Delivering expert French translation services since 1990 we’ve delivered over 12 million source words of French to English & English to French translation. Every word is translated by professional mother-tongue translators, and reviewed twice for style and accuracy. That’s backed-up by over 600 French interpreting, French transcription and press-ready French typesetting services.
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 be warned – “cheap” French translation is not a good idea. “Le français” is adored by its millions of speakers, and poor French on product is a real turn-off. Exporters take note!
Note also that French is NOT all the same – that used in Canada, Belgium, Switzerland and others is not the same as that spoken in France. When sourcing French translation it’s best to source translators from your target market to ensure maximum acceptance of your product – but if you don’t know translators there, don’t worry – we do!
Punctuation is different in French, and a minefield for amateur translation or typesetting. 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 there’s more…!
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 best left to experts. In fact our French proofreading finds errors in up to 90% of the French typesetting clients ask us to check. Note also that a lot of commercial fonts simply don’t include many of the characters needed – something often not spotted, and another reason poor French typesetting so often hurts UK product sales in France.
So please, don’t cut corners on French typesetting – it’s a real waste of a good translation and will hurt your credibility badly. We offer fully-proofread professional French typesetting in Quark, Illustrator, InDesign and more, with 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, with 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.