Target testing translation in Sainte-Dorothée

By Robert Frank

According to Target spokesman Sébastien Bouchard, the Fall opening of the department store chain’s 25 outlets in Quebec “might only be delayed a couple of days or weeks” by the recent province-wide construction strike.

In the meantime, giant American retailer has been honing its French-language skills by simulating an operating store at its new Sainte Dorothée location on Highway 13.

“Target has already translated more than 20 million words [into French], in advance of the launch of its outlets in Quebec,” Bouchard told The Suburban.

“We had to test all our processes: computer systems, tax, pricing, packaging. Everything needs to work in both languages. That’s why we needed a store to actually test all these things.”

Although Target’s massive expansion into Canada this year is the company’s first foreign venture, Bouchard noted that this is not the firm’s first experience operating in a language other than English.

“Target already operates in regional markets [in the United States] where we have many Spanish guests,” he explained, using his company’s euphemism for customers.

“In Miami, for example, there is a very strong Hispanic community. So it’s very important that we serve our guests in Spanish there: That’s their language.”

English, where warranted

“In Quebec, we serve our guests in French and English, because those are the languages that are spoken here,” he continued.

“All Target stores in Quebec will have unilingual French exterior signage,” he said. “They will feature the French descriptor Trouvez mieux, payez moins, which is the French version of our slogan Expect more, pay less.”

“Where we know that there is a significant English-speaking population, we will have bilingual interior signs as well,” Bouchard added. “Target is mindful of its English guests. We want to make sure that we respond to their expectations.”

He confirmed that the Sainte Dorothée outlet will be one of the stores that offers services in both official languages.

“We will also have different versions of our flyers which will be bilingual for certain markets,” he concluded.

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