Bad Translations

First things first, our group went to visit castles last weekend, here are some pictures.

Photo by Meg Pritchard

Photo by Meg Pritchard

Now for the fun stuff.

Direct English translations of French can be quite funny, especially when you translate the filler words. A good example is the word “quoi”, it means “what” in English but can also be used at the end of every sentence for no reason. Here’s a made-up exchange between two people speaking in French with a good English translation:  -Want to go to that club tonight? -No way, that nightclub is a mess. -Oh stop, you just don’t like it because you cant dance! -Well, whatever, lets change the subject, ok?

Here’s the bad translation: – Bahhh Wanna go the nightbox tonight? -Bahhh no, that nightbox is a brothel what. -Break yourself! You just don’t like it because you can’t dance what. there it is what. -Your face! bahh, eventhough, look, what bahh, lets jump from roosters to donkeys, agreed?…..but good what…

Maybe this is only funny to me, I apologize to my legion of dedicated readers.

I also can’t get over how french people say the name of the TV show “How I Met Your Mother”, its like “owwimêtyaourmuzair”

On my way to dinner Wednesday night I saw a protest in front of a government building that was organized by France’s anti-capitalist party, the NPA. Remembering that my study abroad contract forbids me from engaging in protests or political action I quickly fled the scene. I wonder what they were protesting about…

Here’s another castle just in case you were getting bored.

Photo by Erin Byrne

Since elections are coming up in a few months, we talk a lot about politics in our classes. We’ve been comparing the goals and promises of the two big candidates, François Holland, and Nicholas Sarkozy. While in class, I was reminded of a political paradox I thought about two years ago while taking a politics class at Puget Sound. It seems to me that as humans we need to subscribe to a political system that should not be replicated on a personal level. In the context of my International Relations class I took, the debate was between Realism and Liberalism. Its highly practical for countries to take a Realist approach to international politics, but thats not necessarily the attitude you want to have with your friends. In my opinion there is something extremely inhumane about Realism, but for whatever reason I feel inclined to agree with it as a political approach. In the context of the upcoming elections, the paradox is framed by the role of the state. I personally want a state that provides social support, (medical, educational, infrastructural, etc.) but on a personal level I don’t want to be a lazy human being that has no personal drive because I rely on the government. Just to clarify, I think the fear of this type of person is a bit overplayed by the Republicans in America. Nevertheless, I feel differently about what I want out of myself and fellow citizens, than I do about what I want out of the Government. I don’t have any answers but I think it is worth it to think about whether ones political views have to agree with their personal values. For me, I don’t think they do.

This entry was posted in Kyle Kubler '13, France, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply