The French and English languages share many linguistic similitudes, despite having such different origins. French comes from the Indo-European family of languages and forms part of the Romance languages along with other languages such as Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Catalan amongst many others. On the other hand, England having been invaded by Germanic Tribes in the early 5th century,  the Germanic language, ‘Angles’ was strongly imposed.  Therefore, one wonders about the close connection shared between these two languages of different motherlands.

This phenomenon came about during the time of the Norman invasion of Britain in the 11th century. This is when the French language became the medium of communication of the higher classes. Thus many French words were absorbed by the English vocabulary.  As a result of that, the two languages share many grammatical similarities. It also characterises their difference. Some of these are;

1. Alphabet:

The French alphabet contains 26 letters like its English counterpart.  However, this also includes letters with diacritics: é (acute acent) è à ù (grave accent), ç (cedilla), â ê î ô û (circumflex), ë ï ü (diaeresis).

2. Phonology:

A common error made by a French native speaker while speaking English is the omission of the /h/ sound found at the beginning of many English words.  For instance, ‘As ‘arry ‘eard about ‘er  (Has Harry heard about her?)

Another typical pronunciation problem is the inability to correctly articulate the vowel sounds in word pairs such as ship / sheep, live / leave, full / fool. Because the French are not used to using the tip of their tongue in speech, beginners often have problems with words containing the letters th, such as then, think and clothes.

3.  Grammar – Verb/Tense:

French and English verb grammar are very similar in nature. Both languages, for example, have auxiliaries, participles, active/passive voice, past/present/future tenses. However, there are some differences that can cause problems to a French person speaking English.

A typical dilemma encountered is the wrong choice of tense.  Some examples are:

  • I live in London since last year.
  • I will tell you as soon as I will know.

Some words of English and French which share common roots are:








If you would like to find out more about our professional translation services or French translation specifically, then please get in touch.


Ian Chapman – Director of Holiday Experience –

“Planet Veritas provides instant multi-lingual options for TUI’s 24/7 Holidayline, so 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year TUI’s customers are connected to an interpreter instantaneously. This service is designed to help holidaymakers who find themselves in difficulty and require non-English language assistance.

The service offered by Planet Veritas provides us with instant translation for every destination we travel to, and has proved invaluable.”

New Zealand Maori and The Lions

Kia Ora! (Hello!) Britain and Ireland’s rugby elite are currently in New Zealand taking part in the 2017 British and Irish Lions Tour. Although the squad has faced some criticism for their performance so far and some key players have been sent home with injuries, the competition will heat up over the next few weeks …

Read More

Week two as an Intern at Planet Veritas – Calum

Calum: Week two As a proud Welshman and fluent Welsh speaker, this week I took on the task of translating Planet Veritas’ website into yr hen iaith (the old language). Having spent the year studying my MA through the medium of English it was great to have the chance to use formal Welsh again, although …

Read More
Get a quote today