An article yesterday stood out.

Caroline Breton, Managing Director, Client Lead – Mindshare Canada presented to a panel for the Broadcast Research Council of Canada.

Challenges and nuances in the Quebec market:

  • Same country, different world. Everything is different. The language (French). The holidays (St-Jean Baptiste & Contruction Holiday). The marital status (40% of couples are common-law versus 16% anywhere else in Canada), the cultural scene.
  • TV is (still) King. Quebecers consumer on average 35h of television every week compared to 27h in ROC (that is “Rest Of Canada”).
  • Don’t go all vanilla on your audience. Edginess works well in Quebec. We are actually known to be quite politically incorrect.

Read more here

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World’s French Marketing Translation Landscape

Out of 376 715 French Translators listed today on LinkedIn, only 14 822 (4%) work actively in Marketing Translation. 54% of the French Marketing Translators reside in Five Countries:

  • USA
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Canada
  • Belgium

English to French Translation is Most Common Requirement

English to French Translation leads the localization Marketing activities (81.19%). Other popular languages are translated in French but represent less than 19% of the French Marketers Work Globally:

  • Spanish to French 6.32%
  • Italian to French 4.04%
  • German to French 3.84%
  • Russian to French 1.63%
  • Portuguese to French 1.13%
  • Dutch to French 0.84%
  • Other language translated to French 0.51%
  • Chinese to French 0.50%

In the English to French Marketing segment more than half of translators reside in the United States, United Kingdom (particularly London region), Canada and France.

Spanish to French Translators

Mostly reside in Spain (many in Madrid and Barcelona regions), United States and United Kingdom. The Top 5 Universities attended by these Spanish to French Marketing Professionals are as follows:

  • Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • ESIC: Business & Marketing School
  • Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
  • EAE Business School

Italian to French Translators

Mostly reside in Italy (Milan and Rome regions) United Kingdom (London region). The Top 5 Universities attended by these Italian to French Marketing Professionals are as follows:

  • Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
  • Università di Bologna
  • Università degli Studi di Milano
  • Università degli Studi di Torino
  • Università Commerciale ‘Luigi B

Other French Translators

German to French Marketing Translators often attended these 5 Universities:

  • Cologne University of Applied Sciences
  • Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München
  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • Universität Passau
  • University of Cologne

Russian to French Marketing Translators often attended these 5 Universities:

  • Moscow State Linguistic University
  • Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU)
  • Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) MFA Russia MGIMO
  • Saint Petersburg State University
  • Peoples’ Friendship University

Portuguese to French Marketing Translators often attended these 5 Universities:

  • Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing
  • Universidade Nova de Lisboa
  • Universidade de Lisboa
  • Universidade de São Paulo
  • Universidade Presbiteriana Ma

Dutch to French Marketing Translators often attended these 5 Universities:

  • Ghent University
  • University of Leuven
  • Hogeschool Gent
  • University of Antwerp
  • Radboud University Nijmegen

Chinese to French Marketing Translators often attended these 5 Universities:

  • Beijing Language and Culture University
  • Shanghai International Studies University
  • Sichuan International Studies University
  • Guangdong University of Foreign Studies
  • Xi’an International Studies University


Source: Analysis derived from LinkedIn French Marketing Translation Professional Profiles – Nov 2015

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History of Marketing like the Tower of Babel

Brief (still incomplete) History of Marketing

A query in a Search engine will inform you that Marketing in France comes from the borrowed word in American English.

Ok, done. You can stop reading. But not really. The tru(er) story is a little bit more like the Tower of Babel.

Source: Wikimedia Tower of Babel by Pieter-Bruegel

Let’s start with Marketing History sources

We will differentiate somewhat between the act of Marketing and actual meaning and intent of the word itself.

In the beginning, it is believed but unproven that the Etruscan (700 BC to AD 50) and Latin Word Merx (Merk) leads to Latin Mercor ‎(“I trade, traffic, deal”) Mercātus ultimately giving us the word designating Market.

