I am a French native speaker, and this is my first year working as an editor for French translated articles. I am fluent in both English and French, and I have a good experience in translation. Most of my work was for my own gain, but I have now started to work professionally. The Massachusetts Daily Collegian has a rather large network, where the articles written by the journalists can be translated in languages such as Spanish, German, Chinese, or Arabic.

Why do I translate?

I was born in France and studied French as first language for 18 years, Still today, I take the classes in College. I came in America a few years ago, which makes my English slightly less good than my French. I came to love translation as I read more books in two languages, and started to notice the enormous difference in writing, and how going from English to French made my mind work hard, and well. I just love languages, and I think that it is one thing to want to learn a language, and it is another thing to appreciate it. I just want to spread something I love.

Marjane Satrapi said about translation that it was "like a woman ; either beautiful or faithful." While it is a very loose analogy, I find it quite true, in the sense that it hard to convey both of those things. It is my job to make sure that both of those sides of translation be as present as possible.


Please, ask me anything you find interesting about translation!

Comments: 363 • Responses: 47  • Date: 

Chtorrr102 karma

What would you most like to tell us that no one ever asks about?

MDCTranslations178 karma

I do not think anyone has ever asked me what songs deserved to be known out of France for their language. I think songs are one of the best way to learn a language, and French Hip-pop and Rap is full of diamonds hidden to the rest of the world. An enormous amount of texts propitious to translation, if only to make them known to music lovers or simply French lover.

Lakecide33 karma

I would LOVE to hear some French hip-hop whilst also understanding the lyrics. If you ever wanna set up a translation for some of your favourites and show the world, I'd love to hear

MDCTranslations106 karma

Try Stromae. It is not quite hip-hop, but there are pretty accurate translation on his clip video. Also L.E.J.

boathouse21121 karma

Well, which songs?

MDCTranslations6 karma

Do try L.E.J., Stromae, McSolar, Orelsan, Sexion d'Assault, BigFlo et Oli, Angèle,
and Maître Gims.

deputypresident87 karma

Do you know how many readers of The Massachusetts Daily Collegian rely on your translation work?

MDCTranslations81 karma

Truthfully, no. There are translations in Spanish, Chinese, French, Vietnamese, Russian, Portuguese, Polish, Korean, and other commonly spoken languages in Massachusetts. It is pretty hard to keep track of how many people read those articles. However, I know personally many people who use them to improve their language and actively learn a new one.

coldize46 karma

My question is about non-native French speaking.

A quick backstory. I studied French (poorly) for a long time, nearly 12 years throughout school from 5th grade until Sophomore year in college. I really never got any immersion training and I treated it like a memorization test. As a result, I've retained very little and my French speaking skills are fairly lacking.

Occasionally I've felt the urge to pick it back up, and refine those language skills.

However, I've heard many times that francophones are ruthlessly unwelcoming to non-native speakers. That they are unforgiving for mispronunciations, misgenderings, and slight mistakes. It's made me hesitant about putting time and energy towards a skill that I think I'd be unwilling to use.

What are your thoughts about this?

MDCTranslations73 karma

That's quite amusing. Most Americans or foreigners who come in France do not really try to learn the language and think that English can get them anywhere, and this tends to annoy many French people. Now, if you show that you are actually trying, I have had more experience of French helping them than anger. You should try. My friend who came from America was using her French skills and immediately adored by most people we met. They were happy she was interested in their language.

weird_al_yankee37 karma

This sounds like the type of thing that my wife would love to do. She's also foreign-born, though she came to the US at the age of 6 and now speaks both languages as well as a native-speaker.

How did you come to do this kind of work? Is there a professional group for news translators or editors of translated articles?

MDCTranslations38 karma

I knew I liked translating long before I came in this line of work, but I am actually a biology major! It was a story of pure hasard. Somebody heard me speaking French, and asked me if I'd be willing to try to work for the Daily Collegian. I was, and so I applied. I did not go through any kind of group, but I know that if you live in America, the American Translators Association allows people to sign in and be on the list for translators to hire. Wether or not they have a degree.

