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Navigating Québec's Bill 96: a guide for businesses

In May 2022, the government of Québec passed Bill 96, which amends the province’s Charter of the French Language, initially passed in 1977. Bill 96 is the latest in numerous amendments to the charter over the past 40-plus years and affects how businesses must conduct internal communication and serve customers. As of March 2023, the bill’s initial requirements are in effect, with further amendments to be enforced in the coming months and years.

What does Bill 96 mean for businesses operating in Québec?

Québec businesses will be expected to operate in French, internally and externally. Furthermore, businesses based outside of the province but who operate or transact with customers in Québec must provide services in French. While all businesses regardless of size must comply, businesses with more than 25 employees will need to submit formal documentation to the Office of the French Language for a compliance assessment.

Businesses will be required to communicate in French in the following contexts: 

  • Customer service and interaction 
  • Workplace communication 
  • Workplace tools, software, and internal documentation

Given these new legally binding language requirements, translation will become more important than ever in the coming years. Businesses that do not comply with the new requirements could face challenges in court. Montréal lawyer Antoine Aylwin outlines why compliance is especially important:

"Businesses should be aware of how Bill 96 will impact their operations. Companies must serve their Québec clients and customers in French, communicate with employees in French, and follow stricter hiring standards. Therefore, it is crucial for businesses to understand and adhere to the new requirements to comply with Bill 96 and to be successful within Québec." - Antoine Aylwin (Partner, Co-leader, Privacy and Cybersecurity at Fasken

To ensure your organization can transition successfully, DeepL offers a full suite of AI-powered translation products designed to help your business translate as seamlessly and cost-efficiently as possible. How can DeepL help businesses in Québec?

DeepL is considered the world’s most accurate AI translator. According to blind tests, professional translators chose DeepL’s translations over those of our leading competitors by a factor of 3:1—with English<>French translations consistently chosen over competitors. DeepL also guarantees maximum data security and is trusted by government agencies and law firms around the globe who translate with DeepL while keeping their data safe.  Québec’s companies will now need multiple versions of their product documentation, and DeepL is the perfect solution for simple and efficient translation—able to translate web pages, product documentation, internal tools and software, user reviews, customer service information, and more. Teams can also use our glossary feature, allowing you to customize translations with product-and-industry-specific naming conventions—ensuring translations stay consistent with your business’ terminologies.

DeepL’s translation products 

Our Advanced and Ultimate subscriptions are the most efficient way for your team to access instant, cost-effective, and accurate translations across our web translator, desktop and mobile apps, and browser extensions. Subscriptions include unlimited text and enhanced document translation capability.     Subscriptions are useful to businesses based outside of Québec who are pursuing customers within Québec—team members can email clients, provide customer service, and send translated documents all in French. They are also particularly beneficial for French-speaking teams to communicate with multilingual clients outside of Québec.   DeepL API provides an automated solution to website translation across all pages. The advanced neural networks that power DeepL’s technology mean these translations capture the nuance and context of your industry and product line. The API provides instant site translations crucial to conveying product and customer review information to potential clients. What customers are saying about DeepL DeepL's business customers in Québec are adequately prepared for the changes to the law—able to translate their internal documents, employee communication, and customer interactions with accuracy and speed. 

Users from around the globe use DeepL to translate from English to French and vice versa—and agree that the quality makes their day-to-day tasks more manageable. 

With DeepL Pro, I can translate entire documents that I have created in German directly into the languages that I mainly work with (French, English) . . . DeepL Pro is very practical and provides good translations with alternative variants. DeepL Pro makes my work much easier. - DeepL Pro for Business user, Switzerland

Want to ensure Bill 96 compliance for your organization? Contact our Sales team to learn more about how DeepL can help your organization navigate this transition.