How The French Take English Internet Words And Make Them Acceptable For French Ears

from the non! dept

More than six years ago, we wrote about how the French, ever protective of their language, had rejected a bunch of commonly used words to describe new technologies such as email, and created their own official French-approved versions. The process, of course, is an ongoing one, and an attendee at a recent meeting explains the process by which the French come up with officially acceptable French ways of saying things like "ipod" and "pharming." As the article says: "The words are created by a panel of industrialists and savants, either from scratch or based on observations of evolving usage. The Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industry has set up a Special Commission on Terminology and Neologisms in Electronic Communications to carry out such work." Apparently, just letting languages evolve naturally (while perhaps requiring that much less bureaucracy) is just way too messy.

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  1. identicon
    be free, 15 Dec 2006 @ 6:46am

    not unusual, and no need for french bashing

    while it may be shocking to americans that other countries make pesky attempts to keep their own culture and fight american world domination in all areas, especially language and popular youth culture, this is not at all unusal. the swedes has since long a group called datatermgruppen, attempting the same thing to make it easier for swedes to communicate with each other and find coherent alternatives. while it's easy for young people just to use the english terms, it's not necessarily something the older generation understands. iceland has since long found icelandic alternatives to any foregin words, with the sole purpose of maintaining it's old and formerly isolated culture and language.

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