Friday, 27 December 2013

Lost in translation

A French friend of mine asked me to translate a text he had written, from French to English. I didn't mind... until I read it. It's quite long, and it's written in formal French. I'm not great at translating, which is ironic considering I am fluent in both languages. People are often surprised when they asked me " How do you say that in French?" and I can't translate because I can't find the right words.
It's really hard to explain, but when I speak English, I think in English and when I speak French, I think in French. I don't translate one into the other in my mind before speaking. The only thing I do is mixing both in the same sentence, and speaking Frenglish. And just for the record, I'm not doing this on purpose, it's just because I cannot find the correct French word to express what I want to say!
I may be bilingual, but I am terrible at translating. The weird thing is I find it easier now to translate something from French to English than the other way around. That's because I've spent so much time here I suppose...
So, back to my translation. I'm sorry to say I put the whole thing in Google translate and then just worked around the "almost finished" product! Mind you Google translate was not that bad, maybe because it was a French to English translation. Usually when you use it to translate into French, you end up with very funny results !
Translating is an art, and I'm not very good at it, so I apologise to my friend in advance. I hope you get a good mark. I know I said I would finish it before Christmas, but well... I will definitely finish it before New Year!