Merx to Mercor to Mercātus to Market, Markiet, Marchié, Markat

Old English (5th – 11th century), especially Old Northern French (circa 500 to 1500) use Market, Markiet, Marchié from Old French and Old High German Markat (700 to 1050 AD) and Frisian contend for the later origins of the word Market. But keep in mind that Old French (9th to 14th century) borrows from other sources such as Frankish (4th and 8th century) West Germanic language that gives loanwords to Old French.

Note: I am skipping the contrasts between langues d’oïl and langues d’oc “Occitan” (influencing English, Italian words), clustering them as the bridge language for commerce Lingua Franca. So the jury is still out on the influence each language had on the other.

Some Marketing Confusion Online

There is little evidence provided by online sources that cite “buying and selling” (1560) “produce bought at a market” (1701), and “process of moving goods from producer to consumer with emphasis on advertising and sales” in (1897). Just Google it!

But here is what I suspect. Let’s look at these dates more closely:

  • 1560 is well after innovations such as Gutenberg’s Press
  • 1701 relates to the emergence of Magazines (so I would believe this one)
  • 1897 follows the era of trademarks as branding (1880s)

Therefore, I think more or less that although Marketing occurred well before the dates cited above there is some truth to these online references. Only problem is that no one seems to provide a credible quote!

Use of Market word designations in Middle English (1066 to 15th century) and Middle French (circa 1340 to 1611) fall within the period of German communication innovation – Gutenberg’s (1450) metal movable type that right after the publishing of the Bible would soon give rise to Flyers and pamphlets.

Later, the world print would explode with content among sources like Bibliothèque bleue (between c. 1602 and c. 1830) would be the origins of “popular mass media” in France, to be followed by Magazines (1730s) and the first paid advertising in a Newspaper in France (1836), Posters (1839), the first – you guessed it! – SPAM through Telegraph (1864), and Billboard Rentals (first OOH 1867).

Fast-Forward Marketing

Marketing in the 20th Century moves fast, from the Michelin Tires printing its first Guide for French Motorists (1900-1901), and the University of Pennsylvania offering “The Marketing of Products” (1905). Market and Product Segmentation starts in 1910 followed by the creation of Associated Advertising Clubs of the World (First Meeting in Chicago 1915), Radio advertising (1922) and the emergence of Marketing Research as we can attest through AC Nielsen (1923), Gallup (1935), GfK Germany (1934), Ifop France (1938).

Marketing Era

Modern Marketing starts right after the Sales Era (1930-1950) with early pioneers formally adopting the word Marketing in their Titles like the American Marketing Association (AMA origins date back to 1915) in 1937, Chartered Institute of Marketing in UK (Originally the The Sales Managers’ Association) changing its Magazine name to “Marketing Magazine” in 1931.

All of these new professional marketers converge with pre and post-war TV Advertising (1941), brands becoming keenly aware of the power of ads will give rise to the zenith in the 1950s – The Marketing Era, with associations that group Marketers such as Adetem France (1954).

Therefore, French Marketing in France borrows the business meaning from American English – the word “Marketing” as we understand it today is adopted everywhere in the world through a long and winding road.

However, when you ask if Marketing is French, English, German, Italian, Roman, Etruscan or Latin? Well, the answer is obviously Yes!

Hope it helps!



Continue your French Marketing Search:

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Be a French Marketing Contributor

You do a quick French query on a search engine and the French translation does not come out as you expected? Here is how you can help refine the translations available online.

The results you yielded below proposes that French Marketing can be translated as “the lady (feminine) of marketing” or suggests “the version french of marketing.

Basically, you can’t use that and you wish to share your French Marketing Vocabulary with the world? Now you can!

Bonus if you spot the two mistakes. Read all the way down for a hint.

French Marketing Online Tools

Marketing in French

French Marketing Search

First, conduct a quick search Exact Match (that’s when the keywords you are using match exactly to what has been indexed online – basically it is usually more precise) to determine what is the volume of queries on each term you are proposing. Consider the sources that appear in the SERP. Pay close attention to results provided by government, universities and reputable news sources. Once you have selected the best choice based on volume you can proceed to Step 2.

