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French Canadian Translation Services Help You Tap Into A New Market

Posted by Ethan N. on February 10, 2023.

If you are going to expand your business to Canada, you should consider French Canadian translation services. With 7.8 million people speaking French Canadian that makes it become a fierce and affluent market. 

In the article, you will be provided with comprehensive knowledge about French Canadian translation services.  

1. French Canadian history

French Canadian language originated in the 17 mid-century when the French king landed in the Gaspé Peninsula, North America, in 1534. They established “New France” which brought with them French culture, customs, and language. 

The industrial revolution witnessed Canada rise to a close relationship with the United States, and over time French-speaking Canadians began adopting English words into their version of French which created the French Canadian language.

French Canadian was the first official language spoken by more than 7.7 million Canadians in 2016. The statistics showed that more than one in five Canadians spoke French at home at least on a regular basis.


Especially, there are about 7 million French Canadians and native French speakers in Quebec making it become the largest French Canadian spoken language region. 

The number of people in Quebec with French Canadian as their mother tongue rose from 2016 to 2021. In most of Quebec’s 17 regions, it remained the first official language spoken by more than 90% of the population.

Outside Quebec, French remained the second most common language in 2021, after English. More than 2.7 million people could have a conversation in French Canadian

Due to the distribution of French Canadian speakers, French Canadian translation services are important to expand your business. Not only to expose the target audience but also to reach the sophisticated and affluent market. 

2. Non-localized legal issues

The French-Canadian language is legally protected in Quebec by the Charter of the French Language of 1977, a law that was passed at the height of a nationalist, separatist movement in Quebec.

Due to bill 101, French Canadian has been adopted in labor, commerce, administration, and education. This means that in the province of Quebec, businesses are not allowed to work in English. For example:

  • Labor

Employers have to communicate with all or part of the staff, including after termination of the employment relationship, in French Canadian. An employment contract must be written in Canadian French if it falls under the definition of contracts of adhesion. 

Therefore, French Canadian translation services are highly recommended for businesses to make sure the legal documents respect Quebec’s language rights. In other words, French Canadian translation is compulsory to have at least one version. After that, they may choose to make another version in various languages.

  • E-commerce

Product labels, instructions, manuals, warranty certificates as well as restaurant menus must be in French Canadian. Similarly, all marketing materials such as catalogs, brochures, folders, commercial directories, and other such publications, need translation into French Canadian. Other languages may be used, provided French Canadian prominence is at least equivalent. 

For example, McDonald’s, a world-famous fast food chain restaurant, has used French Canadian translation services to obey the language rights. The action is not only showing their respect for the Government, culture, and language but also caring about the people who are living in Quebec and Canada. French Canadian localization services were always the successful practice of McDonald’s when they expanded to another country.


Furthermore, software (for example, video games and operating systems) must be available in French Canadian. Therefore, global technology leaders such as Poland, America, and China, must be careful in choosing professional French Canadian translation services companies to localize the software while maintaining the quality and the same meaning as its origin.

A recognized trademark within the meaning of the Trademarks Act may appear exclusively in a language other than French unless a French version has been registered. However, when the trademark can be exclusively displayed outside a building in another language, the French Canadian version still must be ensured.

Due to the insight above, French Canadian translation services will be a critical part of strategic planning for local and international businesses to expose the target audience. Even outside Quebec, French Canadian speakers are distributed throughout the rest of Canada.

3. The basic differences between French European and French Canadian

There are two types of French: French European and French Canadian, you should be aware of the differences between French European and French Canadian basically to choose the translation services that expose your target audience.

  • Pronunciation

The pronunciation of French Canadian and French European is completely different. French Canadian sounds like the ancient popular European French. It’s because when Jacques Cartier came to Canada in the early 16th century. Obviously, it will evolve over the centuries, especially with industrialization and developed technology.

  • Vowels: ailleurs (elsewhere) is often pronounced [œʀ] instead of [æløʀ], and pâte (dough) becomes [pat]. 
  • Pronouncing D and T as DZ and TS before the vowels U and I. For example, “fatigué” (tired) sounds like /fatsigué,/ and “mardi” (Tuesday) sounds like /mardzi/.
  • French Canadian speakers often clip the wording endings, as with the word “pâte” above. You can often hear something like c’est correc’ instead of c’set correct (that’s right) or vous aut’ instead of vous autres (you guys).
  • Grammar

The grammar is practically the same. However, it still has some slight differences:

  • Prepositions in Canadian French are often shortened – for example, sur la can become s’a.
  • Subject and object pronouns are often different – for example, French-speaking Canadians will most often use on instead of nous.
  • Possessive adjectives are shortened – les nôtres (ours) becomes l’âtre.
  • Anglicisms

As a majority of Quebec, French Canadian is protected as one of the official languages in Canada. Anglicisms are not tolerated in writing, however, it’s another story when spoken. In European French, English loanwords are used on a daily basis (email, sponsor, fax, smartphone, home cinema), meanwhile in Quebec, these words are translated into French Canadian (courriel, commanditaire, télécopieur, téléphone intelligent, cinéma maison).

  • Vocabulary

Occasionally in European French, they use French words that do not have the same meaning as French Canadians. An example of this is ‘glace’ (ice cream in Europe) translates to ‘ice’ in Canada, and French Canadians use ‘crème glacée’. ‘Parfum’ in Europe means ‘perfume’, and in Canada, they would say ‘saveur’. 


In general, when you target the French or Canadian market, you should initially research their language, culture, and custom. If your market is in Canada, especially in Quebec, it is highly recommended to hire professional French Canadian translation services due to bill 101 and the distinction of its language to French European.

You might want to read more about French translation services:

4. GTE Localize offers high-quality French Canadian translation services

With more than 5 years in French Canadian translation services, GTE Localize works with a large network of native translators and highly skillful experts in various fields to deliver the best quality that satisfies thousands of clients worldwide.

Our team embraces customer-centric as a core value to come up with the appropriate translation solution by which to tailor the strategic plan based on requirements such as language pairs, volume, and deadlines within cost-effectiveness.


If you are looking for professional French Canadian translation services, let’s contact us!