There are more than 7000 languages that people speak globally. Every language has a culture linked to it. Also, every language comes with different grammar composition, subject order, syntax, and lexical resources. The translation world is quite complex and the complexities are built up due to the different languages. A few language pairs are more in demand than others. English and French and English to German are two of the examples which come from the most in-demand language pairs. French is one of the world’s most popular languages and also has different variants. More than 80 million people speak this language. This is also an important business language. This language is quite popular among businesses for translation from English to French and French to English translation.
France is a European country. As the European Union’s surveys tell this language is a common mother tongue in Europe. 12% of the total population of Europe speaks this language. French happens to be the second language after English which is an official language in up to 5 continents. These facts also clearly mention the demand and popularity of English-to-French translation services. However, the translation process is complex and challenging and likewise English to French translation services also come with a number of challenges.
English and French languages though relate to each and are similar to many extents. Being an English speaker if you try your hands at learning the French language you will get to know it is the easiest language to learn. Though there are major differences between both overall it is not that difficult to learn. However, when it comes to the translation of the content from English to French, there are certain limitations and constraints that make the translation process challenging.
A few to name are listed below.
Multiple variants of French
Though English itself has different variations in terms of dialects and nuances, French is also spoken differently in different corners of the world. It is the official language of 29 countries hence the differences may occur naturally. People speak each language with a different accent and connotation. It has different variations in France, Belgium, the US, and the Middle East. The French that they speak in Canada has a whole different name now and is known as Canadian French.
French has noun genders
English happens to be the most sought-after and simple European language. Talking about French it has the nouns with genders. All nouns come with a gender. These could be masculine or feminine. A football for instance is a feminine in French. Whereas they consider handkerchiefs masculine. This is a big difference that makes the translation challenging for the translators when they are translating the content from English to French and have to prove the gender identity of every noun in French. The gender problem in French also affects sentence structure and construction.
Unlike English where adjectives stay constant, these change and get altered with the gender. Considering French is a two-gender language the translators need to be clear on the gender of the words that they are translating from English. Even native speakers fail to be fluent with the gender of the French words.
French takes more space
This is a hectic and complex factor that translators have to confront while working on a translation into the French language. The French words are expanded and long in terms of characters and words. Text expansion is a common problem that occurs in many languages. Not all languages go similar in length and space. Similarly, when it comes to the translation of English to French the length of the content expands to 15% to 20% as compared to the original text in the English language. This gets challenging for translators to negate and get it adjusted mostly when they are translating marketing or multimedia content where there is limited space available. Moreover, it is also worth mentioning here that German too (despite the fact that English originates from it) has eight times more words as compared to English. Therefore, the English to German translation services also get tough for the translators.
For instance, the word ‘please’ in English is ‘S’il vous plait’ such is the complexity of the word expansion in French.
Similar words with different meanings
Like all other languages, there are false cognates in the French language too. These are the words that are similar in spelling with minor changes and totally different in meanings.
A few of these are
|To be present at somewhere
|To help someone
These words which are similar apparently in both languages with an addition E in French have totally opposite meanings. Such words often confuse the translators with their right meanings and they often end up replacing the meanings, thinking they are translating for the opposite language.
The English-to-French translation is hectic and challenging. Despite the similarities between both languages and the connection to the original between both languages, the translation gets challenging due to certain factors. The major of these are false cognates, grammar differences, text expansion, and multiple variants of both languages.