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Doing Business In Quebec In A Bilingual Company

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Integrating the French language into your business activities and processes

Tapping into your company’s full potential by transforming it into a bicultural organization

The challenge of bilingual markets

Companies that operate in bilingual markets such as Québec must meet the challenge of informing and serving both their francophone and anglophone clientele with the same effectiveness. However, they must be able to do so without doubling up on their cost structure. This can be a particularly difficult challenge for Canadian or foreign companies entering the Québec market, since their internal processes have generally been designed to meet the needs of a unilingual rather than bilingual market. We understand that integrating a second culture into a company’s daily activities can prove to be a delicate matter. Indeed, asking people of two different cultural backgrounds to cooperate closely and without friction is no small thing. The sense of humor differs, education and the references on which values are based are mostly quite distinct, and perhaps most importantly, the mode of thought and collective unconscious of both groups has different roots.

In order to become a truly bi-cultural company, it is necessary to modify the way things have been done in the past. It is not surprising that this situation often leads to mutual misunderstanding, with certain frustrations and even conflict creeping in, all of which can mean loss of time and money.

Give your company the bicultural edge

The integration of a second culture into a company can prove an enriching experience from which the business can profit if its full potential is exploited. At FIG, we fully understand the pitfalls and opportunities occurring in bilingual markets, since our team members have always worked in that environment. The expertise we acquired working with major organizations has led us to develop a targeted and structured approach in which we draw from the know-how of both French and English cultures. This “best of both worlds” strategy reduces the impact of any divergent issues and promotes a common vision and aligned objectives. Our practical approach aims at helping you avoid the most common mistakes. At the same time, you will benefit from the experience and best practices of companies that have successfully integrated French into their business processes and daily activities. By carefully analyzing your context and bringing our own specialized knowledge to bear, the FIG team is able to recommend solutions that will help you attain your business development objectives for the Quebec market.

Benefit from the experience of companies that have successfully integrated French into their activities

At FIG Translation, we have developed specialized expertise in business process reengineering and are able to assist our clients to adjust to the particular requests of a bilingual market. Our experts can target the key areas in your activities quickly, in order to recommend the most effective and profitable actions. We never lose sight of your business objectives or your financial imperatives.

Our level of involvement varies according to our client’s needs, yet generally includes the following steps:

  • Interviews with key actors and information search
  • Examination of the company’s current business activities and processes
  • Analysis and summary of the data gathered
  • Identification of problems to be solved and opportunities available
  • Development of strategies related to problems and opportunities in concert with a team composed of both Francophones and Anglophones
  • Validation of the strategies proposed with senior management
  • Development of an action plan for each of the strategies proposed in concert with a team of Francophones and Anglophones
  • Implementation of the action plan
  • Follow-up and measurement of results obtained

The importance of making the right moves at the right time

Integrating French into your business processes is no different from the other activities in your company. To be successful, it is necessary to understand the key issues correctly, to plan in advance, and then make the right moves at the right time. This simple principle may prove difficult to put into practice if your company has no experience of bilingual markets. Don’t commit the mistake of learning at your own expense: the consequences are too serious, as much from the point of view of your clients, as of your employees.

To make an appointment and begin to explore the ways in which our team can facilitate your company’s integration into the francophone market of Québec, please contact us.


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