?

Log in

No account? Create an account

One of these things is not like the others... - Mostly, it is...

Oct. 24th, 2009

02:10 am - One of these things is not like the others...

Previous Entry Share Next Entry

Again, doing the easy post rather than the informative one - slice of a day.
Context: Online searching for the designer of a jacket I bought about seven years ago to see if they still make something in the same style (Christian Dumas). Unfortunately, no luck, though I did find a Pierre et Christian Dumas who are in the somewhat related area of soft stuffed things that go on beds (pillows, mattress toppers, blankets).

The thing I'm finding worth a remark, and the question that comes from it: One of the places I found a listing for the above company was a directory of European firms. (www.euro-compagnies.com) One of the sub-categories was "Drapeaux, les bannières et les salopes". Now, French isn't my first language, but one of those three doesn't seem to belong there unless it has a meaning that I'm not familiar with. Likelyhoods: a) translation artifact, b) a less colloquial meaning, c) a possible etymological extension from somewhere. Brings back a recollection of a class in which Anne-Marie said «baiser» in a different form than she intended to and Mme. Recurt sort of half giggled and covered a smile before explaining that, no, she didn't want to say that because said that way it meant, er _eyes left, eyes right, eyes roll up, small sigh_ "fuck". So since it's a multilingual site, I went to look at the other languages to see whether I could identify what had been intended. English wasn't much help since it gave "Flags, sluts and banners". German gave "Fahnen, banner und schlampen", which Babelfish refused to translate, but according to Google means about the same thing. Portuguese returned "Flags, banners e sluts", which Babelfish was fine telling me was the same thing. Dutch - "Vlaggen, spandoeken en sletten", still no joy. Italian - "Bandiere, striscioni e troie", Babelfish let me down again, but according to Word Reference.com's copy of the Pocket Oxford Italian dictionary, "troie" can mean "sow", "bitch" or "whore", which is at least slightly different in connotation, but doesn't get me closer to figuring out what happened. Finally, Spanish, with "Banderas, pendones y banderines" gets me "Flags, banners and pennants" from Babelfish.

But it still doesn't tell me how one gets from "pennants" to "sluts". Several of you who read my lj have greater fluency in one or more of the above languages than I do. Anyone have any theories?

Tags:
Current Location: bed
Current Mood: quizzical
Current Music: ...one of these things just doesn't belong

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:timprov
Date:October 24th, 2009 06:49 am (UTC)
(Link)
The obvious way to find out is to call those companies and ask for some.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:moiread
Date:October 24th, 2009 08:35 am (UTC)
(Link)
Um. Yeeeeah. I'm really fluent in French, and it means exactly what you think it means -- cunt, bitch, slut, occasionally (when used as a verb) to botch something or fuck it up. I have no idea what happened with that site's translation function, but somebody in the company should probably get severely reprimanded over it. :P
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:txanne
Date:October 24th, 2009 10:26 am (UTC)
(Link)
Yup.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:seabream
Date:October 27th, 2009 10:45 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I have no idea what happened with that site's translation function
I know! I mean, I was assuming that the word being translated was Spanish, since that was the only one that contextually made sense, but given that the French flipped to «mâts» and back, I shouldn't consider it firmly indicative, especially since it doesn't mean the same thing as the Spanish, though it is at least related to the category. Which I guess makes it weirder, since if it had one concept in a starting language to be translated into six output languages and it went to six meaning databases, all going from the original language out, it'd only need to have an error in the original field to get the x, 6y type error. To get an ax, bx, 5y error, would likely be a series error of some kind. I'd guess that would make a confusion error of a more linguistically interesting kind (archaic usage, contextually associated word that I couldn't see for lack of familiarity of the language) less likely. Maybe one of the people fluent in Spanish (espaphone?) will have something to say on that.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:txanne
Date:October 24th, 2009 10:40 am (UTC)
(Link)
Hey look, they fixed it--it now says "Drapeaux, banderoles, et mâts." Masts make a good bit more sense, but I still don't know where that other word could have come from.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:moiread
Date:October 24th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I'm also glad to see that they swapped out bannières for banderoles, which is more correct. Do you think someone should e-mail them and tell them that the word they want isn't mâts but fanions?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:txanne
Date:October 24th, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Woo-hoo, and now it's back to salopes. It looks to me like one of those robo-pages, so I don't know how much good an email would do.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:seabream
Date:October 27th, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
(Link)
That answers the question of why I couldn't see the change then.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:seabream
Date:October 27th, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I'd consider it, but it's not altogether obvious what address one would send such a message to. I could Whois search them, but getting from who owns the domain name to who should get such an e-mail isn't always easy.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)