Monday, November 24, 2008

(Totally) Lost in Translation

I thought I'd share with you some highlights of the rather charming French translation of our house details on the website of a supposedly bilingual estate agency. Read it and weep.........

"Pretty ensemble of properties of the stone well hidden near the end of a step through a road with little or no passage traffic"

So, now you know exactly where it is. On to the house...

"The house has three levels with a large attached barn, a charming gite (so far so good) and another stone building ideal for a artist of studio"

(uh, oh!)

"The business possesses equally two swimming pools and of about 1 hectare of gardens enclosed with two other distinct parcels of land close by ideal for holding up a horse or two"

Holding up a horse or two? Hmm, well I suppose you could prop up quite a few if you felt like it.

"Spacious and light 'L' in form of living room with good height under ceiling (insulated) and all is a grand room is very cosy and welcoming thanks to it's focal point which is the former fireplace with woodburner (written in English). The floor is former pine."

Former pine? Which makes it what now exactly? Chipboard, MDF...

"Dining room - I can vouch that this room has a lovely probably the feeling of being the heart of the house. A fabulous work fireplace is the focal point in cast iron with behind plaque, the renovation of the original tiles (word for roof tiles used) terracotta fired and two lots of french doors supplying lots of light at the same time at the front and at the behind which give access to a magnificent terrace for the lots of al fresco or to eat barely to sit and enjoy the view of big reach."

I'm all for lots of al fresco but what' this barely eating business?

"Access starting from this room to the former old original door. The stages e (don't know what the e is for) to the cellar and wine store with lots of space for stocking."

Hmm, it's that old 'former' business again. It's a minefield this French language! And lots of space for stocking. The CH will be pleased!!

"Kitchen with tiling and a half the walls of roof tiles, walls and floors cupboard (in English again) united and the windows in two parts providing again lots of natural light."

Tiling and a half? As in "Wow, that's tiling and a half!!" and the roof tiles on the walls, what a charming Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen type idea. But hey, it's great to know that it has walls, not to mention united cupboards.

"This bedroom has a gudgeon (the fish!) partition wall of the dining room and if desired could be open to provide a huge dining room kitchen."

Now, I've looked and looked and there are no fish in the stud wall between the kitchen and the dining room. I mean, I'd know wouldn't I? Wouldn't I?

"The bedroom of the master (don't tell the CH that. It'll go right to his head!) with wooden ceiling and in french doors giving access to the bathsroom which is very private and has lots of natural light thanks to it's windows to have three sides. "

"First floor with two double bedrooms of which two Velux windows and exposed beams and parquet floor."

Hooray! I almost understand what they mean!!

"Bathsroom with the quality of Villeroy & Boch, here including the bath accessories and more of shower sink and WC Velux lovely window and painted wood floor".

A WC Velux? Does it swivel or what?

"Guest chalet (Chalet? Chalet? My lovely 200 year old guest cottage?!) with the lovely by the slantwise of the lounge/dining room and kitchen with bread oven function of agreeable fireplace and two bedrooms a shower room and WC French window drive to a private garden with lifted up terrace."

First WC Velux, now WC French Window. This house is truly inspirational!

"Of gas the central heating is installed. This business is private together far from the main house and has it's own garden and swimming pool chlorine."

'Of gas the central heating is installed' - slight Wordsworthian overtones don't you think?

"The property has a good file in course of rental of which the owners would be happy to discuss with you (if we knew what you were talking about of course) .If you don't wish to rent the chalet he would be ideal for the individual property, either the parents or old people is all on a general level or for an enlarged living family"

Well, thank god they are living. The idea of my cottage stuffed full of cadavers is mildly worrying.

"Joined at the present is of property of another immense building at the front FACIA (hmm, no idea here!) of windows offering an airy bedroom and to have exposed beams and stone walls. This property could be stretched into the guests house or by default an autonomous gite in itself or a handsome artist's studio."

OK, I'll hold one end, you lot hold the other. All together now. PPPUUUUUULLLLLLLL!

"A lovely characteristic of the property is the gardens well stocked which offer a lovely selection of roses, lavatera, campsis, silk tree and Indian runner beans tree, the walnut, the ornamental cherry, the apple, the almond and the plum tree."

I love the Indian Runner Beans Tree. Is it perhaps a tree that grows ducks and beans together. It's practically a ready meal!

"The gardens surround the house totally and the gite offers a totally private space for the gite if you wished to take paying hosts this will not be an obstacle to your enjoyment of the the principal house or the reasons."

They used the word 'motif' meaning reasons/grounds as in grounds for divorce to mean grounds as in the garden. Heehee. It's a minefield!

"There are lots of secret idle zones far from the long hot days of summer. Long raised of bridge zone the houses of the second swimming pool which even has swimming"

A swimming pool with ..... swimming. Who'd have thought?!

So, any buyers then.......?


dND said...

Looks like they've used either an on-line translations site or thrown in all the words they found in the dictionary when looking up words.

It would be nice if they had given it to you to check over before putting it up because it's not doing the place justice - not that my writing of French would be any better though.

Jenny said...

Mel - how awful! at least I had an expert to check my french translation!
have you had a little word with them?
Jenny -

Lane said...

I shouldn't laugh. Hard not to though - especially the thought of the Indian Runner Tree. A house with a Duck Tree has got to be irresistible surely?:-)

(Very) Lost in France said...

dND - yes, you'd think they would, wouldn't you. A few mistakes I could live with but a whole page of indecipherable twaddle was too much.VLiF

Jenny - oooh, you are too kind (I was that 'expert', reader!) A little word was indeed said in their shell-like VLiF

(Very) Lost in France said...

Oops Lane, I missed your comment. Such a tree would certainly be a step closer to self-sufficience! VLiF

Shakespeare's Housekeeper said...

VliF- I know this shouldn't be that funny.....but it really , realy is.
I have just had to read this post to the famille who were wondering why i'm sat at my laptop with tears of laughter running down my face.
You really write the most cracking blog!

SH xxx

MsCatCalls said...

Oh this is marvellous .... I too read with tears streaming down the face , I particularly loved the lifted up patio or whatever it was ... truly brilliant post . Who wants perfect French or perfect English or whatever it should have been ..... this was far more entertaining . Please don't stop ...!

Marie said...

It's the very first time I read your blog and it was so hilarious !
Any English-spoken potential buyer will at least want to see this marvelous house, out of curiosity.
I hope you gave the Real Estate agency your description to replace this one.
Some Real Estate Agencies try to make a palace a small house but this's better, you really want to see the house.
I'd come back, I had such a entertaining reading !
PS The chamber of the master...!!!

(Very) Lost in France said...

SH - you're too kind. Glad I could bring a smile to someone's face in these days of credit crunching and wintry weather! VLiF

MsC - Thank you too. What nice comments. Keeps me smiling! To be honest Franglais or Frenglish (or are they both the same? Aww, you know what I mean) is always so much more entertaining than the grammatically correct stuff! VLiF

(Very) Lost in France said...

Hi Marie and welcome to my blog. I shall pop across and visit yours soon. Maybe I should have left it as it was and watched the hordes arrive to see the fish wall and lifted up terrace. Sounds like the aftermath of a tsunami to me! Hope you'll keep popping back. VLiF