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ABOUT FRENCH continued




CULTURAL NOTE
Euro French language people have an objection to groundless hype, and American marketing is built upon what French speakers often call hype. That which the U.S. calls "branding" is often viewed as exhibitionism and aggressiveness by French cultures. A more modest approach, lower key and classier, may have more appeal and impact than emotional advertising, self-praise or marketing enthusiasm. And humor in advertising is extremely popular.

UNDERSTOOD BY ALL
It is possible to become quite "neutral" during French translation. A "neutral" French translation leans heavily toward the pure French from France, and then can undergo Dialect Review to identify expressions or word usage which do not apply to other dialects. Removal of dialect expressions produces that which is commonly know as a "neutral translation." If the material being translated is for general information, rather than advertising, and will cross several dialect frontiers, then Euro French is exactly what is needed.

RELATIVE IMPORTANCE OF DIALECT
Impact of dialect on French speakers involves two basic decisions:
-  Target audience
-  Return on investment

Euro French translation is the recommended way to go if 30% or more of the buying audience will be of European origin. Note that "buying audience" may not be the same as "readers" or "visitors". And purposeful use of dialect can be extremely attractive. Dialect regions are quite patriotic. Thus, an obviously Canadian French translation can have strong sales appeal to Quebec audience. Equally, however, an obviously Quebec text will bother the people in France.

Translating marketing material or a website into multiple dialects has its merits, and is worth considering. For a website, there is a simple piece of web programming code that will make the proper dialect appear automatically to the visitor, just as though that dialect were the original site language. However, a Multi-Dialect Site (a site translated several times for different dialects) does not always mean increased sales. Here, return on investment is an important factor. Whether or not the product itself attracts sales can not be totally controlled by dialect or any other localization factor.

If "sales" is the goal, @I.S. does not recommend a leap into multiple-dialect translations, nor consider multiple dialect translation as the "secret to sales" in the French-speaking world. Other factors will vary with local cultures, as well, such as the graphic art style. French graphics tend to be a bit brighter, more romantic and artistic, and look less like a "business suit" (but not exaggeratedly colorful). And the French love funny advertising, whether on television or interoffice posters and communications. Dull can be deadly. In some cases, the actual content might benefit from some re-writing for the audience.

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