Monthly Archives: June 2016

102 - The Invisible Woman - Vocabulary

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I’m a professional French to English translator, and as such I’m invisible. “How come?” I hear you cry. Well, the best translations are invisible. That means you don’t notice that what you’re reading has been translated, and I’m sure you don’t think about the person who’s translated it.

So what is life as a translator on Reunion Island like? Personally I work mainly with local clients in Reunion, but also with some translation agencies in Europe. As a freelancer I’m glad to say no two days are alike! During the course of my working day as well as translating I also have to find time to answer e-mails and phone calls, draft price quotes, invoice clients, chase up any late payers … and make myself copious cups of tea of course.

When you translate you have to be an investigator and an explorer. You’re constantly solving a complex puzzle: you can’t just take words from one language and turn them into words in another language; you have to rearrange, and rephrase, and think very hard about the word choice in order to produce seamless writing in the target language.

If I’m home for lunch I follow the news in French on TV and/or in English via the internet. As somebody who translates into English but who lives in the French- and Creole-speaking environment of Reunion it’s important for me not to lose my native language!

In addition it’s essential to keep up to date with Continuing Professional Development, or CPD as it’s known, and although Reunion is far away from where most translation industry conferences and presentations take place, I manage to stay abreast using online webinars.

When I go out I admit I sometimes have trouble switching off, as at the cinema I tend to compare subtitles with the dialogue, and at a restaurant if the menu has been translated into English I invariably end up finding a humorous mistake: souris d’agneau translated as ‘lamb with mouse’ for example, or the fish cabot de fond translated as ‘dog’s bottom’! At the weekend in ‘Meeting’, sorry Reunion Island, I could go and stay in Saint Pierre at the ‘Beating of the blades’ hotel…

If I want to visit one of the ‘circuses’, as I’ve seen Reunion’s caldera called many a time, I could go to Cilaos and see its famous embroidery ‘days’, or hike in Hellbourg on a path whose sign proudly proclaims that it’s been ‘done’ (as opposed to amenagé).

All in all I think there’s plenty of days work left for us ‘invisible’ translators to do… and I’m not talking about embroidery.

Vocabulary

translator - traducteur
“How come?” - comment ça se fait?
to draft - rédiger
price quotes - devis
to chase up - relancer 

late payers - client retardataire
to solve - résoudre
to turn into - transformer
to rearrange - reorganiser
to rephrase - reformuler 

seamless - harmonieux
up to date - à jour
to stay abreast - se tenir au courant
webinars - webinaires
to admit - avouer 

to switch off - décrocher
bottom - fesses
blades - lames
caldera - cirque
embroidery - broderie

00:0000:00

102 - The Invisible Woman - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

I’m a professional French to English translator, and as such I’m invisible. “How come?” I hear you cry. Well, the best translations are invisible. That means you don’t notice that what you’re reading has been translated, and I’m sure you don’t think about the person who’s translated it.

So what is life as a translator on Reunion Island like? Personally I work mainly with local clients in Reunion, but also with some translation agencies in Europe. As a freelancer I’m glad to say no two days are alike! During the course of my working day as well as translating I also have to find time to answer e-mails and phone calls, draft price quotes, invoice clients, chase up any late payers … and make myself copious cups of tea of course.

When you translate you have to be an investigator and an explorer. You’re constantly solving a complex puzzle: you can’t just take words from one language and turn them into words in another language; you have to rearrange, and rephrase, and think very hard about the word choice in order to produce seamless writing in the target language.

If I’m home for lunch I follow the news in French on TV and/or in English via the internet. As somebody who translates into English but who lives in the French- and Creole-speaking environment of Reunion it’s important for me not to lose my native language!

In addition it’s essential to keep up to date with Continuing Professional Development, or CPD as it’s known, and although Reunion is far away from where most translation industry conferences and presentations take place, I manage to stay abreast using online webinars.

