I have always said that translation is usually the last thing to be considered. If you think of all the things that go into producing a product or service and bringing it to market there are many things that go into it. You have production, marketing, financing, and distribution. Your team meets and has everything ready for the launch and then someone says, “What about the French?” That’s right part of your distribution is going to Quebec, now we need translation.
When you think of it we have already been stressed as a nation due to lock downs, travel restrictions, work from home restrictions, and home schooling. The Quebec Government now has announced they have passed a new Bill called Bill 96. Bill 96 claims that all documentation, advertising, and communications must be in French. Now this really isn’t anything new as the old Bill 101 covered most of that. What’s really changed for businesses is the enforcement angle allowing the Quebec auditors to come into a business with over 5 employees at any time to ensure they are following the rules.
The roll out of the new Bill 96 is done in stages with the first stage last introduced in June 2022. Basically it says that all documentation must be in French and customers have the right to file a complaint if rules are not being followed.
September 2022 brings the requirement that any documentation for Quebec Courts must be in French or accompanied by a certified translation.
June 2023 means that all contracts such as employment, insurance, and more must all be served in French first before any English contracts. New product packaging requirements will be introduced.
In June 2025 trademarks and packaging will be required to be changed as well as regulations on verbal communications for businesses in Quebec with over 25 employees.
What does this mean for you as a business? There are some exemptions for businesses under five people so ensure you check on regulations for your specific business. Don’t wait for the last minute as translators are already seeing an increase in documents to be translated. Review your packaging and trademarks now to ensure they meet the guidelines being set for the future. For those that have been dealing with the Province of Quebec for a while are probably already on board with the new regulations. Those that are new to the game or have slid by as a smaller company may have some revisions to do. If you need help within the range of documentation we deal with let us know.
About the Author
Carmen Outridge is the owner of Outridge Translation Services and has been translating documents between English and French for over 30 years. Carmen is from Eastern Townships part of Quebec and understands the language and dialect of Quebec. To learn more about Outridge Translation Services or to get help with your next project visit www.outridgetranslation.com