Close Encounters of the Third Kind (with different types of translator)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (with different types of translator)

10 most common types of translator(alien)

There are different types of translator. Some are a strange kind of alien. Let’s see if you recognise or can identify any you might have previously encountered.

1. The translator who never accepts the reviewer’s changes

Whenever you receive revisions for you to approve or at least arbitrate, these types of translator tends to have a slightly grown ego and does not accept improvements, because he believes he is always right. Of course, there are times when they are right and the reviewer is wrong…

You have to be humble and know that four eyes see more than two. The final client will appreciate this.

Several eyes see more than two

2. The reviewer who always changes everything

One may find the complete opposite: perhaps out of frustration (for not being the translator in the first place), or simply because he’s having a bad day, these types of translator show no mercy with the text they receives and change it as much as possible so that it is clear who is in charge here and that their version is better. In addition, this justifies their work.

Surely, they think, if there are not so many changes, one should not dispense with reviewers.

If the translation is really bad, you should notify the client first to see how to proceed. If the translation is normal, then hey, things can always be improved one way or another! But if it’s correct, respect the translator’s work by avoiding preferential changes.

3. The translator or reviewer to whom everything seems wrong

It is an evolution from the first two stereotypes. It does not matter if they translate or if they proofread: for this alien, the client has no clue about how to do things, reviewers don’t have a clue about what they do and, should he be the actual reviewer, the translation is a disaster. Of course, all potential criticism find their place on social networks.

Again, you have to be humble. If something’s wrong, better tell the interested parties in the best possible way to try to improve the project. Social networks should be used for other things.

4. The freelance translator who works in his pyjamas

Come on, let’s change the tone to something more positive. This is a classic: raise your hand if, as a freelance translator, you’ve never worked in your pyjamas! Well, or even without a shirt if it’s summer.

You can also use accessories. In winter, nothing like a good blanket or electric shoes to be warm, as well as using mittens so that your hands do not get frozen even if you have to type slower…

I have never done it: I swear!

OK, sometimes but at least not today. The first thing I do when I get up is to go to the gym or for a run, shower and get dressed. This way, I feel in a better mental state to work. And that is the truth.

5. The freelance translator who makes videoconferences with pyjama pants

Although many like to stay in their cave with their pyjamas, sometimes you have to meet with teams of translators or reviewers, or with clients directly. When not showing up on the screen is not an option, it is always acceptable to wear a good shirt or a sweater … and those good comfortable pyjama pants.  

I would swear that I’ve never had to do this, not that I haven’t thought about it but should I have to get up to fetch something, then I would be in trouble. (I do know some who do, but I won’t name names).

6. The translator who spoils discussion groups talking about tariffs

Oh, yes, rates… An eternal debate! Everything was going well in a discussion until someone asks how much is usually charged for a specific task. In the end, things start to degenerate and some translator start saying that there are types of translator who throw the market with ridiculous rates, and that should we setup an organisation of translators to regulate rates…

Debating on this topic is a good thing, but always with respect and by throwing valid arguments.

7. The video game translator who cannot say what is working on

This is no fun, since it happens to a vast majority of video game translators. Here you will find everything: from clients who put all the translators in the same location to translation agencies that make you sign that you should never talk about the games you have translated.

Recognition, I think, is necessary to help make the work of these types of translators more visible in general.

Time has taught me not to obsess about this topic, because after all we have to be aware that we are providing a service for which we are paid, and in reality, we consume many of those products without knowing who is responsible for making them. The same applies to technical translators whose work is also very important but not recognised.

Obviously, I support recognition and I am the first one who likes to be recognised for things like the games I worked on at Nintendo, but as I say, maybe over time, I have learned to cope.

By the way, an argument that is usually given is that the identity of the translators is not revealed because the client can contact them directly instead of going through the agency, but in my experience, the large client will prefer to use an agency to avoid having to deal with each translator individually (especially when there are many languages involved).

8. The interpreter who always has to clarify that he is an interpreter and not a translator

Even nowadays, it is very common for people outside the translation industry to call people dedicated to consecutive or bilateral interpretation, ‘translators’. Yet, translators work with written words, while interpreters work with oral language (I am simplifying a lot, but for us to understand each other).

9. The freelance translator who never gets sick

If you do not work, no invoices, no wages, no money, so what is going on if you have a cold, fever, back pain or a tremendous cough? The truth is that being autonomous has an advantage after all: you become resistant to diseases!

Of course I get sick from time to time, especially with colds and a little headache from time to time. But I sincerely believe that, in my more than 25 years as a freelance translator, I have hardly ever stopped working (More because it was windy outside and I had to go kitesurfing).

10. The translator who lives in a mansion and has a private jet

Seriously, that’s a joke.

Translators can live very well. Yes, I do not have to have a mansion in Madrid or a private jet, but I like the freedom that comes with the job.

Of course, there are more stereotypes/aliens. Should you think of more stereotypes, please let me know in your comments.

Get the Best English-French translation – Part II

Getting all the pieces together for your translation project

Optimising the File to Be Translated

In the first blog of this series, I started by giving tips to customers looking to get an English-French translation on how to collaborate with translators, starting with aspects related to planning and reference materials. Now the focus of the suggestions to optimise the process is in the source text that you will send to the translator.

Send the Final Version of the Source Text

Do everything in your power so that the source text sent to the translator is the final and revised version. If it is not possible, the least you should do is highlight the changes made after the first delivery. You can use a different colour font, a bookmark tool, or even a specific tool for revisions, such as the one that marks changes made in Word (“track changes”). In these cases, it is very common for the translator to charge for the extra work and, depending on the volume of the new text, the deadline should be changed.

