Ebooks in France

My first experience doing interpretation was between English and Russian, but, as I studied French throughout elementary, middle, secondary, and post-secondary school, I got a good grasp on this lovely Romance language as well.

A proud moment for me was seeing the results of my French language placement test. In my first year of university, I was placed into a third-year French language course. And I got an A! However, I regret to say that I have not yet achieved complete fluency, though if I were dropped in France, I’d be okay.

And even though Russian is my mother tongue, I am most comfortable communicating in English, with French floating somewhere in between.

My LinkedIn profile lists my language proficiency thus:

  • English

    (Native or bilingual proficiency)

  • Russian

    (Professional working proficiency)

  • French

    (Limited working proficiency*)

Despite my limitations, I enjoy translating and feel pretty confident in my abilities. My French may be a bit rusty from lack of (spoken) use, but I can still zip through dictionaries and language websites–and use my own language sense–like nobody’s business. Below is my most recent attempt at French-to-English translation.

Language Pair: French>English
Source Text:  Le Parlement approuve la loi sur le prix du livre numérique, LeMonde.fr (extract)
Word Count: Source: 289 Target: 248

Parliament passes ebook price law

On the eve of May 17, with a final and nearly-unanimous vote by the National Assembly, Parliament passed a proposed UPM law concerning ebooks, which will allow editors to set one fair price on electronic books, not only in France but also abroad.

This last measure, called the extraterritorial clause, runs contrary to European legislation, asserts Lionel Tardy (UPM), the only Member of Parliament to have voted against the law, which was initiated by his fellow UPM MPs.

This clause was at last imposed by the senators on the MPs, who initially believed that France could not impose the ebook price control law on American platforms, like Amazon.

A “Groundbreaking Law”

“This is a groundbreaking law for the book industry,” declared Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand at the time of the National Assembly’s passing of the conclusive law, which represents a compromise reached by the Commission Mixte-Paritaire (CMP, Senate-Assembly). The minister welcomed this “historic milestone,” “30 years after the Lang law” of 1981 set a unique price for books.

Socialist Party MP Patrick Bloche was very pleased with this “anticipatory law,” even while, according to other MPs, the ebook market accounts for only 1% of the publishing industry.

His colleague Marcel Rogement emphasized that the the law anticipates “fair and equitable remuneration” of authors for Internet sales of  their work. Members of the French Communist Party and the Left Party have also voted for the law during the final set of voting.

*This indication of my language proficiency demonstrates only that I am very timid and, thus, error-prone when speaking in French. The truth is, I read and write fastest and most accurately in English, somewhat slower and less fluently in French, while in Russian, my reading is much slower and my writing is rough around the edges (but I make up for it with excellent speech).

editor writer


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