When I go out I admit I sometimes have trouble switching off, as at the cinema I tend to compare subtitles with the dialogue, and at a restaurant if the menu has been translated into English I invariably end up finding a humorous mistake: souris d’agneau translated as ‘lamb with mouse’ for example, or the fish cabot de fond translated as ‘dog’s bottom’! At the weekend in ‘Meeting’, sorry Reunion Island, I could go and stay in Saint Pierre at the ‘Beating of the blades’ hotel…

If I want to visit one of the ‘circuses’, as I’ve seen Reunion’s caldera called many a time, I could go to Cilaos and see its famous embroidery ‘days’, or hike in Hellbourg on a path whose sign proudly proclaims that it’s been ‘done’ (as opposed to amenagé).

All in all I think there’s plenty of days work left for us ‘invisible’ translators to do… and I’m not talking about embroidery.

Vocabulary

translator - traducteur
“How come?” - comment ça se fait?
to draft - rédiger
price quotes - devis
to chase up - relancer 

late payers - client retardataire
to solve - résoudre
to turn into - transformer
to rearrange - reorganiser
to rephrase - reformuler 

seamless - harmonieux
up to date - à jour
to stay abreast - se tenir au courant
webinars - webinaires
to admit - avouer 

to switch off - décrocher
bottom - fesses
blades - lames
caldera - cirque
embroidery - broderie

00:0000:00

102 - The Invisible Woman

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

I’m a professional French to English translator, and as such I’m invisible. “How come?” I hear you cry. Well, the best translations are invisible. That means you don’t notice that what you’re reading has been translated, and I’m sure you don’t think about the person who’s translated it.

So what is life as a translator on Reunion Island like? Personally I work mainly with local clients in Reunion, but also with some translation agencies in Europe. As a freelancer I’m glad to say no two days are alike! During the course of my working day as well as translating I also have to find time to answer e-mails and phone calls, draft price quotes, invoice clients, chase up any late payers … and make myself copious cups of tea of course.

When you translate you have to be an investigator and an explorer. You’re constantly solving a complex puzzle: you can’t just take words from one language and turn them into words in another language; you have to rearrange, and rephrase, and think very hard about the word choice in order to produce seamless writing in the target language.

If I’m home for lunch I follow the news in French on TV and/or in English via the internet. As somebody who translates into English but who lives in the French- and Creole-speaking environment of Reunion it’s important for me not to lose my native language!

In addition it’s essential to keep up to date with Continuing Professional Development, or CPD as it’s known, and although Reunion is far away from where most translation industry conferences and presentations take place, I manage to stay abreast using online webinars.

When I go out I admit I sometimes have trouble switching off, as at the cinema I tend to compare subtitles with the dialogue, and at a restaurant if the menu has been translated into English I invariably end up finding a humorous mistake: souris d’agneau translated as ‘lamb with mouse’ for example, or the fish cabot de fond translated as ‘dog’s bottom’! At the weekend in ‘Meeting’, sorry Reunion Island, I could go and stay in Saint Pierre at the ‘Beating of the blades’ hotel…

If I want to visit one of the ‘circuses’, as I’ve seen Reunion’s caldera called many a time, I could go to Cilaos and see its famous embroidery ‘days’, or hike in Hellbourg on a path whose sign proudly proclaims that it’s been ‘done’ (as opposed to amenagé).

All in all I think there’s plenty of days work left for us ‘invisible’ translators to do… and I’m not talking about embroidery.

Vocabulary

translator - traducteur
“How come?” - comment ça se fait?
to draft - rédiger
price quotes - devis
to chase up - relancer 

late payers - client retardataire
to solve - résoudre
to turn into - transformer
to rearrange - reorganiser
to rephrase - reformuler 

seamless - harmonieux
up to date - à jour
to stay abreast - se tenir au courant
webinars - webinaires
to admit - avouer 

to switch off - décrocher
bottom - fesses
blades - lames
caldera - cirque
embroidery - broderie

00:0000:00

101 - Living in Saint Denis - Vocabulary

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

We arrivedin Reunion in 2011 with nothing but our backpacks.  As neither my partner nor I had a job, wedecided that it would probably be best to settlein one of the bigger towns or cities.

Havingread in our guidebooks that St Pierre was amazing, we headed south the momentwe arrived.  From our little holidaystudio flat in Le Tampon the firstthings that needed organising were for us to buy a car and find a place tolive.

