Last updated on January 4, 2023
England and France share not just geographical proximity, but also a raft of historical connections. Some 23% of the UK’s population speaks French, meaning that it is home to more French speakers than speakers of Scots, Welsh, Ulster Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Irish and Cornish combined.
Of course, mastering the basics of a language in school and being able to use it proficiently in a business context are two very different things. Our client, along with many of her peers, enjoyed several years of French lessons in school, but found herself unprepared to hold a fast-paced business discussion with colleagues across the Channel when her company expanded to include a French office.
With her team due to head up a marketing meeting focusing on plans to market the company’s products in both countries, our client decided that it was time to invest in some professional marketing translation.
Tomedes is regularly called upon to provide native translators. We focus our French translation work on each client’s needs, ensuring that our translators’ expertise is perfectly relevant to the industry in which the client works.
French is a widely spoken language around the world. In Europe, it is the second most spoken language (after English) and it is also spoken across many parts of Africa, as well as in the United States and, of course, Canada. In total, 29 countries list French as one of their official languages.
In many ways, French and English are very similar. Bar a few accents, they use the same alphabet, while the fact that both use a subject-verb-object word order means that it is relatively easy for a speaker of one to learn the other.
In fact, many English words are derived from French. The Norman conquest of England in the 11th century began a process of England adopting French words into its language, many of which we continue to use to this day.
Of course, there are some notable differences between the two languages. English words don’t have a masculine or feminine form, while French words do. As such, those translating English to French must have a firm grasp on whether the words they are using are masculine or feminine. This is one reason that Tomedes always seeks to use native French speakers for our translations. Our recent English to French CV translation is a perfect example of this.
Read more: English to French CV Translation
For this client’s translation, the job began with the translation of a trio of marketing fliers. It then expanded to include a marketing presentation, once the client’s plans for her strategy meeting developed. As a company offering a wide range of translation services, Tomedes was well placed to provide a flexible service that met the evolving needs of the job.
Providing translation to professional marketers has been a core business activity for Tomedes for over ten years. Marketing translation is a skilled art that requires not just knowledge of two languages, but also a keen understanding of marketing strategies and practices in both the country of origin and the target country.
In this case, for example, the French marketing translation needed to take into account the cultural differences between the French and the English. This is a subtle and nuanced task, but localization of this nature is essential when marketing materials are converted from one language to another. Failure to correctly localize copy and images can lead to misunderstandings and even cause offense – something that is clearly not on marketers’ agendas! That’s why it’s so important to get the translation right.
Where two cultures are broadly similar, localization work for marketing translation jobs is usually relatively straightforward, as was the case for this client. If cultural differences are starker, marketing documents might need far more work in order to localize them. Sometimes, this can go as far as essentially starting from scratch (though with the same marketing intent), in a process known as transcreation.
For this client, the localization requirements were relatively minor. Rephrasing a small section of the copy and replacing an image was all that it took to localize the documents perfectly for their new French audience.
In addition to using our services, this client also took advantage of our desktop publishing expertise. We created her French fliers, ensuring that they matched the English versions beautifully. Our desktop publishing is available to all translation clients, as well as operating as a standalone service.
If you have a marketing document that needs a professional polish, with or without translations, Tomedes is here to help. Why not contact our friendly team today to discuss your needs? We deliver a wide range of language-related services and are used to working to strict deadlines for clients all over the world. You’ll get 24/7 customer service, as well. Call, email or live chat with us to find out more!
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