What you should always avoid is that endless back-and-forth e-mail with multiple versions of the same source text, especially after the translator has started the work. This is the perfect recipe for wasting time and, most likely, money.

Send an Editable File

Translator translates. Simple, isn’t it? However, some people think they can send an image to a translator and get it back with everything just the same, but in another language. Well, this is perfectly feasible, but it is another service that your translator can offer or not. And not all translators offer it (I do). While some of us love desktop publishing and have fun formatting texts, making graphics, preparing tables, creating images … others are not very good at it, do not like it or just think it’s not worth investing in these extra activities and prefer to concentrate their efforts at what they do best: translate.

Type of Translatable Files

Most translators prefer to receive editable files. That being said, editable PDFs are acceptable, but not ideal. Sometimes it is even possible to copy the content of a given PDF and paste it into a word processor, but often the formatting is lost. This is especially true when the document does not contain just plain text.

The best kind of file you can send to a translator is in a format that can be edited and is also supported by the so-called “CAT tools” that your translator uses. A brief parenthesis is crucial here: CAT tools and, more specifically, translation memory software, are not the same thing as machine translation tools. Explained very simply and briefly, translation memories are files that store sentences/segments translated by the user. So when your translator comes across the same content or something similar, the software shows the sentences used previously, helping to maintain textual consistency. One of the advantages of these translation tools is that the formatting usually stays intact.

You Do Not Have an Editable File

In case you cannot send an editable file, the reactions vary from translator to translator. Before you begin work, the translator may ask you to send the material to another professional to make it into editable text. The translator can also choose to type the translated text into a simple file, without worrying about the final formatting. In that case, you will be responsible for accomplishing this task or hiring whoever does it. The translator can also offer the formatting (and charge for the extra work) or forward the text to a colleague who takes care of this task (which will charge its own fees).

Working with editable texts is also a way to reduce the margin of error.

To conclude, I would like to make it clear that collaborating with your translator does not just mean making their lives easier. Most important of all is that there are many things you can do in order to get the best product possible.

Concluding this first series of articles, the next blog will deal with the translation stage itself and what to do after receiving the translated text. Again, I’ll give you suggestions on how to get the most return on your translation projects.

Get the Best English-French translation – Part I

Lego people collaborating - like a translator collaborating with his customer to get the best English-French translation

Except your English to French translator, the person most interested in getting the best English-French translation is, of course, you. However, because of a lack of knowledge about the translation process, your collaboration may not be as effective as it should. Or, even worse, you may end up disturbing the outcome.

With that in mind, I have listed some measures that should be observed by everyone involved in a French translation. I understand that in real life, the situation sometimes goes beyond our control. So, let’s say the following recommendations represent the best scenario possible.

Plan Your English-French Translation Project

It is very important to plan a project in advance and give the French translator the time to do their job in the best condition possible. If you are already accustomed to working with a translator, you should have an idea of ​​how long it takes to accomplish a particular task. However, productivity varies from person to person, from text to text and even from day to day.

Be aware that several “obstacles” can disrupt your translator at any time.

Your translator may have time reserved for another project, juggling two or more texts at a time. He might not be able to offer your English-French translation project his full dedication, which is very common.

The text may vary from what the professional is accustomed to translate. This makes the process more time consuming.

The translator may be busy with personal issues or even preparing to take a vacation.

Easy solutions to those issues with your translator

I recommend that you always talk to your translator as soon as you know of a future translation. If your company deals with recurring projects that need translation, there is no reason not to warn the translator in advance. Of course, you can only ask someone to book their time when you have more details, such as dates, text size, content, etc. An organised translator will be grateful to know that a project is coming. They will have this future project in mind when setting up their work schedule.

In your company, make sure that everyone involved in the production of the original text meets the deadlines. In addition, the timeline must take into account not only the work of the translator itself but also the time it takes for someone in your company to make a final reading of the translation. Nevertheless, be very careful: asking your staff to “edit” a translation is a double-edged sword and should be done with great care and responsibility.

Know that very short deadlines are usually accompanied by emergency fees. These are expenses that you can avoid, though. And there’s more: chaotic deadlines can affect the quality of the final text. I will discuss this topic in more detail in the near future.

Reference Materials for your English-French translation

To avoid mistakes in translating a technical text, I suggest that you use people from your company who are experts in the subject to provide translators with appropriate terminology and reference materials. This advice is pertinent to all types of text and media. It is important to send to the translator all materials that are in any way related to the text to be translated.

Use “old” English-French translations if any

If you have relevant bilingual documents such as previously translated content, do not even think twice! Other useful materials are glossaries (monolingual or bilingual), lists of preferred terms, style manuals, acronyms, abbreviations and acronyms written in length, etc. In general, experienced translators are prepared to detect pertinent terms, phrases, and other style elements present even in monolingual texts. So, go ahead and submit that report in English produced in 2012, even if you do not find the translation into French. Likewise, all relevant texts in the target language (i.e. language to which the text is translated) will be most welcome.

These support materials help you maintain consistency between your company texts. They help your translator deliver a high-quality service. Depending on the case, access to these materials may even reduce the delivery schedule.

You increase your chances of receiving a better English-French translation

As you can see, everyone benefits from of these measures. You increase your chances of receiving an impeccable English-French translation. Moreover, your French translator appreciate the support and consideration that help them meet their client’s needs more quickly and efficiently.

For more tips, read Tips to Get the Best English-French translation – Part II


How do you say my name is in French?

