Google Translate/Franglais help required

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Tartan_Terrier, Apr 16, 2011.

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  1. I'm in the middle of sorting out some documents that have been translated from French to English with the aid of a bottle of Pernod and Google translate. Obviously this is no easy task, but I've got halfway through it without a nervous breakdown so it's not going too badly.

    I have however come across some words and phrases which have stumped me, and I was wondering if any ARRSErs could be of assistance.

    One of the words is 'merlon', which to my mind is unsuitable for an earthen embankment. Any better suggestions?

  2. Depends on the context. If it's a defensive structure, it could well be appropriate. Alternatively use "crenellations" or "embrasures" or "interspersed with protective mounds".

    The subject and particularly the sentence that it's used in would be a help to guessing, though.
  3. It's a three-five foot high earthern dyke type thingy round a camp.

    Context here "Entirely enclosed and fenced with wire located on the outside of the merlon"
  4. So it would be a motte?

    I'm not particularly happy with that as mottes tend to be artifical hills rather than doughnuts.
  5. No I don't think so either. What about berm? Or is that something bigger?
  6. Mons Veneris, anyone?
  7. Though Merlon was Nemo's daddy?

    Sorry being flippant, any context available?
  8. 'Merlon' is indeed a valid word in English to describe a part of a fortification, but a Merlon is the sticky-up bit of battlements, flanking an embrasure (i.e. the slot in between two merlons). It's definitely not a suitable word for an earthen bank.

    If it's a ring-ditch and bank around a fortified mediaeval camp, wouldn't that be a Bailey? As I remember, a fortified camp was called a Bailey and this would be further improved by sticking up a Motte in one corner to make a Motte & Bailey.

    Re French translations - I saw some great examples in Bayeux menus last week - 'Sheep's Knobs' was on one menu, while 'Chicken Bosoms' was on another :)
    • Like Like x 1
  9. 'Breastwork' or 'parapet' might also be suitable words.
  10. I was going to come back and say that a motte is the bank and the bailey is the castle but I decided to check before posting. We're both technically wrong but we're both right about what we're thinking.

    What T_T describes is a motte and bailey, the motte being the embankment (or berm) and the bailey being the sunken courtyard inside. Obviously, you don't need to make the bailey, it just happens if you don't try to fill in the doughnut.

    So, there you have it. The merlon in the franglais is trying to say motte and bailey.
  11. It's actually describing the security of modern military camp rather than a medieval fortification so I don't really think that motte and bailey is a particularly suitable description....
  12. Isn't he the lanky and socially inept,yet obviously fertile,cook in Emmerdale Farm?
  13. In that case, it's a perimeter security berm. Doesn't alter the fact that it's a motte and bailey. There aren't many new concepts when it comes to defensive fortifications, it's just the method and materials that change.
  14. Showing your age, Emmerdale Farm.

    And don't pretend that you don't watch it. Marlon joined the cast 7 years after the title change.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. from the "free dictionary" :- A solid portion between two crenels in a battlement or crenelated wall.!
    Origin of MERLON
    French, from Italian merlone, augmentative of merlo battlement, from Medieval Latin merulus, from Latin, merle
    First Known Use: circa 1704