Sunday, September 20, 2009

French to English: School and Office Supplies, Part 3


office supp, part 3

It's a constant hustle and bustle - the mailroom, that is. 

When I was still working at corporate, I'd visit the mailroom at least once a week to fetch supplies.  Given the amount of confidential mail that came and went, employees were not allowed beyond the service desk.  It's one area of the building that doesn't seem to lack in frenetic activity, not even during the lunch hour.  I'd see stacks of stationery, brown and white boxes, wrapping paper and reams and reams of paper, all holus bolus.

This last instalment on office supplies contains a lexicon of 15 mailing/packaging terms.  While compiling these terms, I learned a couple of things about packaging ribbons and tapes:

  • for packages that take a lot of rough handling and with contents needing extra security, you need a packaging tape that has high tensile strength and is resistant to breaking.  It should have superior holding power for large cardboard boxes.  Specify this when you make a trip to your local supplies store;
  • for packages that need to be stored in places with fluctuating temperatures but require tapes with  moderate holding, you need an acrylic-based tape.  Acrylic packaging tapes have long shelf-life, don't turn yellow and offer excellent clarity.  Acrylic packaging tape is ideal for light-duty mailing.

I've come across brands like Scotch, Henkel, Kraft and Staples.  In my local office supplies store which is a Staples (Bureau en Gros in Quebec), the more popular brands are Scotch and...Staples (of course).  You have a variety of tapes which are reinforced with glass filaments, offer superb sealing capability against moisture, rust and dust, and are available as standard, double-length or extra wide rolls.  There are tapes that are ideal for very low temperatures, have strong adhesives for extra holding power, and those that don't split or tear.

My Web research led me to a company called IPS (Industrial Packaging Supplies) and I was impressed with the gamut of adhesive products that are now available to consumers.  For example, IPS offers epoxy adhesives, acrylic adhesives, urethane structural adhesives, anaerobic adhesives, hot melt adhesive systems, Polyurethane Reactive (PUR) systems, fast-setting water-based contact adhesives, aerosol adhesives and more. 

Seems to me that the industrial packaging arena has evolved to the extent that it has become necessary for continuing R&D and innovation in adhesives.

Here are your 15 packaging and mailroom terms:



ruban d'emballage en caoutchouc synthétique thermofusible

hot melt synthetic rubber packaging tape
ruban d'emballage en acrylique acrylic packaging tape
ruban d'emballage pour usage ordinaire general purpose sealing tape
boîtes en carton ondulé corrugated boxes
tubes d'expédition et d'entreposage maling/storage tubes
envellopes à bulles auto-adhésives self-sealing bubble envelopes
enveloppes rembourrées padded mailers
sacs refermables en poly resealable poly bags
film étirable avec poignées stretch/pallet wrap with handles
billes de calage packing noodles
feuilles de mousse foam sheets
emballage postal postal wrap
étiquettes d'expédition shipping labels
étiquettes d'envoi en manille manila shipping tags
papier de soie et papier journal tissue paper and newsprint
balance postale électronique numérique digital electronic postal scale

I'll start a new theme in my next blog and I'm not sure which one I'll be doing.  I guess you'll have to come back and find out!

For all your FR-ENG translation needs, e-mail me at  Competitive rates, top-shelf translations - any domain.  You name it!

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