Learning how to introduce yourself to someone is likely one of the first things you’ll learn in any language. In French, the most common way to tell someone your name is to say je m’appelle (zhuh mah-pehl) followed by your name.
1. Saying Your Name
Say ‘Je m’appelle’ in most situations. This is equivalent to ‘my name is’ in French. Appeler means ‘to call’ in French, so the phrase literally means ‘I call myself.’
For example, one might say: ‘Bonjour ! Je m’appelle Ollie. Comment t’appelles-tu ?’ (Hello! My name is Ollie. What is your name?)
2. Say ‘moi, c’est…’ followed by your name
If the person you are talking to tells you their name first, you can use this sentence to introduce yourself. If you say ‘moi, c’est Ollie,’ the literal translation would be ‘me, it’s Ollie.’
Example: A young man is introduced to a pretty girl. The pretty girl says: ‘Bonjour ! Je m’appelle Charlotte. Et toi ?’ (Hi, my name is Charlotte.). The young man could answer: ‘Bonjour ! Moi, c’est ollie.’ (Literally, ‘As for me, it’s Ollie.)
3. Introduce yourself in formal situations
‘Je me présente, followed by your name’ is more formal. Use it when you wish to say to someone ‘I’d like to introduce myself.’ or ‘Please let me introduce myself’.
For example, suppose you meet a VIP at a formal dinner party and would like to introduce yourself. You might say ‘Je me présente : Ollie.’ (Please let me introduce myself, I’m Ollie.)

How do you say your age in French?

How do you say how old you are in French?
Quel âge as-tu?
You are talking to a child. You want to ask him how old he is, so in English, you would say, ‘How old are you?’ He might respond, ‘I’m 6 years old!’ In English, you use the verb ‘to be’: I am 12, you are 52 ? She is 23, etc.
In French, when you talk about age, you use the verb ‘avoir’, which actually means, ‘to have.’ both in your question and answer.
Example : Quel âge as-tu? (How old are you ?). The answer would be ‘J’ai 6 ans’.
Someone is asking you your age? You would answer the same way : J’ai 23 ans.
Some other examples:
-Quel âge as-tu ? -J’ai 16 ans.
-Quel âge a-t-il ? Il a 13 ans.

How do you say days of the week in French?

In French, the days of the week are:
Lundi (Monday)
Mardi (Tuesday)
Mercredi (Wednesday)
Jeudi (Thursday)
Vendredi (Friday)
Samedi (Saturday)
Dimanche (Sunday)
They are all masculine in gender.
Notice how most of these days in French sound like planets. As a matter of fact, ancient nations used to worship them and made a special day for every one of those planets to worship.
Lundi : monday: day of the moon (“lune” means the moon in French)
Mardi : Tuesday, (day of mars)
Mercredi : (day of mercury)
Jeudi : (day of jupiter)
Vendredi : (day of venus)
Saturday : (day of Saturn)

Translation and… Tennis? Really?

tennis ball with english and french flags

From Tennis to English-French translation

A taste for language study, grammar, literature and translation, and more than 25 years as an English into French translator defines a large part of who I am, the way I think, with whom I relate and to whom I dedicate most of my time now. In the past, things were very different. As a teenager, one of the activities that most occupied my time was tennis.

Funny thing that I should think about tennis – now – when I spent so much time translating documents these days, wouldn’t you think?

Translated English documents to French for 25 years

While I spend most of my professional life doing French translations these days, the truth of the matter is, recently I met a very old friend of mine for an important event in my life. Someone who played a major role, whom I hadn’t seen for 10 years.

Our meeting after all these years made me think about how and when we met 35 years ago. We were both teenagers and I used to play tennis. Let’s be honest, I wasn’t very good at it but this is not important. What’s important is that meeting him after such a long time got me to compare my present life as a language translator and my former life as a teenager playing tennis. My mind began to “travel back” and weave parallels between those two activities. I was amazed to see how much they have in common. So here’s a little exercise in reflection: any of the items below are what I see and feel as much about the field of translation as about tennis, or for any individual sport for that matter.

Thoughts about what it is to be a translator and/or a tennis player

                – It is notoriously lonely, which does not mean that everything depends on you alone.

               – Those who see practice it without knowing it, think that it is something purely mechanical.

                – You have to train your whole life; there is no time when there is no need to practise and improve. In the beginning it’s just to do the basics, but the higher the level you reach, the more important it is to train regularly to seek to extend your own limits.

                – You can always improve.

                – It is 99% creating and 1% inspiration.

                – If, for those who look from the outside, what the person does seem easy and natural, you can be sure that it takes a lot more effort than you can imagine.

                – We need to train a lot, for years and years, so that when we come across some of those crucial moments of our career, when we have those immense challenges that mark us for the rest of our lives, we know how to seize the opportunity.

                – There is luck. But strategy cannot be ignored.

                – There is much room for discussion about rules and questions. But inside is inside, and outside is outside.

                – You have to be able to get a taste for – or at least accept and take satisfaction – from practice in all aspects (even those we do not like) – tiredness, repetition, frustration, pain. The moments of memorable victories and recognition are rare and are directly related to this continuous effort.

               – Mistakes are a part of it and often happen. There simply isn’t any way you cannot – eventually – make mistakes. One must accept that this will happen and be able to deal with errors so as not to compromise the final result, and jeopardise their self-confidence and the pleasure of continuing to dedicate themselves.

                – Defeat is also a part of it. You need to know how to use it as a source of motivation to improve. But if you repeatedly fail to win, there is something very wrong with what you are doing, and you need to acknowledge this fact and seek help.

                – The only way to improve is always to measure ourselves with who is better than you.

