It recently came to my attention that a fantasy swear word coined, I believe, by my very good friend in blogging Anna Boat may soon be the subject of a heated debate chez les Prud’hommes.
A comment I took the precaution of removing from my site some time ago has seemingly found its way into the possession of a certified translator, for use in my industrial tribunal case (which theoretically takes place this month, if no-one defers it).
It went something like this:
petite: “I’m thinking of setting up a parallel secret blog named “my boss is a twunt”.
Hmm. Clearly a tongue in cheek play on words which any self-respecting blogger/blogreader would understand as a reference to the famous zed and her award winning blog, no doubt a quip made in response to another comment, although I no longer have the faintest idea of the exact context.
The problem being that the French translator, clearly coming a little unstuck at the sight of the inventive slight, an amalgamation of two words of differing intensity which share etymological origins with the word “ladyparts”, decided to opt for the rather stronger French expletive “enculé” in the version to which he/she put the holy certified translator’s stamp. Unfortunate in the extreme, as “enculé” is a word which has nothing whatsoever to do with “ladyparts”, is the strongest French swearword I know of, and is emphatically not a word I would ever dream of sullying my fair lips with. I think it is fair to say that many layers of intended humour and irony have been well and truly lost in translation.
The upside of all this (aside from the fact that my audience is likely to be interesting for those involved, and indeed for spectators) is that surely it can only be a matter of time before the Académie Française falls in love with the neologism and deems it necessary to add “twunt” to the official French dictionary.
Now there’s an achievement of which I would be truly proud.