December 4th, 2008

As you may or may not know, depending on how much you care about Macbook reviews and portable photo printers, I do French-to-English translations of tech articles for Tom’s Guide. I’ve also been in talks for the last few months about branching out and start translating video game articles for a different site, one which can’t be mentioned, but which has since gone defunct.

As part of those talks, I’ve already done a few sample translations, one a list of the 20 coolest video game weapons of all time, and the other a review of Brother in Arms: Hell’s Highway. Considering I’m used to reading French poetry and translating gadget specs, this made for an interesting task. I found myself encountering all kinds of vocabulary — specifically violent, military vocabulary — I’d never even heard of before. After I’d finished, I somehow felt like my language skills had taken a shot of testosterone, then decided to fool around with the family rifle.

Now that those translations won’t get used though, I’ve found I’ve learned violent, game-related terms for nothing. Well, not exactly nothing, since I thought I’d share them here with you, just to show you the sheer extent of their ridiculousness.

lance-roquettes = rocket launcher
déchiquetés = to tear to shreds
tronçonneuse = chainsaw
mitraillette = submachine gun
arbalète = crossbow
trimballer = to drag around
terrasser = to lay low

Of course, there are many, many more. My delicate, bilingual sensibilities just can’t bear the trauma of recalling them. Now back to French art, where the number of explosions and submachine guns is limited.

Tags: language, violence

5 Responses to “I learned violent French video game terms for nothing”

  1. soulofaqua Says:

    lance roquettes…. lance-croquettes xD

  2. O.G.N Says:

    So, don’t the french have any martial poetry then? Like

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
    Volley’d and thunder’d;
    Storm’d at with shot and shell,
    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of Hell
    Rode the six hundred.

  3. That Fuzzy Bastard Says:

    Well, if we’re talking about violent video game terminology, wouldn’t déchiquetés be better translated as “to frag”, or perhaps, Doom-style “to gib”?

  4. Tyler Says:

    What would be the french for “to teabag”

  5. Modran Says:

    Well, I’m french…
    And “terrasser”, for me, means “beating someone” (or fortify something with dirt), while laying low means “disappearing from the scene for some time (to regroup)”. Are there other definitions of lay low?

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