                – It is important to have a model (or some) of what we would like to be. And it is important to know why we choose this model.

                – Defeating or pointing out mistakes of those who are technically inferior does not make us better at something.

And the comparison with translation does not stop here

                – Making serious mistakes, gossiping or giving justifications only makes the situation worse. The only solution is to learn from them immediately and find a way to get it right the next time.

                – The feeling of pride in winning is very strong, because we fight alone and the merit is strongly individual. But whoever wins a major victory always has a huge number of people to thank for, for getting there.

                – It takes a very unique combination of ambition and humility, always.

                – Do not stand still in one place. To stop is to go back.

                – You cannot rest on your laurels while your career has not come to an end. This is a mortal sin.

                – Few things reveal our true ethics as a painful defeat. Or even the possibility of defeat.

                – Even the most correct of people might try to distort a rule in their favour or take advantage from time to time. But nothing is more difficult than doing what we know to be right when we are robbed or harmed in bad faith. And this happens often.

                – External factors, whether natural or human, interfere all the time. No one is immune to them. But whoever is really serious never uses these factors as justification for their failures.

                – It is perfectly possible to be self-taught, but the immense majority of self-taught people will have visible technical defects or deficiencies if they ever stop learning.

                – Except for rare exceptions, it is possible to identify self-taught, amateur or occasional practitioners in a matter of seconds.

               – “Having passion” and being a professional – which makes of that practice, the career of a lifetime – are completely different things. Being professional and not losing your passion for something that requires so much effort and dedication is the big challenge.

                – There is plenty of room for great professionals who will never be on top or go down in history. There is no shame and it is possible to have a very dignified and productive career at intermediate levels. The degree of effort and dedication required remains exactly the same.

                – There are those who have innate talent for the thing, and this is noticeable, even if we do not know exactly what it is.

                – Helping someone improve makes us even better.

                – Our opponent is our colleague. Without it, we are nothing, we have no merit. Our enemy today is your partner tomorrow, or vice versa.

                – It is fundamental to respect the adversary and know how to recognise his merits.

More analogies with translation

                – It is crucial to know how to separate a profession from personal relationships, even though these two dimensions are constantly mixing.

               – We do not devote ourselves because we expect recognition. We dedicate ourselves because it is part of who we are and we want to carry it out with quality.

                – It’s a journey of self-knowledge. We need to face our faults and weaknesses, as well as discover and know how to take advantage of our talents.

                – We have to know how to study alone, to work alone, to protect ourselves, to overcome solitary challenges.

                – Those who observe us from the outside will judge us, sometimes based on details we barely notice. It’s part of the activity.

                – Claiming that you are good at it means nothing. You have to show it.

                – A beautiful victory or one of pride fills everyone.

                – Anyone who says they do not feel pressure when other people are watching is lying blatantly. The great merit lies in not letting the performance fall too much under pressure.

                – Anyone who thinks that constantly investing in quality instrumental makes no difference in performance does not understand anything. Whoever thinks that only the instrumental solves everything, either.

                – The better you are, the more difference it makes in a fraction of a second, a centimetre, a degree.

                – It’s not something we do. It is something that one is. It’s a way of life, a way of thinking. Not just the person, but the whole family.

               – It is an practice that transforms our way of looking at life and that influences everything we do, even if it is totally unrelated to the activity itself.

                – When done well, it even touches. But only for those who know how to really enjoy it.

               – It is science. It’s art. Juggling. It’s dance.

And I’m sure the list could go on and on. One day, maybe in 35 years’ time – Will I still be doing English-French translation? – I might still add items to this list…

PS: talking about tennis, I didn’t mean to generalise. That wasn’t even the goal. Much of this would also apply to a number of other individual sports or any challenging thing one might practise.

Do you notice anything different about me?

a different translation

You’ve had your website translated into French?
Congratulations on Opening Your Business to Millions of French-speaking potential clients.

Yet, like many companies, you might have used a translation agency to translate your document into French.

Have you ever considered using a Freelance Translator? If you have not, let me give you 3 very good reasons why You Should:

(Much) Better Quality of translation

  • Translator gets to know your business, your language, your style and your company, becoming part of your team
  • Style and Terminology become MORE consistent
  • You are 100% sure YOUR translator is a French-native speaker and Professional Translator

No middleman = Better Value for Money

Direct Contact

  • One Point of Contact
  • Strong relationship with Trusted & Competent Translator
  • Easier communication

Today, you can have your documentation into French, with a MUCH BETTER Value for Money and Quality that any Translation Agency can offer you.

How do I know that? Simple: Most translation agencies you might employ are using a Freelance Translator just like me, taking their cut along the way.

Why not cut the middle man, and get Better Translations in the process?

Contact me now for a quote for the translation of your document and/or website and see the difference

If Only Everything in Life was as Reliable as a Translation

looking for a reliable translator

You’ve hired a translator to have a document translated into French, thinking that all is tickety boo. Suddenly, everything goes so wrong.

Ever had some pretty Bad experiences with translators?

15 things that could go wrong with your translator

_ Poor translation: Typos, Spelling mistakes, Inconsistencies, Omissions, Terminology is all wrong

_ Translator has clearly not proofread his/her work before delivery

_ Has only a basic school level/understanding of the English language

_ Poor writing skills/no subtleties in the French language

_ Tells you he/she is familiar with a subject when it is clear they are not

_ You get No feedback on the current translating job. Translator is not answering their phone. Worse, they are clearly Ignoring your calls

_ Your Instructions are being followed

_ Wrong format used

_ Translator changed the Names of all (200) files, for no apparent reason

“I’ve been ill, my car/computer/house/dog broke down”

_ Translator tells you his/her computer has crashed and they’ve lost everything, preferably 2 days before delivery of a large and very important document

_ LATE DELIVERY or NO DELIVERY without notification

_ Translator is giving up in the middle of a project or simply disappearing and never sending you the translation?

