Le Gueuloir – RSA – translators’ glossary!

Remember: the old RMI (in other words the French Minimum Insertion Revenue) was recently replaced by the “sexy and invigorating” RSA (Revenue of Active Solidarity) aimed at supporting jobless people. Instead of being given 454.63 €, they are now getting 460.09 €, Yippee, let’s go party!…I could have cried. What was the English equivalent again? The old UB40 of course. Talking about that, if there is not much red red wine left in the French kitchen of social welfare, there is definitely a rat.

And now, my dear fellow translators, a little terminology about the people concerned. Stop yawning, this could happen to you, think of The Crisis, think of old bubbles bursting…

As a happy contributor to your personal glossary I am delighted to inform you that they are known as “les canapés” (the sofas)- incredible metonymy signing the reification of more than 1,15 million people-and to provide you with the definition elaborated by S. Roquelle, a French right-winged journalist: “job seekers who do not wish much more for themselves other than to stay at home glued to the TV and for whom work is just a fleeting past memory, the centre of their universe being a great big sofa, in front of the largest possible slim-line plasma screen TV.”  Even the New York Post would not have dared…

Subsidiary question: how many months of RSA are worth a large slim-line plasma screen TV again? And a great big sofa?

Translators specializing in economy will certainly be interested to learn that these disgusting “sofas” (no capital letter needed here) not only have synonyms such as “the assisted” and even better “the cancer of our tricolor society” (the expression is by Mr Wauquiez, the French minister of European affairs) but also a very interesting antonym, the “ISF “ also known as the Inconsiderate Selfish Fortune-makers (from the French Impôt Sur la Fortune) who, unlike the unfortunate “canapés”, work very hard to avoid taxation and preserve the natural beauty of fiscal paradisiac islands.


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