The main language that is being used in most companies that are doing business in Canada is English, with the exception of Quebec. In general, companies tend to do business in more than one language to expand their reach at an international level and not remain only local. In Ontario, the case is a bit different. Since Ontario is located right beside Quebec, people from both provinces easily travel from one province to another. But there is more to it than just the fact that these provinces are neighbors.
L’OQLF, l’Office québécois de la langue française, the language police as it is often called in Quebec, must ensure that companies that are doing business in Quebec do it in French first. This means that all correspondence, publicity and advertising of all genres must be done in French first followed by an English version. And that it where localization becomes so important for companies wanting to do business in Quebec. It is important to mention that the French spoken in Quebec differs from the French spoken in France. Therefore, localization is crucial for a company seeking to hire a translator who knows the French language from Quebec including the tone and the nuances of the language spoken in “La belle province”.
Localization goes beyond translation of content. It adds value and a sense of belonging. These characteristics are what differentiate a translation and a translation adapted for the people living in Quebec. Localization provides the opportunity to include and demonstrate the culture of the Quebec residents in each translation that are required by a company or an organization wanting to do business in French and in Quebec.
In many cases, the idea and analogy are the same, but they are illustrated using different references. For example, most anglophones that need to cough will use the expression “to have a frog in their throat”. In Quebec, people will say that they have “a cat in their throat”. Same idea, same image, but the reference is different. If you say in Quebec that you have a frog in your throat, they will know that you are not from there and if they speak English, they will know that you do too!
The most important part of promoting translation services is to define your target audiences and be able to adapt your translation to these audiences. That explains why some translators are describing their translation services as being in Canadian French and not in Quebec French.
OQLF. (November 13, 2019). Office de la langue française du Québec. Retrieved from http://www.oqlf.gouv.qc.ca/accueil.aspx
FIG. (November 13, 2019). Francisation Inter-Globe. Retrieved from https://www.francisation.ca/en/localization-marketing/