L'Histoire continue

gardenbug(Canada zone 5)December 8, 2005

Il était une fois trois petits chatons qui s'appelaient Mitaine, Moppette, et Toto le Minet.

Chacun avait son joli petit manteau de fourrure, et ils gambadaient sur le seuil de la porte et jouaient dans la poussière.

Mais un jour leur maman, Madame Tabithée Touichette, attendait des invitées pour le thé. Elle fit donc entrer les trois petits chatons pour faire leur toilette avant l'arrivée du beau monde.

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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

I'll wait for a brighter light to provide a literal translation. I understand the meaning but do not translate every word. (Their mother recieved an invitation to tea and wants them to get tidied up to go...) I'm always uncertain whether one translates phrases like 'beau monde' and 'toilette' which have made their way into fairly common English usage. In the context above, I'd interpret l'arrivee du beau monde as making their society debut - which, of course, uses another French word, so is that a translation or not?!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 10:35AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Their mother invited people over to their house...and all the rest is fine.
Getting the general gist is fine with me Woody. How you translate depends on the purpose. This is not translation for a legal purpose but for FUN.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 12:59PM
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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

Hmm... I guess I need to look up a few words since I got it a bit backwards! (Sometimes going for the gist of things leaves me in a bit of a fog...:-)

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 1:04PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody, is ASL useful in France and other countries?

I remember a story of a man and woman who signed and who really hit it off on a trip to France and decided to write each other upon their return home afterwards. It seems they could not communicate in writing because they were fluent in different languages and hadn't realized it. Does this story ring true?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 1:12PM
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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

GB - yes and no... Almost every country has their own sign language. British Sign Language is very different from ASL for example - they even use a totally different alphabet. I couldn't understand someone signing in BSL. I'm pretty sure that France has it's own sign language. But....

ASL has its roots in French sign language so I suspect there are a lot of similarities. (I just tried to find a link to a French alphabet because I'm curious now but all the ones I can find seem to be not working...) I gather though that at international deaf events, people find it pretty easy to learn enough of each other's language to communicate better than people with different spoken languages.

I have enough trouble coping with learning ASL to want to learn another. I do know some of the letters of the BSL alphabet but that's about it! (If you watch 3 Weddings and a Funeral, Hugh Grant and his brother brother in the movie sign in BSL.) It's embarassing that I still don't understand all the signs in the videos for the ASL courses we took, even after watching them upteen times! I've been going through them again these past few months, teaching Teresa. She will be taking the Canadian Hearing Society ASL courses starting in January but I needed her to learn right away starting back in September. We're on the Level 2 stuff now and she's been able to communicate enough to be understood - in conjunction with speechreading - for the last couple of weeks. Like my lousy French translating, I work on getting the gist of what people are saying or signing so I'm not terribly concerned about whether someone is signing correctly. We use a lot of 'home sign' - i.e. if we don't know the sign for something, we make one up! I am totally hopeless when I meet an ASL speaker - I'm used to 'reading' the signs, not doing them - seeing and doing are quite different. So, the first thing I sign to someone fluent is - I sign LOUSY! Sorry... And then I use a lot of requests to slow down and/or repeat.... But we usually end up understanding each other so I wouldn't be surprised that two fluent signers in different sign languages could rapidly figure out enough of the other language to communicate well.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 4:50PM
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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

GB - re FSL and ASL...

FSL: Many sign languages have been influenced by this, but are not necessarily intelligible with it. Reported to be partially intelligible with sign languages from Austria, Czech Republic, and Italy, at least. 43% lexical similarity with American Sign Language in an 872-word list. First sign language in the western world to gain recognition as a language (1830). Originated in 1752. Sign languages were known in France in the 16th century, and probably earlier. Different from Signed French and Old French Sign Language. FSL also used in Togo.

ASL: 100,000 to 500,000 primary users (1986 Gallaudet U.) out of nearly 2,000,000 profoundly deaf persons in USA (1988), 0.8% of the USA population. 15,000,000 hard of hearing persons in the USA (1989 Sacks). Population total all countries 100,000 to 500,000.
Region Also used in varying degrees in Canada, Philippines, Ghana, Nigeria, Chad, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Mauritania, Kenya, Madagascar, Benin, Togo, Zimbabwe, Singapore, China (Hong Kong). Also spoken in Canada, Guatemala.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 5:07PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Now Togo interests me. FSL and ASL are both used there. How odd.
I have been there. The French used there was very primative from my point of view. Customs officials etc would only 'tutoie' me, which I considered rude at the time. But what a tiny gorgeous land! Houses on stilts, fabulous beaches, etc... I hope with all my heart this country is doing OK, 40 years later. Sigh.....

