French is a widely spoken language across five continents of the world. It takes its place after English as the most spoken language in the entire globe. As a language of love, many people find diverse reasons to learn it, especially if you live in a province like Quebec, where the majority of the locals speak French. You could be motivated to learn French as well so that you can easily integrate with the culture of the people.

You have been taking French lessons for a while now, and your vocabulary is fairly decent: you can hold a conversation in French. (If you haven't yet started lessons, get to it now by searching, for example, 'french course London'!)

At least, you understand some words in French!

If you are learning French language from the basics, your teacher may advise that the best way to learn it faster is to immerse yourself in it. You wouldn't agree less. But how can you immerse yourself in a language you barely understand or communicate with fluently?

You are not alone. Many students learning the French language find it challenging to remember certain words commonly used in French. You might have tried writing down these words as you learn them. But this can be time-consuming and stressful.

Your French teacher may have suggested that you start branching away from textbooks; that you should start listening to French news online, and reading French texts.

You, the eager francophone, agree.

The trouble is that you are not fluent in French; your vocabulary has substantial holes in it and not every word or idea can translate from French crystal clear into English.

Perhaps you only need to make sense of one French word here or there. Maybe the meaning of an expression escapes you.

And this is just one example of how anyone might need a French translator, or a French to English translation.

Where can you turn for clarity, so that reading French outside of the classroom becomes practical; a learning exercise?

An Internet search reveals untold numbers of French English translators, some free and some for a fee. Some automated and some done by linguists whose native language is French. The selection is mind-boggling!

So what’s the way out? – English to French translation. Superprof to the rescue! We've investigated all manner of translator software, as well as sites that do human translations.

Even though there are some challenges with English to French translation, it doesn’t mean that none are good enough for you. Below are a handful of English to French translators that produces outstanding results.

May we put forth a few selections?

Translation Apps 

Do you want to look up a French word quickly on the go? Translation app to the rescue! They are a reliable resource if you are looking at mastering some French phrases or learning a new word each day. Here are some of them.

Translation App
There are many free online translation apps for easy download. Source: Unsplash

WordReference

This app does not translate English to French literally. Hence, it is one of the top cultural translation apps. WordReference has an extensive database of words and phrases. So you are guaranteed to get an instant result for your search on the app.

One unique aspect of this app is that native speakers populate its forum. You can easily ask a question on the forum regarding a particular word or phrase in French and expect answers immediately. You can also dig up old conversations or topics and find relevant answers that may be connected to your question.

If you are looking for the best cultural translation app, WordReference is a good option anytime.

Jibbigo

According to a recent survey on translation apps, Jibbigo emerged as the best-spoken translation app. Are you curious to know what a new word is in French without calling on your private teacher or waiting for the next language lesson? Jibbigo is the right place to be!

All you have to do is say the word in English on the Jibbigo app and watch as it uses its voice translation technology to spell out the word in French. And also provide a full translation in English. You can use it to ask questions and get directions while traveling if you are in a region where French is widely spoken among the natives.

Another unique benefit of this translation app is that it can work entirely offline. So if you find yourself in a tense situation without data and want to translate a word quickly, the app will gladly come to your rescue.

Online Translator

Rated as the best topical translator app, Online Translator gives you the flexibility to choose your topic before translating. This will help you avoid common translation errors and challenges when a translated text is not contextualized.

Although you may not get a perfect translation with this English to French translation service, you are guaranteed to get a word that is closest in meaning to your desired result.

Another amazing benefit is that the translator automatically detects the language you are translating from. So even if you enter a word mistakenly using another language, this incredible app will detect where it is coming from with ease.

DeepL Translate

This is yet another free translator that is highly effective for English to French translation. It has easy to use drag and drop features that makes translating a breeze. Even though there are many free online translation tools, DeepL surpasses many of them. Little wonder why many users rate it as the best English to French translator.

We were very impressed with DeepL when we tried using its translation service. It’s a great translation tool, especially if you are new to the world of translation. DeepL further raised the bar for the field when it outsmarted tech giants like Microsoft and Facebook by producing highly accurate translations within a second.

Did you type a language for translation, and you don’t know where it came from? Relax! DeepL is all you need. It will automatically detect the origin of the language and display its meaning and its translation in French. Wouldn’t you rather have this lovely software on your smartphone?       

French English Dictionaries

If you lack that occasional word or phrase, finding it in the dictionary is helpful.

Not only would such searches yield word meanings, but examples of how to use them, synonyms and antonyms, and sample sentences.

Because French words are gender-specific, some of those dictionaries point out whether you should use un or une with that word; or le or la.

Our dear Collins dictionary does not have such a feature, but you can glean the gender of any noun by the article used in the sample sentences, which are included on the page.

Reverso French English dictionary, powered by Collins, offers an expanded selection of functions.

