Dialects and Regional Variations

At Art One Translations we provide top-notch French translation services. We have more specialists working in French than in any other language translating each year close to 1,000,000 words to and from French in a variety of specialized fields.

We have separate specialists to work in Parisian French and Canadian French. While some people may not realize it, the two dialects are radically different in certain ways. Differences in spelling, punctuation, and phrase construction distinguish the two dialects, meaning that French translations into the wrong dialect will not read as naturally to their target audience as their original text. Moreover, differences in idiom and phraseology can lead to misunderstanding between speakers of the two dialects, and they can even look ridiculous.

To understand the disparity between Parisian French and Canadian French, consider the expression “avoir le goût dérangé,” which means “to experience a strange taste” in Canadian French. A French speaker in Paris would be baffled if he heard the expression used, however, as it means, “to have a strange taste.”

“Il n’a pas le goût de sortir ce soir” means “he doesn’t want to go out this evening” in Quebec, but in France it means “he doesn’t have the taste to leave.” Similarly, while “parler à travers son chapeau” means, “to beat about the bush” in Quebec, it means, “to talk across one’s hat” in France, which is sure to strike people as odd, although not quite as odd as asking someone to get in the “char,” which means “car” in Quebec and “chariot” in France.

It is because of the considerable differences between Parisian French and Canadian French that our English to French linguists work in the country in which the dialect into which they translate is spoken: we use different linguists for Parisian French translations and Canadian French translations. Beyond assigning every French translation to a native speaker of French who is a specialist in the subject matter of the text being translated, we have a qualified linguist proofread every text to ensure that terminology is used consistently, resulting in an error-free text that reads as naturally as an original document.

Our areas of specialization include technical literature, user information texts, and full Web and software localizations. We cover such subject domains as electronics, general engineering, technical, automotive, and heavy machinery, IT software and hardware, ERP, telecommunications, mining and exploration, and biomedicine.

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We work in many formats and provide desktop publishing services (DTP) in order to give each final product the same layout as the original on which it was based, saving clients from time and hassle due to file conversion.

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Talk in French: The Canadian French Difference – More on the differences between French in Québec and in France

Client Comments

My non-profit needs French translations all the time. And not just any old French - it's got to be Québecois French. People know the difference, and Art One is able to meet our specific needs. And at a price that our agency can afford. They provide amazing customer service, with excellent work done very quickly. We trust them with every job we have.

Darlene Gage

Mothers Matter Centre

Art One Translations provided us prompt and correct translations for a piece of software that is currently deployed in offices in Quebec, Canada. They were quite thorough in ensuring the translated text would match the context of the original, which is especially important for software as many sentences and labels may be more terse than usual. They are language experts and were able to give suggestions for original English text that was unclear or bad grammar. We were fully satisfied with the service from Art One Translations.

Darren Grafton

Maxim Software