Why is French such an important language?
Number of speakers
French is the official language of 29 countries across five continents. Approximately 270 million people speak the language worldwide. In Europe, it is the third-most spoken language, with about 80 million native speakers. Due to its wide use, French translation and localization is essential for business growth, especially within the European market.
A career asset
There are many multinational companies that use French as their working language. This includes companies within the retail, luxury goods, research and automotive sector. France also has one of the top five economies in the world. As such, the country attracts entrepreneurs, students and expatriates from all over the world.
France is the country of fashion, design, gastronomy, art, history, literature and more. For those operating in art and culture sectors, mastering the French language is a must.
Is it easy to translate French?
False friends are two words which appear similar phonetically, yet have a different meaning. It can be tempting to assume that ‘assister’ in French means the same as ‘assist’ in English, but in fact, it means ‘to attend’. Equally, ‘sensible’ in French would be translated as ‘sensitive’. When translating between languages, therefore, it is not enough to simply have a superficial understanding of the language.
French grammar can be difficult to understand. Even native speakers can make grammatical errors. To write accurately in French, it is essential to have an in-depth understanding of the grammar. A country which is proud of its cultural heritage, poor use of the French language will not give a positive impression.
Variations and French translation
Within France, there are variations to the way the language is spoken from North to South. This includes accent and the use of certain words. Even greater variances occur from country to country. For instance, there are significant differences in the French spoken in Belgium, Canada, North Africa and les territoires d’outre mer.