Re: [mu LINGUAE] La traduction francaise n'est pas exact?

From: Michele Andreoli (
Date: Mon Jun 05 2000 - 20:08:05 CEST

On Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 04:16:30PM +0000, Karl-Heinz Zimmer nicely wrote:
> My own french n'est pas três bon - so I am not absolutely sure
> but it /seems to me/ that there are some misunderstandings in
> the translation

Ok, the translation in some part is not totally in agreement with
real muLinux behaviour, but the README do not contains real dangerous
implications, able to destroy hardware, etc. They are only secondary
misunderstanding, caused by fracturation in the original english.

Example 1:

"Les binaires sont pris de douzaines de distributions et de floppy de
   boot de mes trois gros diques durs"

seems "I used the boot floppy *of* (sic) my hard-disk" to fetch binary
for muLinux. Original used "*on* my 3 big hard-disks", i.e. "on" is
translated with "de".

Example 2:

 "Les versions postérieures à la 5.1 disposent aussi d'un autre type
   d'installation UMSDOS :le loop filesystem"
The french user can erroneusly understand that "loop filesystem" is
a kind of UMSDOS installation; this is wrong, from puristic point of view,
but in fact true at 50%, because I put the loop file in the DOS c:\linux

Esample 3:

To translate "NFS disk-less client" as "un client NFS
sans disquette" is a little sense-less: in this case disk-less have to
remains un-translate, or it is really un-understandable in Europe.
Ok, but frenchs call computer "ordinateur" (i.e. "ordering", a machine
which make order from caos, and viceversa), then: perfectly right
if "disk-less" will become "sans disquette". The problem is: the
word "disk-less" is universally known as "machine without hard-disk",
or also as sinonym for X-terminal. I must be not translated. We,
in Italy, for example, do not translate "hard-disk" with "disco duro",
but in Francia and in Spagna this is normal (if i'm not wrong).

Example 4:

          interdit à muLinux de charger boot."

is another malfunction, but a this moment I do not remember my
original sentence. I only can tell: this is not understandable
under Linux point of view.

Example 5:

 "Arret de la rotation des disques dur sur timeout
          Un Timeout est utilisé par les disques pour déterminer depuis
          combien de temps ils attendent (sans activité) avant de couper
          les moteurs pour économiser de la puissance et l'usure des

This is the right translation of this part:

-- Standby (spindown) timeout for the HD drives
Timeout is used by the drive to determine how
 long to wait (with no disk activity) before turning
 off the spindle motor to save power.

        (ehm ... I copied it from hdparm manpage!)

Translation is perfect but, I don't know why?, after I read that in
french I can't really believe muLinux is able to do that! Once it is
translated in french, this sentence stops being a simple note about
the little software "hdparm" and starts to seems the technical
specification of a Roll-Royce turbo engine for avio-jet! :-)))

Obviously, translation degrade information. I have *aussi* a translation
in italian of the original english readme, realized by an italian
contributor: all imprecisions in the original, had become errors in
translation. But this kind of errors is enterely up the original
writer: the Michele-sad (not Michele-san).

Karl-Heinz: please point on that: the english readme is already
a translation of an ancient text in italian I wrote 3 years ago!
What's the text which can survive to three nested translations?

> Please: don't get me wrong!!
> I am NOT complaining - in my opinion it was very *nice* that
> Rémi Clavier tranlated this file -

I cannot still believe someone charge itself with similar
thankless task! Thanks Remi!

>but I think it could be
> a good idea to have another person (who is more capable of
> the french language than I am) looking at the text to make
> sure everything is translated fine.

I AM THIS GUY! I totally understand the Remi Clavier text: I
had been subject to homeworks and perdiodical examinations in french
language for the long intervall of 3+5=8 years (scuola media piu' liceo)
and also read the "Cyrano de Bergerac" and "Gargantua and
Pantagruel" in french, but I'm not able to do better,
because it translated really what I
wrote originally, adding also some lyrism absent in the original.
The wrong one is the original! We have to do a *perfect* document
in english, if we wish an *acceptable* document in other language.

Ehm ... please, Karl-Heinz: what's the number of languages you


I'd like to conclude with a positive statement, but I can't 
remember any. Would two negative ones do?       -- Woody Allen
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