French is one of the world’s most spoken, most influential, and generally most important languages. It is spoken as a first language in many European, African and American countries and is globally important as a second language. It is estimated that 80% of French native speakers will be in Africa by 2050.
Tends to be 15-20% longer than English.
Many words are different in the various regional forms of French (for example, the word bicycle is “vélo” in France but “bicyclette” in Canadian French, while in Canada, a peanut would be “pinotte/arachide” instead of “cacahuète“. Regional differences also occur in punctuation.
Notable Grammar and Spelling Differences
There are several main punctuation differences between French used in France and English. The following is true in France but not necessarily correct in other French-speaking countries.
Spaces: French uses spaces around punctuation on many occasions where English doesn’t. The normal is to have a space before a question mark, colon, semi-colon, exclamation mark, percentage and quotation marks. However, this isn’t always the case. Canadian French, for example, has different rules.
Quotation marks: Usually chevron style <<>>
Numbers: The comma is used where English would use the decimal point and vice versa, e.g. 5.5 (English) = 5,5 (French). However 5,000 (English) is 5 000 (French).
For more information contact us here: French Translation Services.