This week and last, I’ve been reading up on Mormons’ commitment to both the language of the King James Version (Philip Barlow’s Mormons and the Bible is a fantastic read) and what is seen as the authoritative text of the Book of Mormon. In Paul Gutjahr’s The Book of Mormon: A Biography, he quotes the official Latter-day Saint Scripture Translation Manual as including the following guidelines for translators of the Book of Mormon:
A few months ago, during a weekend where my family was out of town, I binge watched both seasons of « Au service de la France », a hilarious spy comedy available on Netflix. One of the running gags of the series is the (fictional) French secret service’s obsession with bureaucracy. So, for example, when the service suspects a mole in its midst, one of the responses is to make sure that every piece of paperwork is signed multiple times before being stamped twice.
I wish Nintendo would translate the French release of Mario Kart as « chariot de Mario » because it’s very fun to say.
I have just learned that “leapfrog” is called “leapsheep” (« saute-mouton ») in French AND that, by extension, a “sheep-leap” (« saut-de-mouton ») is the name for a particular kind of railway junction. Don’t know which delights me more.
I learned today that “The Handmaid’s Tale” is « La servante écarlate » in French, which provokes a lot of thoughts about translation.
Sometimes I don’t realize how ridiculous a phrase in English is until I’ve heard its literal translation into French. The first time I heard Bugs Bunny’s catchphrase as « quoi de neuf, docteur ? », it felt like my world was being turned upside down.
TIL that Star Trek’s “warp speed” is translated as the vastly inferior “distortion” in French and that at least one French news outlet has therefore adopted the translation “Operation Lightning Speed” for the U.S. vaccine effort.
It’s amazing how much French I’m learning translating students’ tweets to English for a research project. Language is so rich, and limiting it to 280 characters arguably makes it more so.