How to really make sure your French readers won’t find your info…

Si vous parlez une autre langue que l'anglais, cela vous est peut-être déjà arrivé. Un jour, vous recevez un communiqué de presse (ou un dépliant PDF) sur cet événement incroyable auquel vous voulez assister. Vous téléchargez immédiatement le fichier mais vous avez du mal à le retrouver sur votre téléphone intelligent ou votre ordinateur, tout simplement parce que vous ne vous souvenez pas du nom du fichier !

You know the text was written in French. When you first opened the file, you read about this fantastic music show with incredible singers. Or you remember reading about this conference showcasing a renowned speaker on such and such a date, at this big venue location.

Was the document just labeled with a date such as « 15 septembre 2021 »?

Was it called « Présentation au Musée des beaux arts »?

Was the PDF named « Conférence sur l’intelligence artificielle »?

You give up. (And possibly miss the event.)

Very often, French-language speakers (in Canada, at least) will receive a press release (or a flyer) whose content is written in French (or other language) but the file title never reflect its subject. Why?

Without really thinking about their intended target, the public relations or communications specialist will often name their file in English, and simply add a little FR or FRE at the end to make it clear – to them – this is the official document in French. Nice try.

The generic example below is very common in Ontario (and presumably in other regions as well):

2 fichiers PDF listés avec des titres très génériques : Event May 2020 Press Release - Français. Event May 2020 Press Release.

If you want to market a bilingual event properly or wish share information written in a second language, try to fully name your file in the same target language as its content (French).

Have a look at this generic example below:

Un fichier PDF français clairement nommé Événement mai 2020 - communiqué.pdf Un autre fichier appelé Event May 2020 Communiqué de presse.

A clear title that reflects its real subject simply makes more sense.

What do you think? If you have comments or useful tips to share with us, let us know.