Excerpt from Dictionary of Nautical Terms, Vol. 2: French-English and English-French
Compilers of dictionaries are frequently accused of copying from each other, but the authors of this work consider themselves justified in believing that no such charge can be made against them. Their information has been obtained from standard works on each special subject in the two languages, not from dictionaries. Whenever official sources of information have been found defective, competent autho rities ia the profession have been consulted. The terms used in official documents have been employed as far as possible, and to these have been added those in constant use in the ordinary language of seamen. The numerous figurative and familiar expressions of daily and hourly occurrence in the conversation of sailors have not been neglected. The symbolical language of the English sailor generally finds its equivalent in the vocabulary of the French sailor.
In the proper as well as in the figurative sense, the authors have endeavoured to avoid the literal rendering of words or phrases, but have sought rather to give the idea therein conveyed. The reader will therefore not be surprised to find the phrase Mainsailhaul! Rendered by Derriere changez.' which is the corres ponding order in French in the operation of putting a ship about.
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