Very often, and despite good structuring of the content or a final proofreading, a translation from English into French leads to mistakes that can very easily be avoided. This is why we’re offering a summary of the main mistakes that can occur during translation. Read on to find out more.
1. Mistakes in sentence structure.
Sentence structure is often the main concern when translating from English into French. The structure of sentences and the construction in the expression of ideas are very different between the two languages. This is one of the main reasons for classic errors such as overly complicated sentences or prepositions that don’t align with the context.
2. Overly complex sentences.
French is a versatile language in which many variations and turns are used to communicate the same idea in different ways. This complicates translation since English gets straight to the point and tends to discard superfluous elements. Sentence structures differ between the two languages and therefore cause difficulties when switching from one to the other.
3. Overall misunderstanding of the text.
One of the main problems encountered is difficulty making a text comprehensible in its entirety. Although simple concepts can be easily translated from English into French, a complete text, such as a company presentation with its added value and technical elements, will be more difficult to translate. To avoid such common mistakes, it’s always a safe bet to enlist the services of a professional French translation service that employs French natives.
4. Thinking in French and not in English.
Translating a text by simply translating word for word will lead to a result that lacks coherence and meaning, a problem all professional French translation services are well aware of. When selling your products abroad, whether for your marketing, administrative or CGU documents, translation is not to be taken lightly. The main challenge here lies in the ability to understand the French text as a whole, then to think about its structure in English.
5. English expressions vs. French expressions.
Idiomatic expressions illustrate the difficulty of translating an idea and not just a word. Where the literal translation of a term can be understood by a native French speaker, even if it’s not accurate, the translation of an idiomatic expression won’t produce the same result at all. Be wary of these expressions when translating, and never forget that the French culture has a different way of expressing itself than the English culture.
Put your trust in professionals
Faced with the challenge of producing a high-quality French translation, we recommend that you consult our professional French translation agency, which will support you and accompany you in these missions. We can both advise you in structuring your ideas and provide you with the most faithful French translation of your English source content.