I spent almost 2 hours on this translation and I only managed 2 and half paragraphs, which if I was taking my final exam would’ve been unacceptable - an English to French translation would’ve made up 40% of the marks on a paper and usually require you to translate 5 paragraphs from a fairly heavy tome

But I suppose that rather proves my point. The sad truth is is that translating a foreign language into English is comparatively easy, equivalent to taking an A-Level in the subject, whereas university level demands an altogether different set of skills. Hell with machine translation, foreign language to native language translations can be done with little knowledge of the foreign language in the first place. You already know your mother tongue so mistakes made by machine translations can be rectified very quickly (case in point), whereas in native to foreign language translations, unless you have a native speaker on hand, you’d have little idea whether your translation sounds natural.

There are limitations with machine translations of course - good luck translating ‘les potes de mes gosses font n'importe quoi a la boîte" on the first pass. Likewise, it is intensely difficult to do native - foreign language translations on your first go too.

Anyway… I would describe this translation of one of w0rdinista’s drabbles as 'clumsy’, but I think it can be understood. I’m sure herocomplex or eponymous_rose could run rings around me though - learning a language is no substitute for living a language, but I’d like to think I did a decent stab at this, even if it’s less then a quarter of the entire thing. There will be some ommissions and changes in wording and sentence structure, mostly because this is already difficult enough as it is without trying to write like a French person would, but also because English in writing is a lot more casual then French, reflecting the nature of the language itself. I had to put down the translation where it stops because there was just no way in hell I would’ve been able to translate it whilst maintaining the voice

Corrections and alternate translations are welcome, if you can speak French. In’t learning sans critique, ya dig?

Petrichor - l’odeur de la pluie sur la terre

«Je manque les temps» annonca Shepard, a propos de… enfin… presque rien. Ils regardaient un vid, un film d'action haut-budget 'basa’ sur l'histoire soi-disant vrai d'une groupe des commandos asari sur une planète hostile. En fait, selon toute probabilité, il fut presque-vrai et surtout rendit fictif et un million d'autres qualificatifs. Garrus ne put pas décider s'il fut meilleur ou pire que 'Flotte et Flotille" qui Shepard etait développé une fascination, et il promit - sous peine d'un «scope» démonté - que Tali ne saurait jamais.

Bien sûr il promit. Pour lui, la mort fut un «mod» démonté

Garrus donna un regard complice -  «C'est quoi?»

«Les temps» elle dit, indiquant la scène avec les commandos ramassent les matières pour un abri rudimentaire parce que… elles eurent de bon sens? Garrus pensa qu'il fus plus probable que le réalisateur voulut des asari en sous-étoffes imprégné. Elles jetèrent leurs blindages sans raison après leur accident, et est-ce que personne recherchera quelque chose pendant le tournage? Shepard interrompit son borborygmes mécontentement - «Le pluie, le vent, la neige. Les saisons. Dieu je manque les saisons»

«Tu sais que je manque? Le précision en tournage.» Shepard grogna son accord. Que dalle, il regretta qu'il manqua sa escarmouche avec le vedettariat.

And this is the part where I just stared at the next couple of sentences and decided 'nope, nope, nope.’ So here. The product of 2 hours work. Had I decided to work with the passé composé, I would’ve been able to do a bit more, because unlike the passé simple, I don’t have to keep referring to a dictionary in order to conjugate the mother-trucker. As it is however, because it technically counts as literature, it is good practice to use the passé simple.

Anyway, that’s it. I have to go do some mentally unchallenging work now in the parent’s restaurant. Joy of joys.