Why it’s the perfect time to translate your museum content into French

Translate your museum content into French
The Louvre / Sebastian Pichler on Unsplash

With travel restrictions and quarantine measures currently in place, it’s easy to think that there’s no point in working on your foreign visitor experience these days. Museums and galleries are only just opening up and getting back on their feet, and it may seem like there are other aspects of the business that need to be prioritised… but there are still good reasons to translate your museum content into French.


Let’s not forget that cultural tourism in the United Kingdom accounts for billions of pounds worth of income per year.

According to a study conducted by the Arts Council UK, tourist engagement with arts and culture in the United Kingdom amounts to 42% of all inbound tourism-related expenditure, amounting to £7.6 billion!

Though the coronavirus pandemic has definitely knocked back cultural sectors and tourism all over the world, it appears that one of the solutions to getting the arts back on their feet is to be well-prepared for when foreign guests are welcomed back into the country.


That’s true! Keep reading to learn the reasons why you shouldn’t lower your efforts to reach out to international tourists.

Make your galleries (IRL or virtual) irresistible!


Translate your exhibitions
Multilingual exhibitions / Sergio Rota @Unsplash

For the UK, as much as for the rest of the world, French tourists can be a huge help in this regard.

Indeed, French people are good at many things, making art, delicious food, keeping a chic & blasé look on their faces… They are culture-thirsty all the time, but few have a level of English that can deeply interact with English exhibition and artwork descriptions.

According to a 2016 survey, they actually rank the lowest in the European Union ‘for proficiency in speaking English.


I know, I was surprised, too :/

And, as you can guess, speaking an ‘okay’ amount of English definitely isn’t enough for a rich, fulfilling experience and to grasp the point of an exhibition. It’s so easy to lose interest in a text when it doesn’t appeal to your deeper understanding.

On the other hand, reading or listening to a text in your mother tongue sparks interest and captures the imagination of your visitors. That’s why providing specialised French translations for your exhibitions can be a huge asset.


Translating your exhibitions into French
Translate your museum content into French / Pim Chu @Unsplash

But why is now the perfect time to translate your museum content into French?

Though visitor numbers are low right now, taking advantage of COVID-induced tourism downtime to produce high quality French content places your institution beyond other museums and galleries when it comes to taking care of French visitors.

It means you’re doing that little bit extra to think about them in advance and provide a meaningful experience for them that they will truly appreciate.

You’re more likely to accurately target and attract these guests and French visitors will have a much more enjoyable experience, meaning they are more likely to return and recommend your institution to friends and family!


The French are eager to travel. But for a while, still, this might mean travelling through their computer screen.


Additionally, this might be a good time to assess your existing content or translations, making sure they are still compelling, informative and enjoyable to read.

And why not translate parts of your website into French, if you’ve got an amazing new exhibition? The French, right now, are eager to travel.

Yet, for a while, still, that might mean travelling through your computer screen.


The numerous augioduide apps allow for easy translation
The numerous augioduide apps allow for easy translation / Kelvin Yup @Unsplash

I’ve already written before on ways to boost visitor experience, and a lot of these strategies involve immersing your guest in what you have to offer by aiding their understanding through exhibition texts, beautifully written in their mother tongue, or by providing extra services such as translated audioguides or finally setting up an audioguide app with the countless options available now (Oh, about that, stay tuned! It’s the subject of my next blog post!).


There are so many options to reach your international visitors’ markets online.

When travel restrictions subside, and the United Kingdom experiences a wave of French tourists flooding in to get their art and culture fix, your museum will be the one they turn to!


Make your exhibitions digital and multilingual
Make your exhibitions digital and multilingual / Sebastian Pichler @Unsplash

Want to know about other ways to prepare for the post-COVID art world?
Perhaps you want to bounce around some ideas and discuss which marketing and translation needs would attract more French visitors right now, or when the time comes?

If that’s the case, drop me a line and let’s make your museum, heritage site or cultural organisation the go-to place for French tourists!

Posted on: 09/25/2020, by :

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