Depending on where you live it might easier or harder to get hired. For example, there are many Spanish speakers in California, so it might be harder to find a job there. On the other hand, Japanese translators will have many offers.

I am part of a non-profit college newspaper, so in my case, I do not have to worry about this, but I do think that there is lot to gain to be a translator.

Good luck to your wife! I hope she'll like it if she tries it!

assaulty22 karma

What are some french words that cannot truly be translated into English , and what do they mean?

MDCTranslations47 karma

Flâner (means wandering around with no purpose other than wandering, in a lazy manner), dépayser (not recognizing people, manners, food, words, anything around one self), retrouvaille (when two people or more (it can also be two animals, or an animal and a person) find each other again after a long separation), l'appel du vide (call of the void, when you find yourself on a high place and suddenly wish to jump)

My favorite one is "jolie laide" even if it's not used that often : it literally means "pretty ugly" but actually means "non-conventional beauty"

Awesam1717 karma

I guess I could ask a lot of people this, but how weird does english sound to native french speakers?

MDCTranslations47 karma

That's an excellent question.

In French, pronunciation is very different : we have a lot of rules that define how we say words. People often make fun that in a word of ten letters we only pronounce half. It's true, but it is remarkably well put into rules : for example, "o" and "u" together make the sound "oo" like "cool" in English. There is not as many ways to remember pronunciation rules in English, which makes speaking rather difficult for me. I still cannot say "mountain" correctly, and I do not understand why "now" and "know," "baked" and "naked" sound different. Or why the "h" is sometimes pronounced ("his"), but sometimes not ("hours). I write better than I do.

On the other hand, most "formal" and "proper" words in English are actually close to slang in French. Meaning that when I say "I reassure you" out loud, most French speaker will immediately know what I mean, but most of my American friends are surprised by my vocabulary.

It's a nice language. I think it's round and lot less harsh than some European languages, but it lacks the way French, Italian or Spanish sound like singing. It does depend on who is talking. Some people have such a good use of English that it makes me want to speak it more. Some people remind me that it is a germanic language to begin with.

SATXS516 karma

What phrases do you have trouble translating from English to French? For example, I imagine it would not make sense to translate "I quit smoking cold turkey" or "He's just jumping on the bandwagon" in to french.

MDCTranslations36 karma

Those are translatable, but not literally. "He's just jumping on the bandwagon" does not do well in French, but I would say "Il fait comme à la mode" ("he does as fashion says" in this case it would mean "jumping on the bandwagon" (of course, it would change according to the context).

The thing is to know when to change the sentence enough so that it still means the same thing, but looks pretty. It takes a little bit of instinct and a lot of experience.

SplitDiamond15 karma

Parlez-vous français?

MDCTranslations18 karma

Absolument. C'est ma language natale.

evian_is_naive14 karma

Do you find that French-speakers just talk faster than English-speakers?

This could be a product of being a non-native french speaker, or it may relate to what you said somewhere else about French language "putting a lot in a sentence," but it does seem to me that people talk faster and maybe think faster as a result. English, at least in America, is pretty damn slow

I also enjoy explaining to non-speakers how é , et, aie, aies, aient , est , es , ez and probably many others all make the same sound, and watching their face go wtf

MDCTranslations10 karma

Oh yes! French speakers are nowhere near as fast as the Spanish speakers, but we do speak a lot faster. To be honest, when I speak English as fast as I speak French (which I do sometimes, when I forget that I am not supposed to), people have a hard time understand ing me.

You're right about the sounds! It's really funny.

yumcookiecrumble10 karma

I want to learn French, but I am not able to take a course because there is none in the area and I don't drive. I also don't have a computer, just my phone. How do you suggest I get started?? Are there any books you think I would find useful?

MDCTranslations35 karma

When you learn a language, you want to be proficient in writing, reading, speaking and oral understanding.

The best way to speak perfectly a language is to go to the country and simply stay there for a few month. As it is impossible here, I suggest you listen to songs in French (as strange as it seems, the more you listen, the more you understand the accents, and are able to repeat it).

