Lost in Translation

[Last updated: 05-May-2018]

This page contains a collection of English equivalent translations to some of the more common French words and expressions that were observed while working with French-speaking colleagues in Belgium. The work entailed proof reading documents, written in English, mainly by those colleagues. Numerous French words and phrases had either been translated from French into English literally, or 'badly'.

The information provided on this page, started life as a Word document. However, three factors dictated a change of format: an increase in the number of entries, an ever-growing distribution list of interested colleagues and the introduction of SharePoint. Thus it was decided to convert it to HTML and publish it as an on-line document on the company's Intranet site. This saved physically sending an updated Word document to millions(!) of staff (every time an update had been made), as well as reducing the corporate's e-mail traffic; albeit small!

It is purely a quick reference guide and is not meant to replace the vast amount of other information available from other sources. A few hyperlinks to external Internet sites exist in the Related Links section (at the bottom of the page) to provide additional information.


Note: Where more than one English alternative is shown, the context of the sentence/paragraph needs to be fully understood before selecting a translation.

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   XYX

... Avoid using the ellipsis (...) to represent additional values. It is not good practice to assume that the reader knows all possible alternatives/meanings.
Unlike its frequent use in the French language (particularly at the end of lists), in English, the ellipsis is used to indicate that text has been deliberately omitted from a sentence.
Abandoned Abandoned
Cancelled
Discarded
Give up
Left (as in the past tense of leave; not to be confused with direction!)
According (to xyz) Subject (to xyz)
Adapted Adjusted
Modified
Tailored
Aforecited Aforementioned
Anterior (to) Earlier (than)
Applicable for Applicable to
Applicability How something is applied.
Approached Considered
Described
Mentioned
Scenario
Approbation Approval
Note: Although the word "Approbation" exists in English, it is used in very formal (legal) instances.
Approximatively Approximately
Aspiration Suction
Syphoning
Assimilated Comparable
Related
Similar
Associated to Associated with
[See English Forums]
Assure/Ensure/Insure See the appropriate entry in Common Errors in English Usage (Assure/Ensure/Insure) for clarification.
Applicable for Applicable to
At least
A minimum of
At least implies more than the stated number; for example, Position at least two probes in each corner implies using three or more probes.
A minimum of implies the stated number or more; for example, Position a minimum of two probes in each corner implies using two or more probes.
(to) Canalize (to) Channel; for example, to channel the air flow into a refrigerating unit.
Certain Specific/Specified
Characterization Characteristics/Characterised
Classify, Classified
Description
(in) Charge (of) Manage, Managing
Supervise
Comprehension Knowledge
Understanding
Concerned/Concerns Affected/Affects something
Applies to something
Appropriate
Consulted
Involves something
Relates to something
Refers to something
Relevant to something
Concordant Agree
Conform
Configurate Configure
Conform/Conforms something conforms to something else
Meet/Meets; as in "it meets requirements"
Comply/complies (with rules, standards, or conventions)
Conform/Non-conform status Pass/Fail
Conformance In accordance with
(As a/by/in) Consequence Consequently
Therefore
Considerated Considered
Correspondance Association
Connection
Relationship
Cover Adapt
Apply
Cover (the children well for warmth)
Cover (as in encompass)
Include
Créneau (horaire) Gap
(Time) Slot
Space
Deep/Deepness Detailed
Délicieux/Delicious Tasty (food)
Delightful
Very Good/Agreeable
Demander Ask
Demonstrated Performed
Determine/Determination Decide/Deciding
Establish/Establishing
Diffuse/Diffusion Distribute/Distribution
Flow rate
Spread
Dimension Area
Environment
Direction Direction
Management
Dispose(d) Arrange(d)
Place(d)
Position(ed)
During For (a period of)
Over (a period of)
Within
Dysfunction Malfunction
Echelonner Evenly spaced (or spread) out
Efficacy Effectiveness
Efficiency
Elaboration Develop
Produce/Production
Eliminate/Elimination Dispose/Disposing
Remove/Removing
Rinse/Rinsing
Wash/Washing
Equivalence/Equivalency Equivalent
Established Produced
Exécution ExecutePerformance/Performing
Executants Operators
Exhaustive (list) Complete (list)
Comprehensive
Exposition Exhibition
Exposure
Facilitate Allow
Fill/Filling/Filled In Complete/Completing/Completed - For example, Complete the registration form
Enter - For example: Enter your name and address on the form
Final Approved Final Approver
Finally Approved
Finalization Completion
Foreseen Expected
Planned
Predicted
Required
Formation Training
Formulation Drawing up
Wording
Fractionnement Dividing
Fulfil/Fulfilled Achieve/Achieved
Accomplish/Accomplished
Complete/Completed
Require/Required
Generality General
Majority
Good (picture, temperature) Best (indication of)
Constant
Correct
Even
Efficient
Ideal
Recommended
Guidances Guidelines
Harmonise
Harmonisation
Maintain consistency
Integration
Hereafter As follows