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 5:33PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

D'abord elle leur débarbouilla la figure; Puis elle donna un coup de brosse à leur fourrure.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 8:20AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

First she cleaned their faces, then she brushed their fur. ?

I will admit I had to use Babelfish on this one! So I could be very wrong...

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 12:17PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

That's the gist of it V!

The language is actually pretty comical. Débarbouiller is a funny verb. It even sounds fun. (I have images of a kid with jelly or spaghetti from ear to ear being scrubbed.)

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 12:37PM
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But one day, their mother Mme. Tabitha Touichette awaited their arrival for tea.

I had to look up the passe simple... for "faire". I'm stuck, can't quite reconcile the passe simple ("fit") with the infinitive "entrer", is this idiomatic? or am I just being "thick"?

(confused)... the three kittens to wash themselves before the arrival of the "beautiful world" (sunrise? dawn?... again, bogged down).

Could you please give me a nudge in the "right" direction? too many trees in the way, "ou est le foret"?

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 12:39PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Mme Chelone:
La foret. ;-)

The use of "faire" before a verb means "having something done". So faire entrer = to have them brought in, have them enter.
faire coudre = to have something sewn for you.
Yes, the passé somple is tough to deal with.

So quickly, I'd say "But one day, their mother Mme. Tabitha Touichette awaited the arrival of guests for tea. She had the three little kittens come inside in order to have their "toilette" (to get cleaned up) before the arrival of the fine ladies. (beau monde must have an English translation...I think of hoity-toity ladies myself, high society.)

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 1:19PM
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Merci beaucoup! je n'ai rien compris "beau monde"! Maintenant, je comprends. Aussi l'explanation (?)pour "faire ..." m'aiderai beaucoup. SI je peux se souvenir!

I struggle with when to use l'imparfait or passe compose. I have to really THINK about reflexive verbs and direct and indirect objects.

C'est LA foret, mais c'est UN arbre! je ne le comprendrai jamais!

or should it be feminine because language is, too! :)

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 1:41PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

You 'just' need to memorize it all..No logic as to what is masculine, what feminine.

"Je n'ai rien compris" = I understood nothing. "Je n'ai pas compris" I didn't understand. Je ne l'ai pas compris" = I didn't understand it.

"Explanation": I can't come up with the french for that at the moment. Perhaps it is "explication"?

"L'explication m'aidera si je peux m'en souvenir." Can you follow what I've done here C?

Tu le comprendras bientôt!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 2:14PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

My French cousins write abominable French. ;-)

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 2:15PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I had that arguement with a former coworker - he was sending a fax to Holland with all sorts of misspellings and grammatical errors. His excuse was that they didn't know English all that well, and my response is that's why it's so important to be precise with your English. Leave the "r" out of impotant and what are you saying? If english is not your first language, you'll be scratching your head!

I love the phrase beau monde even though it highlights what is so hard about translation. I had a book from the library this summer that had the Spanish version behind the English version. There were a lot of phrases written very differently in the different languages. (No, I didn't read the entire book in both, I just did occassional comparisons.)


    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 2:56PM
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Je CROIS que je le comprend... mais je ne suis pas sur, mon amie.

(je ris) ;)

I had a friend (who died not long ago) who really encouraged my attempts to learn French. She was South American, born into a wealthy family. In the '50s, "proper" young women of her ilk attended secondary school in Europe. She went to school in Switzerland, speaking only her native Spanish. When I knew her she spoke 5 languages (English was her 5th.).

I expressed emabarrassment at my lack of ability and frequent mistakes... worrying native speakers would fancy me "stupid". This what she asked me:

"When you meet someone whose English is halting or labored, what do you think?".

"I think they don't speak the language easily. But I know they speak a language I DON'T."

"Exactly! people will go out of their way to help you IF you try, ESPECIALLY, if you are willing to risk mistakes and are willing to laugh at them."

So, I keep on trying and thus provide a never ending source of amusement for others, and myself... ;)

Je pense en Anglais, pas comme un Americain!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 2:57PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I do agree V, that deliberately being sloppy and careless is insulting. My cousins make errors in verb endings etc...but they run miles around me with vocabulary and idioms, etc. The also speak and write Arabic. I'm jealous! Their mother, my dear tante Anne-Louise, was embarrassed by their mistakes and would compliment me the few times I wrote. I was so frustrated that I could not say what I wanted to her, but I now know that the message was what she wanted and she understood most everything no matter how poorly delivered. She did not know English at all.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 3:14PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Ensuite elle peigna leur queue et leurs moustaches.
Toto n'était pas sage; il donna des coups de griffes.

Alors Madame Touichette mit à Moppette et à Mitaine des tabliers et des collerettes propres.