In the same category, TV shows and youtube channels are a good idea. It might take a while, but humor channels are numerous, and can be used to understand common puns and the sense of humor.

Read books you have read in English in French, the simpler the better ("The Little Prince," for example, but it can also be better books. The "Harry Potter" series is very well translated in French). Children's books are great too. A friend of mine learned Dutch simply by having to read stories in Dutch to the children he had to take care of during the summer. Comics are the intermediate level. There are lot of good comic books, not at all like the American genre. I suggest "Laureline et Valerian" "Yoko Tsuno" the early "Spirou et Fantasio" (more childish, but rather funny), "Blake et Mortimer" "XIII" (it is probably one of the best French comic book I have ever read), "Blueberry" (the two latter have been written by French authors, but the stories happen in America). There are many others that you can find by an Internet search.

In the end, all you need is a lot of motivation and dedication. Start with children books, then move on to six-grade books taught in French class (it is relatively easy to find them on Internet), and comic books. Movies French translations are usually pretty good. It takes nothing to watch a James Bond in French with the subtitles, and it is actually very good!

Good luck!

PlotTwistedMom10 karma

I'm also French, living in Ireland for the last 23 years. My English is pretty much equal to my French at this stage. Everyone keeps telling me to get into translations or to become an interpreter when I want to get back to work (I have young kids now). I really don't think I'd like to be an interpreter for the simple reason that I'd have to translate live and that's a lot of pressure I feel. Translating books and articles seems much more like my cup of tea... So I guess I have 2 questions : 1) What made you decide to be a translator instead of an interpreter? 2) What kind of certifications do you need to get a proper job in translations.

MDCTranslations10 karma

While I have a good level in both languages, I cannot translate on the spot (if you have been asked to translate a word, you know what it's like). I can give a vague equivalence of the sentence, but it will not be the same. As a bookish person, I also have a better connection with the written language, which makes writing and reading a lot easier for me.

Technically, if you want to be a professional translator, a good proficiency in at least two languages and a bachelor's degree are necessary, at least in America. I do not know about Ireland, but in my experience, most translators were hired because of their fluency in the languages, rather than because of their degree. If you are a native French speaker, and speak a good English, it might not be too hard to find a post, despite not having done studies in this field. I am a college student working in a non-profit newspaper, so my case is a little bit different.

PlotTwistedMom3 karma

Thanks for the info, I'll definitely look into it when the time comes... Et bonne continuation !

MDCTranslations3 karma

Merci beaucoup!

ScooterAnkle4209 karma

Comment ça fait d'avoir une aussi grande responsabilité sur vos épaules ? Êtes vous le/la seul(e) traducteur pour la MDC ?

MDCTranslations17 karma

Je suis l'éditrice de la partie traduction, donc je ne traduis que les extraits. Le reste de mon travaille est de la correction du travail d'autres traducteurs. Cette année, il y en a deux. En ce qui me concerne, j'y passe à peu près 16 heures par semaine, sans compter certaines heures supplémentaires.

La pression est plutôt grande. Je dois m'assurer que tous les articles soient aussi parfaits que possible. Le français est ma langue natale, mais elle n'est pas celle de mes traducteurs, du coup je passe énormément de temps à la correction. Et parfois, cela implique des changements radicaux, pour lesquels je prends toute la responsabilité. Tous les articles sont postés en ligne, mais ils doivent absolument tous sortir à l'heure chaque semaine. Du coup, ça devient souvent une course contre la montre.

Mais cela me plaît donc j'y passe beaucoup de temps avec joie.

Ryuma_The_King8 karma

Omelette du Fromage?

MDCTranslations23 karma

Omelette au fromage. And it is very good.

UEMcGill7 karma

Did you laugh the first time you heard Quebecois?

MDCTranslations13 karma

Yes, but I don't dislike the accent. A lot of Québécois do not have a strong accent. I laughed harder the first time I heard Belgian accent. But really, I like both, even if they sound ridiculous to most French speakers.

SpunKDH5 karma

As a fellow countryman living abroad for 3 years now, I have to ask you: how's your accent / pronunciation in English? Have you passed the little shame you must feel when you have to speak a proper English accent?

