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See below, what kind of changes to the text might be expected for translations from French to English or vice versa.
Translation from English to French or vice versa entails certain changes in the resulting text. These changes are caused by the inherent differences between the languages. The following things in your order might be affected:
- The layout of the resulting text
- Time it takes to translate
- Translation complexity
Among other factors, these parameters can influence the final price as well. The layout factor is especially important to those, who are interested in our DTP (Desktop Publishing) services.
|Parameter||To English||To French||Difference|
|Writing system||Latin English alphabet||Latin French alphabet||Same writing system, different scripts: minimal difference|
|Characters per word (average)||6||6||None|
|Text length (characters)||9% shorter||10% longer||Minimal|
Text length and document layout
The main factors influencing the length and layout of the translated document are:
- Writing system of the target language
- Writing direction
- Word length
- Relative lengths of the texts
Both English and French use the same writing system — the Latin alphabet. It means that usually the translated text can be displayed, using the same fonts as the source text. This lack of difference makes it easier to make the source and the target text be the same length. Please note, however, that the languages employ different sub-types (a.k.a. scripts) of the alphabet. Some fonts of the source language may not support all the signs in the target language.
Both languages are read left-to-right, meaning that there should be no significant changes to the layout in terms of the order of text elements.
Both languages have 6 characters per word, on average. This promises a relatively similar formatting of your documents, provided that the rest of the parameters are not too different.
On average, documents translated to English are 9% shorter than source texts in French. On the other hand, French texts are 10% longer than their English counterparts. It means that some formatting differences are to be expected in the translated texts, although they should not present a serious formatting issue. Please note, that the actual visual length is also influenced by the font used.
Depending on your needs, the word order might be rather important for the translation. Things like slogans and brand names may convey an entirely different meaning, if their word order is changed.
Both English and French have the same standard sequence of words, meaning that no additional problems should be caused by it.
Dialects and varieties
Both languages in question have regional varieties, which can be quite distinctive. For localization purposes it is essential to choose the right form or dialect to translate to. While all types of the language will probably be understood by all users, the different spellings and stylistic differences can influence how understandable and trustworthy your text is to a particular local audience. English has 3 major varieties: US, UK, and Australian. As for French, it has Metropolitan, and Canadian variants.
If you are not sure, which form to choose for your document, the safe choice is the more widespread one, or the one understood by most speakers. For English, it is the US variety, and it is Metropolitan French for the French language.
Translation complexity is partially dependent on how closely the languages are related. The further apart the languages are, the more time and effort it takes to express an idea from one language in another one. As a consequence, it affects the price and time it takes to translate a document between English and French.
Both English and French belong to the Indo-European language family. The English language, however, represents the Germanic branch of the family, while French is a member of the Romance branch. It is not as drastic of a difference as between members of distinct families, but the discrepancy still provides some challenge to the translator.