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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.

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I contacted the lady who did the translation and this is her response:

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 harmonieux."

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 Waddington's poems.

Sincerely yours, Christine Klein-Lataud Translator of Myriam Waddington (En guise d'amants, Éditions du Noroît, 1994)




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