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Watch Out for Pure Malt Whisky! Will whiskey-lovers have cause for celebration1?

According to a somewhat insidious study carried out by Dutch researchers from the University of … Maastricht, the best whisky, or rather the least harmful to your health, is the cheapest. Such are the findings of a study of the levels of carcinogenic substances present in 18 different brands of whisky conducted in the utmost sobriety2 by Jos C. S. Kleinjans’s team, published in Lancet. To hell3 with prestigious pure malts and their pricey 12-year ageing process4; long live plain old5 scotch, bourbon and Irish whisky. All pure malts show higher levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (classic carcinogens derived from fossil fuels) than all other types of whisky, whereas Jack Daniels, Four Roses, Old Overholt, Ballantine or Tullamore have particularly low levels6… This unfortunate flaw in pure malts seems to come the manufacturing process. Extracting the malt by drying barley in peat fires and storing the precious liquid in aged casks appears to be responsible. In all fairness, however, the authors do emphasise that the carcinogenic potential of the substances present in whiskey is dozens of times lower than that of products that have been smoked or over-grilled7. As if for good measure, other researchers are announcing this week in Science that they have discovered a compound named reservatrol in grapes, which could prove to be a powerful inhibitor of cancerous tumours. The moral of the story8: wine is fine9, but watch


Compensation: “rejoice” doesn’t sound very idiomatic in this context; adding the idea of ‘cause’ for celebration creates a more idiomatic expression. 2 Abstinence =/ sobriety, but in this case, ‘abstaining from alcohol’ = staying sober. Sober’s second meaning, calm & reasoned, does not clash with the idea of a scientific study, even if it is not present in the TT ‘abstinence’. 3 More idiomatic translation than the literal “to the devil with”, which is more old-fashioned and less strong than the French “au diable” 4 Compensation for “twelve years of age”, the literal, but less idiomatic translation. Adding in the idea of the process fits with the scientific nature of the TT and gives a more idiomatic rendering of ‘douze ans d’age’. 5 More colloquial register than “ordinary Scotch”, which reflects the lower register of “to hell with” and “long live” 6 Introduced ‘levels’ here – more specific than ‘en’, but TT needs something to preserve idiomacy. 7 Keep this in to faithfully convey the exact meaning of the ST – as TT is for a scientific monitoring service, meaning cannot be sacrificed to idiomacy (i.e. overcooked (could be boiled, for example), grilled for too long…) 8 Less succinct than the French, but much more idiomatic – brevity is worth sacrificing in this case.

Strategic Decisions ST: journalistic TT: empirical – aimed for scientists. a risk factor for cancer and many other ailments. however. but of secondary importance as. Idiomizing is also important. in this case. conveying the information accurately is more important than producing a text that reads well. but necessary to preserve the rhyme in the ST . 9 Fine perhaps less positive than ‘bien’. Factual.out for pure malt whisky! Let us not forget. that alcohol itself is. in large quantities. must convey the information.