Pages

Friday, March 20, 2015

De J'ai Vu...in the Bozone...

The Google translation for the well used French phrase "de j'ai vu" is literally "from I've seen." Grammar doesn't translate well in French, or many other languages for that matter. My day job is communications for a global company and seeing French, German, Portuguese or Spanish translated into English can do a real number on grammar.

We used to use that phrase a lot in the '70's, back when I was trying to impress my hippie friends. It's probably not as cool to use it now, but many people still do and they aren't all aging hippies.

Actually, it would probably be more correct to use:

de ce que je ai vu (from what I've seen) 
or 
Je ai vu ├ža avant (I've seen this before)

My French isn't all that good yet, but I think it's interesting how people will take a common phrase and change it to suit them. 

"Cool", meant "good", and no longer just referred to the temperature. After a while the term "Bad" came to mean "good", as well. What's wrong with just saying something is "good"? It's not zippy enough - we need to use "awesome" or "fly" or "chill" or some other strange morphing of language. 

Do you remember "Sniglets"? I loved sniglets, words that weren't in the dictionary but should've been. Morphing of two words to describe something. Nonsense words for totally comic value, and the '80s public loved them. Here's a couple of examples:
  • profanitype, the special symbols and stars used by cartoonists to replace swear words (*^&#...)
  • pupkus, the moist residue left on a window after a dog presses its nose to it (my personal fave)
  • askhole (someone who asks very annoying questions)
  • bozone (the layer of air surrounding a stupid person)
You get the idea. It was fun. It was funny. It made an even bigger mess of the English language. 

As writers we enjoy the use of words and generally get irritated at the miss use of them. You've heard the term "Grammar Nazi"? I'm not one of those, because I face translations or writing from non English (as their first language) speakers every day and sometimes have to puzzle out what they really want to say. It can be challenging to make their messages completely understood. We writers want our words to tell a story, convey a feeling, entertain, frighten, but most of all - we want to express ourselves.



One of my favorite quotes is from James Michener, who says: "Writing, I love the swing and swirl of words as they tangle with human emotions." 

Nice, isn't it? Enjoy the journey my writing friends, and don't be afraid to have some fun doing it.



11 comments:

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Bonnie,

I also love playing with words. One of my favorite activities in the past was consulting my huge Oxford Dictionary of Etymology.

A short story I wrote was sold to a Chinese publication as a reprint. It came out online as well as in print. When I hit translate, I saw the story was now very different from what I had originally written in English. Language use and meaning is never dull and ever changing.

Susan Oleksiw said...

I love the new words. They remind me of the discovery of language by children, who often come up with the most refreshing and startling new words.

Bonnie D Tharp said...

Thanks for commenting. Language can certainly be fun - and translations - interesting.

Jean Henry Mead said...

An interesting and enjoyable article. I used to contribute to magazines in Germany and Norway, and wondered about the translations(this before they were available online).

I found your pupkus, askhole and bonzone translations very amusing. Thanks for the article.

Jean Henry Mead said...

An interesting and enjoyable article. I used to contribute to magazines in Germany and Norway, and wondered about the translations (before they were available online).

I found your pupkus, askhole and bonzone translations very amusing. Thanks for the article.

Bonnie D Tharp said...

Thanks for leaving a comment, Jean. Language can be loads of fun.

cityspideyseo said...

CitySpidey is India's first and definitive platform for hyper local community news, RWA Management Solutions and Account Billing Software for Housing Societies. We also offer residential soceity news of Noida, Dwarka, Indirapuram, Gurgaon and Faridabad. You can place advertisement for your business on city spidey.

Gate Management System
Society Management App
Society Management
rwa Management App
Neighbourhood Management App
Apartment Management App
Apartment Management System
Visitors Management System
Apartment Management Software
Noida News
Gurgaon News
Ghaziabad News
Delhi News
Indirapuram News
Dwarka News

srjwebsolutions said...

We are leading responsive website designing and development company in Noida.
We are offering mobile friendly responsive website designing, website development, e-commerce website, seo service and sem services in Noida.

Responsive Website Designing Company in Noida
Website Designing Company in Noida
SEO Services in Noida
SMO Services in Noida

Genxsoft said...

Egmedi.com is online medical store pharmacy in laxmi nagar Delhi. You can Order prescription/OTC medicines online.
Cash on Delivery available. Free Home Delivery


Online Pharmacy in Delhi
Buy Online medicine in Delhi
Online Pharmacy in laxmi nagar
Buy Online medicine in laxmi nagar
Onine Medical Store in Delhi
Online Medical store in laxmi nagar
Online medicine store in delhi
online medicine store in laxmi nagar
Purchase Medicine Online
Online Pharmacy India
Online Medical Store

Unknown said...

We are uhe solid first platform for modeling newcomers to achieve there new dreams. The first to train and promote out models at our expense to avoid burden on them. Join the most popular agency if you modelling jobs in Delhi for female freshers, models, students, housewives aiming to start there modeling career. We are top modelling agency in Delhi offering modelling jobs in Delhi for upcoming female freshers or experienced models who want to join lingerie modeling agencies.


modeling agencies in Delhi
modeling agencies
modeling jobs
modeling auditions
model coordinators
modeling jobs in Delhi


Unknown said...

We are specialized in Mechanised cleaning of Underground and Overhead Water Tanks of all sizes. Door Step services across Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad.


Water tank cleaning services in Noida
Water tank cleaning services in Ghaziabad
Water tank cleaning services in Delhi

Drain cleaning services in Noida

Drain cleaning services in Ghaziabad
Drain cleaning services in Delhi
Pipeline Cleaning Service in Noida


Pipeline cleaning services in Ghaziabad
Pipeline cleaning services in Delhi


Tank cleaning services in Noida

Tank cleaning services in Ghaziabad
Tank cleaning services in Delhi