You’ve probably heard/seen it all, when they are disorganized or simply don’t care

_ Translator HIRED somebody else to do the job behind your back

_ Using Machine Translation

_ Claiming they’re using a CAT tool but they DON’T and/or don’t know how

_ They’re being RUDE and/or lack of professionalism

_ Translator contacting your client to steal him away from you or bad-mouth you

Finding the right English into French translator for your translation project can be a Real Nightmare

Well, at Extra Speech, I work differently and this is why:

Meeting the basic requirements and more

  • French Native
  • Highly Proficient in English: Lived 14 years in the UK, South Africa, Australia and Canada

Years of study and practice

  • 25+ years experience in the translation industry
  • Several million words translated
  • Qualified:
    • MA in Translation Studies from the University of Portsmouth
    • LEA (Hons) in English Language from the Université of Lyon, France

Relevant Expertise to Your project

Only accept subjects I know well – If I’m out of my depth, I will find you the right translator for your translation project

Better Translations

  • A translator who lives in France, with the target audience
  • Natural French – A Translation that won’t feel like a translation

Accuracy and Technical Expertise

  • All your CAT Tool projects handled and a Greater Consistency using SDL Studio (preferred), memoQ or WordFast Pro
  • Right Terminology, with MultiTerm and glossaries compiled over the years for your benefit
  • Most file formats handled, with documents whose layout mirrors the original as closely as possible

Giving You peace of mind

  • Confidentiality and discretion, according to the Code of Professional Conduct of the Société Française des Traducteurs (SFT)
  • Your translation on time, When You Want it:
    • Out of 78 projects this year, every one of which I delivered by the deadline, more than half of which I delivered early!

Making your life easy, saving your time

  • A translator who reads and adheres to your instructions
  • Independent but ability to work with other translators and proofreaders
  • Easy to contact
  • Easy payment
    • Any currency via PayPal or Transfer

So, if you are looking for a smooth translation experience with a reliable English to French translator, contact me now.

Translation vs. localisation

Different cultures require different translations

Definition of localisation – it consists in adapting a product or a service to the cultural, linguistic and technical requirements of a specific country or culture during a translation project. For a more precise definition of “localisation”, visit our glossary.

A little bit of history about localisation

It started in the 1980s when computer companies such as Dell or Microsoft were developing software. They wanted to sell them internationally. They wanted to adapt them to a very specific audience and locale. As a result, they came up with that term originally and from then on, it grew. It became something much much bigger than translation.

What localisation entails

As a matter of fact, when you’re looking at software translation, you are looking at things like encoding for text and design. You’re looking at typesetting, photos, images, colours. Compliance requirements. Linguistic requirements. Cultural requirements. You’re looking at where your audience is. Are they speaking or are they writing from right to left, for example?

As you can see, there are many things that are involved in the localisation process. That is translators use that term – localisation – more than the term translation. Translation is indeed only one step of the process. All depends on the focus of the company and the different areas they are working in. Some people work in a legal area of expertise. Other people focus on learning or marketing. Some people will focus on software and user manual.

With localisation, the freelance translator helps companies take their content and their message and convey it in a different language according to the cultural requirements of the country to which it is sent.

On top of that, there are several elements and components to every translation project to take into account.

Every localisation/ translation project is different

Every client has his own specification requirements. If you work with a video game company, you are not doing the same thing that if you’re working, let’s say, with a business working in irrigation or a big construction company or a law firm. That is why every customer’s project is specific.

The English into French translator will try to embrace the message of the companies he/she serves and convey that message to that specific audience outside of the source country.

A localisation – translation project involves many steps

A typical localisation project involves many different steps. It obviously starts with the client requiring that specific content or product to go to a specific French-speaking country by a certain date, on a certain budget.

From that phase, it starts as the translation project, with the translator. The translator is your contact and the person responsible for communicating with you, for translating and for asking questions about the translation project if necessary. He is also responsible for quality assurance. QA consists in making sure, for example that the right terminology is used. That the language used is appropriate to the target audience.

As a result, the source text goes through different steps, from translation to editing to proofreading. The final translation product is then finished and ready to deliver to the client.

A glossary – Just what the doctor ordered

A glossary about translation

101 essential terms You might Want to look at before ordering a translation

Automatic translation?
Computer-assisted translation? Localisation?

The Jargon used by the translation industry gives you a headache? Well, nothing that a good old glossary won’t cure.

Awarded by NAATI in Australia to translators and interpreters who can demonstrate a certain level of ability to translate and interpret as well as a comprehension of ethical and sociocultural issues.

Accredited translator
A translator having received accreditation from a recognise Institute such as the American ATA or the ITI from the UK.

Ad hoc interpreting
Translation in the spoken form between two languages between two or more people, but in an informal conversation.

Process that consists in changing a document to adapt it to different objective, different readers, countries or regions. The adaptation can be done, in translation, for example by copywriter, and editor or a translator.

The mother tongue of a translator or an interpreter.

Process that consists in defining correspondence in translation between source and target text. That process allows to convert sentences into a translation memory format so that the sentences can be used at a later stage in the translation memory software.

Alignment tool
Software that automatically matches segments of text in a table.

Situation in which a text is in the state of being unclear, doubtful, etc. so that the transla
tor cannot proceed with the translation process.

Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators – A completely independent association which aims to promote the highest standards in the translation and interpreting business.

