French Translation Services
Whether you need to localize a website for audiences in France or translate corporate e-learning videos for your French-Canadian workforce, Eriksen can help. With expert French-language translators, cutting-edge language technology, and tried-and-true quality assurance measures, we deliver the language you need to do business with the French-speaking world.
English to French translation services
We can help you:
- Translate marketing collateral and global communication materials to enhance visibility and support growth in French-speaking markets
- Translate e-learning materials to support French speakers in the workforce
- Localize websites, audio, and apps by adapting your digital content to the preferences of French speakers in Europe, Canada, and the U.S.
- Establish a coherent French-language brand to resonate with your intended audience
quality assurance in English to French translation
With more than 35 years of experience, Eriksen follows a well-honed process to ensure excellence in our translations. A text is first translated by a qualified linguist, then edited by a second, equally qualified linguist. A final round of quality assurance then confirms that the work meets all specifications. This three-step process helps us ensure that quality standards are maintained, and our translations are accurate, consistent, and convey the intent of your messaging.
Eriksen works with translators and editors who are experts in the English-French language combination, and who live and work in French-speaking countries. Because in-country translators are immersed in the culture, they use an appropriate tone that captures the nuance and local flavor of the language. In addition to their linguistic expertise, our translators must demonstrate competency in their area of specialization. This subject-matter proficiency ensures that their work is accurate, consistent, and authentically conveys the intent of the source content.
English to French translation-text expansion
Text expansion occurs when translated text takes up more space than the source text. Certain languages require more words to express the same idea or are more complex in terms of sentence structure. Others, such as German, simply have longer words.
When translating from English into French, you can expect the length of the text to increase by approximately 15-20%. Like other Romance languages such as Spanish and Italian, French uses more words than English to express a concept. This means that the translated text will take up more space in a layout, potentially impacting text boxes, charts, graphics, and interactive elements such as menus, buttons, etc.
Professional typesetting services will resolve any such issues that arise and ensure your text adheres to typographical conventions. Multilingual typesetting entails placing and formatting translated text into a graphic or design program such as InDesign. Our typesetting experts adjust the translated text to ensure it fits appropriately into the document and reads as intended. They will confirm that all accents and capitalization are used correctly, fonts render properly, and punctuation rules are followed. The final layout will look as though it was designed in the target language.
Canadian French versus European French
Are you translating for France or Canada? The two countries do not speak the same French, and it’s important to understand the difference.
Today, French is the mother tongue of about 7.4 million Canadians (21.4% of the country’s population). In the French-speaking province of Québec, 95% of residents claim French as their first or second language. While people in Québec can understand people in France, the differences are significant.
The French spoken in Canada includes vocabulary, idioms, slang, and cultural references that may be unfamiliar to Europeans. The largest difference, however, is pronunciation, to the extent that Canadian and European French are not always mutually intelligible. Accents and pronunciations are different enough that a Canadian Francophone might need to adjust their accent to be fully understood by a European.
Some of the largest differences between Canadian and European French:
- Canadian French developed in close proximity to the United States and English-speaking Canada. As a result, the language includes more Anglicisms—words taken from English in their entirety or with minor alteration.
- After the French arrived in Canada, their language began developing independently from European French. Today, Canadian French retains many of the French expressions and vocabulary used in 17th-and 18th-century France. Some words preserve the older pronunciation, and the accents of today sound antiquated to many Europeans.
- Canadian French uses a less formal means of address. The informal tu (you) is more common in Canada, while the formal vous is limited to business or similar situations.
- In Canadian French, especially in colloquial registers, it’s common to use contractions when certain prepositions are combined with articles, such as s’a rather than the more proper sur la, or dins instead of dans les.
It’s always appropriate to use the Canadian variant when translating for a Canadian audience. Likewise, French for France is the right choice when translating for Europe. As with any language, understand your audience and work with your language services provider to plan your translation strategy accordingly.
get a quote for your French translation project
French is one of our most widely requested languages, and we have an extensive network of linguists experienced in translating for French-speaking communities in Europe, Canada, and the U.S.