Saturday, August 1, 2009

French to English: Spa, Part 3

We can talk incessantly about spa services but like the culinary arts, if there are no demonstrations, a learner would have to grope through text and put his imagination on overdrive to visualize what's being described. 

dough For example, when I was new at bread baking, I had a difficult time figuring out what the recipe writer meant by the words "until the dough is smooth and elastic" or "until the dough doubles in size."  You'll argue that those instructions are straightforward and need no further explanation, but you'll be surprised how many have shied away from bread baking, intimidated by the mysteries of  yeast, time, gluten and temperature.  To a beginner, handling unforgiving dough is like  trying to outsmart public enemy # 1.

Thank goodness for remnants of a virtue called perseverance.  I was determined to overcome my fear of dough, so after a few hits and misses where I ended up with either a liquid, unwielding ball or fossil-like rock-hard flour, I finally learned "what smooth and elastic" and "doubled in size" meant.  One day it would be nice to put a magnifying glass directly into yeast and see it go to work.

So...getting back to spas.  It helps to see how a specific spa treatment is performed.  For example, in today's lexicon, I include the term "effleurage".  When I looked it up at Termium, this is what I got.  (Termium is the Canadian government's terminology bank - - a great online tool for translators working in the French, English and Spanish languages).



If you read the description, you get an idea of what an effleurage is, although it would be nice to know exactly what "no pressure is used" and "slow and rhythmic'" really mean.

YouTube easily answers that.  Whoever invented YouTube is a genius (blessed are those who broadcast themselves).  I googled effleurage and asked for only youtube results and presto - I found a live demonstration!  It turns out that there is pressure applied, and the massage is of four types. According to the massage therapist on the video, effleurage also means "stroking."  Now my idea of stroking is a gentle caress, letting your fingertips dance ever so lightly on the person's skin.  The video shows otherwise.  Watch it.

This video was posted by the Health Choices International Holistic School of New Jersey.  Watching those skillful hands move down and up the back almost makes you wish you're the one resting on that massage pad.

Some more spa terms:



digitopuncture acupressure
acupuncture acupuncture
rétroaction biologique biofeedback
cellulite cellulite
effleurage effleurage
inhalothérapie inhalation therapy
cataplasme poultice
thalassothérapie thalassotherapy

I'll tackle the petroleum industry in my new series.  Hope you come back!

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