[Translation] Translation request for Sylvain

Alison Wall alison.wall at gmail.com
Sat Jul 25 10:29:38 PDT 2009

Hi Sylvain,

We have one last largish document to deal with for the con.  Please
translate the attached document.  It is  part of the restaurant guide.
 We would need this translated for Saturday, August 1.  I don't
suppose that the explanation of French is of much use in the French
version of the guide, so I'd leave it out unless you can think of some
way of making it useful.

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Welcome to Montréal 

Pour des raisons hors de notre contrôle, nous n?avons pas pu traduire ce 
document à temps. 

Most of the text in this guide was written by Jo Walton; any text in the 
first person is assuredly hers. You can view updates, and add your own 
reviews, at http://community.livejournal.com/antici_food. 

Montréal has the best and most varied food of anywhere I have ever 

You may turn your nose up at that and say, well, Jo is from South 
Wales, a place not noted for the excellence of its food. It?s true. All 
the same, even for people from fairly cosmopolitan places, heck, even 
for Jon Singer, the range and quality of food here is impressive. When 
my mother-in-law visited from Ireland, we managed to introduce her 
to ten new cuisines in a fortnight. There?s a lot here, and a lot of it is 
excellent, and even the base level of expectation is very high.

What we want to do in the Restaurant Guide is cover everything 
there is within a few blocks of the convention centre in detail, and also 
suggest some of the highlights of the rest, the things for which it might 
be worth leaving the immediate area. 

A note on language

Montréal is in Quebec, a French-speaking province of Canada. Most 
people living here naturally and normally speak French in their everyday 
lives. Many of them also speak English as a second language, some 
of them near-perfectly and some of them less well. English is Canada?s 
other official language, so most people who went to school in Canada 
will have learned at least some. There are people here who came here 
as adults from French speaking places like Haiti, Mali, Vietnam, Algeria 
and France, who speak no English. But most people speak some.

People are very nice.

There is a rule that conversations will take place in whatever 
language everyone is most comfortable in. This means that if you try 
to speak French, people will switch to English because they notice at 
once that their English is better than your French. (This is why my 


French still sucks.) If they really don?t speak English, they?ll try hard to 
help figure out what you?re saying in French.

However, if you try to speak English right away automatically to 
everyone, as if English were the only language in the world and you assume 
everyone naturally understands it, people might understandably 
become irritated with this assumption, and insist on speaking French.

Therefore, what you want to do is to start conversations with 
strangers with: ?Bonjour hi?. ?Bonjour hi? is a Montréal greeting that 
means ?Hello! I am a well-meaning person who accepts that I am in 
a French-speaking place?but could we speak English?? It?s a literal 
handshake protocol.

?Bonjour? is pronounced Bon, as in ?bonny? and ?jour? as in 
?azure?. You should also know ?merci?, which means ?thank you?. ?S?il 
vous plait?, pronounced ?Seev?play? means please. Beyond that, English 
will do. The best way to think of it is that French is always correct, but 
English is usually okay. If you speak English with the attitude that you 
know French would be more correct in the circumstances, everyone 
will happily speak English. In tourist places, you can get away with just 
English from word one, but it costs nothing to be polite. 

Getting around in Montréal

Montréal has an absurdly easy metro system?only four lines?and a 
very cleverly interlocked bus system. Every metro station serves as a 
mini bus-station, so you can always take the bus from the metro, and 
the metro from the bus. There are clear simple maps at every metro 
station and most bus shelters. All bus stops tell you what metro station 
the buses will go to next. You can buy a one day ($9) or three day 
($18) tourist pass from metro stations where they anticipate tourists. 
Or you can buy individual tickets or an ?Opus? card for $7 and then 
charge it with fares, either a number of individual tickets or a weekly 
pass ($19.50). The pass or card is good on buses and metro. If you use 
tickets, they?re valid for travel for 90 minutes from when you first use 

The metro is totally inaccessible for wheelchairs. There are stairs 
and escalators everywhere. For people not in wheelchairs but with 
some mobility issues, there are usually escalators for big flights, but 
they expect you to be able to climb say 20 steps, and there are often 
random little sets of four or five steps thrown in just for fun.

