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About French Translation
Importance of the French Market
are surprised to discover how prominent the
French language truly is on the world stage.
As a result, its tremendous business potential
is sometimes overlooked.
- An estimated 283 million people speak
French in the world, making it the tenth
most widely spoken language in the world.
- Worldwide, French is the second most
commonly taught second language after
- French is the official language or shares
official status in France, Canada, Belgium,
Switzerland, Luxemburg, Monaco, and numerous
other countries around the world.
- In the United States, over 1.7 million
people speak French at home. The highest
concentration of Francophones is in Louisiana
and New England, because of its proximity
to the Canadian province of Quebec.
- French was the universal language of
diplomacy until English recently supplanted
- French figures among the official working
languages of many international organizations
including the European Union, Interpol,
the International Olympic Committee, the
UN, the Red Cross, and many others.
- The importance of the French language
in diplomacy can be seen from the words
that have found their way into common
English usage. For example, "chargé
French Relevant for the Wired World?
Just consider these facts. According to
the NOP Research Group, France represents
the third-largest Internet economy in Europe.
Its market shows the fastest growth rates
of adoption with 47% market growth in the
Canada is one of the most "wired"
countries in the world, in terms of Internet
access and usage according to ComQuest Research
and Neilsen/Net Ratings. Over the past year,
the number of Francophone Canadians with
home Internet access increased 29%, from
2.7 to 3.4 million.
There Different French dialects?
la différence! All spoken languages
develop regional variations, or dialects;
and the French language is no exception. Dialects,
creole, patois and other verbal variations
abound. However, written French is considerably
more standardized than many other languages
because of France's long history of linguistic
Today, "standard" French, of which
"Parisian" is considered mainly
a dialect, is very well understood throughout
the French-speaking world, although some linguists
believe that its purity lessens because of
so many assimilated foreign words in its lexicon;
those of English in particular.
The French translator's challenge is to render
culturally neutral and universally understood
text for its target audience. However, in
some cases, a translation client may ask to
reach a specific market or audience, a process
In France and Monaco, the number "ninety"
("quatre-vingt-dix" in standard
French) translates much like our arcane English
phrases "four twenties and ten"
or "fourscore and ten". In Belgium
and Switzerland's standard French, the number
"ninety" translates as "nonante."
Francophones Understand One Another's Dialect?
|Will a Belgian
understand a French text that uses "quatre-vingt-dix"
instead of "nonante"? Absolument!
Will he realize that a Belgian did not write
the text? Of course! For an instruction manual,
that makes no difference. For an advertisement
directed at him personally, the language variant
might. If you are marketing to a specific
target, one should retain the services of
a French translator, who understands that
the Difference Between Standard French and
answer is surprisingly little in written French.
Presque rien! Spoken French is a different
kettle of fish (or "another pair of sleeves,"
as the French would say!). Translation clients
often ask English-to-French translators to
provide work in standard or French-Canadian
French that are the most commercially important
variations of the language.
French always has been highly structured in
terms of grammar and syntax, so variations
between Standard French and French-Canadian
arise primarily from different vocabulary
and idioms that evolved as a result of history,
geography and, oddly enough, government legislation.
Do you need to consider this? Then, see the
are Legal Issues Regarding Language so Important
in Canada for Example?:
business in Canada, you must understand the
implications of bilingualism. For example,
if your business exports products to Canada,
you should know that all packaging must be
bilingual and obey the strict guidelines regarding
point size, disposition of type, etc. Failure
to comply may result in your product being
removed from retail shelves. The provincial
government of Quebec is particularly diligent
in prosecuting linguistic offences.
is Choosing the Right French Translator so
qualified French translator can render your
English text into a French document readily
understood by all Francophones. Factors such
as your intended market or audience and the
nature of the document to be translated will
affect your choice of translator.
- To reach a French-Canadian audience
or conduct business in Canada, one should
choose a French translator with experience
in that market to navigate the legal waters
as well as appreciate linguistic nuances.
- If your project is a magazine ad targeted
at Swiss teenagers, text and images must
be localized for maximum results. The
French translator you choose must be familiar
with the demographics, know the latest
trends, and understand the "cool"
slang, etc. in a specific area. Cultural
differences, social customs, and taboos
will determine the appropriate language.
Doing English-to-French Translations, Why
does French Seem Longer?
and syntax are highly structured when compared
to English. French tends to use more prepositional
phrases. Compound nouns and newly-coined words,
of which so many enter the English language
daily, often require an entire phrase to be
understood in French.
Hotline" becomes "Ligne d'urgence
à la clientèle"; literally,
"line of urgencies for the customers.
Courses Abroad Do you want to
take a French course in France or another
exotic location worldwide? Whether you just
want to be able to order "un beaujolais
nouveau" or whether you really want to
get to grips with the language, Cactus has
a range of French courses in France and abroad
to suit all your needs and budgets. Learn
French in its fascinating home country of
France, or why not let it take you further
afield to Montreal, Monaco or Guadeloupe...
For more useful links to partner websites:click