Son of French ETP: Translation Wars!

Son of French ETP: Translation Wars!

A few days ago I posted the first non-English version of the Emergent Task Planner, and I’ve gotten several comments from French speakers about it. I’ve compiled the alternative translations into a list; it’s pretty interesting to see all variations! As I don’t speak French, I thought I would post them before making the final changes, if there are any final comments that people would like to see.

In general, I am going to pick the shortest phrase that is correct, because I want the layout to remain the same. If French speakers can help me flag which are obviously wrong, regional, or not following the intent of the original English, I’ll be most grateful.

Here’s all the phrases and the translations provided by the six people who have contributed…thank you!

Start

  1. heure de début
  2. début

mid break

  1. midi
  2. pause
  3. pause midi

late break

  1. tard la journée
  2. pause
  3. fin de journée
  4. pause soirée

review

  1. révision
  2. reviser
  3. revue

ORGANIZE YOUR DAY AS IT HAPPENS! QUICK START: List 3 things to do, estimate time in 15min blocks. Fill bubbles to track time. Use Day Grid (left side) for scheduling. Keep notes as necessary.

  1. Croissiez trois choses à faire. Faites une liste et estimez le temps, utilisez la grille au gauche pour faire votre horaire. Gardez les notes si nécessaire (au bas).
  2. Choisissez trois choses à faire. Faites une liste et estimez le temps, utilisez la grille au gauche pour faire votre horaire. Gardez les notes si nécessaire (au bas).
  3. Choisissez trois choses à faire. Faites une liste et estimez le temps, utilisez la grille au gauche pour faire votre planning. Gardez les notes si nécessaire (au bas).
  4. Choisissez trois choses à faire. Faites une liste et estimez le temps nécessaire, utilisez la grille à gauche pour établir votre horaire. Conservez les notes au besoin (au bas).
  5. Organisez vos journées au fil des évènements! Lister 3 choses à faire et estimez le temps en tranche de 15min. Remplir les bulles pour suivre le temps passé. Utiliser la grille de gauche pour gérer votre emploi du temps. Prenez des notes si nécessaire.
  6. Organisez votre journee au fil de l’eau ! INSTRUCTIONS : Notez 3 Choses à faire, estimez le temps par blocs de 15min. Remplissez les bulles au fil du temps écolé. Utilisez la grille journalière (à gauche) comme planning.

THE EMERGENT TASK PLANNER

  1. AGENDA DES TÂCHES NAISSANTES
  2. AGENDA DES TÂCHES ACTUELLES
  3. AGENDA DES TÂCHES EN COURS
  4. AGENDA DES TÂCHES ÉMERGENTES
  5. PLANNIFICATEUR DE TÂCHES EMERGENTES
  6. ORGANISATION DES NOUVELLES TÂCHES QUOTIDIENNES

Instructions available in English at davidseah.com/pceo/etp

  1. Les directives disponible en anglais à davidseah.com/pceo/etp
  2. Les instructions sont disponibles sur davidseah.com/pceo/etp
  3. Directives en anglais disponibles à davidseah.com/pceo/etp
  4. instructions en Anglais sont disponibles sur davidseah.com/pceo/etp
  5. instructions : davidseah.com/pceo/etp

THREE MAJOR TASKS FOR TODAY

  1. VOS TROIS TÂCHES MAJEURS POUR LA JOURNÉE
  2. TROIS TÂCHES MAJEURES POUR AUJOURD’HUI

Realistic expectations equals consistent daily productivity!

  1. Les attentes réalistes donnent de la productivité constant
  2. Des attentes réalistes donnent une productivité constant
  3. Des attentes réalistes mènent à une productivité constante!
  4. Des attentes réalistes permettent une productivité journalière constante!
  5. Avoir des attentes realists permet une productivité constante!

Tackling more than three major tasks? Clear your mind and go for it!

  1. Plus de trois tâches majeurs? Prenez un souffle et allez-y.
  2. Plus de trois tâches majeurs? Respirez un souffle et allez-y.
  3. Plus de trois tâches majeures? Prenez une bonne respiration et allez-y.
  4. Plus de trois tâches majeures? Vider votre esprit et allez-y!
  5. Plus de 3 tâches importantes ? Notez les, n’y pensez plus et FONCEZ !

More than six major tasks? Reserve some energy for tomorrow.

  1. Plus de six tâches majeurs? Conservez de l’énergie pour demain.
  2. Plus de six tâches majeures? Gardez-vous de l’énergie pour demain.
  3. Plus de six tâches majeures? Garder un peu d’énergie pour demain.
  4. Plus de 6 tâches à accomplir? Conservez de l’énergie pour demain.

