Rescribe: French Translation

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We hope the following notes on French will help you if you need a translation into French.

French is an official language in more than 25 countries, including France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada (principally spoken in Quebec).

The official standard language, since the mid-16th century, is based on the dialect of Paris, called Francien. Standard French has greatly taken over the Occitan language of southern France, which was widely used in medieval literature.

What are the differences between French French and Canadian French?

There is practically no difference between the two in technical/scientific text, yet there are variations notable in speech. For example France, despite the influence of its Academy, is more receptive to Anglicisms.

When it comes to a document to be published in several French-speaking countries, however, the standard French French prevails. And now to some actual differences:

  • Accented capitals—accents on capitals were used strictly in Canadian French. However, the rule has recently been relaxed and today capitals welcome accents in French too.
  • Punctuation—in French all the double signs (?/:/!/;) require a space before and after the element whereas in Canadian there is no space before, only one after. The exception is the colon, which insists on one space before and one after, just like its French counterpart.

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