Automatic translation
Translation process that is machine-based for which no human translator intervenes.

Language a translator and/or an interpreter is able to write and speak nearly as well as his/her mother tongue.

C language
Language that a translator is able to read and understand well enough to translate from, but is unable to write or speak well enough to translate

Computer-aided translation, machine-aided or machine-assisted translation using a computer software like a translation memory, a terminology management to increase consistency of terminology and style.

Certified translator
A translator who has received certification from the American Translators Association (ATA), for example, or by the SFT (Société Française des Traducteurs) in France.

Phase of written translation in which the draft of the translation is compared to the source text and all sorts of information is verified as having been accurately reproduced.

An interpreting technique when the interpreter appears close to your customer and simultaneously whispers (“chuchotage” meaning “whispering” in French) the interpretation.

Collaborative translation
Strategy to translation by which businesses utilize crowdsourcing in a controlled environment to translate.

Comprehension check
A test completed to ensure speakers understand the meaning of the translation.

Computer-assisted translation (CAT)
Whenever someone does the real translating, and they’re assisted by computer software.

Translators can choose words in the source segment and retrieve sentences that match the search criteria. This is particularly helpful when finding translations of terms when no terminology database is present.

Conference interpreter
Interpreter providing simultaneous interpretation from one language to another.

Measure how often a term or expression is delivered the same way into the target language.

Important information outside of the actual text that is essential for complete understanding.

Cultural adaptation
Adjustment of a translation to conform to the target culture.

Culturally sensitive translation
Translation that considers cultural variations.

Desktop publishing
Applications to create documentation for publication.

Acronym for do not translate i.e the list of terms the translator should leave as is.

Area of knowledge that is communicated within a text, translation.

DTP (desk top publishing)
Specific software to combine and rearrange text and images and producing digital files. Uses of DTP: Catalogues, Newspapers, E-newsletters, Technical Documentation, Web Pages.

Recording or substitution of voices commonly used in movies and videos for which the recorded voices do not belong to the initial actors or speakers and are in a different language.

Editing – Second level of review in the customary TEP process.

Exact match
When translating a sentence, means the same sentence has been translated before. Exact matches are called 100% matches.

False friends
False friends are words or phrases that look or sound similar, but have different meaning.

Free Translation
A translation that broadly follows the source text.

Freelance translator
Self-employed translator, working either for translation agencies and/or for end clients. Often specialised in one or more areas of expertise, such as legal, financial, commercial or technical.

Functional testing
Reviewing software applications and programs to make sure that the localisation process does not change the software or impair its functions or on-screen content display.

Fuzzy match
Indication that sentences or words are partly matched with some previous translations.

Acronym for globalisation, internationalisation, localisation, and translation.

GIM – Abbreviation for global information management.

Gist translation
Translation process – human or machine – used to create a rough translation of the text so as to understand the essence of the text.

Process by which a crude or outline translation of a text is given to provide an understanding into the subject and overall content of the source text.

Idiomatic translation
Where the significance of the original text is translated into forms which most accurately and naturally maintain the meaning of the original text.

Inbound text
Text intended for internal use, generally not seen by people outside the organisation.

In-country review
Assessment of a translated text by a particular individual who resides within the country where the target text will be used.

Interlinear translation
Interlinear translation is a form of translation where each line of a source text has a line placed directly beneath it which gives a word by word literal translation to a target language.

Action of the interpreter that translates verbally the sentences of a speaker into the language of a listener. Interpretation always pertains to oral communication.

Provides spoken translation of a speaker’s words from one language to another.

Often used as a measure of line or page length in determining the size of a translation job.

Language pair
Languages in which a translator or interpreter/translator can provide a service.

Language Services Provider (LSP)
An organisation which supplies language services – translation, localisation or interpretation. Commonly abbreviated LSP

Liaison interpreter
Interpreter who provides – usually consecutive – interpretation between two languages in both directions.

Localisation Industry Standards Association

A metric for the evaluation of translation quality put together by the Localisation Industry Standards Association.

Loan translation
Process of borrowing the meanings of a source word and straightly translating them to the target language, instead of using a native term from the target language.

Process of adjusting or replacing a product, service, or website for a given language, culture or region. Language localisation is the second phase of a larger process of product translation and cultural adaptation (for specific countries, regions, or groups) to account for variations in distinct markets, a process known as internationalisation and localisation.

Localisation tool
Software that helps with the translation and adaptation required for localisation.

Machine translation (MT)
Machine translation is; a) a translation produced by an application; b) use of a translation program to translate text without human input in the actual translation process.

Machine translation plus translation memory
A workflow and technological process in which terms not found in translation memory are systematically sent to the machine translation software for translation.

Signal that words or sentences are matched – either to some extent or fully – to previous translations.

One of the ten important languages on the Web, including Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Mother tongue
Native language of an individual.

MT – Acronym for machine translation.

Multilingual workflow
Automation of business processes relevant to the development of multilingual products by managing multilingual content, usually through a translation management system, machine translation, and translation memory.

Procedure of expanding a corporation’s presence into multiple nations. Commonly abbreviated M18N.

The SDL Trados terminology tool.

Native language
First language that an individual learns.

Native speaker
An individual with native-speaker skill in a particular language.

Native-speaker competence
Oral and written command of a language equivalent to that of a person who not only learned the language as a child and has continued to utilise it as his/her language of habitual use, but who has also had some language training.

When networking throughout the translation it is possible to translate a text efficiently together with a group of translators. This way, the translations inserted by one translator are accessible to the others. Furthermore, if translation memories are shared before the final translation, there is a chance that mistakes made by one translator will be remedied by other team members.

