French/Spanish to English translation

23 August 2012

French to English Translation Services for Businesses

Over time, as globalisation becomes more comprehensive, language will become a more salient issue in trade and commercial cooperation. French and English particularly exemplify this as they are perceived by many to be the international languages of business.

There are some 350 million native English speakers around the world, and another 350 million non-native speakers. Following close behind, estimates suggest that there will be near 500 million French speakers by the year 2025. 

French and Belgian colonisation is responsible for spreading the French language to both developed and underdeveloped nations. Canada and Switzerland are two nations for which French is an official language; similarly, Morocco and Algeria, developing nations on the rise that will see French as their staple language of trade. Having an understanding of English and French can be an exceptional advantage in trade and expanding businesses into emerging markets. If the barrier of language can be surmounted then there are many new, high-yield markets that are waiting to be explored by developed English-speaking nations.

It is tempting to skip the step of equipping yourself with a professional translation service, forgoing the expense and opting for one of the many online services, such as Google Translate, that will give you an approximate of what is being said. Often these can be very good for translating small messages or understanding snippets on the internet. However, these services are flawed, and this is in large part due to what are called idioms.

An idiom is the expression of meaning through a collective of words, in which the meaning cannot be inferred by simply pulling apart the words in the phrase. An apt example might be “piece of cake”, which is well understood by any English speaker as a simple task or something that requires little effort to do. One could, of course, directly translate to the French “morceau de gateau”, however the meaning would not be translated and the reader would be left bewildered and thinking of desserts.

The trouble with English is that it’s an especially idiosyncratic language. This is because it is an amalgamation of scores of other languages from which it steals thousands of terms and rules. Why is it that English espouses ‘taking a seat’ with the act of sitting rather than theft? Or that a person ‘goes home’ but ‘lives in a house’? An English-speaker would not say ‘lives in a home’ unless they were implying an aged-care facility. It is these sorts of anomalies that make an official language translation service invaluable, because texts cannot be simply understood by exchanging a word in one language for its equivalent in another. 

When contracts are being drafted and small details can make the difference of millions of dollars, it is vital to ensure that the English version matches the French version in every understanding. A simple mistake like confusing ‘paid for’ and ‘paid to’ can be horrendously costly, far out-weighing the expense saved in using a non-professional service.

FAQ

What is translation?

Translation is the process of changing the text from one language to another whilst conveying the same meaning as demonstrated in the source text...

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How long does it take to translate a document?

Although dependent on the field and complexity of the translation, generally speaking, personal documents can be translated within 2-3 business days. Larger jobs will vary...

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Why should I have my documents translated professionally?

Professional translation differs greatly from machine translation (i.e. Google Translate, Babylon, etc). A professional translator ensures that the translation reads naturally and not like a translation. Accredited through NAATI...

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How to choose a translator?

a. Check their qualifications - and/or request information about their experience. Translators should only accept assignments for which they are competent and as a client, you should expect...

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