From: Alain LaBonté (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Mar 21 2009 - 19:29:18 CST
The message below is a very good example of cultural mis-adaptation.
It's like me using the word "eventually" for years having the French
meaning of "éventuellement" in my head. Almost the opposite meaning.
In fact "quite" the opposite in most contexts.
"Eventually" just means "ultimately" in English (« ultimemement" if
you want to translate into French). « Éventuellement » (false
friend), means "possibly".
Of course "eventually" comes gfrom French "éventuellement".
For years I also used the English verb "to deceive" (and "deception")
with the meaning of French "décevoir" (and "déception"). The first
one is linked to frahud, the second means "to disappoint".
Of course English"deception" comes from French "déception".
In the same vein "actual" means "real' in English, while "actuel"'
just means "current" ("'actuellement" = "presently") in French.
How does words shift sense so much ? Over hundreds of centuries, that
happens. Between historically linked languages (just as the Chinese
character for "paper" meaning "toilet paper" in Japanese (as a case
in point, many French also say a "shit of paper", overdoing in
English the short "i", inexistent in standard French, to mean a
"sheet of paper")
Interesting to consult: « Dictionnaire des -- Dictionary of -- faux
amis -- français - anglais -- English-French » : 794 pages, so non
neglectable (ISBN 2-8011-0937-1).
Translators beware: you can be responsible for wars just because of
Le 2009-03-21 à 18:10, Philippe Verdy a écrit:
> > >> Philippe Verdy <verdy underscore p at wanadoo dot fr> wrote:
> > > I used the term volontarly with a "quite" just before to
> > moderate it.
> > In all the dialects of English that I am familiar with,
> > "quite" in that context emphasizes rather than moderates, so
> > that your statement had exactly the opposite effect of what
> > you evidently intended.
>I've always used or read the term "quite" as a way to moderate the force of
>an expression, assuming a translation of the French conditional conjugation
>and the adverbal expression "quelque peu" (i.e. for some undeterminate final
>state that was still far of being reached but to which it would easily point
>to if continued in the same direction), in opposition to "presque" (nearly,
>almost) that is used to qualify a well determined goal that can be
>considered reached from many views.
>Now that I realize that this word actually emphasizes the meaning instead of
>reducing its force (I have just verified and it was not was I supposed it
>meant, thanks for pointing it), then I'm "quite" sorry (very sorry then)
>that this has caused troubles.
>Don't insist on this unimportant term, I realize it was misunderstood, even
>if there was the colon ":" just after to explicit what was really intended.
>The sentence was not alone.
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