Funny thing for me is I used to love English language when I was trying to learn it by myself, and now that it's my daily language I find it less and less interesting / coherent the more I improve.


MDCTranslations8 karma

I agree a lot. English is a pretty language, when spoken correctly by the right people. Sometimes, I meet someone whose language is so beautiful I fall in love with English again. However, between French and English, I cannot help but think that French is more developed and elegant. Then again it depends on the people speaking it.

A foreign friend of mine has been living in the US for about the same time as me. They are perfectly orally fluent in English a way I will never be. They almost have no accent and most people think they are actually American and that English is their first language. Their written English however, is a lot less advanced than mine.

I have an enormous vocabulary, whether in French or in English. But I have also a very strong accent. It is not the "cliché" French accent you can hear most often, but people do hear that English is not my main language. Funnily enough, they guess that I am European, but I hear German, Polish, and Dutch more often than I hear French.

SpyMustachio3 karma

J’ai appris la Français pour sept ans quand j’étais dans collège et lycée. Il y a un an depuis je suis dans une class de Français et j’ai oublié beaucoup de Français. Je suis dans ma première année de université, mais je n’ai pas beaucoup d’espace dans ma emploi du temps pour une classe de Française. Avez-vous le conseil pour réapprendre la Français???

MDCTranslations4 karma

Ce que je lis est plutôt bien fait! Je vous conseille de lire des bandes dessinées (comics) si vous avez le temps, ou de regarder vos séries et films en Français. Ceci vous ferait pratiquer la langue de manière régulière, surtout que vous avez déjà un bon niveau. En séries et film, vous n'avez pas à regarder des films français nécessairement. Un bon James Bond en Français avec les sous-titres est suffisant. Quand aux bandes dessinées, je vais vous conseiller des françaises bien écrites. Il y a "Laureline et Valérian" "XIII" 'Blueberry" "Yoko Tsuno" "Blake et Mortimer". Si vous les cherchez sur Internet vous les trouverez.

Bien entendu, il y a toujours la méthode classique : lisez des livres. J'ai appris l'anglais ainsi. L'idéal serait de trouver des livres que vous avez lu en Anglais, mais traduit en Français.

Bonne chance!

iisowo2 karma

Do you ever have problems getting the meaning of something to come across properly in another language?

MDCTranslations6 karma

Ah, all the time! Idioms and syntaxe are some of the most complicated problems that translators come across. I am rather lucky, because unlike German or Turkish, the syntaxe is somewhat similar (subject, verb, object). But while English is pretty concise, French tends to put a lot in a sentence, which is hard when the goal is to state something.

Puns are very complicated to pass on, but we can catch up on another opportunity later in the text, or change the entire sentence, which is extremely hard.

Very often, I have to rely on instinct to make the text sound good, which is why it is pretty hard for non-native speakers to translate. A solution is Linguee, which shows how some un-translatable sentences have been changed in previous text. I do not copy, but I can grasp a good understanding about on how to change the sentence and keep the meaning.

It means that almost all my translation are certainly nowhere close the original version. It is very hard to stay on tract. Some things are lost, but rarely factual informations, mostly puns, idioms, effects, etc... Some translation gain from translation, and are expanded by it.

badatspelilng2 karma

When you are deep in thought what language are you thinking in?

MDCTranslations6 karma

Both English and French. It also depends with whom I am hanging out with at the time (wether it's an American or a French does change that, it does not matter what language we have been speaking). It depends also of what I am thinking about. And I also mix them up a lot. A lot more than people think. Even out loud, talking to people.

vwgeiser3 karma

Does this also apply to dreams?

MDCTranslations5 karma

I think it does. I have dreams in english, in French, and mixed. But I don't remember dreams being very precisely.

Throaway221122111 karma

Thanks for doing this! I am about to start working for a translation company soon. Not doing actual translations myself, but part of my job includes acting as a liaison between translators and the clients using their services to make sure the work is completed to the best quality. Most of our translators are freelancers.

