I was thinking about this word, and the related word grave, this morning. Like contract, it’s a curiously multi-purpose word.
Obviously there’s been a lot of reports of sexual harassment lately, largely because of the initial reports about Harvey Weinstein.
I don’t really have anything to add to everything that’s already been said and written. I am curious about that name Weinstein though.
Have you ever wondered why some words like write and wrong begin with a silent W?
Of course you haven’t, but luckily for you, I have.
I saw IT last week, only it was actually Ça, considering I saw it in a cinema in Liège. English-language films are generally dubbed here, but as it was a somewhat arty cinema, they were proud to offer the VO (version originale) with French and Dutch subtitles. Having two sets of subtitles taking up space on the screen is quite distracting, but it’s an interesting opportunity to compare English, French, and Dutch at the same time.
Watching a film with subtitles in a language you know is always a little odd, as they never translate things exactly, largely because such a thing is basically impossible. Even so, there are always one or two choices the subtitler makes which boggle the mind. I don’t recall anything like that in this case, but there was one necessary difference in translation that intrigued me.
Would you surprised that learner is a very-commonly used English word in other languages? Well, not exactly the word learner itself, but the L-plate used on cars to indicate that the driver is a learner. I’d been driving in Belgium for a while, and had noticed that their L-plates are a blue background with a white L, as opposed to the Irish white with a red L. But I never stopped to consider that the L stood for Learner (the French translation would be apprenant or apprenti). Never, that is, until I saw a French learner driver…