Besides definitions, it offers synonyms, conjugation of verbs, translation of idioms, business and medical phrases; it even has a page entirely dedicated to literature!

You might say that this French to English translator is more of an encyclopedia of French language and culture.

The last online dictionary we feature here, although there are tons more available, is called French Linguistics. Their home page gives links to essential French vocab for GCSE, and a free French listening quiz.

We found this dictionary a bit of a mess.

While it does indicate which gender your looked-up word is, it also throws at you a barrage of remotely related words for you to consider learning the meaning of.

There are no synonyms or sample sentences on these pages, nor does it offer any verb conjugation or word etymology. And it only translates words – not expressions.

The bewildered student may turn to other French translators if s/he needs to know what a phrase means...

Take French classes Montreal on Superprof.

Translation utilities do not necessarily translate everything correctly
Translation by Google, Bing or Babylon sometimes yields questionable results! Source: Pixabay Credit: 422737

Google Translate, Microsoft Translator and Babylon

Who hasn't made use of these free online multilingual translators?

They are convenient and easy: simply copy and paste the text in question into the first field, select the language – in this instance, French, and presto! Your text is converted into your mother tongue.

Nobody ever said how well.

We had a bit of fun with this exercise. We typed a few French phrases – some of them slang phrases into each of these translators; what came out was... sometimes comical!

We then proceeded to enter text in different languages, Chinese and Spanish, to name two: in each case, the same result.

Online translators cannot distinguish context clues, which means that they are ineffective in translating homonyms, and they completely mangle the substance of any idiom you enter.

To be perfectly fair, each of these utilities does a good job of translating English words; they only lack a bit when it comes to meaning.

And woe to the French text that does not have the accent properly placed!

For example: ou is a conjunction that means or.

où is an adverb, a preposition or a relative pronoun, depending on the sentence, and each word type has several uses.

None of these web based translators can make the distinction between these two words based solely on context.

A more evolved online translator might.

The consensus of these popular, one click translator utilities: if you need something informal translated on the fly, by all means.

If you are preparing a thesis for your French A Levels, it would be best to steer clear of them, unless you are proficient enough in French to polish their oversights.

One standout to the online translator is SDL Translator.

Although it did just a bit worse in their instant text translation than the others, this page offers a link to French translation services by bilingual human translators.

You can get a free quote for the cost of your document or website translation, with a price slightly higher for business translations, as opposed to translating personal documents.

Get French lessons online on Superprof.

Let us talk about other online translation sites, now!

Discovering your family owns property in Belgium may be cause to hire a translator
If you've just discovered your ancestry lies in Switzerland, you may need to hire a translator to negotiate vital documents Source: Pixabay Credit: Geralt

Click here for an article on the best French podcasts for French learners.

Translated.net; Translate by Humans

For an English to French translation, or a French translation into English that must be spot on, nothing but a human translation will do.

As demonstrated so far, machine translation can fall a bit short on accuracy, especially when interpreting nuance and context, or compensating for forgotten diacritic marks and incorrect grammar.

Barring the fact that mistakes can happen, unless your professional translator is inept, that problem would not exist if you engaged the services of a human translator to translate English.

Translated.net offers three levels of service: economy, professional and premium, with the second one touted as the best value for the money.

They count several reputable companies as their customers, having translated more than 40 thousand documents per year since their inception, 15 years ago.

Their professional translation package guarantees an overnight return.

You can submit your French website for translation to English; or an app you hope to launch in French speaking countries that needs translation English to French.

Beware! Their economy package uses translation software only lightly reviewed by a human translator, which would do nothing for your application!

If you need a technical translation, or need an English French translation to publish an article in a French medical journal, for instance, it would be best to select their professional or premium service.

We like that their prices for French to English translations are published; it can be a bit frustrating to solicit quotes and wait for a response.

Besides, a price quote is not necessarily a firm guarantee of what you will pay for translation service!

Day Translations is a service that will return a quote to you within 10 minutes.  They offer language translation across the globe, as well as phone and in-person interpreting. That service might be particularly useful for immigrants who need an English translator for their visa application process.

Besides document translation and interpreting, they offer a host of services, including website translation, medical translations and language translation for legal documents.

Should you have sensitive documents such as legal or medical records, you might not want just anyone to handle them, or even see them.

This company is an accredited member of the Association of Translator Companies, and each of their linguists has been certified as a translator.

Looking for such credentials is always a good idea when dealing with personal affairs.

And then, there is always the question of secure transmission of documents submitted for language translation.

Day Translations makes it easy to render your perhaps sensitive papers into their capable hands: through their secure server, by fax, or by courier.

If your website is full of text to translate from English to French, obviously you would simply give them your web address!

Naturally, not every translation demands top security, but keeping safe in this day and age has taken on a whole new dimension, hasn't it?

So has the business of translating...

