1.25.2011

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?

2 comments:

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.

mj 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.