I always find myself irked somewhat when I hear English translations of Québécois terms. When “dépanneur” becomes “convenience store” or “St. Jacques” becomes “St. James”. It just seems so weird, as Quebec anglophones tend to use the French terms, almost as if they were untranslateable.
So while I’m reading this Globe and Mail piece on Têtes-à-claques, their translation of the term into “slap heads” threw me for a loop.
I suppose the translations are necessary for the English-speaking population outside Quebec, but the language loses something in its flair.
A similar feeling came over me with the English media’s reporting of Girouettegate. After an insult by Mario Dumont, the word “girouette” has been added to the list of banned words at the National Assembly. But the CBC and The Gazette, among others, have used the term “weathervane”, which is an accurate translation but again loses some of its flair.
Maybe knowing both languages makes me overly snobbish about these things.