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In English we often abbreviate Information Technology as “IT”. There is also “ICT” for Information & Communications Technology - which to the best of my knowledge means the same thing (at least nowadays; I think ICT was more common in the past, but IT is more common today).

I don’t speak much French, but I see there is a Wikipedia article for Les technologies de l'information, which it says is abbreviated as “TI”, but also as the English “IT”.

At the top of that article it says Not to be confused with Technologies de l'information et de la communication, which it says is abbreviated as “TIC”, but also as the English “ICT”.

What is the difference between the two? Is it like in English where they now mean basically the same thing? Which abbreviation is most common out of the 4?

  • TI
  • IT
  • TIC
  • ICT

Is there another abbreviation I haven’t mentioned?

Examples of usage in English:

  • You should speak to the IT Team
  • I need to see the IT Department
  • Call IT Support / Call IT
  • He works as an IT Manager
  • They spoke with the Head of IT
  • The IT budget has doubled this year

Or in French is it more common NOT to abbreviate it, and instead to use a word like “Informatique”?

In English I think it is very rare for people to use the full word - 99% of the time we would say “IT”.

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    It can be noted that french language is less fond of acronyms than english, even if it became more trendy last decades. I would bet that most (young?) people would recognize "IT" (directly from english sources like TV shows) but would have no clue what "TI" means. On the other hand "Tech" is broadly understood as abbreviation for "Technique / Technologie". We usually skip the "Information" part and use "Support Technique" for "IT Support", "Équipe technique" or "Techniciens" for "IT Team". The abbreviations you found on wikipedia would be understood only by specialists of the branch
    – Kaddath
    Mar 20 at 15:23
  • Informatique is the generic word you'll use for most intents and purposes. Mar 22 at 8:58

2 Answers 2

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In common language we use in French the word informatique or the abbreviation info. In a corporate environment, the expression système d'information is also rather common, and it is often abbreviated as SI. So the IT team is designated as l'équipe info in familiar level wordings or l'équipe SI in a written document.

I must acknowledge that it is not exactly the same thing, but when I want to express exactly the sense of Information Technology, I use the full words technologies de l'information (in plural form).

That being said, in a corporate environment, all of your examples could use either info at a familiar level or SI.

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  • Salut Serge, thanks for your answer - it is very helpful! Am I correct in reading “familiar” as being in an informal setting? Not used formally? It sounds like SI is much more common than TI - have you heard TI used much? Merci beaucoup! Mar 20 at 18:47
  • @DannyBeckett: I am afraid that I used familiar as it is used in French: niveau de langage familier which is probably better translated in English as informal. Mar 20 at 22:14
  • I'm not sure I would ever translate IT as système d'information, especially not singular... IT is a discipline, a field, an occupation, a department in a company. Système d'information (singular) is a piece of tech. Mar 22 at 8:54
  • @guillaume31: you are right. But English speaking people use commonly IT team where French speaking people use équipe SI ou équipe informatique. I agree that these recover different domains, but usage remains. Mar 23 at 13:32
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    @guillaume31: I tried to find something close to IT team. I agree that équipe SI may not be that common, but Direction des Systèmes d'Information abbreviated as DSI is quite common. Mar 24 at 13:15
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Serge's answer is good. But keep in mind that, in a corporate environment, anglicisms are frequent. It varies from case to case depending on the professional field (tech vs non-tech) or the scale of the company (international vs local).

In my experience working for a quite large software-producing french company, with offices across the world but with the headquarters being located in France, the IT team is simply called "l'équipe IT" with 'IT' pronounced as in English.

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  • Yes, it is even more true with technology fields, where we use many anglicisms. One notable exception is the Québec, where they tend to be "more royalists than the king" as we say, and will translate everything and avoid any english word
    – Kaddath
    Mar 20 at 15:35

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