How would you translate trial, meaning try-out/test period in French? I would like to use it in terms of software that will expire after a certain time. Would évaluation suffice as a label next to the software name?

3 Answers 3


In this context, a current rendering for "trial" is "essai".

  • After the trial period you can decide whether you want to buy it.

  • Après la période d'essai vous pouvez décider si vous voulez l'acheter.

"Version d'essai" is a possibility for the label but in the context of software it will introduce a state of confusion (see comments, user Gilles) as it is not defined and could be taken as "version bêta"; it would be necessary, in order to use it to specialise it to software as meaning "meant for trial by the user" (tool-tip maybe); the term used would then be a general term used in similar circumstances in many other domains of use of the language. "Évaluation" does not seem as explicit, nor does "version d'évaluation" even though it is the standard term for that today.

  • 1
    For software that you can try before buying, “version d'éveluation” is the correct term. “Version d'essai” would mean that the manufacturer released a preliminary version for users to try out and work out the bugs, but that term is not used for software (we use “bêta” instead), it's pretty much only used for medicines and medical equipment (without the word ”version“). Mar 29, 2019 at 8:38

That's a right translation but the word is rarely used alone.

I would write version d'évaluation next to the name. It means that the software is the final product but has a limitation in time, and possibly in features.

Common alternatives are version de test and version d'essai but unlike the former, they are sometimes used not for the released software but for an unfinished version (beta).


Complément :


trial version nom version d'essai f (usage fréquent)

plus rare : version de démonstration f · version démo f · version expérimentale f

Voici quelques exemples d'emploi :

To use Nero, you can buy software or test a trial version. Pour utiliser Nero, vous pouvez acheter le logiciel ou tester une version d'essai.

The trial version of Turbo.264 HD software is fully functional, with these limitations La version d'essai du logiciel Turbo.264 HD est entièrement fonctionnelle avec les limitations suivantes.

Nota bene : Cependant, je pense que version d'évaluation est le meilleur terme.

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