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Covering the Q: It’s tout en Français!

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Without a doubt, one of my greatest challenges with this blog, aside from the sure volume of minor-league news I have to filter through, and then pick what to write about, is the fact that covering the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL or simply “the Q”) will be a unique task in and of itself. This comes from the fact that the majority of the news on the Q, is written and reported on in French, due to fact that the majority of their market is French-Canadian.

I don’t understand French, and nor will I expect you, the English speaking readers to do so either. Thankfully wonderful websites such as Babel Fish have existed, and continue to do so, all around the internets, and allow me to translate entire web pages, and thus, entire news reports, back into English, so I can then make some attempt to make sense of it all, and report back to you.

However this process is not as cut and dry as it may seem, because as are most things in life… nothing’s perfect. I’ve still got to pay very close attention to these loose translations, to make sure my reporting is accurate.
Let me give you an example of what the average tidbit of QMJHL news first looks like when it hits the wire:

La Ligue de hockey junior majeur du Québec a dévoilé, aujourd’hui, le calendrier des matchs de la saison régulière 2011-12. Les dix-sept franchises du circuit Courteau disputeront un total de 578 rencontres ; 34 matchs locaux et 34 matchs à l’extérieur pour un total de 68 rencontres par équipe

Soixante-dix-huit pourcent des matchs seront joués les fins de semaine afin de permettre aux joueurs de maximiser leur temps de développement autant sur la glace que sur les bancs d’école.

La saison régulière prendra officiellement son envol le jeudi 8 septembre alors que les Wildcats de Moncton rendront visite aux champions de la Coupe du Président et de la Coupe Memorial MasterCard, les Sea Dogs de Saint John. La saison régulière se terminera le dimanche 18 mars.

- Karl Jahnke - http://www.lhjmq.qc.ca

Mostly pure gibberish to those of us who can’t read French. Thankfully, my wonderful web-browser, Google Chrome, also allows me to translate web pages automatically without having to run them through a separate filter. So that same piece of news above will simply appear as this:

Hockey League Quebec Major Junior announced today the schedule of games of the 2011-12 regular season. The seventeen franchises QMJHL played a total of 578 games, 34 home games and 34 away games for a total of 68 games per team.

Seventy-eight percent of games will be played on weekends to allow players to maximize their development time on the ice as much as the classroom.

The regular season will officially take off Thursday, September 8 when the Wildcats will visit the Champions Cup of the President and the MasterCard Memorial Cup, the Saint John Sea Dogs. The regular season ends Sunday, March 18.

- Karl Jahnke - http://www.lhjmq.qc.ca

As you can see, like I was saying, it still isn’t exactly perfect English, due to the fact that French is written and read backwards, or at least backwards compared to what us English-speaking hockey fans are used to. Note the first paragraph which still reads “QMJHL played a total of”. Well, they are just announcing their schedule, so clearly they haven’t actually “played” any games yet, and also the city of Moncton, where the Wildcats play, has mysteriously disappeared, seemingly “lost in translation”. So this then requires further translation and rewriting by myself to bring you the final product of this:

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League announced today the schedule of games for the 2011-2012 regular season. The seventeen franchises of the QMJHL will play a total of 578 games, 34 home games and 34 away games for a total of 68 games per team.

Seventy-eight percent of games will be played on weekends to allow players to maximize their development time on the ice as much as in the classroom.

The regular season will officially kick off on Thursday, September 8, when the Moncton Wildcats will visit the MasterCard Memorial Cup Champions, the Saint John Sea Dogs. The regular season ends on Sunday, March 18.

- Karl Jahnke - http://www.lhjmq.qc.ca

So, as you can see by comparing the last two quotes, there are a number of little things I have to pay close attention to when reading over these loose translations. Thankfully not all of the Q’s news is in French, but a good majority of it is. I just wanted to give you, the readers a little bit of insight into what will no doubt be a very interesting season to cover for this humble hockey blogger.

Thankfully, I had gotten myself a day ahead of schedule when it comes these daily previews of what will be “Cluster Pucks” this upcoming season. For those of you wondering where all the “breaking news” that KK is best known for has been, I’ve been gathering it and holding onto it in an attempt to let all the other new bloggers get their equal share of time, as we continue to expand and add more and more new blogs, all in an effort to bring you, the KK readers, the total hockey coverage which you so desire. That, and at this time of year, there is usually very little going on around the hockey world, but that will quickly change as the new season approaches us, and you can expect the same change to be reflected in this blog, and things will really get kicked into high gear in late August when it’s given its own page, along with all the other new blogs.

I’d also like you to please keep in mind that where as the majority of the blogs here at KK focus in on a single NHL team’s news, I’ve got the task of sorting through six entire league’s worth of news stories, in an attempt to keep you up to date with all the relevant happenings around the AHL, OHL, WHL, QMJHL, College Hockey, and the virtual world of the EASHL. Which is the main scope of this blog’s coverage. Although at times I’ll also be checking in with happenings in the ECHL, SPHL, Central League, as well as a number of top European leagues (which also presents the challenge of sensible English translation), plus whatever other general hockey related news or subjects happen to peak my interest, such as yesterday’s rant about goaltenders.

Update -
Of course no sooner than a day after talking about how I was ahead of schedule, my internet goes down. From the looks of things at the moment, I’ve probably got a phone line that needs to be replaced, which could take as long as a few days (gasp)... until then I’m stuck with very few options. Even getting this story posted up was a real pain, so bear with me here….

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Doug Miller, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: quebec+major+junior+hockey+league

Comments

Primis's avatar

You’re doing fine, Doug.  Loose translations and best guesses work fine for us.  Less time spent sweating the small stuff so you can cover more leagues is a good trade-off IMHO.

Posted by Primis on 07/27/11 at 03:35 PM ET

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haha wonderful web browser…this is a joke in my direction i would presume so i will turn the other way sir….good day

Posted by mike from wyandotte MI on 07/27/11 at 06:04 PM ET

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Love those Frenchmen.  Much more exciting brand of hockey than the rest of Canada.  Those Canadien teams of the 70 s were amazing.

Posted by 13 user names on 07/28/11 at 12:27 AM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

You’re doing fine, Doug.  Loose translations and best guesses work fine for us.  Less time spent sweating the small stuff so you can cover more leagues is a good trade-off IMHO.

I know, I just thought it was interesting… and probably something most people don’t think about. It’s the summer… gotta find something to write about somewhere. wink

haha wonderful web browser…this is a joke in my direction

Mike, I composed that sentence long before I knew about your staunch defense of IE9, so no, it wasn’t directed at you. I prefer Chrome for it’s built in translation, and dual search/address bar, which also serves as a handy spell check for those long and complicated words.

To put it in terms you can better understand:
01110000 01101111 01101111 01110000

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 07/28/11 at 08:40 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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