The discrepancies in the imagery and connotations conjured up during translation never cease to amaze me. I continue to be caught off-guard when I come across these gaps between sign and signifier, even though these are mere questions of semiotics, as best explained by Ferdinand de Saussure or in Roland Barthes's "Rhetoric of the Image."
While translating the gastrointestinal side effects for an antibiotic used to treat amoxicillin-sensitive bacteria, I came across one of these polysemous terms, anchored in imagery: "vomissements et haut-le-cœur" ("vomiting and retching"). Hardly a pretty picture, yet haut-le-coeur, literally "high-hearted" is a much lovelier image than its denotation: nausea from foul food, motion sickness, pregnancy, etc. Just some food for thought on a Monday morning.