Re: Canadian French Translation

Subject: Re: Canadian French Translation
From: Fabien Vais <phantoms -at- POP -dot- TOTAL -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 18:47:02 -0500

I agree totally with Josee. The purpose of localizing is to "speak the local
language". If you want to sell products in Quebec, you should say it the way
it is said in Quebec.

I invite some of you to do a bit of homework, especially those who say silly
things like "a stop sign says arrete in Quebec". Language is a very
sensitive issue in Quebec, and particularly the French language. Out of
courtesy, please don't be flippant about it, and don't say things you don't
know for sure (un commercial in Quebec IS NOT a whore...!). Never heard of
this, simply wrong.

While language is such a sensitive topic here, it is also a fascinating
topic, which always carries a new twist. Hardly a day goes by with something
in the news about a language issue.

Did you know for instance that perhaps 90% of French-speaking technical
writers in Quebec WORK AND WRITE EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH? The reason is that
the market for French documentation is very small, while there is a sea of
English-speaking users all around. So usually, documentation is written
first in English, then if warranted translated into Quebec French.

As far as localization goes, I have often been asked to localize/edit/review
a text already translated into "Parisian" (I hate that word...) French, and
turn it into a text that would be understood by French Quebecers. As a
matter of fact, there is plenty of this going on between British and
American English. So why not here?

Fabien Vais

At 04:00 PM 7/20/99 -0400, you wrote:
>Localize as a courtesy, not as a necessity. In other words, ignore the
>differences found in Quebec French and encourage French chauvinism (I don't
>mean Belgian or Swiss attitudes here) by making only one version. What you
>really mean is: if you have time to waste, localize for Quebec. If not, it
>does not really matter, does it?
>By the way, stop signs here say ARRET and not "arrete" which is said when
>you command to someone to stop....
...........deleted rest...............
Fabien Vais - Documentation Analyst (Analyste en documentation)
Technical Writing, Technical Translation/Globalization, Editing, Publishing,
Teaching, Training
Rédaction technique, Traduction/globalisation technique, Révision, Mise en
Page, Enseignement, Formation

e-mail: phantoms -at- total -dot- net
Mailing address (Adresse postale): 38 Elderidge, D.D.O. (Montreal), Quebec,
H9A 2P4
Phone/Fax: (514) 685-4752

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