Translator Talk

Translator Talk - Arianne






When Arianne Des Rochers saw that we had an opening for a maternity-leave replacement position, she jumped at the chance to get some in-house experience. With two degrees under her belt and a taste for adventure, this young and energetic translator has the world by the tail. 

How do you blow off steam after a tough day at the office? 

For me, the toughest part about being a translator is sitting at a desk all day. By five o’clock, I’m itching to move! The first thing I do when I get home is spend a good hour at the dog park with Paco. It lets me unwind and get some fresh air.

What’s your biggest language pet peeve? 

When translating, I can’t stand the modal auxiliary “pouvoir” (you see it all over the place in French and it doesn’t add anything) and the comparative adverb “plus” [more] without specifying what the subject is being compared to (for example, Quebecers are more intelligent. More intelligent than whom? Than what? Than Ontarians? Than they were last year?). And, in my personal life, I love correcting my friends when they say “un vidéo.”

Do you prefer editing on screen or off? 

What a bizarre question to ask a young translator who graduated in 2012 and has only ever worked on a computer. Paper? Get with the times!

How do you keep up with language as it changes? 

In my opinion, the translation industry forces us to keep up with changes in language. By constantly consulting reference materials that are updated on a regular basis, we have no choice but to stay on top of the latest changes. Regardless, it’s important to be open-minded and willing to change your style to reflect the changes around us. Take, for instance, the word “caméra” that people love to call an Anglicism when used to designate photographic equipment. It turns out that, in 2015, every camera comes with a video function and so that rule no longer applies and “caméra” is a perfectly suitable term in French.

What’s the latest addition to your library? 

Blanc dehors by Martine Delvaux, Pas pleurer by Lydie Salvayre, Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace and Translation Effects, an anthology edited by Sherry Simon, Luise von Flotow and Kathy Mezei. These four simultaneous purchases truly reflect my reading tastes: a balance of novels in French and English, with a good helping of essays on translation.

What’s your dream translation project?

I’d love to set up a translation cooperative that would bring together freelancers, language professionals, and students. In my mind, it would focus on continuing education, mutual support, and community involvement, where everyone’s talents would be put to use for workshops and collaborative projects. It’s a project that I’m working on with a translator friend of mine. To be continued . . .



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