Aftercontacting a bunch of estate agencies in St Pierre andresponding to numerous flat adsonline, we realised that our time was quickly running out and we hadn’t even managed to visit one flat!  Either fatewas telling us something or there really were no flats available to rent in StPierre that fell into our price range.

By thatstage we had been up to St Denis a couple of times to look at cars.  After spending some time in the city centredoing touristy stuff, we realised that we actually felt better in St Denis thanin St Pierre.  With that in mind wedecided to get in touch with acouple of estate agencies in the north. By the end of that week we had signed a lease to a flat in the city centre and bought ourselves a car. And itjust so happens that five years later, we still live and work in St Denis.

It’s notlike we haven’t considered moving but the prosof staying always outweigh the cons. Staying where we are means thatwe can stick to having one carbetween the two of us.  This choice isecological as well as economical and walking is really good exercise. We are solucky to not spend time in traffic jams.  We do most of our daily tasks on foot.

Now I’mnot saying that it’s only peaches andcream.  St Denis is busy and noisyduring the day and summers in our flat can get terribly hot.  And no, we can’t just pop down to the beachfor a quick swim before or after work!

But hereis what I do appreciate: I love the many well preserved Creole villas and theirarchitecture.  I enjoy walking up rue deParis to Jardin de l’Etat – what alittle gem with its well-kept lawns and ancient trees.  And who wouldn’t enjoy eating an ice-cream onthe steps of the cathedral on a Sunday afternoon overlooking the little squareand the bubbling fountain?

So StDenis it is for the moment!  But whoknows what the future has in storefor us! 

Vocabulary

backpack – sac à dos
to settle – s’installer
flat – appartement
a bunch of – un tas de
estate agency – agence immobilière 

flat ads – annonces immobilières
to manage – réussir à faire quelque chose
fate - destin
to get in touch – contacter
a lease – un bail 

pros and cons – le pour et le contre
to outweigh – être plus important que
to stick to – s’en tenir à
to be lucky – être chanceux
traffic jam – embouteillage 

peaches and cream – chouette
gem – bijou
well-kept – bien tenu
lawn - pelouse
to have in store – réserver

00:0000:00

101 - Living in Saint Denis - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

We arrivedin Reunion in 2011 with nothing but our backpacks.  As neither my partner nor I had a job, wedecided that it would probably be best to settlein one of the bigger towns or cities.

Havingread in our guidebooks that St Pierre was amazing, we headed south the momentwe arrived.  From our little holidaystudio flat in Le Tampon the firstthings that needed organising were for us to buy a car and find a place tolive.

Aftercontacting a bunch of estate agencies in St Pierre andresponding to numerous flat adsonline, we realised that our time was quickly running out and we hadn’t even managed to visit one flat!  Either fatewas telling us something or there really were no flats available to rent in StPierre that fell into our price range.

By thatstage we had been up to St Denis a couple of times to look at cars.  After spending some time in the city centredoing touristy stuff, we realised that we actually felt better in St Denis thanin St Pierre.  With that in mind wedecided to get in touch with acouple of estate agencies in the north. By the end of that week we had signed a lease to a flat in the city centre and bought ourselves a car. And itjust so happens that five years later, we still live and work in St Denis.

It’s notlike we haven’t considered moving but the prosof staying always outweigh the cons. Staying where we are means thatwe can stick to having one carbetween the two of us.  This choice isecological as well as economical and walking is really good exercise. We are solucky to not spend time in traffic jams.  We do most of our daily tasks on foot.

Now I’mnot saying that it’s only peaches andcream.  St Denis is busy and noisyduring the day and summers in our flat can get terribly hot.  And no, we can’t just pop down to the beachfor a quick swim before or after work!

But hereis what I do appreciate: I love the many well preserved Creole villas and theirarchitecture.  I enjoy walking up rue deParis to Jardin de l’Etat – what alittle gem with its well-kept lawns and ancient trees.  And who wouldn’t enjoy eating an ice-cream onthe steps of the cathedral on a Sunday afternoon overlooking the little squareand the bubbling fountain?

So StDenis it is for the moment!  But whoknows what the future has in storefor us! 

