Can it be true? Did the Bank of Canada get the
poem translated incorrectly?
On the back of the Journey Series $100 note there is a
poem in English, which starts with "Do we ever remember that..."
but then it's translated in French "Nous souvient-il parfois..." . Should
it not be "Nous souvenons-nous parfois..."? Is it an error? I work
at the bank and I had a few people complain about it today.
I contacted the lady who did the translation and this is
|Not to worry, the complaints about
the French Translation of Myriam Waddington's verse is open to
"artistic license". "Nous souvenons-nous ? " is indeed the standard
translation, but in this case, since I was translating poetry, I
decided to use a literary turn of phrase, the impersonnal construction
: "Il me souvient de...". It is used, for instance, by Alphonse de
Lamartine in one of his most famous poems, "Le Lac" :
"Un soir, t'en souvient-il? nous
voguions en silence: On n'entendait au loin, sur l'onde et sous les
cieux, Que le bruit des rameurs qui frappaient en cadence Tes flots
I congratulate your correspondents
for caring about the quality of French everywhere and I hope this will
put their mind at rest. I also hope that some of them will read Myriam
Translator of Myriam Waddington (En guise d'amants, Éditions du Noroît,