Friday, July 27, 2007

Jump in visits/Augmentation des visiteurs

Back in the spring, during a conversation with Nancy McInnis, the new ATIO president, she suggested that I write an article in Informatio which might be of interest to ATIO members. Nancy avait suggéré que je décrive mes découvertes dans le domaine des blogues.

As I was just in the throes of discovering blogging, I said yes and the article was published on page 8 in the July copy (Volume 36, Number 2) of Informatio

Le lien ci-dessus devrait vous mener directement à mon article, qui a été publié dans les deux langues.

My blog statistics underwent a radical change: in the last three days, instead of the 2,3 or 4 hits and reads of one page or two, I have had page views of 7, 9, 15, 22, and 41 pages, lasting anywhere from 2 minutes to 41 minutes. Obviously, more people are learning about my blog and spending a longer time reading my posts.

Des lecteurs si assidus sont rares et je suis certain que cette activité va augmenter ma présence sur Internet.

I do not know at this time whether the meter can tell me what posts were more popular than others as there are 92 of them all together. I will look into this.

Une chose est certaine, si mes lecteurs (et correspondants) décident de s’exprimer dans la rubrique Comment, ils feront d’une pierre deux coups: ils m’aideront à augmenter ma notoriété sur Internet mais ils augmenteront la leur aussi bien. The readers of my blog who leave a comment would kill two birds with one stone: they will increase my “popularity” on the Web but they will also create links to themselves for other readers to follow. A win-win proposition.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Earthquake - San Francisco - Séisme

Recent Earthquakes for San_Francisco

A few days after our return home, a 4.2 magnitude earthquake shook Oakland, California. Although no injuries occurred, we still felt lucky to not have been there.

Il est difficile d'imaginer un tremblement de terre. Je dois avouer que j'en ai déja ressenti un, en 1988 à Toronto. Sa magnitude était de 5.9. Nous venions de nous assoir à table pour souper quand la table s'est mise à trembler. L'épicentre se trouvait au Québec, à 35 km au sud de Chicoutimi...

Le site web
SFGate a toute une section sur les précédents séismes ainsi que les précautions à prendre en cas de tremblement.

La chanson de Frank Sinatra me vient à l'esprit "I left my heart in San Francisco" , ainsi que le dicton "Voir Naples et mourir". Le malin est de faire l'un sans faire l'autre.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dining in S.F./Manger à S-F.

We had recently the pleasure to revisit A16, one of our favourite restaurants in San Francisco and enjoy their Neapolitan food. It is a lively place, with no pretenses and no haughty waiters, where one can enjoy a lovely pizza, drink unique wines, and enjoy beautifully crafted desserts.

Nous avons également rencontré, sur la même rue, un abreuvoir pour chiens, qui nous en dit beaucoup sur les animaux domestiques à SF et le soin qu’en prennent leurs propriétaires.

À quelques pâtés de maisons de là, le nom d’un restaurant nous a surpris. Il doit exister également des gens qui mangent pour vivre et la façon dont ils font cela est très bien illustrée par le verbe “gobble”.

Both people and animals are well served in the Marina District. I would recommend A16 to my friends.

Monday, July 23, 2007

What is the use of Terminology?

Whether your company is large or small, its products and services would not be successful if you were not able to describe them. Tell the customer how the products are called, what they do, what makes them superior to competition and what feature is particularly noteworthy. Through their advertisers and merchandisers, companies therefore develop a specialized vocabulary, a jargon that is particular to the industry.

When regular hydraulic brakes were replaced by anti-lock brakes, automotive manufacturers used ABS as an acronym and informed customers started looking for ABS equipped cars. Other expressions appeared and disappeared quickly as this one acronym had staying power and was favoured by the customers.

Whether you are in the construction business or packaging food products, retailing or web design, you all have a jargon that is used daily to communicate with your customers and suppliers.

In bilingual Canada, there is a need for terminology in English and in French and a wise company ensures that it uses the correct terminology in both languages. If a specific device or component is called A by General Motors, B by Ford and C by Toyota, the customer will be confused. Additionally, if the word chosen is of a foreign origin to the reader, he/she will not remember it as well. That is what happened when the Service arm of General Motors used Goodwrench as part of their signage or logo. To the non-English speaker, Goodwrench was not easily understand and was often confused with Goodrich. Is that good?

Words have a life of their own and may change meaning in time and in different settings. It is therefore important when defining a word to provide a context, an example, and give the equivalent expression in the other language. A mechanic can use a lead to connect electrical components of an engine, but he will check on the presence of lead in the gasoline if the malfunctioning engine is run on lead-free gas. Two words, same spelling and two totally different meanings.

Does your translator use a standard, uniform terminology? What are the sources of this information and how reliable is it? If a word needs to be created, how does he go about it? It is not as simple a pulling rabbit out of a hat.

Some concepts are easily created in English but present a challenge in French. In some cases, it is the other way around. An experienced translator will perform the necessary research to find the best equivalent. In some cases, he will tell you that the task is impossible and that it would be better to use another tack. Take his advice; it will save you from problems later.

Monday, July 09, 2007

And the winner is: Paris or San Francisco? Qui est le gagnant?

The Globe reports that the Mayor of Paris is urging locals and tourists alike to enjoy each other. The article ends by stating that there were 15.3 millions visitors in France in 2006.

Interestingly, the San Francisco Convention Bureau (in its stats for 2005) mentions that 15,74 million people came to S.F. in 2005.

Unfair comparison, but that accounts for some 31 million tourists, right?

Happy 650 th! / Joyeux 650e anniversaire!

Charles Bridge, in Prague, is celebrating the 650th year of its existence with pagentry and jousting contests.

L'anniversaire du pont Charles me rappelle des promenades agréables, après la Deuxième Guerre et plus tard, en 1993, lors du Championnat mondial de patinage artistique. Voici comment France 24 décrit les festivités.

Il suffit d'ajouter un air de Ma Vlast de Smetana, pour complèter le tableau. Here is a link to some Smetana free downloads.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bilingual tag from the States/Étiquettage bilingue en provenance des É.-U.

Translation can be a tricky thing sometimes. Here is a mandatory textile label that has an extra French message (Nous sommes desoles que notre president soit un idiot. Nous n'avons pas vote pour lui).

Cette photo date de plusieurs années mais on voit que quelqu'un chez les Ricains avait un sens de l'humour pointu.