Note: You can get the best tutors for French courses Montreal on Superprof.

Freelance work platforms list profiles of translators specialized in translating from French to English
You may engage a freelancer specialized in French translation for your documents or website Source: Pixabay Credit: Pexels

Engaging a Freelance Translator

Mass marketing is indeed a sign of our times. You can hardly access a webpage without being bombarded by ads anymore!

What if you have a single translation job; maybe a family document or some relevant passage in French that you need to understand better?

Contacting a translation company online virtually guarantees you an assortment of promotional messages and possibly discounts on your next translation.

You can spare yourself this ongoing intrusion by engaging a freelancer, who would translate your document with no further fuss or bother.

It doesn't take a lot of searching to find such collectives.

Upwork may yield desirable results, especially since their platform encourages freelancers to build a profile that would include any translation certifications they may have, as well as membership in any professional organisation.

Perhaps the best guarantee of a qualified translator is their exam results.

This freelancing platform has a battery of tests any freelancer may subject themselves to in order to prove their ability.

You may find the need for an Arabic translation, a Japanese translation or even a Spanish translation in the future, in which case a freelancer with those skills would be happy to meet your deadline!

If you can't yet communicate in written French, don't rely on a dictionary to translate your words and phrases!

For any translation French to English that you might need, you have a variety of options:

  • a French dictionary
  • any free online translation tool
  • a French translation service
  • freelance speakers of other languages

Until you have mastered the French language and can translate French into English on your own, rest assured there are plenty of instant translation options available to you.

Many people learning the French language had realised that English to French translation is a useful resource if you:

  • Are finding it difficult to remember some English words in French
  • Need something that can help you to recall French vocabulary easily.
  • Need to translate words often without memorizing them

Nevertheless, finding the best English to French translator isn’t a small task for many. This is because they deliver slightly different results in terms of meaning and pronunciation. Hence, you may prefer one to another. And most times, you may not like the service at all. What challenges make it difficult to settle for one English to French translation service for the long term?

  • Different variations of French

Unlike the English language, there are different variations to French. It’s easily influenced by culture and region.  The way most people speak French in Montreal, for instance, may be different from the way it is spoken in Paris. Although these variations may not be too obvious, they are highly significant enough to make translating a bit challenging.

  • Length of the language

This is a common problem you may regularly face when translating English to French online. Some words are short in English but much longer when translated into French. Therefore, you may need more words to fill in a sentence, and this can be difficult if you are still learning the basics of the language. But as you deepen your understanding of it, you should know how to shorten words and infuse slangs into your conversations to make them more meaningful.

  • Grammar differences

Both the English and French languages have different origins. Some words that may seem right grammatically in English may sound awkward in French—thereby making the translation process cumbersome for those who are learning the French language.

  • Formal structure

Every language is a unique formal structure. Most times, translation may be highly influenced by the culture of the place where it is spoken. This is yet another challenge when searching for the best English to French translator.

  • Pragmatic differences

Many French learners do not know when to adopt informal or formal tones while using a translation service. That is not all; many challenges arise in cases of idiomatic expressions, sarcasm, irony, humor, and quotes. But the problem is alleviated when the translator is aware of both the formal and informal ways of addressing someone in French.

Translating Software vs. Human Translation Services: Which is Better?

The battle for supremacy between machines and human is as old as man himself. Initially, these machines were meant to serve man and make his work less tedious. But the trend began to change gradually when they began to replace humans, whom they were meant to serve.

The translation industry is not left behind in this battle. Machine translation for different languages (including English to French) is available to millions of people worldwide. This has made many ask if it would be better to rely on translation software instead of the one done by real humans.

Dictionary
You may need to hire a professional for more technical translating. Source: Unsplash

Even as millions of people turn to Google translate and other English to French translator services, many prefer to hire freelancers for translating languages. Does this mean human translation is superior? Each has its pros and cons. Let’s examine them.

  • Cost

Although they have their limitations in terms of usage, most English-to- French translating software are free to use. This is unlike human translation, where you may have to pay for translating services. For instance, Google translate is a useful translation tool that is completely free to use. Cost is one of the few ways machine translation trumps over human translation services, most of which are never free.

  • Accuracy

The fact that software translation is less costly makes it less accurate too. If you plan to stick to free translation apps, you must be ready to sacrifice accuracy for savings. These apps cannot translate medical and other technical text accurately.

Moreover, a professional translating service from a real human does not deliver the same results that a machine does. Therefore, if you are trying to avoid the cost, you may have to embrace inaccuracy to an extent with any English to French translation service.

So which one should you choose? A keen evaluation of what each translation medium has to offer will aid your decision making now and in the future.

Follow this link for info on French learning apps.

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Marvis

Marvis Osarhenrhen is a freelance SEO writer that is focused on helping businesses reach their target audience, get leads and drive revenue through optimised content.