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Parlez-Vous Français? A Guideline to Bilingual Packaging

Written by Mélanie Bernier

As a Canadian French translator and the owner of WordFrog Inc., I am often asked about the value of French translation for a business or manufacturer:

  • At what stage should a Canadian business transition to bilingual communications?
  • Do Quebecois consumers truly care whether or not packaging and websites are translated to French?
  • How big of an investment should I expect to make?

The answers below are simple yet effective, to help you determine what your next steps could be when it comes to bilingual packaging requirements.

What are the benefits to having bilingual product packaging and marketing materials?
The number one advantage is unlimited, unhampered growth throughout Canada. By optimizing your packaging, website and communications for the entire Canadian population, you are eliminating obstacles on many fronts. In addition, a properly-done bilingual packaging design gives your product a more professional and legitimate look. 

When is the right time to have my product packaging and website translated?
As soon as possible, especially if you hope or plan to sell nationwide, in Quebec or in Europe.  This is particularly important for any material that ends up on the store shelf, as untranslated or improperly-designed packaging can lead to costly delays, as we will discuss below. 

What can happen if my packaging is unilingual and/or non-compliant?
My team deals with the following situation on a regular basis: manufacturers get an opportunity to sell or pitch their product to a large Canadian retailer, but find that their packaging and proposal package do not meet the retailer’s strict requirements. The required improvements are of course time-sensitive, and a lot of money may be at stake. The true “cost” of having non-compliant packaging can include costly reprints, extended delays, missed opportunities, tarnished reputations and lost profits – not to mention the sky-high rush fees for translation, graphics, printing and other required services.

How much should I budget for a translation?
The price of an English to French translation is very case dependent, as the number of words varies. However, an all-inclusive packaging translation (including a final revision of the artwork) ranges from $99 to $299. Unless you have a simple landing page, websites are typically priced higher and can range from $299 to a few thousand dollars.


Mompreneur Melanie Bernier of WordFrog Inc.

Mélanie Bernier is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of London, Ontario, and she is the owner and creative mind behind WordFrog. With nearly a decade of experience in the field of translation, writing and content creation, she is ideally equipped to provide comprehensive communication solutions to companies of any size.

Whatever your situation, Mélanie’s team at WordFrog Inc. can help you determine your specific needs in terms of bilingual packaging and communications. You can contact her personally at to discuss a no-obligation quote for translation and consultation services.


A version of this article was previously published on


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