There are thousands of spoken languages in the world, out of which French, spoken in many countries, is considered one of the most important languages to learn. Among EU countries, French is the fourth most common mother tongue. More than 12% of EU citizens speak this language. French is the only language after English which is spoken in five continents.
Approximately 80 million people speak the French language and it is also one of the major business languages.
Not surprisingly, the demand for French lessons and French classes in India is also steadily increasing. Given its global importance, the demand for French language translation companies offering their services for clients with the translation of legal and business documents from French to English and vice versa is also on the rise.
According to demographic projections, French speakers will double to 500 million by 2025. French has a detailed grammatical structure and is considered as the language of reference. This is certainly a great thing for French language speakers and language translation companies.
Find out how you can learn French with the help of podcasts!
French to English Translation with Google Translate, Microsoft Translator, and Babylon
Of the many online French learning apps, dictionaries are, perhaps, the most convenient and easiest: 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. 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.
Top Online French Translators
When you decide to learn and take French lessons, WordReference is your go-to reference site in translation. However, the app offers some niche benefits to learning French, meaning that WordReference may not be a great catch-all app for some students.
WordReference is frequented by native French speakers who add authenticity to the translations of French words and phrases. Use this forum of native French speakers to help out with the exact translation of idiomatic phrases. It is a great place to start for beginners in the French language.
When you’re formulating your question, be sure to offer a suggested translation, even if you’re not sure it’s right. Native French speakers will correct and help you arrive at the right translation!
The app also allows you to access past conversations, arranged intelligently according to keywords. So, in case you are stuck with a particularly challenging French expression, simply post a query and wait for one of the native experts to respond!
On a cautionary note, WordReference does not offer the option to translate full sentences. It is a great place to understand some French slang or an idiomatic expression or get an English idiomatic expression translated to French.
For a native Indian speaker, French spelling might present a whole new world of challenges. This is where Jibbigo comes in handy. This voice translation app allows users to simply say a French word into the app. The app will translate the word into English. Users can not only see how the word is written in French but also get a full translation into English as well!
Jibbigo is suitable for translating both words and short sentences, making it an ideal travel companion whom you can ask translation questions whenever needed. Simply say the sentence you are trying to say, and the app will translate and speak the response for you. The app can also be used offline.
If you are looking for a translation app that translates both ways, that is to and from a language, try Translate Me. This free, online app offers an easy format that allows you to choose the language of input. Toggle between the input and output windows for easy and seamless language translations into and from French.
Another great benefit for students using this app, irrespective of their learning levels, is that Translate Me can translate source text from a text message. This allows students of the language to double-check the meaning of a French text without having to copy and paste it!
French Dictionary Apps That You Must Have
Dictionaries are absolutely critical for students looking to practice how to read and write French and improve their French grammar and vocabulary. An online French dictionary app is simply a digital version of a French (or, for our purposes, French to English) dictionary, with additional features to make the learning experience easier for the learner.
Many French dictionary apps include:
- A search function that lets the learner type in a word and get instant results
- Audio that allows the learner to correct their pronunciation
- Bookmark or save options for previous searches you’ve made.
- Updates that keep the resources and content up-to-date
- Voice search
- Verb conjugator
Now, let us look at some of the most admired and popular French to English dictionary apps available for download on your smartphone.
Collins-Le Robert Concise French-English Dictionary
This one will automatically make it into any of the 'top' or 'best French dictionary apps or essential apps for French learners.' The Collins-Le Robert is a standard even in the print dictionary domain, containing more entries than most of the other French dictionary apps. In fact, the Android version seems to have more entries than the iOS one. A dictionary can be a great teacher and the Collins Le-Robert epitomizes this.
English-French Dictionary by Larousse
Another regular among French learners and teachers, digital as well as in print, containing even more words than the Collins-Le Robert. This is an especially important consideration if you are planning to use a French dictionary to help you read and write the language like a native of France.
The word count is the same for both the Android and iOS versions. However, the app, unlike the Collins-Le Robert, is only equipped with verb conjugation tables, instead of a full-out conjugator.
French Pronunciation Dictionaries
Consider downloading a French pronunciation dictionary if you want to elevate your French language learning experience to another level. Most of these French pronunciation dictionaries are equipped with recordings of individual words, while some also offer full sentences or even full texts. Many of these apps also have integrated interactive features, such as the feature that enables a learner to ask native French speakers to pronounce particular words or sentences for them.
French is often considered as the language of culture.
Forvo is one of the most outstanding French pronunciation dictionaries that acts as a great supplement to online translation apps. It boasts of the most entries of any French pronunciation dictionary. The app is available for download on both iOS and Android. Forvo has an audio repository of individual words as well as some sentences. It also lets students post queries for native French speakers to respond. Learners may also access some of the French lessons posted on the app.
Google Translate’s audio is another app that offers perfect French pronunciation of words, although learners may find some of the audio a bit artificial-sounding. The quality of the voice is an important consideration while looking for a French pronunciation dictionary. Check out a few samples across some apps and decide which one gives the best pronunciation and voice quality.
French translation apps and services are on roll, offering comprehensive solutions for learners. You can include freelance French translators in your search for online French classes near me. Check out Superprof for certified translators in French to English.