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Think that French translation and interpretation for UK businesses has dwindled since Brexit? Think again!

According to the government’s November 2022 French trade and investment fact sheet, “France was the UK’s 5th largest trading partner in the four quarters to the end of Q2 2022, accounting for 5.3% of total UK trade. Total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between the UK and France was £78.3 billion in the four quarters to the end of Q2 2022, an increase of 20.6% or £13.4 billion from the four quarters to the end of Q2 2021”.

Business with our nearest European neighbours across the Channel is booming. But that’s not the only reason why French translation and interpretation remains in high demand.

There’s another 30+ countries where French is the official language, besides the motherland itself. As a result, there’s no shortage of overseas trading opportunities. But there’s one potential catch with communicating in French that you might not be familiar with… It’s known as ‘false friends’.

False Friends – And How French Translation and Interpretation Can Help You Avoid Them

You can unintentionally make enemies if you don’t speak French fluently and get caught out by ‘false friends’. These pesky little devils are French words that are the same or very similar to English words – but their meanings are different.

In the absence of professional French translation and interpretation services, ‘false friends’ can give rise to embarrassing misinterpretation, resulting in confusion, delay, and even severed relationships.

Here’s a few examples –

  • Avertissement which you might assume means advertisement but it actually means warning
  • Chair which you might assume means chair but it actually means flesh
  • Sensible which you might assume means sensible but it actually means sensitive
  • Stage which you might assume means stage but it actually means training course


At Accutranslate, our leading-edge French translation and interpretation support can steer you through word perfect brochure copy to deal sealing meetings. Get in touch if you’re interested in elevated communications with your French clients and prospects.

France Trade & Investment Fact Sheet, GOV.co.uk