These examples of usage of gran in French were shown by translate.google.com (after clicking the icon in lower right corner of the left text field):

● Lire le résumé c'est comme si tu me disais de conduire une ferrari enzo sur gran turismo … Je préfère la conduire en vrai..

● "Ça va Stromae, je suis un gran fan t'as eu une soirée agitée, t'es déglingué ? Tu veux qu'on te dépose chez toi ? Allez courage".

● Sinon, je pense que si un jour Bugatti se lance dans le même délire, il pourrai y arriver aussi, la gran sport faisant déjà 1200cv, ils peuvent surement la pousser encore un peu plus 1300/1400cv ?

● Forts d'une gran.

This very much resembles Spanish. But in French it is very strange because you normaly use grand or grande. I have not found it in any dictionary. Or is it some special form of grand?

EDIT: how it did look like in google translate:

enter image description here

4 Answers 4


Gran isn't a French word.

When Google Translate does not know a word, it leaves it unchanged. Even worse, sometimes it outputs an English word, because the translation goes through the English language. (I saw it the other day but it has been fixed.)

About the examples you listed:

  • Gran Turismo is a computer game about driving.
  • un gran fan is a typo, should be grand.
  • Gran Sport is a Bugatti car.
  • "Forts d'une gran" is a sentence that has been cut by a dash and a new line, the rest is "-de expérience", that is "Forts d'une grande expérience".

More generally, Google can find examples even with words that don't exist, like "radiohead" or "satelite" (one L missing).

In a nutshell: don't trust blindly Google translate, double check on word reference.

  • Thanks. It was not during translation; but in the left box itself - see the screenshot in my updated question. Shame on Google!
    – Tomas
    Jun 6, 2013 at 16:17
  • Google Translate uses what Google does best: an algorithm. It's stupid machine translation, but they have managed to make a really good one, especially in French-English. But it remains machine translation and you should always be wary of it and double check the results.
    – Kareen
    Jun 6, 2013 at 16:35
  • Again @Kareen: this is not about translation! But thank you for comment anyway!
    – Tomas
    Jun 6, 2013 at 17:11
  • 2
    @Tomas Actually, it kind of is about translation, whether you're using Google Translate for it or not. You're basically asking how it works, why it gives you usage examples of "gran" when that word does not exist in French. And that comes around to translation, or more precisely, lack thereof. And then when you ask for usage, it fetches all its instances of that particular non-translation.
    – Kareen
    Jun 6, 2013 at 19:34

C'est une erreur de transcription, gran n'existe pas en français, seuls grand(s) et grande(s) sont valables, et vous avez eu le bon réflexe de vérifier.

Lorsqu'une traduction ne me convient pas, que je la trouve bizarre, ou encore que la contre-traduction donne n'importe quoi, je vérifie avec (ici en anglais, mais d'autres langues y sont disponibles) :

  • linguee pour comprendre l'utilisation ou saisir les nuances selon les contextes.
  • un regroupement de traducteurs quand il s'agit de phrases particulières. En général, il y a au moins une phrase qui donne une réponse cohérente.
  • 1
    Merci pour le lien vers le regroupement de traducteurs. Je viens de tester la traduction EN->FR de Once upon a time, there was a mouse that was saying 'to heal'". La meilleure est "Il était une fois, il y avait une souris qui disait 'pour guérir'" et la pire est "Il est un un fois, fut un souris, dont débita, pour 'cicatriser'". Ce qui correspond exactement à ce que tu en dis plus haut.
    – Shlublu
    Jun 7, 2013 at 13:11

In deed, "gran" is an Italian adjective (in short form) which translates into "grand" or "grande" (French) or "great" / "grand" (English). It comes from the Latin "grandis" through the old english "graunt".

It doesn't exist in French so Google translation didn't translate it....

Gran Turismo is a proper name, but it is Italian. In French the equivalent class (GT) is also called Grand Tourisme.

"je suis un gran fan de Stromae" is incorrect (wrong spelling). Corrected : "je suis un grand fan de Stromae"

"gran sport" is a proper name and probably meant to be italian (like the Ford Gran Torino).


I have no proof of it, but I am under the impression that the adjective you mention may derive from the usage there is for it in Italian.

Actually, the adjective "grande" can be shortened to just "gran" when used in connection with masculine terms. For example, you could say Egli fece un grande/gran rumore aprendo la porta (He made a lot of noise while opening the door), but the preference would be for the second option, and surely nobody would ever say grande ciambellano instead of gran ciambellano or grande visir when talking of the relevant positions at court.

I know it is not relevant to French, but perhaps this could explain the usage of gran in some expressions.

  • yes, this is the same as in Spanish. But the question was about the French. Examples of use provided by google translate used it in French sentences..
    – Tomas
    Jun 6, 2013 at 17:34

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