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Lost in Translation

Dans la Vienne, des salariés menacent de faire sauter leur usine – Economie – Le Monde.fr. (link valid until 26/07/09)

is the basis for the Telegraph story that caught my fancy yesterday,    French workers threaten ‘to blow up’ car factory – Telegraph.

“Pour tenter de négocier cette indemnité, trois cars, soit environ 150 salariés…”, Le Monde, compared to the Telegraph’s  “Mr Eyermann said two coach loads of workers had visited…”

As a translation error, it’s basic but of very little consequence; it doesn’t change the meaning or time-line of the story.  It just struck me as a particulary odd error, after all three coaches don’t suddenly morph into two, however indicative that may be of the current economic situation.

Two much commoner errors  would have been

  • three car loads of workers – having read the French version, the image of 150 disgruntled machinists crammed into  3 cars tickled my fancy, reminiscent of student hi-jinks.
  • 3/4 of  150 workers – trois cars being homonymous with trois-quarts, mind you the product would be  112.5 workers – part-timer or missing body parts?

I’m probably the only person on the planet that finds this funny, so sorry if you’ve been bored. Will try harder next time.

j

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One Response

  1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1200428/Give-money-blow-cranes-How-laid-French-workers-got-compensation.html

    Of course, I do not read the Mail but … for what it’s worth, this seems to be a growing trend in France.

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