Note: Although the word "Hereafter" (or hereinafter) exists in English, it is either used in law, or to refer to the afterlife (those that have passed on)!
Hereunder As follows
Homogen
Homogeneous
Homogeneity
Homogenize
Constant
Consistent
Evenly distributed
Harmonised
Homogenised
Identical
Mix
Standardised
Static
The same
Uniform
Hour Time
Impératif/ive Importance/important
Priority
Urgent
Imposed
For example, The minimum amount of locations to be tested per area is not imposed.
Not set
There is no set minimum to the number of locations to be tested per area.
Improvements of Improvements to
In place since Effective from
Indifferent Either/Or
It makes no difference
Industrialisation Clinical Development (depending on it's context)
Infeed (water) Source (water)
Influence Affect
Effect? See also the Affect/Effect entry in Common Errors in English Usage
(an) Information (a) Notification
Inox Stainless steel
Inscription Text
Intervention Action
Activity
Incident
Interfere
Interruption
Investigation
Operation (medical)
Situation
Integral Complete
Full
Intact
Undamaged
Integrate Combine
Include
Interlocutor Contact
Speaker
Representative
Interpret Understand
Join/Joined Attach/Attached
Last Last (This is the last train to Bruxelles today)
Latest (This is the latest version of the document)
(those) Last Time Lately
Local dimension Local environment
Lyophilisation/Lyophilisator Freeze Drying/Freeze Dryer
Maturation (room) Maturing (room)
Meet (Rencontrer) Encountered
Find, Found
To come across something
To come up against something
(as/at a) minimum (at) least; for example, at least every three years
Mission (Description) Job (Description)
Modelisation (noun) Model/Modelling (noun)
Modelise (verb) Model (verb)
Necessary Necessary
Required
Never eliminate sb Never dispose of sb
Not anymore No longer
Organoleptique Organoleptic
Parameterisation Setting up of parameters
Parted (in) Divided (into)
Particularisation/Particularise/Particularity Characterise
Characteristics
Customise/Customisation
Detailed/Details
Perpendicularly Perpendicular
Persistence Maintain
Perturbation/Perturbé Disruption/Disrupted (traffic)
Storm (weather)
Pick Choice
Pick
Precise/Precised Accurate
Explain/Explained
Exact
Mention/Mentioned
Specific/Specify/Specified
State/Stated
Precisions Details
Posterior (to) Later (than)
Propose you Propose to you
Provoke(d) Cause(d)
Prompt(ed)
Provoke(d)
Punctuation (French)
« word »
word !
Punctuation (English)
"word"
word!
Notes: In written English, there are no spaces either side of a word when using punctuation marks, exclanation marks, question marks, colons and semi-colons.
To create double quotes on a non-English keyboard, hold down the <Alt> key and enter 34 on the numeric keypad.
Qualtitated Quantified
Rationale Reason
Principle
Realisation/Realise Accomplish
Achieve
Carry out
Complete
Conclusion
Direction (as in film making)
Is necessary (or 'required')
Perform
Production (as in film making)
Redaction Compiling and writing
Redhibitoire Unacceptable
Regularisation Exemption
Put (things) in order
Regulate
Sort (things) out
Stabilisation
Remark(s) Note(s)
Respect Abide (by)
Adhere (to)
(Be) Careful
Comply
Consider
Obey
Observe
Respect
Responsable Manager
Responsible for, not Responsible to
Rinsate Residue
(In) Routine Day-to-day activities
Normal activities/checks/operations
Routine activities/checks/operations
Scotch (tape) Clear adhesive tape
[UK – Sellotape®]
Securization Protection
Sensible Sensitive
Siliconisation Silicone Coating
[That is, the application of a thin layer (or coat) of silicone.]
Sloped (pipes) Angled or Inclined (pipes)
Speciated/Speciation Identified/Identification
Specificities (of) Details (of)
Specifics
Specifications (Functional Specifications)
Solubilisation Soluable, Solubility
Steady Static (not moving)
Succeed Be successful
Pass
Not fail
Support/Supporting Contain/Containing
Ensure/Ensuring
Have/Having
Maintain/Maintaining
Put/Putting up (with)
Stand/Standing
Suppressed Cancelled
Deleted
Prevented
Removed
Terminated
Synthesised Illustrated
Summarised
Thanks to (something) As a result of (something)
Because of (something)
Tightening Torque Tighten a screw cap to a specific torque setting
Transposable Adapted/Transferable
Unidirectionnality Unidirectional
Unitized (load) Individual (load)
Univocal (reference number) Unique (reference number)
Clear and concise
Utilized Used
Validation Authentication
Ratification
Valorisation Added value
Well configured
Bien configuré
Correctly configured
Yearly Annually

Grammar Note

In written French, non-alphanumeric characters (i.e., the exclamation mark (!), question mark (?), colon (:) semicolon (;) and Guillemets (« and ») are usually separated by a space from the preceding word, whereas in English, they are not. This space gives rise to an unusual (from a British point-of-view) situation.

When these non-alphanumeric characters are forced onto the next line (because of the length of the text or width of the margins), they can sometimes be the only character on that line. If this writing style is maintained when translating French into English, it can cause confusion (due to incorrect punctuation), especially if the ‘new line’ crosses a page boundary. The non-alphanumeric character ends up being the only character on the next page! [This situation does not usually occur in written English, as there are no spaces before any of the non-alphanumeric characters.]


   

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