Monday, 19 January 2015

Train Tracking

Recently (actually almost 6 years ago, but it seems less) we wrote about sites where you can watch your loved ones winging across the world.

If your loved ones are slightly less ambitious (or green) and travel by train you need no longer miss out.

I dont know if I will be using this website often, but it is interesting. Amazing how many trains there are at any one time travelling at 300kmh.

Simon
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Electric Autumn: Metéo de France (the national Meterological Office or Weather Bureau) is reporting that last year France had the 4th highest number of lightning strikes in the country on record. Although the storm season started late, June and the autumn months were very stormy with above average lightning and thunder.
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Television: I've started watching Engrenages (known as Spiral in English). It's a gritty cop show set in Paris with a female lead and lots of great characters. I'm hooked. Of course, it's scheduled at way past my bedtime. I watch it in French with English subtitles. My French isn't good enough to really cope with it without subtitles, which is a shame as I find subtitles distracting -- reading, listening and watching the action all at the same time is impossible and my brain is constantly prioritising to keep up. Still, I am enjoying the show. If only I could pick up the word they keep using for 'brown-nosing'...
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Loire Valley Nature: A new entry has been added for the cicada Tibicina haematodes.

21 comments:

  1. "as I find subtitles distracting"....
    surtitles are far better...
    the human eye can read them AND look at the action at the same time...
    a lot of theatres seem to use surtitles...
    presumably because it is easier to set up....
    and be seen by the "lower" ranks.

    But films and TV have always gone for sub.
    In this day and age, with the technology available....
    surely you should be able to choose!!?

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  2. Tim: interesting point, which I hadn't thought of.

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  3. I am a big fan and have the first spiral on dvd if you ant to borrow it Simon... Col

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  4. Lêche-bottes? Lèche-cul? for brown-nosing... I don't know the show so I haven't heard it. We can choose dubbed-into-French or original versions (in English with subtitles in French) when we watch English-language films on CanalSat (includes CanalPlus). I wonder what channel you are watching the series on.

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  5. Colin: I think Simon has been able to download it. It comes in various combinations of sound track and subtitles.

    Ken: I'll listen next episode and see if that's what they are saying. Of course, it will be an episode where nobody does though and then I'll forget. I'm watching it on BBC4.

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  6. Also an enthusiastic watcher. I've been trying to catch the French expression that is rendered as 'Muppet' – so far without success. I cannot think that 'Muppet' adequately captures the mix of scorn and loathing felt towards the young scooter riding criminals.

    Have also been trying to work out a better title than 'Spiral' for the French 'Engrenages'.

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    1. My memory is that they actually said 'muppet' in that scene where they mimic the way the scooter riders talk. But that's one of the problems with subtitles -- they mess with your memory of the audio. 'Bouffon' is a fairly exact equivalent of muppet. I'll have to listen out for it.

      And I know what you mean about Spiral. So far anything I can come up with is just an explanation of the possible nuances of Engrenages -- you can do it in English, but it isn't snappy.

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    2. Listening to the news on Télématin this morning, I saw a report on a session of the British parliament where the Conservative MPs were insulting the Labour MPs and vice-versa. At one point, one MP called two others "muppets". The French translation was "guignols" [ghee-NYOL]. Could that be the word used in Engrenages?

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    3. Maybe. The Télématin translation seems a bit literal, but I didn't see the segment so I don't know what the nuance was. Muppet as an insult in English means something like idiot or incompetant fool, but the MP could easily have been insinuating a more literal meaning of puppet, with its connotations of manipulation. The two meanings together would add venom to the insult. As far as Engrenages goes, it could have been the word they used, but without seeing it again I just have no idea. Likewise the translator could have been playing on the double meaning if they translated guignol as muppet. Normally though muppet is a casual insult, I doubt it would occur to many people in real speech to make it more complicated.

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    4. In U.S. English we don't use muppet that way. We'd say fool, idiot, or clown. Have you evet seen Les Guignols on Canal Plus?

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    5. Clown and muppet would be fairly interchangeable in British English as an insult. I've never watched the programme Les Guignols but I've seen extracts. It's the French version of Spitting Image and it did occur to me that the political context might have been the reason muppet was translated into guignol on Télématin.

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  7. I bookmarked this site, as I already know a similar one for flights. I had no idea the SNCF site was so modern!

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    1. The SNCF site seems to always be updated with something new.

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  8. I'm another fan of .Spiral...some of the translations make me laugh but then I get mixed up between dialogue and sub titles and can't remember what it was that struck me as funny.

    Surtitles work so well in the theatre or opera...it would hardly be a challenge to use them for T.V. too.

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    1. A similar thing happens to me with the subtitles. I must say I think the translation is excellent -- it always reads as real English and from what I'm catching of the French gives the right flavour. Often not literal and quite right too -- how on earth would one translate pute literally and retain the proper sense!?

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  9. The options might range from 'tart' to 'stone me!'...the wonderful flexibility of fitting language to context...

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  10. The use of "muppet" as an insult makes me think that the program was dubbed for an English audience, because nobody in the US would get that. We saw season 1 of Engrenages, but if "muppet" came up it was just one more little thing to baffle me. I'm easily baffled.

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    1. Engrenages is not dubbed for British audiences, it has subtitles, and yes, the translation we get is for a British audience. I'm guessing the version shown in Australia is the British version too, but I don't know about a US version.

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  11. I've been a fan of Engrenages since the first series;it's done wonders for my vocabulary of criminal slang. In those days, the titles featured complicated clockwork cogs, which is another meaning of "engrenages", and I always thought a better English title might be a phrase my mother would use whenever a plot (usually of a detective story) got more and more complicated and took unexpected turns - "Wheels within wheels".

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    1. Wheels within wheels is good but still doesn't quite give the air of desperate escalation that I think the French title does. We are only new fans of the show because we have only had TV for a couple of months. Prior to that I'd never heard of it. Sadly no one got called a muppet or did any brown-nosing last night so I am no further forward with those translations...

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