Don’t mistake them for the same thing.
The differences between French spoken in France and Canadian French have often been compared to those of American English and British English; but, this is of course a hotly-contested debate. The relationship is perhaps more akin to that of Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese.
Speakers of one dialect can easily understand another yet could find the definition of certain words changes dramatically across the Atlantic. Accents and pronunciations, like between the US and the UK, are also noted differences, sometimes to the extent that a Canadian francophone may be required to modify their accent in Europe to be understood. The major differences, however, are in vocabulary.
Let’s apply this to business: say your company has a big project coming up, and you want to cover the major French markets. There are many countries where French is the official language, and the two which are mostly discussed in this category of comparison are Canada and France. If you do one French translation, and expect it to cover both bases, you will undoubtedly turn one region off. They are the same language, but there are two very distinct ways of speaking that language. To give a comparison: would you use an Australian English translation in the United States? It is the same language, but it isn’t.
It is extremely important to make your company look professional and to appeal to the market you’re trying to reach, so, if you are going to do a project in Canada for French speakers, use a French Canadian translation. The same rule applies for France. The people in each country will be able to tell in the first sentence what type of French you are using. You can’t afford to only cover one market when your marketing strategy calls for both markets. Don’t make this mistake.
This same principle also applies to Spanish, German, English, Chinese, and any other language which is spoken in multiple countries. Don’t make your company look arrogant, or unprofessional – it is well worth spending the money to hire a professional French translation company with native speakers who provide the correct regional and national translations. This simple principle will give you a better outcome on your project, and allow you to correctly target the audience you intended.
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