Thursday, November 01, 2007

Not a Translation

Having spent a glorious afternoon with half of Montpellier and NG on the beach at le Petit Travers, I came back to examine an English translation of the Verchant (hotel & domaine) website. Considering that this was done by a reputable, professional, probably highly expensive company I was frankly appalled.

Have you ever described any building as a 'venerable residence' (demeure antique)? If you read that rooms had 'safe and heated flooring and mirrors' would you realise that the word 'safe' had nothing to do with the flooring and everything to do with a locked box you put valuables in to keep them 'safe'? Just two examples and those alone should cancel any hope the translation office have of receiving full payment for their efforts.

It reads reasonably well for the most part but is just clumsy if you know what I mean. A bit sloppy too with commas missed or inappropriately placed. Considering that the text describes a 5-star hotel, you would expect impeccable English and an elegant turn of phrase. Not some translation taken from a dictionary without a passing glance at nuance or poetry.

Talking of nuance and poetry, I've joined a writer's website, WriteWords, a site which was recommended to me by Keris who was in turn recommended by Craig McGinty of This French Life. I have joined the Chick Lit group and am keen to see what I can add, and any advice the members may be able to dish out. I suppose I need to get hold of an agent first and foremost - one who can bang publishers over nose and get stuff published (as it were)!

If I can get some sort of feeling that things are moving, I may be able to get to grips with book number 2, or at least feel inspired to do the research for it. I'll be investigating five gripping events in history across the continents. Battles, uprisings, revolutions. Just five - should be quite exciting to do!

... a space to watch...


  1. Hrrrmmmphhhhhhh, the Version Anglaise of Verchant is not publically available yet, I see. Maybe it's being re-tooled. However, I shall never, ever, link to that URL again. A site that grabs the edges of my browser and stretches them to 1200 pixel width is THE DEVIL!!

  2. You're right, the English version is not yet available online. I was asked to check what the company had done. Verdict : not impressed.

    I don't have any problems with my browser...

  3. Don't even get me started on Swissglish.

    All those long years I spent correcting reports. 'On the backside, you will find a full list of references'. Gosh, really ?

    And as for that website, expat is right.

    Stretch the page. All that gratuitous use of Flash. Autoplay music as well. Aaaaarrrrgggghhhh.

    I'm not sure why 'continental' websites (if I can use that phrase) are so darned keen to impress with all that crazy over-technical stuff. It puts you off the hotel completely.

    Still, it's probably worth a commended listing on Web Pages That Suck. And that's surely a notable achievement in itself.

    Fortunately, it's not yet quite as bad in the same league as The World Glaucoma Association - an old and much loved favourite - and exactly like a Monty Python sketch.


  4. The thing does indeed stretch FireFox across your whole screen - this is normally considered a Mac'ism, but is now done on PCs too.

    The unfortunate thing is that they take the whole height and width and then check for the amount to strip off the bottom for the task bar. This is fine, but a task bar in Windows can be up the side instead (as mine is), so there's about two inches vanished !

    Still, you can resize it, which is good. I would have used some other pictures (one features a somewhat withered bush in a lawn that appears at first glance to be a large and ferocious arachnoid rushing the camera !), and I would have made the weather "live" for the coming week as well as average.


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