Translating the Complexities of the French Language

A language given official status in 29 countries on three different continents will have myriad variations, and will require just the right touch to communicate with others. This often leads to frustration for companies who receive a generic “French” translation of their content with no adjustment for specific culture. For the French language, CQ fluency’s unique approach to the world of written translation is the most accurate way to reach a market that spans 75.9 million speakers worldwide.

Understanding the Difficulties of Translating French

French is the fourteenth most-spoken language in the world, with roots in 53 countries. From there, the dialects only spread like webbing. Consider the cultures in Canada, Haiti, and France: all vastly different from one another. French is the official language in parts of all three of those countries.

When communicating with French-speaking persons around the globe in writing, one cannot simply cater to a universal tongue; Haitians will have their own variations, as will Canadians, as will those in the mother country of France.

After breaking down which French-speaking culture you’re trying to communicate with, deciphering which register – or level of formality – to use is just as important.

The French written language has six levels of formality, including:

  • Literary/refined: extremely formal and elegant
  • Formal: polite, respectful in tone
  • Normal: The most commonly used between speakers
  • Informal: Expresses closeness, typically used between friends and family
  • Familiar: Used between friends mostly
  • Slang

While the language’s alphabet, borrowed from Latin and identical to English, has been cemented since the 12th century, pronunciations have changed drastically in the last millennia.

As one can expect, an ever-changing language requires deep cultural knowledge to accurately decipher. The differences between the different dialects of French may be vast, but CQ fluency’s ability to translate languages and adapt to cultures will ensure the correct message, and not just “words” being changed.

At CQ fluency, we understand cultural differences and are able to translate both language and local linguistic variations and concepts. We are experts in both language and culture, ensuring an accurate French translation every time. This means more effective communication, resulting in improved healthcare and ultimately savings for the providers with greater consumer compliance to policy and/or guidelines.

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About CQ fluency

CQ fluency is a communications company that is passionate for culture, diversity and people. We are cultural and linguistic experts in the healthcare industry, helping clients communicate wellness to a diverse multicultural market. Our services are marked by:

  • Our translation management process, certified to ISO 9001 and 17100 standards which guarantees the highest standards of translation accuracy and quality
  • Our ability to guide you in the process of achieving Section 508 compliance
  • Our competitive pricing and quick turnarounds to ensure deadlines are met
  • Our expert translation services for French and over 150 other languages
  • Translators that are hand picked and regularly evaluated to ensure superior quality French Language Translation each and every time


Our services span from document translation, to phone interpretation, to linguistic validation and include:

  • Document translation: From medical records to product packaging, our document translation and DTP teams can help you translate and publish in over 100 languages.
  • 508 Compliance: Specific translation services to ensure that healthcare information is accessible to users of all languages (Read more about 508 Compliance here)
  • Website Localization: Whether you are starting afresh or updating legacy websites, our website localization teams ensure online success whatever the language.
  • Phone Interpretation: When serving customers and clients over the phone, language barriers may sometimes prove daunting. CQ fluency offers professional phone interpretation services that remove that barrier.
  • Transcreation: Transcreation is the art of mixing translation with creation to convey concepts from one language to another. CQ fluency works with teams of linguists to apply transcreation to advertising materials reaching a multicultural or international audience.
  • Linguistic Validation: CQ fluency’s linguistic validation processes are based on self-correcting iterations that deliver psychometric equivalence, keeping in accordance with new FDA and EMEA guidelines for Patient Reported Outcomes and clinical trials.

For a comprehensive list of our services and more detailed descriptions of our service offerings, please visit our services page.


At CQ fluency, we can provide translation services across industries, but specialize in areas throughout the healthcare industry including:

  • Health Insurance: Engage your French speaking members in their own language, with their own cultural reference points. CQ fluency’s French Translation Service paired with our Cultural Adaptation Service will lead you to a clear and meaningful connection with members.
  • Pharmaceutical: French Language Translation through CQ fluency guarantees that your pharmaceutical communication is understandable, informative, medically accurate, and compliant to regulatory requirements.
  • Medical Devices: Partnering with CQ fluency gives you access to over 1,500 highly qualified medical translators and editors who will help you navigate the highly complex process of bringing a medical device to market.
  • Government: Government agencies can use CQ fluency’s French Translation Service to improve the lives of primary French speakers by ensuring that government healthcare communications promoting wellness, disease awareness, and social behavior modification are clear and concise.
  • Marketing & Advertising: Bring your brand to French speaking communities in any location.

Contact Us

For more information on CQ fluency’s unique approach to French Language Translation or to ask any questions please fill out our contact form on the right.

If you would like a quote, please see our quote request page.