Tuesday, June 24, 2008

QMs in french


Sebastian translates:
1/2 farm chicken
 spit roasted
 "potatoes" rissole

Oh, those french chefs and their fake patates...

8 comments:

Richard said...

First off, this sign must be in French-speaking Switzerland (‘Romandy’ in English, or ‘la Suisse Romande’ in French), since the price is given in Swiss Francs (SFr = CHF). Second, the use of the quotation marks around the word ‘patates’ is justified. The word is not the real French word for potato (which, as any fule no, is ‘pomme de terre’)—‘patate’ is a very colloquial word, which might be best translated as ‘spud’ or ‘’tater’ (it could be that those two words are not know in American English). Therefore the quotation marks could be said to provide a sense of irony about the sign-writer’s use of such a demotic word to describe the product in question. There’s a lot going on here…

Jeff said...

Irony, when done well, requires no QMs.

Margaret said...

Who said that?

Helen said...

I'm with Richard: this is a gramatically correct use of QMs. Sounds delicious.

Albertas Agejevas said...

Laughing at punctuation "mistakes" in a foreign language text is ignorant.

bethany said...

Geez. Sorry for trusting my submitters to translate correctly.

Frederik said...

I am surprised that nobody noticed the unusual plural for a number of "1/2 farm chickens"

theefer said...

Hey people. Being the submitter and a native French speaker, I confirm ‘patate’ is slightly colloquial, but not extremely, particularly not where this photo was taken (Aigle, in Valais, in the Vallée du Rhône leading into the Alps - indeed in Switzerland). There, I would expect it to be much more commonly used than ‘pommes de terre’. In this context, while not truly grammatically incorrect, the use of QMs is definitely exagerated.

I agree it's debatable, but emphasizing such a common colloquial word in this rural context would almost qualify as meta-irony!

PS: If you want to be really pedantic, French « guillemets » should have been used.