Tuesday, February 23, 2010

French to English: Store Flyers, Part 3

"Advertising helps raise the standard of living by raising the standard of longing."

I saw that quote from a jokes web site and wondered howdesire I would translate that into French.  How about this:  La publicité aide à améliorer la qualité de vie en faisant monter le niveau de désir.  I'm not sure if that works well, so if anyone reading this can think of a better translation, please...I look forward to your comments!

For this last series on store ads, I picked up eight more expressions - this time from Bureau en Gros (parent company is Staples) and Centre Hi-FiBureau en Gros is the name used in French Canada while in the other provinces it is called Staples.  Selling office and school supplies, they have a wide inventory of computers, printers and office and home furniture.  They also have a copy centre which I like, especially when it's tax time and I need multiple copies of receipts and tax documents.

Centre Hi-Fi, as you might have guessed, sells electronic appliances - TVs, home sound systems and stereos.  I have never bought anything from them but they seem to do brisk business.  Now that prices have come down for luxury items like large-screen and high definition TVs, the store regularly releases flyers announcing sales and specials.

Here are the eight catch phrases which I "harvested" from Staples and Centre Hi-Fi:

store flyers part 3

Catch phrase # 3:  rapide, parfait...  I think there was no need to include the word "made".  Quick, perfect and on time - all the time would suffice, because it was clear in the flyer that this refers to the store's print and photocopy centre.

Catch phrase 6:  visez, enregistrez et téléversez...I learned something new.  The French "téléverser" means to upload, according to the Grande dictionnaire of the Office de la langue française - OLF.  I was familiar with "télécharger" which means to download, but had never heard of "téléverser." 

The OLF explains it further.  To upload, you can also use télécharger but you'll need to add, vers l'amont.  Hence, you have two possible translations for upload:  téléverser or télécharger vers l'amont

To download in French is simply télécharger or télécharger vers le serveur (your server or computer).

Catch phrase # 7:  l'audio cinéma maison à son meilleur should have been translated as home audio cinema at its best.  The flyer's translation puzzles me.

Let's look at what Staples and Centre Hi Fi are selling these days:

déchiqueteuse à coupe en fragments 6 feuilles6-sheet cross-cut shredder
fauteil de direction en cuirleather manager's chair
papier photo glacé évoluéadvanced gloss photo paper
tablette autocollante pour chevaletself-stick tabletop easel pad
logiciel d'impôttax software
souris sans filwireless mouse
haut-parleur portatif pour iPodportable speaker for iPod
caméscope ultra-compactultra-compact camcorder
caméra numériquedigital camera
support mural fixed wall mount
écouteurs sans filwireless headphone

And now a bonus for you.  I found this on YouTube.  It was published by http://www.imagiers.net/, and it's on advertising!  It gives those words frequently used by "Mad Men."  Have a listen!


  1. Thanks for your post! I was wondering tho, I thought we said "déchiqueteuse." Is that wrong?

  2. My goodness Nick!
    I'm so glad you caught that! I checked the flyer again and it did say "déchiqueteur" but you're correct. "Déchiqueteuse" is the right word - my Harraps dictionary confirms it! I'll make that correction pronto (and probably tell Staples that they ought to correct that one as well!)
    Thanks for your comment, much appreciated!