Bad French translation

Wow, I can't believe that a commercial language site is teaching people an archaic translation. Bill Moller has recommended learning a French word a day through a French word Facebook app, and they said that the word "l'hôtesse de l'air" means "air hostess". Seriously, who uses such a word in English? Certainly not in the US, and I don't think Brits use that word either.

They should have considered what that word means in English, rather than literally translating it. When I was growing up, "l'hôtesse de l'air" was a "stewardess". Now they're called "flight attendants". Air hostess: what era is that word from, if it was ever really in much use at all?


vp said...

"Air hostess" doesn't sound archaic or weird to me. Since you claim it's unknown in the US, I guess it must be a vestige of my British childhood.

Google reveals a fair number of hits, including a song, a movie, and some recent news items.

Margaret Larkin said...

Thanks for your comment. I saw mentions on Google too, but it wasn't until I asked some Brits that I found out that they still say "air hostess", whereas Americans haven't said that in years, if at all. Maybe it was common when passenger planes were first established.