Task description. Indent for subtasks.

  1. Description de la tâche. Indenter pour les sous-tâches.
  2. Décrire la tâche. Sous-tâches en alinéa.

Track 15min/bubble. Mark estimate with vertical line.

  1. Une bulle/15 minutes. Estimez avec une ligne verticale.
  2. 1 bulle/15 min. Marquez les estimations avec une ligne verticale.

Total time.

  1. Temps total.

WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON TODAY?

  1. QUOI D’AUTRE SE PASSE AUJOURD’HUI?
  2. QUOI D’AUTRE AUJOURD’HUI?
  3. QUE SE PASSE-T-IL D’AUTRE AUJOURD’HUI ?
  4. QUOI D’IMPRÉVU POUR AUJOURD’HUI ?

Life just happens. Use this area to keep notes on the unexpected. Use numbers to label day grid as needed.

  1. L’imprévu arrive. Gardez les notes et ajoutez les tâches si nécessaire.
  2. Utilisez cette zone pour prendre des notes sur l’inattendu.
  3. La vie continue. Prenez des notes sur les imprévus et ajoutez les tâches nécessaires.
  4. La vie est faite d’imprévu. Utilisez cet espace pour écrire vos notes. Utilisez si nécessaire les nombres pour identifier les tâches dans la grille emploi du temps.
  5. C’est la vie! Notez les imprévus, (utilisez les N° comme ils arrivent…)

9 Comments

  1. Paul 9 years ago

    Hi david, my remarks on all (native french speaker, btw, so hopefully correct ;)

    Start — début mid break — mi-journée (means half day … because it’s not necessarily at noon) late break — pause review — revue (the others zords have the sens of “to correct”)

    ORGANIZE YOUR DAY AS IT HAPPENS! — Organisez votre journée au fil de l’eau. En bref : Choisissez 3 activités, estimez le temps par blocs de 15 mn. Noircissez les bulles pour suivre le temps passé. Utilisez la grille journalière (à gauche) comme planning. Prenez des notes au besoin.

    THE EMERGENT TASK PLANNER — 4 is good.

    Instructions available in English at davidseah.com/pceo/etp — Instructions en anglais sur davidseah.com/pceo/etp

    THREE MAJOR TASKS FOR TODAY — 2 is good.

    Realistic expectations equals consistent daily productivity! — None translate « consistent » properly. I would say: une productivité pérenne provient d’attentes réalistes.

    Tackling more than three major tasks? Clear your mind and go for it! — 4+6, but there is a typo. I would use. Plus de trois tâches majeures? Videz vous la tête et foncez !

    More than six major tasks? Reserve some energy for tomorrow. — 3 with corrected typo : Plus de six tâches majeures? Gardez un peu d’énergie pour demain. OR I would use a colloquial turn of phrase – Plus de six tâches majeures? Gardez-en un peu pour demain!

    Task description. Indent for subtasks. — Description de la tâche. Indentez les sous-tâches.

    Track 15min/bubble. Mark estimate with vertical line. — Almost 2, and abbreviate minute as mn in French 1 bulle / 15 mn. Marquez les estimations par un trait vertical.

    Total time. — Temps total.

    WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON TODAY? — 2 is good

    Life just happens. Use this area to keep notes on the unexpected. Use numbers to label day grid as needed. — Pour les imprévus : prenez vos notes ici. Numérotez la grille au besoin

    HTH

  2. poscogrubb 9 years ago

    LOL at all the variations… translation is a hard problem!

    It’s interesting to note that there are SEVERAL VALID reasons for different translations: 1. Translator was going for a literal word-for-word translation vs. Translator was going for an interpretive translation (maintaining the same meaning and attitude instead of the same words). 2. Translator was using France French vs. Translator was using Quebec French vs. Translator was using, oh, I dunno, India French. I don’t know French, but I know of some differences among different Spanish-speaking regions.

    It would be interesting to see how English-speakers around the world might re-write this form! Would other English-speaking cultures view your phrase “Life just happens” as too colloquial or casual? Or is there some other regional idiom that would fit better?

  3. Vincent 9 years ago

    Paul is correct. I’m not sure for ‘Realistic expectations equals consistent daily productivity!’ As I’m native french speaker, maybe I don’t understand the english sentence well, but I would say : Des attentes réalistes mènent à une productivité régulière tous les jours ! or Des attentes réalistes mènent à une productivité quotidienne régulière. Please note an important thing in french: you must put a space before ‘?’ , ‘!’ , ‘:’ and ‘;’ For example : QUOI D’AUTRE AUJOURD’HUI ?