Vocabulary

backpack – sac à dos
to settle – s’installer
flat – appartement
a bunch of – un tas de
estate agency – agence immobilière 

flat ads – annonces immobilières
to manage – réussir à faire quelque chose
fate - destin
to get in touch – contacter
a lease – un bail 

pros and cons – le pour et le contre
to outweigh – être plus important que
to stick to – s’en tenir à
to be lucky – être chanceux
traffic jam – embouteillage 

peaches and cream – chouette
gem – bijou
well-kept – bien tenu
lawn - pelouse
to have in store – réserver

00:0000:00

101 - Living in Saint Denis

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

We arrivedin Reunion in 2011 with nothing but our backpacks.  As neither my partner nor I had a job, wedecided that it would probably be best to settlein one of the bigger towns or cities.

Havingread in our guidebooks that St Pierre was amazing, we headed south the momentwe arrived.  From our little holidaystudio flat in Le Tampon the firstthings that needed organising were for us to buy a car and find a place tolive.

Aftercontacting a bunch of estate agencies in St Pierre andresponding to numerous flat adsonline, we realised that our time was quickly running out and we hadn’t even managed to visit one flat!  Either fatewas telling us something or there really were no flats available to rent in StPierre that fell into our price range.

By thatstage we had been up to St Denis a couple of times to look at cars.  After spending some time in the city centredoing touristy stuff, we realised that we actually felt better in St Denis thanin St Pierre.  With that in mind wedecided to get in touch with acouple of estate agencies in the north. By the end of that week we had signed a lease to a flat in the city centre and bought ourselves a car. And itjust so happens that five years later, we still live and work in St Denis.

It’s notlike we haven’t considered moving but the prosof staying always outweigh the cons. Staying where we are means thatwe can stick to having one carbetween the two of us.  This choice isecological as well as economical and walking is really good exercise. We are solucky to not spend time in traffic jams.  We do most of our daily tasks on foot.

Now I’mnot saying that it’s only peaches andcream.  St Denis is busy and noisyduring the day and summers in our flat can get terribly hot.  And no, we can’t just pop down to the beachfor a quick swim before or after work!

But hereis what I do appreciate: I love the many well preserved Creole villas and theirarchitecture.  I enjoy walking up rue deParis to Jardin de l’Etat – what alittle gem with its well-kept lawns and ancient trees.  And who wouldn’t enjoy eating an ice-cream onthe steps of the cathedral on a Sunday afternoon overlooking the little squareand the bubbling fountain?

So StDenis it is for the moment!  But whoknows what the future has in storefor us! 

Vocabulary

 

backpack – sac à dos
to settle – s’installer
flat – appartement
a bunch of – un tas de
estate agency – agence immobilière 

flat ads – annonces immobilières
to manage – réussir à faire quelque chose
fate - destin
to get in touch – contacter
a lease – un bail 

pros and cons – le pour et le contre
to outweigh – être plus important que
to stick to – s’en tenir à
to be lucky – être chanceux
traffic jam – embouteillage 

peaches and cream – chouette
gem – bijou
well-kept – bien tenu
lawn - pelouse
to have in store – réserver

00:0000:00

100 - Visiting the Insectarium - Vocabulary

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Recently, I discovered Reunion’s insectarium for the first time when our home-schooling group went on a guided tour. A handful of adults with about ten kids between us, we showed up at nine a.m. on a very hot morning in Le Port. I’m not the biggest fan of insects, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. Would there be cockroaches crawling all over the place? Would there be bugs flying around my face and touching me?

But I shouldn’t have worried. On arrival, we met the loveliest guide in the garden of the insectarium, who had an obvious love of her job and of nature. She quickly introduced us to a couple of adorable young praying mantises, and we took turns holding them. Then it was time to feed one of our new friends to the spiders. The children watched, fascinated as the spiders trapped their prey in their web for breakfast. The second praying mantis was reserved for a chameleon, who grabbed it in a split second with its long tongue. Next, we visited the butterfly enclosure. There were dozens of different coloured butterflies, from metallic blue to pale yellow. We looked for butterfly eggs on leaves, which were smaller than a grain of sand.