Enfin elle tira de la commode toute sorte de vêtenments élégants mais gênants, pour en habiller son fils Toto.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2005 at 8:19AM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

Chelone, I don't speak French at all but must comment on your fears:-) I've found that the Spanish speakers I've tried to communicate with are delighted that I am trying to learn their language. I ask them to correct me during our conversations because some are hesitant to do that thinking I would be hurt or insulted. Once they know it's OK, they are extremely helpful.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 5:10PM
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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

I thought I had posted a translation attempt yesterday. I must have forgot to hit submit!

Then she combed their tails(?!) and whiskers.
Toto was not wise; he got cuffed with claws.

Next, Madame Touichette put aprons and suitable collars on Mopette and Mitaine.

Finally, she took from (?) all kinds of clothes, elegant but embarassing, to dress her son ToTo.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 8:49PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I thought the followers of the French thread would enjoy this tidbit from today's Chicago Tribune. This is a description of
Chicago at Christmass, taken from a French website and translated by Google:

"Christmas in Chicago wants to say being held in line to lick the windows of the store Marshall de Field's State Street. But there is more still. In the east, one can see the silver-plated arches of the musical house external of Frank Gehry in Millennium Park. One also finds a skating rink external, a garden of plants decorative, a fountain and the Large Grass. A good walk also is essential on Magnificent Mile. It is necessary to open the eye for the stone original water tower and the old station of pumping which survived the large fire of 1871. Other points of interest of the "City of the Winds:" the restaurant Walnut Room, where one serves three meals per days around a Christmas tree of three stages. A good council, however, take you there early. Queues are long and one accepts not the reservations in the time of the festivals."

I have to say that I have never licked the windows of Marshall Field's, although I have gone many times to see their Christmas display!


    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 9:41PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

'bug's version~

Then she combed their tail (meaning each one's tail) and whiskers.
Toto was not well behaved; he scratched (her).

Next Madame Touichette put pinafores and clean collars on Moppette and Mitaine.

Finally she took (literally 'pulled') all sorts of elegant but uncomfortable clothing from the dresser drawers, to dress her son Toto.

I am told that my computer will be down tomorrow, so here is another installment:

Toto le Minet était gros et gras. Pusieurs boutons sautèrent et sa maman dut les recoudre.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 10:09PM
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So Toto dressed up for 3 meals in the City of Winds, and popped his buttons licking windows!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 6:14AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yeah Cynthia!

(Hmmm, computer still works, maybe they only get to work at 9 to mess things up with my computer?)

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 7:23AM
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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

Sheesh! 'Use it or lose it' - I've lost it (not that I had a good grasp on it in the first place! :-) I can't seem to tell who is doing what to whom! I think I'd better give up and leave the translating to someone who can actually figure out what is going on! (I will attempt to translate but not embarass myself by posting what I think it says...)

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 7:31AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

No way am I going to attempt to do any translating here , but I am enjoying the story , and the attempts at translating . ( Some of which are pretty amusing ) .
I enjoyed V's Google translation ...lol .

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 10:12AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

(email still not working chez moi)

Lorsque les trois petits chatons furent prêts, Madame Tabithée eut l'imprudence de les envoyer au jardin, pour s'en débarasser pendant qu'elle préparait des toasts au beurre.

"Prenez garde de ne pas vous salir, mes enfants. Tenez-vous bien droits sur vos pattes de derrière; ne vous approchez pas du tas de cendres, ni du poulailler, ni de l'étable du cochon. Et surtout évitez la famille Canétang."

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 8:56AM
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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

OK GB - mistakes and all, here's what I got as the gist of the last two....

Toto was large and fat. Several buttons popped off and his mother had to sew them back on.

When the three kittens were ready, Madame Tabithée unwisely sent them to the garden to (....don't know what débarasser is... amuse themselves maybe...?) while she prepared buttered toast.

'Be careful not to get dirty, children. Be particularly careful of your back paws; stay away from the ash heap, the hen house and the pig-sty. And especially avoid the Canétang family. (...does Canétang have a meaning other than a family name?)

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 12:47PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

débarasser means to get them out of her hair-

Caneton means duckling. My guess is that the Canétang family is named because of this...or perhaps Canétang is an old spelling. Anyone know?

Tenez-vous bien droits sur vos pattes de derrière...means "Stand erect on your back paws"-

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 12:57PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Moppette et Mitaine marchèrent d'un pas incertain le long du sentier.
Tout d'un coup elles se prirent les pieds dans leurs tabliers et tombèrent sur le nez.
Quand elles se relevèrent, les tabliers étaient couverts de grosses taches vertes!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 8:37AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

"Montons par le jardin alpin pour nous asseoir sur le mur qui donne sur la route," dit Moppette.
Elles retournèrent leurs tabliers et montèrent en sautillant.
Moppette perdit sa collerette blanche qui tomba sur la route.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 1:25PM
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