The Quebec-based online video sensation Têtes à claques has soft-launched a new website and and anglo version with passable anglo accents.
The videos are the same as the franco versions, but they seem to lose some of the humour in translation. I’m not quite sure what it is, exactly. Maybe I’m just more easily amused by francophone humour. Maybe the québécois accent does something to make stuff sound more funny.
(via Domster, among others)
Meanwhile, Le Devoir today has a letter about francophone singers releasing anglo albums. Of course, it’s filled with the usual anti-English xenophobia you’d expect out of Le Devoir, but the gist of the letter is that artists shouldn’t be selling themselves short recording in another language just for the money, even if the English market is insanely lucrative:
La chanson est un art qui mérite le respect.
The writer is talking about Garou and Gregory Charles.
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.
In the area of senseless branding idea comes Têtes à claques, the drink. Their excuse is as laughable as it is transparent: Well, there was this drink shown in one episode. So now, those same people who want to smell like Britney Spears will want to drink that yellow juice that came out of the pilot.
And yet, the franchise must be doing something right, since it’s worth $12 million now.