Then, our guide led us into the education centre. Glass enclosures were filled with insects, spiders, ants and other creepy crawlies in natural habitats. Each enclosure had a little sign with information about its inhabitants, and I was happy to finally put a name to several insects I recognised. By then, the kids were starting to get tired and hot, so we sat down and listened to a story. Keeping with the theme, we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but not without a quick correction to the story. As it turns out, the book depicts a chrysalis, rather than a cocoon as written.

We also learnt how to tell the difference between moths and butterflies. You simply wait for them to fall asleep and check if they fold their wings behind their bodies, or lay them out to the side. To finish off a great morning, we made butterfly hotels out of five litre water bottles. We came home with a caterpillar and a chrysalis from the insectarium, which became a butterfly a week later. I’m still not best friends with the insects around my house, but it was a fascinating experience nonetheless. 

Vocabulary

 

 

homeschooling - l’école à la maison
handful - une poignée
cockroaches - cafards
bugs - insectes
worried - inquiet 

obvious - évident
praying mantis - mante religieuse
to hold - tenir
prey - proie
web - toile 

grabbed - arraché
in a split second - dans une fraction de seconde
creepy crawlies - bébêtes
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - La Chenille Qui Fait Des Trous
moths - papillons de nuit 

to fold - plier
wings - des ailes
to the side - sur le côté
nonetheless - néanmoins

00:0000:00

100 - Visiting the Insectarium - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Recently, I discovered Reunion’s insectarium for the first time when our home-schooling group went on a guided tour. A handful of adults with about ten kids between us, we showed up at nine a.m. on a very hot morning in Le Port. I’m not the biggest fan of insects, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. Would there be cockroaches crawling all over the place? Would there be bugs flying around my face and touching me?

But I shouldn’t have worried. On arrival, we met the loveliest guide in the garden of the insectarium, who had an obvious love of her job and of nature. She quickly introduced us to a couple of adorable young praying mantises, and we took turns holding them. Then it was time to feed one of our new friends to the spiders. The children watched, fascinated as the spiders trapped their prey in their web for breakfast. The second praying mantis was reserved for a chameleon, who grabbed it in a split second with its long tongue. Next, we visited the butterfly enclosure. There were dozens of different coloured butterflies, from metallic blue to pale yellow. We looked for butterfly eggs on leaves, which were smaller than a grain of sand.

Then, our guide led us into the education centre. Glass enclosures were filled with insects, spiders, ants and other creepy crawlies in natural habitats. Each enclosure had a little sign with information about its inhabitants, and I was happy to finally put a name to several insects I recognised. By then, the kids were starting to get tired and hot, so we sat down and listened to a story. Keeping with the theme, we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but not without a quick correction to the story. As it turns out, the book depicts a chrysalis, rather than a cocoon as written.

We also learnt how to tell the difference between moths and butterflies. You simply wait for them to fall asleep and check if they fold their wings behind their bodies, or lay them out to the side. To finish off a great morning, we made butterfly hotels out of five litre water bottles. We came home with a caterpillar and a chrysalis from the insectarium, which became a butterfly a week later. I’m still not best friends with the insects around my house, but it was a fascinating experience nonetheless. 

Vocabulary

homeschooling - l’école à la maison
handful - une poignée
cockroaches - cafards
bugs - insectes
worried - inquiet 

obvious - évident
praying mantis - mante religieuse
to hold - tenir
prey - proie
web - toile 

grabbed - arraché
in a split second - dans une fraction de seconde
creepy crawlies - bébêtes
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - La Chenille Qui Fait Des Trous
moths - papillons de nuit 

to fold - plier
wings - des ailes
to the side - sur le côté
nonetheless - néanmoins

00:0000:00

100 - Visiting the Insectarium

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Recently, I discovered Reunion’s insectarium for the first time when our home-schooling group went on a guided tour. A handful of adults with about ten kids between us, we showed up at nine a.m. on a very hot morning in Le Port. I’m not the biggest fan of insects, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. Would there be cockroaches crawling all over the place? Would there be bugs flying around my face and touching me?

But I shouldn’t have worried. On arrival, we met the loveliest guide in the garden of the insectarium, who had an obvious love of her job and of nature. She quickly introduced us to a couple of adorable young praying mantises, and we took turns holding them. Then it was time to feed one of our new friends to the spiders. The children watched, fascinated as the spiders trapped their prey in their web for breakfast. The second praying mantis was reserved for a chameleon, who grabbed it in a split second with its long tongue. Next, we visited the butterfly enclosure. There were dozens of different coloured butterflies, from metallic blue to pale yellow. We looked for butterfly eggs on leaves, which were smaller than a grain of sand.

