The Importance of Consistency

by Domitille L., Reviewer/Lead Linguist, e2f Silicon Valley Consistency is key to provide an accurate and clear translation. There are 2 main types of consistency issues: Translating the same source word with different target words (when context and meaning are identical). This leads to errors, bugs and confusion. Maintaining the inconsistency of the source in [...]

By |2013-01-15T09:47:12-08:00January 15th, 2013|Linguistic Tips|


The English word television does not automatically translate to télévision. In English, television refers to both the process and the device, but in French télévision is only the broadcasting process, whereas the terminal itself is called téléviseur (ou poste de télévision).

By |2009-01-12T21:45:26-08:00January 12th, 2009|Linguistic Tips|

Près et proche

Near should not automatically be translated près, and it's important not to confuse between près (an adverb) and proche (an adjective), and particularly not to use près as if it were an adjetive. So, in the following sentence: Position the microphone near the participants nearest the monitor. we shouldn't say: Placez le micro près des [...]

By |2008-12-21T15:12:41-08:00December 21st, 2008|Linguistic Tips|


The verb débuter is intransitive. So it's alright to translate: He started with these words. Il débuta par ces paroles. or: That hadn't started well. Ça n'avait pas bien débuté. But in the following sentences, we must use the second form. He started the session. Il débuta la séance. Il entama la séance.   She [...]

By |2008-12-11T16:27:06-08:00December 11th, 2008|Linguistic Tips|

Soit, soit

For whatever reason, a lot of translators don't translate "either X or Y" properly. It should be either translated: "soit X, soit Y" or: "X ou Y" but I often see: "soit X, ou Y" which does not make much sense in French. It's a "loan translation" from the English expression that should be easy [...]

By |2018-02-13T18:19:24-08:00October 15th, 2008|Localization Tips|

English to French expansion factor

When translating from English to French, there is a expansion factor, of anywhere between 15 and 25%, say about 20% average. In most cases, part of my job while reviewing texts is to reduce the expansion factor, as many translators have a tendency to be wordy rather than efficient. The expansion factor should be [...]

By |2018-02-11T12:24:11-08:00October 15th, 2008|Localization Tips|

(À) chaque fois

This is found in a lot of french translations. Every time -> Chaque fois. A lot of translators use À chaque fois, but as explained in Le français correct, it's the literary form, whereas Chaque fois is the common form, more appropriate to standard business translations. At e2f, chaque fois que possible, nous disons chaque [...]

By |2018-02-11T13:36:06-08:00September 29th, 2008|Linguistic Tips|

Termes quantitatifs

La grammaire est souvent stricte en français, mais il y a des cas où l'on a le choix et c'est alors la logique qui prend le pas (ou devrait le prendre à mon avis), par exemple : Pour toutes les expressions comportant un terme quantitatif et un complément, par exemple « la majorité des ménages [...]

By |2018-02-11T12:30:01-08:00September 29th, 2008|Linguistic Tips|