French translation

Translation between French and other European languages is generally required in relation to laws, European Union regulations, directives, and court judgments.

french translation

Many companies also order French translations of product presentations, websites, export materials, documents and correspondence, while translation from French into other languages often involves marketing materials, corporate documents and websites. Speakers of French are fewer in number than those of German and of Spanish, for example. This also holds true for French-language translators.

Consequently, the deadlines for our French translations are slightly longer than those of our Spanish, Russian and German translations. However, we work with experienced French translators, who always do their best to ensure that our customers are happy with their translations so that the wait is always worth it.

What role does the French language play in the world?

French is a Romance language belonging to the Indo-European language family. There are nearly 150 million speakers of French in the world, half of whom speak it as their mother tongue. This makes French the eighteenth most widely spoken language in the world. French is the official national language of 29 countries, the largest of which are France, Belgium and Switzerland in Europe, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar and Cameroon in Africa, Canada, Haiti and Saint-Martin in the Americas, and French Polynesia, Vanuatu and New Caledonia in Oceania.

French has retained its position as an official language of many countries as a result of widespread French colonisation in previous centuries. According to demographic projections, French speakers will number 500 million in 2025 and 650 million in 2050. This means that the number of French speakers is likely to increase several-fold in the coming decades.

How strong is the influence of the French language?

French is an important diplomatic language in the world as one of the official languages of the United Nations, the European Union, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, the European Council, OECD, the Eurovision Song Contest, the European Space Agency, the World Trade Organization and the North American Free Trade Agreement. French is also an important legal language. It is, alongside English, an official language of the European Court of Human Rights.

French is taught as the first second language in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and English-speaking Canada. Since French is the official language of so many organisations, European Union subdivisions and national authorities, it is one of the most widely spoken languages ​​in the world. Besides English, it is the only language in the world that is spoken on every continent.

What makes the French language interesting?

The longest French word is anticonstitutionnellement, which means “unconstitutionally”. French also contains some words with three occurrences of the letter e, such as “créée” (meaning “created”) and “agréée” (meaning “approved”). The longest place name in France belongs to the local authority of Saint-Remy-en-Bouzemont-Saint-Genest-et-Issoni located in Northeastern France, while the shortest place name is that of the village of Y.

What are some interesting French expressions?

Distinguishing, observing and analysing linguistic nuances can tell you a lot about cultural characteristics. Culinary culture and everything related to eating is central in France, as is also evidenced by many French idioms and expressions. When things turn ugly, the French say tourner au vinaigre, which directly translates to “turn into vinegar”. When referring to loss of self-control, the French language has the expression avoir la moutarde qui monte au nez, which means “to have mustard rising to the nose”. When someone is feeling under the weather, the French say ne pas être dans son assiette, which literally translates into “not being in one’s plate”. And when the French want to say “for next to nothing”, they use the expression pour une bouchée de pain, which means “for a mouthful of bread”. All these words – vinegar, mustard, bread and plate – are related to food.

What should one consider when entering the French market?

The French language is at once proud and modest, sensual and formal, resounding and soft. This applies equally to the French themselves. France has been the birthplace of many corporations that have spread across the globe and are active in fields such as medicine, agriculture and the food industry. The French market is also an attractive export market. When entering the French market, your progress will be smoother and you will be more likely to succeed when playing by the local rules.

  • Politeness is important! Address others politely by using the title Monsieur or Madame and both their first name as well as their surname.
  • Keep your handshakes light! The French shake hands very loosely and lightly, as if they are always in a hurry. Thus, a loose handshake by a Frenchman or woman should not be taken as a lack of interest.
  • Clothing is important! Clothing should be of high quality, jewellery should be tasteful and any accessories should be expensive. Trainers are out of the question and turning up to a business meeting unshaven is not a good idea either.
  • Hands on the table! Business lunches are common in France. Business lunches can last hours, but business is not discussed until after dessert. As a rule of proper etiquette, hands should be kept on the table during the lunch, not under the table.
  • Pressuring is a bad idea! Aggressive sales tactics will not get you far in France. The decision-maker is the most senior ranking executive and decisions take time. Have patience.
  • Interrupting others is polite! Interrupting others with a question or finishing their sentences is considered polite in France, because it shows that the listener is interested in the subject. It is a good idea to interrupt the speaker with a question as a show of support.

What should one consider when ordering French translations?

Our main French translation service is English-French-English translationFrench-English translation is cheaper than English-French translation, because we employ native French speakers for the latter. The price of a French translation depends on the exact language pair, the type and function of the text, the format of the source and target text, the desired deadline, and the volume of the text to be translated. If there are recurring segments in the text, we offer regular customers a respective discount.

To order a translation, please send us an e-mail along with the text you wish to have translated. If you are unable to provide the text at this point, please indicate the approximate volume of the text. We work with French translators and editors who speak French as a native language, have lived in a French-language environment or have attained the highest level of proficiency in French. Transly translation agency‘s translators and project managers are passionate about their job and always do their best to ensure that our customers are happy with their translations.

What kind of texts do you translate from and into French?

We provide French translation of laws, regulations, directives, court judgments, documents, technical texts, medical texts, user and safety manuals, marketing texts, sales materials, catalogues, product documentation, product descriptions, websites, applications, programmes and correspondence. If desired, we also offer our customers translation layout, design, insertion into websites and printing services. If you have a translation request, please send us an enquiry and we will provide you with a quotation within just a couple of hours.


French-English and English-French translation

We mainly offer French-English and English-French translations. However, do not hesitate to contact us with requests for other language pairs either – we will always do our best to find a solution to your translation needs.

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Transly's blog is written by our dedicated team of translators, wordslingers and editors. We love what we do.


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