A Few Words

Quick Language Facts: Mandarin Chinese

Posted by Elanex Marketing Team on Apr 15, 2015 9:41:00 PM


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Arabic, a Multitude of Dialects

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The Need For Translation in Africa

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Quick Language Facts: Russian

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Happy Valentines Day from Elanex: Expressions of Love in Spanish

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Hindi: A Language as Rich and Complex as India

Posted by Elanex Marketing Team on Jan 28, 2015 12:10:00 PM


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The Variations of French: Becoming Increasingly Important for International Businesses

Posted by Elanex Marketing Team on Nov 12, 2014 4:40:00 PM

Today, French is the sixth most widely spoken language in the world with 220 million speakers in more than 29 countries. As the language spreads across continents, it often exists alongside other languages in multilingual contexts, thus creating variants. The geographic variations of the French language have become increasingly important for international businesses, who rely on translation service providers to communicate accurately and effectively in each region. 

For example, consider Africa.  A diamond in the rough, Africa is expected to develop into a mining hub for coming generations. Unlike in the Middle East, Africa’s natural resources have remained unexploited untilMining1 recently. Linguistically, it does not have any uniformity due to the diverse native populations and the imperialistic trends of the 18th century: Africa is home to 3,000 languages.  Fortunately, one of the most widely spoken languages across the continent is French. Even better, it is predicted that by 2025, 80 percent of the world’s French speakers will be native to Africa.

French on an International Scale 

French is the official language of many international organizations such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and UNvarious other United Nations councils. The city of Strasbourg, France, is the seat of the European Parliament, placing French in the higher ranks of the official languages of the European Union. It is also the working language of major non-profit organizations such as the Red Cross and Amnesty International. Its importance in international affairs and diplomacy is unquestionable.

French also holds an important place in the sporting world. Two of the largest sporting organizations in the world declared French as their official language: the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) – but the language’s presence in sports goes deeper. The Francophone Games, inaugurated in 1989, is a sporting event held every four years between French-speaking countries. Finally, the most highly anticipated race of the year, the Tour de France, is not only held in France but is sponsored by a French speaking media group, Amaury Sport Organisation.

Geographic Variations

The language’s influence is mirrored by its wide geographic distribution. But variations of French exist within France as well as globally. The standard form of French is called Metropolitan French, which is spoken in Paris, while the most common regional dialect is Meridional French, spoken in south of France. Outside France but within Europe, four variations of French are spoken: Belgian French, Swiss French, Jersey Legal and Aostan French in Italy.

However, French is present on almost every continent.Quebec

In North America, French is spoken in Canada and in the United States.In Canada, it’s one of the two official languages.  Canada’s province of Quebec is a strong advocate of the French language, which has Mining2developed into what is known as Canadian French, a variant that spills over to the northern regions of Maine and New Hampshire where it has developed additional local variations. As part of the French colonization of the Americas, a variation of French known as Cajun is spoken throughout the state of Louisiana and the Caribbean. Possibly the most known variation of French is Haitian Creole, the official language of Haiti.

Variations of French exist in Asia and Africa. Once French colonies, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam all have their unique forms of French.  Africa is home to the largest number of French speakers, and the Maghreb states of Mauritania, Algeria, Morocco, Libya and Tunisia employ the language in an official basis.  

Implications for Business

Although overshadowed by the growth of Mandarin and English, the French language continues to play a significant and global role.  The many variations of French may intimidate the average person; however, with the right international translation service provider, it will never be a barrier to business.  Make sure your translation service provider is aware of the global differences of the target language. 


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The French Talk Tech in their Mother Tongue: Technology, Culture, and Language

Posted by Elanex Marketing Team on Oct 15, 2014 10:57:00 AM

Ampère. Becquerel. Curie. Descartes. Pasteur. The French are not only proud of their language, but of their important contributions to science and technology. However, French linguists have quite a challenge on French_Tech_2their hands. With English continuing to dominate the world of business, science and technology, how can they preserve the French language while embracing modern terminology? In particular, the speed in which terminology is created and globally adopted presents a unique dilemma for a country dedicated to the purity of the French language.

Today, the French have reluctantly included English words into their vernacular – words like “weekend” and “e-mail” can be heard throughout France. For most of us this evolutionary process seems natural due to the spread of the English language, but for French language traditionalists, it is a dilution of their language. In response, in recent years The General Commission on Terminology and Neology of France - which serves to promote the enrichment of the French language - has focused on translating English information-related words, such as “cloud computing,” into French.French_Tech2

In France, and to the French-speaking world “cloud computing” is called “informatique en nuage.” This specific attempt to preserve and enrich French with translated information-related words has quickly caught on among upper level sectors of business and technology – one online search of the term will prove its validity. However, the term has not been adopted among the broader French population. While “informatique en nuage” hasn’t stuck, perhaps once it receives sufficient exposure the general population will adopt it to their everyday conversations like they have with “mot-dièse” since hashtag was banned.


It is not the obligation of a non-native speaker of a language to be knowledgeable of new words adopted by native speakers. Instead, the responsibility is with translation service providers to be aware of the on-going evolution of the target language. This is especially important when it comes to technology translations as new terms are frequently introduced. Just another competence to evaluate when retaining the services of a translator. French_Tech

In the meantime, here’s a list of some popular computer terms approved by the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication. (you can also download the whole 330-page guide):

  • A browser = “Un navigateur”
  • A font = “Une police de caractère”
  • An (email) attachment = “Une pièce jointe”
  • Blog = “Un blog”
  • Blog post= “Un billet”
  • Bookmark = “Le marque-page”
  • Database = “Une base de données”
  • File = “Le fichier”
  • Follow = “Suivre”
  • Following = “Abonné”
  • Hacker = “Fouiner”
  • Hard drive = “Un disque dur”
  • LOL = “MDR” (mort de rire)
  • Mouse = “Une souris”
  • Password = “Un mot de passe”
  • Retweet = “Retweeter”
  • Scroll bar = “Une barre de defilement”
  • Search engine = “Un moteur de recherche”
  • Shareware = “Un partagiciel” (literal), or “un logiciel à contribution”
  • Software = “Un logiciel”
  • Software library = “Une logithèque”
  • Spamming = “Arrosage”
  • To crash = “Planter”
  • Tweet = “Tweeter”
  • Unfollowing = “Se désabonner”
  • Web = “Le web”
  • Wifi = “Le or la WiFi” (pronounced wee fee)



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