Great debate over at Languagehat on how best to translate tu and vous:

In Orlanda, by Belgian author Jacqueline Harpman, one of the characters suddenly switches from the formal “vous” to the informal “tu.” This is a crucial moment in the narrative. The speaker is a prissy, bourgeois woman of thirty-five. She is addressing a young man with whom she entertains a somewhat ambiguous relationship. For the Francophone reader, this unwitting switch from “vous” to “tu” signals an important shift in the woman’s feelings. The problem for the translator is how to convey this to the English-speaking reader ...

Readers Comments

  1. Thanks for this, Mark. Really enjoyed the debate and have pinched the link for a blog on our page.

    E x

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