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March 13, 2015

Early in their French studies, students learn that rêver means "to dream" and un rêve is a dream. So far so good. But the expression "to have a dream" (when you're asleep) in French is not "avoir un rêve" but faire un rêve. By the same token, "to have a nightmare" is f...

March 6, 2015

As we saw in an earlier post, there are certain terms that can cause translators to and from the Romance languages to stumble.

One of these terms is conflict of interest (plural: conflicts of interest).

In English we say conflict of interest, not "conflict of interests,...

March 4, 2015

The French adjective social has three basic meanings, two of which are fairly obvious to English speakers and one of which is not.

 

First of all, social can of course mean "social", in the sense of "relating to society" (la société). So mobilité sociale is "social...

March 2, 2015

There are so many countries whose names can be translated from English to French by changing the IA ending to IE that it would be reasonable to assume that they all work this way:

 

Albania = l'Albanie

Algeria = l'Algérie

Armenia = l'Arménie

Australia = l'Australie

Bolivia...

March 1, 2015

It is customary to define important terms in contracts in English by capitalizing them.

 

Thus, for example, we might find the following:

 

This End User License Agreement (the “Agreement”), consisting of the terms and conditions set forth below,  is made and entered into...

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