"Blimey...hope mine isn't going to blow up!"
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about exploding henhouses. It turns out I got some of the facts wrong.
My sister didn’t believe me
Last week, we went to visit my uncle Georges (88) and his wife, my aunt Marie (84) in Toulon (my hometown). Both are still mentally sharp. The day before, I had talked to my sister about the exploding henhouse incident. She did not know anything about it. She, in fact, expressed some doubt about the whole story!
Happy French hen
Can henhouses blow up?
Yes, they can and in fact they do (sometimes). Ask my aunt Marie. She can confirm it.
I can hear you thinking: “Who is this fool? Hen houses do not explode. It would make the news or something.”
I think I’d better explain my statement about exploding hen houses.
Presidential Candidates 2017
French Presidential Candidates
I have just received a very thick envelope from the French Embassy. It contains a 4-page document for each of the 11 candidates for the French Presidential election. The first round is this Sunday (April 23rd, 2017). The top two candidates will go to a second round (May 7th, 2017) as it is very unlikely that a candidate will get 50% of the vote + 1 on the first round. None of the seven previous presidents of the 5th Republic (the current) were elected during the first round. The closest to do it were General Charles de Gaulle in 1958 (close to 45%) and François Mitterrand in 1974 (over 43%).
Ensure you tell the linguist what you mean
It is important to give the translator specific and detailed instructions to avoid any mistakes – sometimes, embarrassing ones! For instance, in 1991, a competitive fighting game called Street Fighter II: The World warrior launched in Japan. It was a sequel to an arcade game released a few years before.
The translator didn’t know the context
When translation was done from Japanese into English, the translator only got the text. He had no idea of what was really going on on the screen. He (or she) had to translate the following sentence: “If you cannot overcome the Rising Dragon Punch, you cannot win!”. The Japanese characters for “Rising Dragon” were interpreted by the translator as “Sheng Long”. The translator thought a new character called Sheng Long was being introduced!
The monster insisting
We love our smartphones
Why do we love our smart phones so much? It’s all to do with language and communication. While on our holiday in Cape Verde we noticed something strange. A lot of young couples spent their time gazing lovingly at their smartphones instead of at their partners.
Last night, we went to see “Passengers”, a film about engineering! Two people are stuck on a huge spaceship on a 100+ year journey travelling to a colony planet. Basically, they are awake when they should be in hibernation.
Four things were particularly striking: Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it!
Four main things struck us about the whole trip:
- There was an excellent ad by EDF before the film which is clearly focused on promoting engineering careers to women (their Pretty Curious campaign, see http://bit.ly/2iASPR6)
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you just about everywhere.