Do your French documents really say what you think they say?

Our approach takes into account your company’s business objectives and the image you wish to project

Hasty or ill-prepared translations are likely to contain errors or ambiguity that may damage an organization’s image in the francophone market.

To illustrate, here are a few examples:

  • First Aid (notice accompanying a cleaning product): First AIDS (the disease)
  • Polish sausage (food packaging): Polish the sausage
  • Gentle cycle (washing instructions for a shirt): Friendly bicycle
  • Made in Turkey (label on sweatshirt): Made in turkey (the bird)
  • I have never felt so strong before (promotion for fitness equipment): I have never smelled so strong before
  • Ozone Safe (label on aerosol can): Ozone safe (as in, at a bank)
  • Luxury in the Bathroom (label on sponge): Lust in the bathroom
  • Fertilize sparingly (notice accompanying cactus plant): Smoke moderately
  • Tighten the nuts (technical instructions): Tighten the nuts (the kind you can eat)
  • Crane Seat Washer (packaging on mechanical seal): Device for washing crane seats
  • Skinning up (attaching skins to bottoms of skis): Roll a joint
  • Insert CD and run Wizard (instructions for software): Insert the CD and race magician

Avoid the pitfalls of translating in the dark

Of course, errors in translation are not always as flagrant as the examples above. Nevertheless, one can never be too careful about making slightly more subtle mistakes when the original text can be interpreted in a number of ways. This is especially true when dealing with specialized subject matter or when links exist between the text being translated and earlier documents. In order to avoid errors of meaning and ensure the effectiveness and consistency of your texts, the FIG team takes the time to understand the context and validate the appropriate terminology, taking into account, among other things, any existing related documentation. By also taking into account your company’s business objectives and the image you wish to project, our approach goes further than mere translation and beyond the choice of words.