The history of English and French languages are intertwined, beginning with the fact that just like other major Western European languages both English and French are the descendants of proto-Indo-European family of languages. Although both languages separated on the Indo-European genealogy a long time back, their shared history has created some interesting issues in the process of English – French translation.
The history of Old English goes back to its origins as a language used by a number of north European tribes that settled in the British Isles driving away the Celts. During the 300 years rule of England by the Normans English language became the primary language of the common people and developed into what is now referred to as Middle English and then as words from Norman French, the official language of the court, flowed into English it evolved into Early Modern English.
Linguists believe that around a quarter to a third of the English vocabulary used at present has its roots in French. However as English became a more popular global language used in business and science, the reverse has also happened, i.e. French language has picked up new words from the English vocabulary. This has been opposed with moderate success by the French Academy which monitors the use of French language.
Their shared history has made English-French translation relatively easier; the languages share an extensive body of words that require little or no change. However those involved in translating the French-English language pair also need to be aware that there exist certain identical words in both languages which have entirely different meanings, for example, chair in English refers to a place for sitting while in French it means flesh. Similarly, coin in English is a form of money, while in French it refers to neighborhood. However, fortunately for translators similarities between the two languages are quite extensive, making the translation process easier.