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How Is France Trying to Preserve the French Language?

The French are continuing their long tradition of attempting to stop English words from "infiltrating" their language, and are now focusing specifically on tech vocab. For example, the members of a commission tasked with protecting the French language do not want their compatriots to use the English language term “smartphone.” They want the device to be called le mobile multifonction instead -- or mobile for short. The Commission d'enrichissement de la langue française also has its sights set on a variety of other English terms, proposing French alternatives to"fiber optics" (fibronique), “email” (courrier électronique), and “hashtag” (mot-dièse).

English lingo? Sacre bleu!

  • The French were also told that they shouldn't use the word "smart TV.” The preferred term is televiseur connecté.

  • Last year, the commission ruled against using English words such as "gamer,” "dark web,” and "fake news." They prefer joueur, internet clandestin, and a completely new term -- infox.

  • France’s first official committee to protect the country’s vocabulary was established in 1966.

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Discuss this Article

anon999523
Post 2

Interesting. Are they only targeting the English language?

anon999522
Post 1

Gee this is nothing. In Quebec, they have Bill 101 and to enforce it they have "Language Police". Clerks in stores or restaurants are direct to speak French and not English.

The irony of it all is language and religion was granted and protected by English till recently. Names of buildings and streets no longer can carry English Names. Where is the United Nations protecting their famous "Freedom of Speech" regulation in Quebec?

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