Terminology Course: March 20, 2014


This session focused on oral terminology or, better yet, fieldwork terminology.

As part of the Francofête à Concordia, a group of Quebec local producers, in an event called La Foire du terroir québécois, was invited to showcase its products right on the hall of the EV building:  chocolates, teas, cheeses, jams, breads, patés and many other products.

This fieldwork terminology project consisted of talking anonymously to vendors, so that we could extract as many different terms as possible.

I encountered three types of vendors: those who had their products exclusively in French; those who had their products marketed and packaged in both English and French; and those who I had no idea why they were there in the first place (because they were selling staff from Italy, for example).

In general, I thought the prices were as elevated as I expected. For this sort of event, there are three marketing tools that attempt to justify how expensive everything is: organic, locally grown or made, and nationalistic pride. Another factor that helps the equation is terminology.

With terminology producers are able to make their products sound exotic and sophisticated.

What follows is a list of the ones I got:

Gelée de canneberges et cidre de glace – Cranberry and Apple Ice Wine Jelly

Canneberge entière séchée sucrée – Whole Sweetened Cranberries

Canneberges enrobées de chocolat noir – Dark Chocolate Covered Cranberries

Cidre de glaçe

Vin de tomate

tartinade gélifiée de baies du sureau

tartinade gélifiée de bluets

tartinade gélifiée de raisins

Thé du Labrador

Champignons sauvages déshydratés

Gommage exfoliant et hydratant de la forêt (this one is probably the winner of marketing manipulation, at 8 to 15 dollars per small bottle)

Pommes croustillantes au sirop de bouleau

Fromages biologiques



Overall, I had a good time tasting different free samples and experiencing practical terminology fieldwork. However, I am left wondering about price fairness (at least, with some of the products). For the moment, I am afraid I am more inclined to think that it is all part of an elaborated marketing strategy.

Credit Image: Concordia University, 2014.


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