Richard Watts, faculty in French and Italian Studies and former faculty director of Canadian Studies, received a Business Language Grant from the UW Foster School’s Global Business Center to revise the syllabus for a 3rd-year advanced language course French 303: Project, Pathways, and Possibilities in the summer of 2023 by adding a module on business language in francophone Canada. French 303, which serves French major and minors as well as students who receive Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships through Canadian Studies, aims broadly to develop students’ mastery of French in a range of applied, professional settings in order to help them leverage their language skills on the job market. For his part, Prof. Watts teaches French 303 with a particular focus on the practice of and professional opportunities in the field of translation. In light of the fact that Canada is one of few officially multilingual nations (with important requirements regarding language access and, therefore, translation) and that, since 1980, Quebec has had strict legislation regarding the primacy of French in the workplace, the development of a new module on business French in Canada and its translation into English seemed particularly pertinent.
The revised course, which now devotes about 30% of its content to francophone Canada, will engage translation and business language in Quebec by, for instance, interrogating the theory and practice of localization (only in Quebec does KFC go by a different name, PFK or “Poulet frit Kentucky,” as the law stipulates it must), the specificity of business language in Quebec, corporate translation and interpreting practices, as well as specific subfields such as video-game adaptation and business-meeting interpreting as they function in Quebec. Prof. Watts will teach the new version of the course in Winter 2024.