orthography

Sans, singulier ou pluriel ?

The rule is easy to remember. To know whether the noun X that follows sans is singular or plural, it suffices to ask whether, if there was any X, there would be one or more. So, for example, we should say : une voiture sans roues et sans volant as we can presume the car [...]

By |2018-03-13T18:03:59-07:00November 22nd, 2008|Linguistic Tips|

Unités binaires

We often see mistakes in the binary units in French, for example, things such as: Kbit (the abbreviation for kilo should be k not K), Mbits/s (Mbit/s is correct, the plural s is not used) Gbps (Gbit/s is correct, Gbps is the English version) GB translated Gb (Go is correct, bits and bytes are different) [...]

By |2018-03-12T18:11:44-07:00November 14th, 2008|Linguistic Tips|

Minuscule ou miniscule ?

Once in a while, a translator uses "miniscule" instead of "minuscule" and I correct it, as the "miniscule" form is completely wrong in French. A Google search on French websites gives less than 2% occurrence of "miniscule" compared to "minuscule". More often though, I've noticed the "miniscule" spelling in English texts, and I've dismissed it [...]

By |2018-02-14T17:28:55-08:00October 22nd, 2008|Culture Studies|

Names of peoples

In French, peoples' names start with a capital letter. So we should write : les Américains un Français une Européenne un Texan une Lyonnaise les Sud-Vietnamiens However, the corresponding adjectives do not take the capital : le peuple américain la langue française les galettes bretonnes Lim est chinois il traduit de l'anglais au français un [...]

By |2018-02-13T18:02:04-08:00October 14th, 2008|Localization Tips|

Le dit & la dite

The forms "ledit xxx" and "ladite xxx" are commonly used in contracts (french translation of "said xxx"). It should be remembered that the correct form is "ledit", "ladite" and not "le dit", "la dite". So we should write "ladite entité" (et non "la dite entité"), "ledit programme" (et non "le dit programme"). The same applies [...]

By |2018-02-11T14:22:50-08:00October 9th, 2008|Linguistic Tips|

Des standards pas standard

When used as an adjective, "standard" does not take the plural "s", whereas it takes it when used as a noun. The reason is that "standard" has been borrowed from the English language. Even more confusing, MS Word does not know that, and the spellchecker (at least in the version I use) believes that "standards" [...]

By |2018-02-11T14:10:20-08:00October 4th, 2008|Linguistic Tips|

0 houses, 0 maison, 1,9 houses et 1,9 maison

For some strange reason, the "starting point" of plural is different in different languages. In English, plural starts "right after 1", but in French it only starts at 2. So we should say "1,99 mètre" but "2 mètres". This also applies to phrases such as "1,99 million d'habitants", "2 millions de personnes". Also, 0 is [...]

By |2018-02-11T14:08:14-08:00October 2nd, 2008|Localization Tips|