  4. ChrisL 9 years ago

    hey Dave!

    The power with the American language, is how with few words you can say it all. I m just a french guy, (sorry ;-) ) and i wanted to make as a positive self invitation for a new day of (fire)works ! As an active user of it, i want to push myself into action everyday, having a clear vision over what’s going on….

    Thank you for the inspiration and great creativity. Chris

  5. Claude Hotte 9 years ago

    HERE ARE MY FINAL CHOICES (CORRECT AND SHORT) Start 1. début mid break 1. midi late break 1. pause review 1. revue ORGANIZE YOUR DAY AS IT HAPPENS! QUICK START: List 3 things to do, estimate time in 15min blocks. Fill bubbles to track time. Use Day Grid (left side) for scheduling. Keep notes as necessary. 1. Choisissez trois choses à faire. Faites une liste et estimez le temps, utilisez la grille au gauche pour faire votre planning. Gardez les notes si nécessaire (au bas). THE EMERGENT TASK PLANNER 1. AGENDA DES TÂCHES ÉMERGENTES Instructions available in English at davidseah.com/pceo/etp 1. Directives en anglais disponibles à davidseah.com/pceo/etp THREE MAJOR TASKS FOR TODAY 1. TROIS TÂCHES MAJEURES POUR AUJOURD’HUI Realistic expectations equals consistent daily productivity! 1. Des attentes réalistes mènent à une productivité constante! Tackling more than three major tasks? Clear your mind and go for it! 1. Plus de trois tâches majeures? Prenez une bonne respiration et allez-y. More than six major tasks? Reserve some energy for tomorrow. 1. Plus de six tâches majeures? Gardez-vous de l’énergie pour demain.

    Task description. Indent for subtasks. 1. Décrire la tâche. Sous-tâches en alinéa. Track 15min/bubble. Mark estimate with vertical line. 1. Une bulle/15 minutes. Estimez avec une ligne verticale. Total time. 1. Temps total. 1. QUOI D’AUTRE AUJOURD’HUI? Life just happens. Use this area to keep notes on the unexpected. Use numbers to label day grid as needed. 1. La vie continue. Prenez des notes sur les imprévus et ajoutez les tâches nécessaires.

    • Yves 9 years ago

      I agree with these translations. The translation for “what else is going today” is ok, but it is colloquial (“langage familier” ). A more formal translation would be : – autres points à traiter aujourd’hui. but this last translation is less open (it means other things to do/manage today). Another translation would be: – Autres points pour aujourd’hui. but it is still more “closed” than in English.

  6. Author
    Dave Seah 9 years ago

    This is all fascinating! I didn’t know about the “space before ?” rule…delightful!

    For future translation guides, I should include some notes on the intention and tone of the writing.

    Poscoe: Hah, that’s a great idea, to see how others would translate the English. I’ll write up my own rationales here:

    Overall Tone: In designing the form and its prompts, I wanted to encourage focus through visibility, and at the same time not judge the user. I did not want users to feel like they HAD to do all these tasks and complete them to be good human beings. And I didn’t want people to overextend themselves. That’s what I hate about todo lists, with their silent judgement as they sit incomplete on your paper. It is a demoralizing effect. I wanted the ETP to have a more encouraging tone.

    The central philosophy behind the ETP is that (1) you can’t be expected to plan for everything that happens in your day and (2) if you can get just a few things done, that’s fantastic. Many of us are excited by the end goal and perhaps bite off more than we can comfortable handle, or when facing an unfamiliar task we’re not aware of all the steps we’re about to run into. At the same time, I had to acknowledge that there are people who TRY to get more things done, and that’s OK, but also offer supportive and practical advice.

    As I just noted in the German translation thread, “Emergent Task” is a subclass of Task. So, the ETP is a planner that allows you to organize those tasks that “emerge” during the course of your day, rather than ones that have been strictly planned in advance. A German reader noted that “adaptable” or “flexible” might be another way to put it. It’s a pretty accurate description of the de-facto use of the form, but it doesn’t capture the subtle sense of irony that I feel from the title. Part of what makes this form fun is the very idea that you can plan the unplanned. Hence, “Emergent Task Planner” is a shorter way (in my mind, anyway) of saying “Unplannable Task Planner” with a bit more grace. Really, this does end up being “flexible” or “adaptive”. Adaptive Task Planner might be an acceptable alternate. It is a task planner that adapts to your incoming tasks.

