Monday, March 19, 2007

More Adventures in Chocolate

Today's adventure revolves around "Renew," chocolate with blackcurrant, from Newtree. This chocolate is made in Belgium, and on the package the copy appears in both French and English. But some rather entertaining stuff got lost in translation. So here we go:

The French version:

Gagnez en sagesse sans sacrifier l'éternelle jeunesse! Délectez-vous du noir chocolate RENEW et décelez en lui la douceur subtile du rouge cassis, lui aussi synonyme d'influences antioxydantes. Sitôt l'expérience achevée, vous brûlerez d'envie de la renouveler!

My rough translation:

Gain wisdom without sacrificing eternal youth! Savor RENEW black chocolate and discover the subtle sweetness of black currant, also synonymous with antioxidant influence. Once this experience has been achieved, you will will burn with desire to renew it!

The English text, as it appears on the package:

Out with the old, in with RENEW. Savor the sweet sophistication and antioxidant rejuvenation of blackcurrant and dark chocolate. RENEW, refresh, repeat.

Now I ask you: isn't there something missing? A certain élan vital? Why are we no longer burning with desire for this chocolate? Maybe no English-speaking person could take that seriously. But how boring.

Nice chocolate, though.


louis said...


I'm curious about how you would have translated the english text.

LDR said...

Hi Louis

Do you work for Newtree?

Unfortunately, I find translating from English to French to be much harder than translating from French to English. So the answer to your question is that I wouldn't even try.

But at the very least, there are entire sentences in the French version that don't exist in the English version. It's not merely a question of translation - somebody wrote some entirely new text for the French version.