Ottawa

The translated campaign

James Fitz-Morris explains the intricacies of covering a Quebec campaign for an English audience.

Larose also presented English-language journalists with another tricky word – calling Michael Ignatieff and Stephen Harper “des crosseurs professionals.” (Larose has since apologized for the remarks) This is where things get sticky. The verb “crosser” is Quebecois slang for “to masturbate.” It’s a term one does not use in respectable company. To translate that as “professional wankers” doesn’t really capture the vulgarity of it. The British would say “professional tossers,” but that’s a term that doesn’t mean anything to most Canadians. The closest equivalent is “professional jerk-off.”

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.