Le marketing en français

French Marketing Search

Ready to extend the French Marketing Vocabulary Online

Log in to a session so you can enable the editing functions of the translation tool. Click on the “Wrong” Button and proceed to the next panel.

Marketing in French

Wrong French Marketing Terms

Contribute to the Online Translation Tool

In the open translation results enter your corrected version. This will be added to future potential translation results. You may or may not be cited as a contributor but you should be proud that you have helped French Marketers everywhere!

Marketing in French

Contribute to French Marketing

Image Sources: Google

Bonus Answer: Did you spot the exclamation in the French results? In French there is a space.

Hope it helps!


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Avoiding French Marketing Confusion

French Marketing Terms are not easy to master because word meaning and interpretation is often derived through context. Here are some marketing terms that will likely get you in trouble especially if you only rely on Search Engine Translation. I’ll disambiguate these 50 words both in English intent as well as French nuances in following posts.

Disambiguating 50 French Marketing Terms

  • achieve   réaliser
  • advertisement   réclame
  • affect   affecter
  • aim   but
  • arrangement   organisation
  • backing   appui
  • beneficial   salutaire
  • case   affaire
  • chance   occasion
  • charge   prix
  • class   classe sociale
  • commitment   fidélité
  • copyright   auteur
  • customer   commettant
  • dependability   sérieux
  • development   essor
  • disposition   tempérament
  • division   partage
  • environment   environs
  • exchange   bourse
  • experiment   expérience
  • feedback   réaction
  • give   élasticité
  • goal   destination
  • home   maison
  • idea   pensée
  • identify   identifier
  • influence   influer sur
  • lawsuit   procès
  • learning   apprentissage
  • leverage   levée
  • location   situation
  • marketing   marketing
  • measurement   mesurage
  • mixture   mélange
  • motivation   motif
  • opinion   décision
  • ordering   ordre
  • pass on   rendre
  • perception   perspicacité
  • position   emplacement
  • practice   habitude
  • reach   arriver
  • resolution   déclaration
  • sponsorship   mécénat
  • trademark   marque
  • transcript   copie
  • transportation   transport
  • trial   procès
  • wholesale   gros


Hope it helps!


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Would you believe search demand places Montreal, London, Toronto, Paris, New York in top 5 French Marketing?


• Montreal
• London, UK
• Toronto
• Paris, France
• New York, USA

French Marketing Montreal, Quebec regions

• Ville-Marie (Downtown Mtl)
• Saint-Laurent, QC
• Laval, QC
• Dorval, QC
• Longueuil, QC

French Marketing London and UK regions

• Hertfordshire
• South West London
• Slough
• North West London

French Marketing Toronto and Ontario regions

• Mississauga, ON
• Markham, ON
• Brampton, ON
• Oakville, ON
• Richmond Hill, ON

French Marketing Paris and France regions

• Issy-les-Moulineaux
• Marnes-la-Coquette
• La Défense
• Neuilly-sur-Seine
• Boulogne-Billancourt

French Marketing New York and NY regions

• White Plains, NY
• Manhattan, NY
• Brooklyn, NY
• Long Island City, NY


Hope it helps!

Download Top 5 French Marketing Pdf


UPDATE – Latest Search Results


Our French Marketing Analytics show a very similar trend as expected with two exceptions – some traffic from Lower Saxony, Germany and Virginia, USA. Our Blog’s Top visiting regions to date:

  1. Montreal
  2. Laval
  3. New York
  4. Toronto
  5. Oakville
  6. Bristol
  7. London
  8. Paris
  9. Ottawa
  10. Quebec City
  11. Mississauga
  12. Terrebonne
  13. Manhattan
  14. Hanover
  15. Ashburn

Nice to see French Marketers are active and engaged. The community is not so small after all!

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