Bilingual romance in Paris, “whatever” in Mexico, and the fog of Pentagon acronyms in Afghanistan

marsotIn this podcast I talk with novelist Vanina Marsot whose new book “Foreign Tongue” is about French, English, being bilingual, and most of all, translation. Marsot’s protagonist moves from Los Angeles to Paris, becomes a translator, at which point she starts living and breathing idioms. The novel includes more false cognates than you can hurl a dictionary at, a racy story within a story, and lots of French attitude.

After that  we take a quick detour to eat sideways in Mexico.  The Spanish expression we learn about is particular to Mexico.

Finally it’s to Afghanistan, where Pentagon acronyms are the lingua franca, which seemed to drive our correspondent there to distraction. Then he found out that it drives the GIs crazy too.  Some have been known to dream up their own acronyms, and even include them in official reports.

Listen in iTunes or here.

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One response to “Bilingual romance in Paris, “whatever” in Mexico, and the fog of Pentagon acronyms in Afghanistan

  1. Razia

    Razia Mohamad
    CST 229-02
    jUNE 29,2009
    Bilingual romance in Paris
    Interviewing the novelist Vanina Marsot whose new book” Foreign Tongue” is about Frence, English, being bilingual, and most of all, translation. I personally really like the anwers that Vanina Marsot has to all the questions about knowing the secong language. It is all about the translation. Being by linqual and been brought up with both languages that we know, it is not about when do we get the job , but is is actually about going to the country and having experienced the language. Knowing the differences in both languages, and realizing that how one thing is translated in one language and translated differently in another language, and dafenatly the way people talk to each other. It is very obvious that translating something from one language to anohter language in the same way doesn’t always mean the same. The rules of each language is different which does not let us to translate another language in the same way.

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