French translation services have been core business since 1990, with over 14 million source words of French to English & English to French translation delivered. And when it comes to French translation services, there’s no substitute for experience.
The national language of France, French is also spoken in Canada, Belgium, Monaco and Switzerland, parts of Africa, Haiti, and many more. This makes French a popular exporters’ choice, but take note – translation quality matters more in French than any other language. “Le français” is adored by its millions of speakers, and poor French WILL cost sales.
Through our French subsidiary we are able to hand-pick for your project the very best professional mother-tongue French translators, carefully selected for experience in your sector and material. That translation is then reviewed independently, twice, to ensure it’s perfect. And yes, that does make us unusual.
As well as translation we’ve delivered over 600 French interpreting assignments (as far away as The Gabon!), plus 100s of hours of French transcription together with reams of press-ready French typesetting. Our French voiceover and subtitling can be found in training material all over the world, while our French copywriting services entice visitors to historic towns, trade shows, and resorts all over France.
Punctuation is different, and a minefield for amateurs. Some examples include non-breaking spaces before colons : & semicolons ; – exclamation ! and question marks ?. “Speech marks” are different, appearing as « this » (note spaces) but ‘this’ for reported conversation. UPPER CASE is much less used than in English (except in SURNAMES, where it’s de rigueur) – so “French” for example becomes “français”. Commas and points in numbers also switch, 1,234.56 becoming 1.234,56. And that’s just for starters…!
French correspondence is typically much wordier, and will vary depending on the relationship between the parties. English to French translation is also a lot longer, while French to English usually contracts. Our FAQs and (free!) Really Helpful Friendly Guide to Translation offer more advice.
English to French translation can grow 30%; this, along with unique French punctuation and many accented characters, makes French typesetting a minefield for the unwary – our French proofreading finds errors in 90% of others’ French typesetting that clients ask us to check. Many commercial fonts simply don’t include the French characters needed – which may go unnoticed here, but will really hurt your business in France!
Don’t cut corners on French typesetting – it’s a waste of a good translation and will hurt your sales badly. We offer fully-proofread professional French typesetting in Quark, Illustrator, InDesign and more, recent projects including technical brochures, food packaging, health and safety training and much more.
Our expert French interpreter services don’t just cover the UK – we’ve interpreted as far away as The Gabon, as well as in many less remote places. We provide liaison, conference, court and medical interpreting services, the insurance and health & safety sectors both being large users. Our (free!) Really Helpful Friendly Guide to Interpreting offers lots of useful tips.
Certified translation is the UK equivalent to Europe’s “sworn translation”. To be able to certify translation a translator needs excellent qualifications and experience, and is normally a full member of either the CIoL or the ITI. Non-UK use may require sworn or notarised translation, or a Consulate-registered translator – see our certified page for more info.
Our French transcription services are popular for research and legal applications. We can provide French transcription as both mono- and bilingual (so with French to English translation). French transcription for legal use generally needs certification.
Most French voiceover services are much more interested in recording and video than in translation. Not us. We’re first and foremost a translation company, so accuracy is key. We translate and review all our French subtitling and voiceover scripts ourselves, with every word translated by professional mother-tongue translators and reviewers. So our French voiceover doesn’t just sound good – it IS good. And our French subtitling is to the same high standard. There’s more information on our voiceover page.
Length is a key factor in French voiceover. Translating English to French can easily grow 30%, so if you’re making video that will need French voiceover it’s a good idea to allow some space for this longer translation. Also make sure your translator is familiar with French voiceover translation – it’s not just ordinary translation! You’ll find more advice on French voiceover in our Really Helpful Friendly Voiceover Guide.