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Word Watch

Funktionslust. Not a word you'd expect to see on a French-English translation site, but I love it, just as I love the idea of "right living." Both describe how I feel about being a freelance translator. They are my watchwords.

"La traduction : une activité de communication, de création et de rédaction à part entière." Ch. Jacot-Descombes, Banque Cantonale Vaudoise (seen on Anglocom's Twitter feed, anglais).

Boundary spanner. I've come across this term in the marketing journals I proofread. In that context, it refers to salespeople, who span the boundary between company and customer. As an expat and a translator, I of course give it a more international meaning, and the quote above adds a further dimension: translators span boundaries not only between languages and cultures, but also between trades and disciplines. We have to understand the language/culture we're translating from, be top-notch researchers, and write well. At last, a job for those of us with a non-linear professional path as well as a love of words.

Sans doute means maybe. Perhaps. Not even probably. As Asterix might (sans doute) say, ils sont fous ces français!