Plain English
Method of writing English that utilises a clear and simple style, normally for the purpose of boosting readability. Among its attributes are using only active verbs (no passive voices) and making sure that each word has only one meaning.

PM – Abbreviation for project manager.

Process by which one or more humans review, edit, and increase the quality of machine translation output.

Acronym for price per word.

Phase of translation process in which documents are prepared for conversion into another language.

Project Manager
Individual who carries out management and co-ordination tasks for a given translation project. Frequently abbreviated PM.

Checking a text or a translation to ensure that there are no errors and that the text is fluent. It’s now a synonym for revising.

Process of faking translation of software or Web applications before starting to localise the product for real. It is used to verify that the user interface is capable of containing the translated strings (length) and to find possible internationalisation issues.

QA – Acronym for quality assurance.

Quality assurance
Procedure designed to ensure translation quality, in which specific processes are followed with the purpose of minimising errors.

Quality control
Process designed to ensure translation quality, in which the target text is analysed with the purpose of finding errors.

Abbreviation for rules-based machine translation.

Measure of formlessness of language dependent upon the tone, terminology, and grammar.

Process of reading a text to identify errors, inconsistencies, incorrect grammar and punctuation, poor or improper style, and conformance with the source text.

Sentence or phrase separated from the remainder of a text based on language construction guidelines such as punctuation.

Sight translation
Interpreting technique utilised to deliver material written in one language into another language. It is most often used when the gist of a note or document needs to be ascertained with urgency.

Simplified English (SE)
A collection of writing rules and a dictionary of controlled vocabulary directed at improving the readability of technical documentation. Put together by the Association of European Airlines (AEA), it is also used to write texts for translation using machine translation tools.

Acronym for Source Language, the language a translator translates from.

SMT – Acronym for statistical machine translation.

The language of the original text that is translated.

Source count
Quantity of words in a text to be translated.

Source Culture
Culture where the text you have to translate has been produced.

Source file
File that contains the source document, as opposed to a produced or the target file, and that needs to be translated.

Source language
The source language is the language from which the source text is to be translated.

Source text
Text that is to be translated.

Source text analysis
Review of the source text prior to translation that provides a better idea of the difficulty of the translation.

Specialised language competence
Familiarity with the relevant area of expertise and command of its special language conventions.

Standard Page
A measure of the size of a text, used in the publishing industry and in literary translation. The standard page length may vary from country to country and depending on the industry. Translation projects are every now and then priced on a per page basis, although – except in the case of literary translation – this practice is becoming less frequent, being replaced by the standard line.

Subtitles (also captioning)
Subtitles are textual variations of the dialogue in films and television programs, usually displayed at the bottom of the screen.

Sworn translator
A translator who has taken an oath and can for that reason produce certified translations.

The language of the text, voice or information that is being interpreted or translated into.

Target Culture
Culture you have to translate a text for.

Target language
Language into which the source text is to be translated.

Target readership
The group of people for which a text is translated, for example subject authorities, novices, prospective customers. It is important to specify the target readership when ordering a translation so that the translator can pick an appropriate style and vocabulary.

Target text
Target text is the text message of the translated document.

abbreviation for Target Culture

Technical translation
Translation of technical texts, including user or maintenance manuals, catalogues and data sheets.

The level of formality, etc. between two people talking.

Word, phrases, symbols or formula that describes or designates a particular concept.

Term extraction tools
Tools to automatically extract terms from texts to create a termbase.

Database containing terminology and related information.

Set of terms

Terminology analysis
Process completed prior to translation in order to analyse the vocabulary within a text and its meaning within the given context, often for the purpose of creating specialised dictionaries within precise fields.

Terminology database
Electronic repository of terms and associated data.

Terminology extraction (TE)
The production of a corpus of monolingual or multilingual subject-specific terminology by extracting individual terms and phrases from a body of text.

Terminology Management
Quality translation relies on the correct use of specialised terms. It improves the reader’s understanding and decreases the time and costs associated with translation.

Terminology management tool
Application that facilitates terminology management.

Terminology software
Data processing tool that allows a translator to create, edit and consult text or electronic dictionaries

Text extraction
Process in which the text from a source file is inserted into a word-processing file for use by a translator

Text function
The function served by a text, e.g. to advertise a product, to provide instruction on the use of a product, to convey information about an event. It is important to point out the text function when ordering a translation to so that the translator can choose an appropriate style and vocabulary.

Text type
Class of text (abstract, news report, light fiction, comment) with distinct characteristics of style, sentence formation, terminology, etc.

abbreviation for Target language

abbreviation for Translation Memory (see below)

SDL Trados is a leading Translation Memory Editor used in translation.

Adaptation of a text into another language or culture. Hence, it is more than direct translation or localisation of the text, as transcreators focus on capturing the necessary persuasive or emotive effect of the original.

Process of converting verbal sentences into written form.

Translation agency
Provides translation and interpreting services, and acts as a middleman between clients and freelance translators.

Translation company
Provides translation services using mostly in-house translators. Often synonymous with translation agency.

Translation Environment Tool (TEnT)
An application, or a suite of programs, that provides functions to help human translators in their translation tasks.

Translation Kit (Also Localisation Kit)
A set of files and instructions given to a translation agency by a client, so as to provide a set of requirements such as the area of expertise, the target audience, files and format to translate, deadline, special requirement, etc.

Translation management system (also TMS)
Program that manages translation and localisation cycles, coordinates projects with source content management, and centralises translation databases, glossaries, and further information relevant to the translation process. Frequently abbreviated TMS.

