I confess: I completely forgot that I have a book launch this month – in France! Today, “On Est Tous Faits de Molecules” hit shelves in France and Belgium.
A good translator is like a gift from the gods. Valerie is such a gift. (I’m sure I have other such gifts too, but I’ve only had the pleasure of meeting Valerie, and hearing from French readers and reviewers and bloggers). She has her work cut out for her. There’s a lot of humor in my books that is really hard to translate. In “Molecules,” I made her life even harder by giving Ashley, one of my two narrators, a lot of malapropisms.
Case in point: One such “misspeak” is when Ashley says someone has a “certain joie de beaver, which is French for just loving life.” Valerie took this on – including getting the slightly icky sexual undertones – and came up with this (I’m going to directly quote her here):
“The expression I used was “jouir de vivre” (since Ashley wants to say “joie de vivre” but gets it wrong). Jouir initially meant “to enjoy” (same etymology) but we seldom use it that way, because nowadays it mostly means “to come, to have an orgasm” (well yes, makes sense, we do enjoy our orgasms ;0). Beaver but “beaver” is “castor” in French, therefore it couldn’t work phonetically, and besides, we don’t have any double entendre with those amicable animals.”
I mean, phew!!! She is amazing! And might I also point out that only in France could you get away with a double entendre about an orgasm in a YA novel. Vive la France!
Anyway I’m super-psyched to know the book is on the shelves over there, and my publisher sent a couple of reviews. My French isn’t good enough to understand it all but I know they’re positive. Attaching one here from Bob et Jean-Michel. Merci!