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About French

Keeping the French French – Francomot

Keeping the French French - Francomot

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Keeping the French French - Francomot - French Speakers – in France, not as much in Québec – are using more and more English words.  Louis XIII, the founder of the Académie Française, is probably rolling over in his grave.

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See this lesson on FRENCH HOUR, Anne's improved site

En français ici

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In 1635, Louis XIII gathered four intellectuals to create and manage an institution to regulate the French language.  This institution is now known as the French Academy, whose mission it is to decide on which words deserve to be included in the French dictionary.  The French Academy, which consists of 40 members (mostly white males), is to this day the authority when it comes to the French language.

The French, however, are starting to challenge this authority.  In May 2008, they decided to change the constitution in order to recognize regional languages, including Breton, Alsatian, Flemish and Corsican, as part of French heritage.  Of course, there are many, many other languages in France and in Francophone Overseas Territories, les DOM-TOM.

There is obviously no martial law regarding the usage of the French language.  People will speak as they please.  Only time will tell if the French will be able to keep the French language French, like our cousins in Québec.

Recently, there has been a major change in the French language.  A trend has gradually been emerging to include certain English words in everyday discourse.  In order to face this problem, the government created a competition called “Francomot” in January 2010.  Participants were asked to find French translations for 5 English words commonly used by French speakers: buzz, chat, newsletter, tuning, and talk.

buzz m  ramdam
chat m/f  éblabla or tchatche
newsletter f  infolettre
talk m  débat
tuning m  bolidage

What follows is a list of words that the jury would love the French to use instead of their English counterparts. Time will tell if they stick:

anti-globalization f altermondialisation
biofuel m biocarburant
blogging community f blogosphère
bulldozer m bouteur
charter flight m vol nolisé
chat m clavardage
e-mail m courriel, mél
ecological behavior m écogeste
hacker m fouineur
jingle m sonal
mobile home f résidence mobile
net f toile
playback f présonorisation
podcast f baladodiffusion
post it m papillon
self-employed person m/f autoentrepreneur/e
sit’com f comédie de situation pour la télévision
smiley f frimousse
software m logiciel
to scan ø numériser
to write a blog ø bloguer
tour operator m/f voyagiste
walkman m baladeur

Related: Text messages in French . Why learn French . Tips to further your French lesson. Tips to learn French better . Useful links to learn more French . First French words . French words in English . English words in French . Also here .

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