So yesterday, when I was looking for a copy of the UK Amateur Radio Licensing Regulations I happened to notice a few errors in the translation of the introductory bit in the French version, underneath the Licensee’s details box.
In my capacity as a linguist, this got me thinking. While I am aware of the various translation theories and practices in use in the market today, it does not excuse the fact of erroneous, non-native and sometimes grammatically incorrect translation. The most striking example of this is the use of [sic] du CEPT (cf. page 2 of 23; 153kB, .pdf file). In order to understand this error, we need to know what CEPT actually stands for: in English, “The European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations” and in its (original) French form, “La Conférence européenne des administrations des postes et des télécommunications“.
This leads to a fundamental point of grammar that every student, translator, interpretor and native speaker of French would have learned in their first short while of learning the French Language. When de (which can mean “of” or “from“) is followed by the masculine definite article le, it changes to du e.g. du conseil meaning (excluding the partitive use of de) “of the council” or “from the council“. When de is followed by the feminine definite article, la, de joins with la to form de la… e.g. de la conférence: “of the conference” or “from the conference“. So, as we have above, [sic] du CEPT, given the fact that the C stands for Conference, it must take the female and correct equivalent of de la CEPT.
Apart from this point, there are a few other questionable translations which I leave here for you to judge.