Translation Manager
Individual in charge of managing a translation project. In large translation projects, the translation manager is responsible for liaising between customer and translators, managing the translation project.

Translation Memory (TM)
Database which retains portions of texts and corresponding translations. The application progressively saves each sentence and the corresponding translation. By doing this, it creates a database of translated phrases. Every time you encounter the same sentence, the tool will suggest to you the translation that you previously did and saved.

Translation Memory plus Machine Translation
A workflow and technological process in which terms not found in translation memory are instantly sent to the machine translation software for translation, with the results supplied back into the translation memory. Frequently abbreviated TMT.

Translation memory system
Computer-aided translation tool that provides translation suggestions from translation memory.

Translation portal
Web-based service that allows translation agencies, freelance translators and customers to contact one another and trade services.

Renders written text from one or more languages into another language, often into his/her mother tongue.

Unit Of Translation
The smallest linguistic component that carries meaning.

Updating TM
A TM is updated with a new translation when it has been accepted by the translator. When updating a database, there is the question what to do with the earlier contents of the database. A TM can be altered by changing or deleting entries in the TM. Some systems allow translators to save multiple translations of the same source segment.

Voice-over , Voiceover
Commentary in, e.g., a film, TV show, video, or advertisement spoken by an unseen narrator. Voice-over services are provided by some translators and translation agencies/companies.

Whispering OR whispered interpreting
Like simultaneous interpreting, whereby the interpreter sits with the client and whispers the translation.

Word count
Total number of words in a text, typically used to cost translation projects.

Word-for-word translation
This is a type of literal translation which seeks to match the specific words of the original as closely as possible to specific words of the target language.

Workflow management
Computer or Web-based applications utilised to direct translation and localisation work processes.

Translate English to French?

how to speak to french people

Browsing the web in French

The world wide web is a place that most people browse in English. We’re looking for information we’d like quickly and easily as possible but as website designers or professionals, we do not give a second thought to pages in other languages.

Yet, would you believe it? There are many people who don’t speak any English at all. Best of all, they are browsing the web as well, and they are keen on getting content too. Web designers are getting used to this idea. They are currently beginning to provide translations of their sites in different languages. English into French is among the first language, for those searching for website translation. In this article, we’re going to look at the reasons.

French language in the world

Russian is the 4th most commonly desired language on the web after English, Spanish and then French. At any rate, if you are going to select a single language, then French is amongst the ones you want. Despite the fact that France are exposed to English within the EU, most individuals in French possess very little experience of the English language.

English language in France

In France, a lot of people neither speak nor understand English still due to some of the failures of the educational system, and it is very probable that an Internet user looking for French content speaks French only.

However, translating a web site from English into French is not too challenging. As a matter of fact, a variety of tools on-line exist that may provide you with machine translation. Such translations are sufficient to communicate specifics more often than not, but it is clear that they are carried out by a server and not by a human translator.

Acquiring a foreign language isn’t simply a case of applying the correct term – it’s a combination of context, grammar and terminology. Similarly, automated translation, at the moment, that is until AI becomes better at translating, can only exchange properly an English word for its French counterpart.

Regardless, to a person whose French is their mother tongue, the outcome will look inadequate and laughable. In many situations, such unskilful translation will be enough to convey the information you are promoting. However, when you’re translating a web site into another language, it is crucial to think about how professional you want the outcome to be. You also have to consider whether merely exchanging terms between one language to the other will enable you to attain the outcome you want.

French Translation can help you grow your business

Grow your business with translation

French Translation Opens Your Business to Hundreds of millions of new people

270 million French-­speaking people around the  world are eager to buy your products and services.

“French is spoken on five continents by more than 270 million people in 43 countries”

French Visitors have a better chance to find your website/products when it’s in French … and simply won’t if it’s only in English!

When typing keywords in Google, French-speaking clients are more likely to find your website if it’s in French.

Even the people who can speak English are still more likely to browse the web in their native language.

French people are 4 times more likely to buy in French

French-­speaking people visit your website and leave it without buying …

“French consumers prefer buying in French”

Visitors Stay longer when you speak their language

Ever found a site where you did not understand the language?

Did you stay long?

Translation makes your products sell MORE to MORE people

When your documents/website are translated into French, your customers understand your products.

  • They feel like you are close to them.
  • It shows that YOU CARE.
  • You make customers feel special

Translation can make you MORE money

When your documents/website are translated into you:

  • You build rapport and earn your customer’s trust
  • You make it easier for them to buy from you
  • They buy from you rather your competitors!

Companies using translation are MORE SUCCESSFUL

“Although your French customers won’t necessarily love you if you  don’t speak French to them, YOUR COMPETITORS who do WILL”

Translation makes your business UNIQUE

If you’re the only one in your field talking to a French group, you can guarantee their attention

“Although your French customers won’t love you if you don’t speak French to them, YOUR COMPETITORS who do WILL”

And makes it easier for you to partner with other businesses


Translation improves Your image

  • Translation impresses the customers.
  • Tells customers that YOU TAKE YOUR BUSINESS SERIOUSLY,
  • You are COMMITTED TO QUALITY in all aspects of your business.
  • And makes it easier for you to partner with other
  • businesses

Translation is more than a necessity : it’s Real Added Value to your product

Ever wondered why Apple is selling so many Ipads?

Because their products express high quality, including the translation of their operating manuals.

“Great companies see translation not as a cost, but as a sales opportunity”

Translation is NOT expensive

… contrary to what people think

Translation increases expenses by a little, while helping sell more to more customers.

Translation is the first step to turn your business into an international ­level competitor