English to French

Translating one language to another can be a tedious undertaking fraught with many variables to consider. For instance, many words do not have literal translations and therefore an appropriate substitution may be necessary to not only convey meaning, but subtle connotation as well. This can be especially difficult when the fundamental rules of grammar differ, as is the case with an English to french translation.

French is a romance language with a similar structure to the other romance languages such as Italian and Spanish.  English, conversely, is not a romance language and can be described as a conglomerate of many different languages, such as Latin, from which many root words in English are derived. This is especially true for American English even more so than the English spoken in the United Kingdom and can make English to french translations difficult to complete.

The French language categorizes nouns are either masculine or feminine, each with a different definite article. For example, when using a noun in English, it is generally preceded by the word “the”, such as “the table” or “the book”. When translating English to french however, the split between masculine and feminine nouns must be considered when deciding the preceding definite article of either La or Le.  For instance, the French term “bibliotheque”, or library, is feminine and therefore would be translated as  “La bibliotheque” while ceiling, or “plafond”, is masculine so “Le plafond” would be the correct english to french translation..

In addition to different grammatical structures, lack of literal translation can act as another obstacle in completing an English to french translation. Language is shaped by culture and therefore certain concepts conveyed in one language may not be pertinent in others and therefore not have an equivalent word in another language’s lexicon. The French word “chez” is a good example of this and can cause difficulty when completing an English to french translation.