How not to get trapped by a translation app

Please welcome Christine Camm, an expert French-English translator whom I met recently via social media. Despite my being bilingual English-French myself I’ve often wondered how the hell professional translators manage to sleep at night, given the ridiculous differences between these two lingos.

And … how English speakers, in particular, manage to destroy whatever co-comprehension there might remain considering that the Brits still feel the French will understand their English provided that they shout it loudly enough, and the French think anyone living from the White Cliffs of Dover northwards is a totally unhinged rosbif who probably needs not only French lessons but also to stop shouting and get a life.
 article about english to french translation

Christine takes up the story with a charming anecdote … 

A young London couple, Carol and Simon, start planning their next short holiday

“Let’s go to Paris,” suggests Simon.

Carol raises one eyebrow and instantly pictures the two of them on a boat, gently floating along the Seine past Notre Dame, sipping champagne and grabbing that all important click of the sun setting behind the Eiffel Tower against the deep blue Parisian sky. The air is warm and accordion music is gently playing. [Read more…]

Diary of a self-isolator: to-do list for when COVID’s all over

What plans do you have when this COVID pandemic is finally over? I’ve jotted down some ideas for my own, er, intentions … and please do add your own thoughts into the comments.

When this sh*t is over I will …

Wrap myself up from head to foot in toilet paper

What things are you most looking forward to once COVID is all over?

Touch my face, if I can find it again

Accept – maybe even enjoy – that we’ll now go back to talking about Brexit [Read more…]

How to order a Google pizza (because we need a smile this week)

Now that between them Google and Amazon are in total control of our lives (well, maybe not COVID-19 yet), I though you’d find it useful to read through this transcript of Google’s latest venture: dial-a-pizza. Bon appétit.

CALLER:  Is this Giovanni’s Pizza?

GOOGLE:  No sir, it’s Google Pizza.

CALLER:  I must have dialled a wrong number. Sorry.

GOOGLE:  No sir, Google bought Giovanni’s Pizza last month.

CALLER:  I would like to order a pizza.

GOOGLE:  Do you want your usual, sir? [Read more…]

A true story to end Random Acts Of Kindness Week

Every now and again you have an experience like a random act of kindess that restores your faith in human nature, don’t you?

random act of kindness 2020

Random acts of kindness are wonderful. Let’s build on them so they are no longer just “random.”

Last week I went to a small town in central England to meet a very dear friend, a fellow author, for a social lunch and catch-up.

My SatNav directed me to within spitting distance of where I needed to go but looking around I realised I was in a small housing estate (sub-division). I got out of the “truck” (old SUV) and wondered what to do next.

A smiling face locked eyes with me and said, “you’re lost?”

[Read more…]

A short story for Remembrance Day

THE ROSE

by Suzan St Maur

story for Rememberance Day

The gravel hitting the window caused me to wake with a start. I curled back the curtain and looked out. Silly lad. I silently raised the sash.

“I thought you were going back to the base tonight!”

“I was. I did.” Will stage-whispered. “Then I went out again. Back door, so to speak.”

“Ooh, naughty.”

“It gets naughtier. [Read more…]

Granny, là voilà: a true story for Halloween & All Saints Day

A true story by Suzan St Maur

Her raucous breathing had been rattling the room for nearly 24 hours. I lay back on the garden sun lounger chair beside her bed and dimmed the bedside light. Just as my eyelids started to flutter, the clattering stopped. Started again. Stopped. Did not start again.

article about death

She was talking to my long-dead grandmother.

I got up and kissed her forehead. “Là voilà,” I said through my sobs, without looking behind me.

“D’accord, there she is…” said the voice.

“Granny? C’est bien toi?” My voice faded to a whisper, but it didn’t matter. [Read more…]

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