Is there anything important you think someone in my position should know about the translation process, so I can make everyone’s experience better (both client and translator)?

I‘ve worked in places (ex. an ad agency) where people promise the moon to customers in an effort to make a sale, without actually understanding the process designers and writers need to go through and what their limitations are, and then they get mad when their promises can’t be fulfilled. It makes their colleagues feel under-appreciated and bitter, and makes the company look bad.

What are the things people do that make your job as a translator easier or more difficult?

MDCTranslations2 karma

I have never been confronted to people willingly making my job harder, but it has happened that translation was made hard by the original writer. For example, my last article had quotes from interviewed people, but those quote kind of clashed with my ethics as a translator. I could see that in French they'd need to be modified greatly to make any sort of sense, and I was afraid they would not be the actual article line. I ended up compromising, and making a literal translation, but even now, the French translation makes little sense.

To make you job easier, it is the best that people simply give you not only the original article, but also the original sources. To a certain extent, it may avoid the loss in translation or for you to waste your time trying to understand what is meant in the text.

The hardest thing is ethics. Some people may not realize it, but once confronted to it once, you will not forget it. It happens that it is impossible to make sense of an article in one language unless a complete change, because the original article lacks context. At this point the best ways are either to go through literal translation or to change article.

I wish you good luck through your new job! I hope you'll like it!

GentPc1 karma

Have you ever been asked to purposely mis-translate something?

MDCTranslations2 karma

Never, but I have often be asked to translate on the spot. That can lead to misunderstanding, as it is quite hard to do.

beets_or_turnips1 karma

I work as an interpreter in the US, and I keep hearing about how computers may start to displace human interpreters and translators in many settings, maybe within the next 20 years. Sometimes I think that is ridiculous, but lately I am not so sure. Is this something you think about?

MDCTranslations4 karma

Yes. My mother was an engineer for a company trying to computerize language as a concept. I think I understand why some people might be concerned by computers taking over translators and interprets jobs. But let me reassure you : this is not for today. Computers are slow, and humans have to teach them everything. The human brain is a computer ten thousand times as gifted, if not more. The more computer will try to learn language the more language will evolve.

It is not impossible that computers might someday take over translators jobs, but it is still a far away thought. Seeing how long it takes me to translate an article, and that my mother's robot could only put together the words "I want ice cream," I think it's not for today.

While I know you are talking about spoken languages, you reminded me of all languages that are computerized, such as python, java, etc... Those will always ask for translator and linguists in a way. We'll always need you, as those are languages too.

D_Thought1 karma

Do you ever translate verbally (such as for conversations)? How does it compare to translating articles?

MDCTranslations1 karma

I am very fortunate not do that professionally. I have a hard time translating on the spot and it is pretty hard for native speakers in general. If two people need my help, I will try my best, and most of the time, manage to make a correct sentence. However, it will be vague and not quite as proper as a professional interpret. When I translate a text, I take time to to turn the sentence all the way I can think of to make it sounds its best. I cannot do that with verbal translations.

XenonBG1 karma

Not strictly about translating or editing, but how do you pronounce "Iris"?

After a whole day of translating to French, do you find it hard to switch back to English (and vice versa)?

MDCTranslations3 karma

"ee-r-ee-ss" (rolled/hard r. It's not like German, nor like Italian. Hard to say)

Not really. Immediately while doing the article, I think in French because I need to be focused on one language, but usually, it's not that much of a problem. I tend to mix both languages usually, just one more than the other (I think in English with a few French words, or in French with a few English words). I just go back to that once my attention is not as demanded.

MDCTranslations1 karma

A lot. In my own translations I spend about 2 hours translating an average size article. When my one of my translators are translating they have a day to do it, and it takes me about 3 hours to correct those.

jessjess871 karma

Do you live in MA and if so are you a member of the French Cultural Center? They have lots of fun events if not!

MDCTranslations3 karma

My mother is! In my case, I do not really have the time to go there, but I have gone to a few events. It's a nice reference for either French speakers, or French learners, I absolutely agree.