    Realistic expectations equals consistent daily productivity – The meaning I am trying to convey that one must have realistic expectations of how much they can do every day. There are only a certain number of hours in the day, and everyone has a different amount of work they can do given their particular situation. I use “equals” here to imply a mathematical law, though this is strictly a language trick to subtly convince English readers that it is conversion law, that if you have “realistic expectations set”, then “consistent daily productivity” is the result because they are equivalent. Logically, it makes no sense, but in American English it is a call to mindfulness followed by a promise of a benefit. I think there is also a implication that “consistent productivity” is something that is desirable, as “consistency” is one of those value words that people assume is a good thing in the productivity / business context. Not so much in the “wild fun” category, but people aren’t thinking about that when they’re planning their day to do work.

    Tackling more than three tasks? Clear your mind and go for it! – The form of the opening phrase “tackling more…” is colloquial American English. Tackling in American Football means to run at someone and knock them down in a competitive situation; there is an inherent implication that you are mustering the energy and resolve to do more. I offer some advice to “clear your mind”, which is another way of saying “focus”. The reason I don’t say “focus” is because it’s such an overused and word, and doesn’t really help if you haven’t figured out exactly how to do it. “Clearing your mind” is more instructive, implying that you remove all extraneous thoughts in your mind so you can (which is again implied) concentrate on the extra tasks and not anything else. “Go for it!” is a typical American expression that conveys enthusiasm, conveying a winning attitude against competition that you are not guaranteed to overcome, but you should do anyway because it would be awesome if you did. There is an acknowledgement that the challenge is worth facing, even if failure is a possibility.

    More than six tasks? Reserve some energy for tomorrow. – More than six tasks, in my experience, is very challenging unless they are very simple one-step tasks. And remember, these are extra tasks you want to accomplish with everything ELSE happening around you that was unplanned. It’s pretty unlikely that you’ll get everything on that list done, and I don’t want you to think you’ve failed at the end of the day. I could have said something like, “don’t feel bad” or “it is OK if you didn’t reach the goal”. However, I find such platitudes annoying, and I really do want you to get everything you want to do off your list. So instead, I give what I think is practical advice, “Reserve some energy for tomorrow”, anticipating that to get all that work done will require an exceptional effort. This also introduces a line of thinking that can serve as a useful internal rationale: “I didn’t get everything done because I ran out of energy.” I like that better because it again is about mindfulness, and it doesn’t say, “You didn’t finish because you are a failure.” Instead, you are given a rationale that you must be conscious of your energy if you want to achieve all your goals.

    The combination of “realistic expectations”, “clarity of mind”, and “energy management” are key element of a successful productivity regimen, and it’s just as much about maintaining a positive attitude. A lot of us feel terrible if we don’t achieve everything we think we should; the ETP tries to help you do everything you want while being a gentle and encouraging coach when it doesn’t work out.

    What Else is Going On Today? — This is another colloquial expression, deliberately informal, and expressed in the way a familiar friend might say it to you. The ETP tries to be personal, remember, without being ingratiating. It’s a friendly form of address, to imply that the ETP is your friend, interested in what you’re doing, and is implicitly wanting you to succeed.

    Life just happens. Use this area to keep notes on the unexpected. Use number to label day grid as needed – The expression “Life just happens” is one of those reminders, perhaps said with a weary sigh, that we are powerless to dictate all the terms of our existence. There is stuff that will pop up that we didn’t expect, and that is the way it is. So take a breath. “Keep notes on the unexpected” is a reinforcement of that, specifically calling attention to “unexpected” events (this ties in with the idea of emergent tasks).

  7. ChrisL 9 years ago

    hello guys, Why not make it open source so everyone can put it the way they want to organize their day? My point is we all have different expectations, it s not just about french…no more revolution, just evolution ;-)

    For example, GTD is great, but IMHO, it is still too complicated, just focus on your important and major task whatever the minor distractions of the day. Keep the motivation is the key to success, don’t forget the OUTCOME. How come ? i wish mix GTD and Tony Robbins in the Dave’s way ! Call me crazy, i d love it !

  8. elaine 9 years ago

    How very fascinating. I do translation the other way, i.e French -> English and it’s sometimes hard! FWIW I’d say nearly all of what is suggested could be considered correct, it’s just a matter of voice and tone. It’s good to be reminded that translation is an art and not a science :-)