French - English translation does not present any particular difficulties for professional translators.
As you'd expect, there are differences in vocabulary from country to country and region to region in the French speaking world. Nevertheless formal written French is relatively uniform.
This means that when translating into French, a single translation can generally be used in all countries, with one important exception. The French of Canada is sufficiently different to generally warrant a separate Canadian French version of the text.
That said, if the text to be translated is very informal or colloquial, the translations may need to be tailored to the specific target markets.
Our French translation service is available for all types of materials, including the translation of legal and technical texts.
For business purposes we offer two levels of translation quality – our quality-assured and our more economical budget professional translation.
The French language
- French is an official language in 29 countries and several dependencies, and is widely used in many others.
- It is spoken mainly in Europe, Canada, French Polynesia and extensively throughout Africa.
- It is an official language of the United Nations.
- English and French are the only languages spoken as a native language on all 5 continents.
French Translation with Typesetting
There are no particular issues or potential pitfalls involved in typesetting French text, and it can be set as raw text in all major design programs.
As always, care needs to be taken that all text is displaying correctly in the graphic application. For example the French œ and quotation marks « » can sometimes display incorrectly with certain fonts.
French translations are often 10 – 15% longer than the original English text, so our typesetters need to adjust the formatting to ensure the text fits the available space and looks appealing.
See our separate multilingual typesetting page for information on our typesetting processes, capabilities and quality control measures relating to the typesetting of French and text in all other languages.
Translation projects involving French with other languages
French and Arabic translations are often combined in a single document or file.
A neat and functional layout here is to have the languages side by side, with Arabic on the right. This makes for a natural reading experience for the Arabic reader (it is a right to left language) as well as for the French text. This works particularly well for labels, on packaging and depending on the design, for brochure translations.
French also often combines with other European languages in a multilingual project - French, German and Spanish translations together is common, for example.
Other projects will involve French with South East Asian languages, particularly Vietnamese and Thai, and generally also Simplified Chinese.
We are also accustomed to larger, more complex multilingual projects involving 10, 20 or more languages. There are several additional things to watch for to ensure consistency and a coordinated look and feel in the materials in such projects.
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An example of our French translation and typesetting work:
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