BackToTheFurniture1 karma

Hi Iris! I studied translation myself in Munich, with English as my primary foreign language. I know a little French and Spanish, too. After studying I was (and still am) quite hesitant to start working in translation since It's all very intimidating to me. Despite of all that I really enjoy foreign languages, and I like to think I have some talent, too. Do you have any Tips of how to put my interest in languages to good use? Anyways, thanks for the AmA:)

MDCTranslations2 karma

Hi! Languages are such a fun thing, I agree with you on this. I absolutely never intended to become a translator. I thought it was for experienced people, and languages are actually more of hobby in which I am very invested rather than an actual vocation. I think that if it is so important for you, and you would like to work in languages, there are many things to do. Translation is obviously my main subject, so I know more about it than the rest. If you try working on translation, people will not put you directly at the head of a department, and ask too much of you at first. But then, as your language improve and your capacity at translation does as well, you will get more responsibility.

The other jobs that are great in my opinion are interprets. It is absolutely not my things, as I am more of a bookish person myself, and I have a hard time translating on the spot, but it is quite an interesting job.

I am not very aware of other jobs that have to do with languages, but I have always thought that if you wanted to work in Languages, teaching it would be the best thing. And by this, I mean, you could work on people with a second language, or work on the improvement of language in your country. In France, we have something called l'Académie Française, whose job is to record and control the rules of the French language. It's quite interesting, but I don't know if that exists where you live (it does not in America).

In any case, I wish you luck. I know translation might look intimidating at first, but you'll see. It gets better with time.

xmngr1 karma

Do you have any advice for someone who is really interested in making a career in language?

MDCTranslations1 karma

It's not easy. Some languages are more sought over than others, sometimes due to their popularity or convenience in everyday life. One very interesting job that language can offer is in marketing and in linguistics. Both of those require an intensive knowledge in language and can actually offer some pretty interesting career choices.

There are also the classic translator and interpret jobs, but those do not necessitate degrees.

MDCTranslations1 karma

En ce qui me concerne, j’ai passé un test qui m’a donné la possibilité de traduire un texte. Après ça, j’ai été acceptée. Je n’ai pas passé les Cambridge exams, mais pour être traducteur, tout dépend de l’employeur. Il faut être bon dans les deux langues (ou plus).

MDCTranslations1 karma

Pretty cool. Cold right now, but still fun :)

MDCTranslations1 karma

I would if I were late ;)

ThoMiCroN1 karma

J'ai une question pour vous. Connaissez-vous les Franco-Américains (diaspora québécoise) du Massachusetts ou à tout le monde de la Nouvelle-Angleterre en général ? Votre travail de traduction pourrait aider ces gens-là. Une des Franco-Américaines les plus célèbres en ce moment est Josée Vachon du Maine, qui est chanteuse.

Votre travail pourrait faire connaître aux anglos l'ampleur du patrimoine francophone de leur région (et quand je dis franco, je parle aussi du patrimoine colonial et non juste européen) et aussi permettrait aux Franco-Américains qui essaient de se réapproprier la langue d'avoir du contenu plus près d'eux...

MDCTranslations2 karma

J'aimerai énormément que d'autres gens aient la possibilité de lire mon travail et celui de mon équipe. Franchement, je pense que le journal est une des meilleurs manière d'améliorer sa langue. J'écrit cependant dans un journal d'Université, et sans connection il serait dur pour des gens en dehors de l'université de le lire. Ce serait magnifique de voir plus de gens lire ce que nous écrivons, mais ceci repose entièrement dans les mains des lecteurs. Si vous pouviez parler de nous à des gens curieux de lire en Français ou d'autres langues, s'il vous plaît, faites-le!

S'il était possible pour moi de travailler pour les Franco-américains de la région, je le ferai avec plaisir.

JonPA981 karma

Real question, what made you interested in moving to the US? Just looking for something different? I’m an American but I really want to move to Europe, I went to Paris and I fell in love and I just like the European lifestyle a lot more. My point is that Europe seems much more attractive in my opinion but what’s the point of view from a European.