The buses however are totally accessible. They are almost all kneeling 
buses, they have ramps and seats that fold up. You can get anywhere 
on buses and avoid the metro, it just takes longer.

Taxis aren?t very expensive, and fill in the holes public transit 
doesn?t reach, such as transporting large or awkward things. 


Inside the Palais 

From the Place d?Armes/St-Urbain end: 

Tim Horton?s Doughnuts, coffee, soup, sandwiches

Mon?Fri 6am?10pm, Sat?Sun 6am?8pm. 
Tim?s is a Canadian national institution. You can get coffee and a 
doughnut for less than $5, and lunch for around $10. 

La Popessa Pasta 

Mon?Fri 11am?10pm, Sat?Sun noon?10pm. 
This place is fun. You pick up a tray, stand in line, choose a pasta 
and a sauce and any extras, then they make the food in front of 
you. It?s interesting to see them tossing the things into your pan, and 
they?re pretty quick, though you might have to wait if they?re really 
busy. They have a whole lot of sauces, including many vegetarian 
and many without tomato?the stroganoff is especially good. There?s 
something about it of the university dining hall, but the food is pretty 
good. $10-15. 

Couche Tard Convenience store 

Mon?Fri 6am?midnight, Sat?Sun 7:30 am?11 pm. 
Suitable for picking up chips, take out cardboard sandwiches, chocolate 
bars, coffee and hot-water-plus-teabags and cold drinks. Right 
across from this is a seating area with escalators to the second floor 
and nicer chairs than any of the cafes, so if what you want to do is sit 
down for a little bit, getting take out from here is a good option. 

Subway Fast food sandwich chain 

Mon?Fri 8am?10pm, Sat?Sun 8am?8pm. 
Bet you?ve seen one. Sandwiches, drinks, around $10. 

Basha Lebanese 

Mon?Fri 10am?8pm, Sat?Sun may be closed. 
Lebanese fast food restaurant, with sit down space. Souvlaki, doner, 
kebabs, rice, salad, baklava, vegetarian platter. $10-15. Also delivers 
to hotels. 


Terra Verte Italian 

Pizza, panini, muffins, quiche, hot and cold drinks, small seating 

area. $10. Reasonable vegetarian choice. Friendly staff. 

Sushi Shop Sushi 

Mon?Fri 11am?6pm, Sat?Sun closed. 

Limited but acceptable chain fast food sushi. $10-15. 

Noo Box Asian noodles 
Mon?Fri 11am?7pm, Sat?Sun 11:30am?3pm. 
You select your vegetables, type of noodles or rice, sauce (from options 
like ?sweet teriyaki? and ?chili basil and lemongrass?), protein 
source (includes both ?vegetarian? and ?fried tofu?), extras if you 
want them, and the meal is cooked for you. There?s a reasonable 
amount of seating space, and prices vary from $7.25 for vegetarian 
to $9.50 for squid. Drinks are extra. 

Café Van Houtte Coffee, sandwiches 
Mon?Fri 7am?5pm, Sat?Sun 8am?5pm. 
Chain cafe along the same general lines as Starbucks or Second Cup. 
They sell cakes and sandwiches, but have an emphasis on complex 
varieties of coffee. Some seating area, and free wifi. 

Fourquet Fourchette Quebecois 
Mon?Wed 11:30am?4pm, Thu?Sat 11:30am?10pm, closed Sunday. 
Unlike all the others, this is an actual restaurant with waitstaff. It 
specialises in ?the cuisine of New France?. The lunch menu is around 
$15-20 and the evening menu around $25-50. It features lots of 
bison, duck, rabbit etc, and beer as an ingredient. They serve a selection 
of local Unibrowe beers, and also cider. At lunch, the soup and 
salad is ?all you can eat?, and dessert and tea/coffee are included in 
the price. I had the ?Amerindian tasting platter? and it was surprisingly 
delicious?smoked duck breast, smoked salmon, smoked 
caribou, trout terrine, and venison terrine. The home-made bread 
was also excellent. There?s plenty of seating and they can make up 
tables for large parties. I?d recommend this for a hearty lunch that?ll 
keep you going all day. 

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