[latexrefman-discuss] Translation to French of "moving argument"

Vincent Belaïche vincent.belaiche at domain.hid
Tue Nov 15 11:18:26 CET 2016


I would like to publish the current manual in French, however I am not
completely satisfied with the translation of the phrase `moving

The classical, well installed, translation to French is `argument
mobile'. However, not surprisingly, French `mobile' is the translation
of English `mobile', not that of `moving'. The translation of `moving',
is rather something like `mouvant', or `branlant'.

For instance :

|English   |French    |
|moving    |sables    |
|sands     |mouvants  |
|mobile    |téléphone |
|phone     |mobile    |

OK, my feeling is that with `mobile' you just describe some
feature/service offered to the user, while `moving' makes it a little
more dramatic, ringing a bell that something wrong may happen.

In French this nuance is certainly quite stronger than in English
because the word `mouvant' belongs more to a litterary vocabulary than
to technical vocabulary. The usual way to say `to move' in French is not
`se mouvoir', but `se déplacer' or `bouger'. English quite often sounds
like old ages French. That is certainly why the geeks that made the
original translation to French picked up `mobile', because they were
just geeks used to emotionally flat writing of manual pages.

So, now I am trying to get your opinion, you native English speakers, I
think that keeping `mobile' in French is losing some of the original
salty taste of the English wording, and I would like to dare wording it
like `argument mouvant'. I know that this wording is sometimes used, and
I really feel it closer to what was originally meant although people
often think that it is that sort of false-cognate erroneous lazy
translation, not a deliberate choice.

What is your opinion ?


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