MDCTranslations3 karma

I have lived all my life in Paris, so it's pretty normal to me, no matter how much I love. The thing is, your country is beautiful. You may not agree, but San Fransisco made me cry the first time I came, Hawaï is exotic, New York and Chicago overwhelmed me, and I thought that New Mexico was right out of a comic book. We are always interested in something else that what we know. In my case, I didn't have the choice. My family had a new job, and when I had the choice between here and France, I stayed here because the education is better. I also love this country. It's not the same as in Europe. I don't think they're comparable.

higglety_piggletypop1 karma

Hello Iris, fellow translator here, academic and legal, German to English! Great to see our profession in the spotlight. Do you ever get frustrated by people not perceiving translation as a proper career? Some people seem to think that anyone who studied a foreign language at high school can try their hand at a spot of translation.

MDCTranslations3 karma

Haha! Yes! Translation, even for me who is native from France, I spend a lot of time working so that people can read the best of best I can give them. It does frustrate me when people do not think it is a proper career, and I do think translators should receive more credit. For example, Jean-François Ménard translated the entire Harry Potter séries. He deserves a round of applause, because his job is exceptional. Comparing both version would make a translator go in awe, and it saddens me quite a lot that people do not see that.

However, I don't necessarily think it is a job closed to everyone without a degree. I feel that anyone with an interest in language and a certain proficiency in two languages or more could try translation. It should not impair the actual work however, and it should be left in capable people's hand. I would not take in my team a translator whose language is not fluent enough.

-mashinka-0 karma

Je suis franco-ontarienne, donc j’ai la grande chance d’être complètement bilingue en anglais comme en français, sans accent dans les deux. Trouvez-vous que, en étant française, vous aurez pu bénéficier d’un encadrement plus rigoureux dans l’enseignement de l’anglais dans votre parcours scolaire?

MDCTranslations4 karma

Certainement. L'éducation des langues étrangères en France laisse beaucoup à désirer, et ne m'a pas du tout aidée quand je suis venue vivre ici. e pense que si l'Anglais et le Français (ainsi que l'Allemand et l'Espagnole) avaient plus d'heures à leur profit au collège, le lycée permettrait aux élèves d'améliorer leur langue pratique. Je pense aussi que le Latin et le Grec ne devraient pas être supprimés. La langue, toutes les langues, ont une origine, qui se doit d'être étudiée.

Une autre manière d'améliorer la langue est de partir dans un autre pays, mais alors que je comprenne la difficulté des US ou du Canada, je ne vois pas pourquoi les Français n'essaient pas plus. La France a des frontières avec des pays parlant quatre différentes langues. Je pense qu'il est beaucoup plus facile que ce que les gens pensent, de passer un mois chaque été étudier la langue, que ce soit en Allemagne ou en Italie. Ma grand-mère ne pouvait pas s'occuper de mon père, alors elle l'envoyait en Allemagne, où il a apprit un Allemand quasi parfait.

De manière générale, l'enseignement français n'est réellement pas le meilleur. Cependant, il est possible de l'améliorer, et je pense que l'apprentissage des langues, vivantes ou mortes, est un bon début.

Faitlemou0 karma

T'es un franco-américain?

MDCTranslations3 karma

Je suis née en France et j'ai grandie là bas. Je suis venue vivre aux US il y a 4 ans.

lqdizzle0 karma

Is there a translator, contemporary or studied, who’s work influences or inspires you and why? What makes a translator great?

MDCTranslations2 karma

Katherine Wood has translated Saint-Exupéry "The Little Prince" in English already half century ago. I would not say she "inspired me" per se, but when I read her version I was impressed by how she managed to render the poesy of the book. On the other hand, I learned through her work that no translation is perfect and keeping a text faithful to its original story (whether be it through the accuracy of the story or the posey of the language) is extremely hard.

I would say that's what make a translator great : being able to make a compromise between the accuracy of what is said, the factual events said or related, and the manner the text is written. Managing to write such a thing depends on what is original. Katherine Wood focused on the beauty of the text itself rather than the story, while I, as a newspaper translator, should focus on facts. But then again, all translation is a hard work.