Le Français Lost in Translation

I am going on a river cruise on the Seine, owned by a French line, and I want to share some amusing translations (in italics below) in the English version brochure I received. I say amusing, not incorrect as I find the discrepancies charming and hope they are never “corrected” (even though in a few cases I’m not sure at all what is meant!).

La Seine: ytravelblog

La Seine: ytravelblog

Boarding in Paris at Quai de Grenelle according to the disponibility 🙂 of the Quai.

Quai Grenelle by Pascal Poggi

Quai Grenelle by Pascal Poggi

Provide walking shoes. (Oh does this mean I don’t need to bring my own?… or must I provide for others?  😉shoes the savvybackpacker

Hostess: this person is present throughout. She will organize pre-meal games, the evenings and the aerobics (hmm?!).


I will certainly defend that space.

The sundeck is a place where a distinction is made between smoking spaces.

Bath towels are provided in the boat but there are no face flannels…. (Rats I was so looking forward to flannels for the face. 😉 OK I’m being too American; the British know what face flannels are, in fact they invented them.)

Certain places are not open to your safety. During maneuvers it is not possible to visit the bridge.

You can connect yourself with your equipment to the Internet. (Sorry no photo, but just picture that  connection in your mind’s eye 😉

We will present the various excursions which punctuate the journey at our ports. A museum that offers a show trail through the time of the picnics on the grass, cafés and idling away time on the beaches.

Rouen: Joan of Arc was burnt here…We will dine with Claude Monet in Giverney (really? I can’t wait!  😉… Monet was a passionate of gardening…This leads to Jumieges, a pearl of its kind.

Giverny on travelspot

Giverny on travelspot

Tour of Château Auvers only or if the number of passengers for the tour reaches not 35 people requested… Château Martainsville, after a drive for 40 min. to the traditions and Normandie Art Museum.

Alcohol may damage your health. Please drink in moderation.

Unlimited free wine : photo by dreamstime

Unlimited free wine: photo by dreamstime

All beverages are free of charge.


Quelle amusant… it will be even more amusing when I speak French to my hapless dinner companions – they can get even for me being a smart aleck here  😉

Wish me bon voyage et bon chance!  I’ll try to post pictures when I am there next week.


8 thoughts on “Le Français Lost in Translation

  1. A very happy chuckle. I am keeping this one. We were offered ‘boiled drainpipes’ on our honeymoon in the Pyrenees. We queried this and it turned out to be cannelloni, but the restauranteur refused to accept our suggested change as her son, who spoke good English, had translated it.


    • You’re the tenth friend who has told me they have just been to France, or are on their way! It is a popular place. I am sharing an apartment with a friend for a week and a woman in our “French conversation dejeuners” is going to rendezvous with us in Paris.


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