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An assortment of English acronyms along with their French equivalents primarily related to the public sector and drawn from an assortment of web sources (mostly Government of Canada websites). Links to additional references are provided for some of the entries.

The acronyms are listed in English alphabetical order, followed by the full English expression along with the corresponding French followed by the equivalent French acronym in parentheses. Example: PWGSC — Public Works and Government Services Canada ↔ Travaux publics et Services gouvernementaux Canada (TPSGC).


Click on any letter to navigate the the list of acronyms beginning with that letter:

A  —   B  —   C  —   D  —   E  —   F  —   G  —   H  —   I  —   J  —   K  —   L  —   M

N  —   O  —   P  —   Q  —   R  —   S  —   T  —   U  —   V  —   W  —   X  —   Y  —   Z

ACRONYMS - ENGLISH ↔ FRENCH — SOME GOVERNMENT OF CANADA SOURCE LINKS
A variety of bilingual lists of acronyms compiled from Canadian sources covering glossaries, abbreviations and acronyms related to domestic and international terminology. Canadian Government websites provide terminology in both official languages (English and French) thus providing a quick and accurate reference for translators.
  • Search Canada: A great tool for finding acronyms used within Canadian Federal Government Departments. The database delivers the translated acronym and the full expression.
  • Federal Government Acquisitions Terminology: Selected list of abbreviations and acronyms compiled by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC)
  • Industrial Security Manual: Selected list of abbreviations and acronyms compiled by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC).
  • Industry Canada Compilation: Selected list of acronyms and abbreviations used by Industry Canada sectors, branches, products, programs and services.
  • The Standards Council of Canada Compilation: Selected list of the most common acronyms and terms used in the world of standardization.
  • Industry Canada Compilation: Selected list of acronyms and abbreviations used by Industry Canada sectors, branches, products, programs and services.
FINDING A GOVERNMENT OF CANADA ACRONYM:
Using your favourite search engine (Google, Bing or Yahoo), you can search on the acronym (e.g., PILT) and add the expression +gc.ca to the search string: (e.g., PILT +gc.ca). The top-most, page 1, results on this type of search will invariably generate a series links to Government of Canada web pages where the acronym is identified in its long form. Given that the great majority of the Government of Canada web pages have English ↔ French equivalents, to find the French version of the acronym, click on the FRANÇAIS link on the English web page you have visited to view its French language version.
ENGLISH ↔ FRENCH ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS IN THE TERMIUM
What the TERMIUM has to say on Acronyms and Initialisms:
The TERMIUM features a whole chapter on abbreviations and guidelines on their usage, including a subsection on acronyms and initialims.

The abbreviations section under the heading of general guidelines and observations states:
Many abbreviations will not be understood [in the TERMIUM] unless the term is written in full at first mention, with the abbreviation given in parentheses. Follow these general rules:

  • In general, abbreviate words only when the short form will be immediately recognized by the reader, and ensure that the same abbreviation is used elsewhere in your text to represent the word or words involved.
  • Some standard abbreviations such as i.e., AD, IQ, ESP, CBC and MP do not have to be spelled out because they are well known and in many cases occur as dictionary entries.
  • Many commonly used words that are actually abbreviations are now rarely regarded as such, including ad, fridge, phone, exam, memo, photo and math. Most such words should be avoided in formal writing, although cello and bus are exceptions to this rule.
  • Unless you are confident that the reader will know exactly what the abbreviation stands for, write the term in full at first mention, with the abbreviation following in parentheses:
    Several government departments were amalgamated to form Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC).

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OF CANADA STYLE GUIDE
What the Public Service Commission of Canada has to say on Acronyms, initialisms and other abbreviationsSigles, acronymes et autres abréviations.

Topics covered include:
General style guidelines; Acronyms, initialisms and other abbreviations; Ampersands; Capitalization; Colons; Commas; Contact information; Dashes; Dates; E-mail and Web site addresses; Groups and levels; Hyphenation; Italics; Money; Names (companies and associations); Names (geographical); Names (departments and agencies, PSC branches and directorates); Numbers (figures vs. words); Percentages; Punctuation and spacing; Quotations and quotation marks; Semicolons and, Titles of office or rank.

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