KudoZ rules of etiquette.
Yes, you could have added a smiley to clearly indicate to the most sensitive of souls that you were not quite serious about it.
But seriously: it beats me how \"professionals\" can afford to be truly offended by this kind of comment. I can still laugh about pretty much every headline the English tabloids fancy printing with the word \"Kraut\" in there somewhere.
What some people fail to see is that the \"holier-than-thou\" attitude might, at some point, backfire... relax, everybody out there: this is not going to help your blood pressure!
| Franks and Beans || May 2, 2002 |
More power to you sister.
| More compassion for you! || May 16, 2002 |
I am very much in a similar position: an American living in Paris and I\'ve been shot down for trying to position an idea in function of the targeted readership. The last time was for similing ironically when somebody\'s text went on (and on) about the \"Three Mediterraneans.\" He was referring to the three hubs of international tourism: the Mediterranean \"strictu sensu\" (don\'t sneeze), the Caribbean and (yes, wait for it) the Pacific. Didn\'t he get all ruffled up when when I suggested \"basins\" or \"hubs\".
But on the word \"snob\", sometimes it seems only to mean my perception of someone as haughty, when in fact I\'m misreading body language, mindset or turn or phrase. So I\'ve stopped using that word altogether -- I too have found it dangerous at times!
| Don't stop answering, though || Sep 26, 2002 |
It all depends on the customer - in the menus I\'ve been unfortunate enough to translate, leaving anything other than \"fondue\" in French invariably gets me a phone call from the agency asking me if I forgot to translate it.
It\'s just \"keep the customer satisfied\" - other than that, if colleagues need to vent their spleen on aside matters, they\'re probably very short of work (why else should one bother writing e-mails on the rights and wrongs of translating bean names), so I wouldn\'t take it seriously.