Then, our guide led us into the education centre. Glass enclosures were filled with insects, spiders, ants and other creepy crawlies in natural habitats. Each enclosure had a little sign with information about its inhabitants, and I was happy to finally put a name to several insects I recognised. By then, the kids were starting to get tired and hot, so we sat down and listened to a story. Keeping with the theme, we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but not without a quick correction to the story. As it turns out, the book depicts a chrysalis, rather than a cocoon as written.

We also learnt how to tell the difference between moths and butterflies. You simply wait for them to fall asleep and check if they fold their wings behind their bodies, or lay them out to the side. To finish off a great morning, we made butterfly hotels out of five litre water bottles. We came home with a caterpillar and a chrysalis from the insectarium, which became a butterfly a week later. I’m still not best friends with the insects around my house, but it was a fascinating experience nonetheless. 

Vocabulary

homeschooling - l’école à la maison
handful - une poignée
cockroaches - cafards
bugs - insectes
worried - inquiet 

obvious - évident
praying mantis - mante religieuse
to hold - tenir
prey - proie
web - toile 

grabbed - arraché
in a split second - dans une fraction de seconde
creepy crawlies - bébêtes
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - La Chenille Qui Fait Des Trous
moths - papillons de nuit 

to fold - plier
wings - des ailes
to the side - sur le côté
nonetheless - néanmoins

00:0000:00

99 - Carless in Reunion - Vocabulary

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Drivingthrough St Paul at seven am, or better yet, driving to St Denis when the coastalroad is closed and you are forced to take the winding road throughLa Montagne. I think these are the moments that make any resident of Reunionwish that they were home in bed, or riding a bike, or doing anything but drivingin their car. In 2014 there were an estimated 336,000 cars on the island;that’s almost one car for every two inhabitants (and many of those inhabitants are not even of legal drivingage.) That’s a lot of cars, and now, a few years later, I can only assumethat there are even more!

Since arriving on the island almost four years ago, my partner and Iare on our fourth car.  We soldthe first one, broke the second one, the third one is still going strong, thankgoodness, and I bought the fourth one just last week. After breaking thesecond car I decided to go without a car, I let my partner take the third carto work each day, and I stayed home. I was the literal definition of a stay-at-homemum. After spending seven months of being trapped in the hillsof St Leu with an infant, I gave in and I bought a car.

If I stilllived in Japan, going carless would be simple, hop on a bike, metro, train, orwalk. But in Reunion living carless means riding a bike up huge hills (bythe way, I live five hundred metres above sea level), walking on the road,since sidewalks are almost non-existent, or waiting forever for a minibus with seven seats and sporadic hours. Not that I am criticising thebus system, actually I’m impressed at some of the roads that they ventureonto. I was just not ready to wait in the sun and hop on a bus with my diaperbag, stroller, beach gear and new-born in arm. I chose to buyan inflatable pool and stay at home instead. But now that the poolturned green and my son is almost walking I decided that I needed to get out ofthe house. So, car number four is in the driveway.

 

Sitting intraffic on my way to St Paul last week didn’t feel so bad, even if thenew car is making weird clunking noises, it’s all a part of the game. Ihave accepted the fact that in Reunion a car is almost a necessity. Unless ofcourse you live along the coast, close to everything, but then you have othernecessities... Like air conditioning. 

Vocabulary

 

coastal - littoral
winding - sinueux
to assume - supposer
partner - compagnon, compagne
thank goodness - heureusement 

stay-at-home mum - mère au foyer
trapped - bloqué
in the hills - dans les hauts
infant - nourrisson
to give in- craquer 

by the way - à propos
sidewalk - trottoir
to criticise - critiquer
venture - se risquer
diaper bag - sac à langer 

stroller - poussette
newborn - nouveau-né
inflatable pool - piscine gonflable
driveway - parking
traffic - bouchon 

clunking - bruit sourd
air conditioning - climatisation

00:0000:00