Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Open every days

One of the local bloggers-slash-journalists does a post once in a while called "Trouver l'erreur" because there are often mistakes when a French speaker writes in English. There is this perception here that since the official language is French, it's not all that important to be perfect when writing in English. This is of course hogwash, particularly when you are trying to sell something. Do you want me to focus on your message or your incompetence in writing in English? It's not like there aren't any English people here who could proofread your copy, but apparently that's an unnecessary step. Here's one flyer that is notoriously riddled with errors. Once I circled them and dropped them off for them to see. They subsequently made some improvement such as "this week's specials" instead of "this week specials". This week though, they added some language and once again it is clear they didn't check with an English speaker before publication.

Does anyone know what "recently out of proposal" and "pension retired" mean?

They want me to come and see their cars alone. What? Can't I bring a friend?

17 comments:

Mel said...

I believe "recently out of proposal" means that your engagement has just broken up. Because clearly that would affect one's credit.

And the other place wants you to come alone so that it'll be easier for them to rip you off, of course.

Birdie said...

This would drive me wild. I'd probably make corrections in marker if I saw it often enough.

Anonymous said...

They don't want you to see their cars alone but their car alone. See it by yourself. I hope they have more than one car. Will they make my friend get off the lot if I bring him? I still think we made a mistake back in 1812 of not driving both the English and French out of North America. ed

"Just David!" said...

come alone because in the previous ad, you've been broken up with, hence the recently out of proposal... really, it's all so clear!

Roxrocks said...

That would also drive me nuts. Gives good blog material though! LOL!

GayProf said...

Given the current state of the car market, they might not be able to afford proofreaders.

truthspew said...

The northern part of Rhode Island had a significant French Canadian presence when I was younger.

One demonstrative sentence was "Throw me down the stairs the mop."

I note that while many languages lose something in translation, French actually seems to add something. And putting the object at the end, yikes.

don said...

>>clear they didn't check with an English speaker before...

les anglais mauvais n'est ce pas?

What the hell is an English speaker?
;p)

Patricia said...

This kind of stuff makes me go out of my way to avoid such businesses. If they want to market to those who speak English, then do so in a way that appears intelligent and gives me confidence.

Why I want to give to you my money if you lazy or dumbs?

If I wanted that, I'd throw it at the U.S. banking system. Oh wait, that's what Bush did.

Doug said...

I generally avoid businesses who advertise their mistakes like that, too. Though I can certainly understand a small business owner not wanting to pay $50/hour or whatever for a proofreader. Having your front desk clerk proof it doesn't do much good, after all.

My word verification must have been a translation error. It was "persiver."

anabel said...

I go to a martial arts supply store that is owned by Koreans (or Korean-Americans.) They have these huge motivational posters for sale that I really like except for the horrible English in them.

la pequena retardo said...

The French have always been accused of snobbery, I guess where there's smoke there's usually fire.

I think if you bring a friend to look at the cars, they will shoot the both of you. You'd been warned to come by yourself after all.

Mark in DE said...

"Recently out of proposal" could mean a broken engagement, or a contract worker whose contract just ended. "Pension retired" likely refers to a retired person receiving a pension instead of a paycheck.

"Come see it by yourself!" cracked me up.

Butch said...

or, see it for yourself.

I can only imagine how fractured my sentences would be if I attempted to advertise in a language other than my own.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Thank God I came here. I never want to miss the French effing things up!

Laverne said...

Torn... have you seen this?
http://jezebel.com/5145305/sic-is-the-econnomy-creating-a-genneration-of-speling-bee+otches

I thought of you immediately.

Phronk said...

Those are some long $100 bills.

Also: I tried that brownie in a mug recipe you recommended, and it was delicious! Thanks!