France: conference on how to keep anglicisms out of media

1994 law defends purity of French language, but it's not enough

09 December, 16:20

    (ANSAmed) - PARIS, DECEMBER 9 - Linguists and broadcast media editors on Monday met at the Collège de France in Paris to discuss ways to keep English from encroaching into the French language.

    Titled 'What is the future of the French language in audiovisual media?', the conference held at the venerable humanist education and research center founded in 1530 was attended by the likes of Erik Orsenna, a member of the ancient and prestigious Academie Francaise. Founded by Cardinal Richelieu in 1635, its job is to safeguard the rules and the purity of the French language.

    ''Sticking anglicisms in everywhere has something extraordinarily shabby about it'', Orsenna told Le Parisien newspaper. ''One wants to be fashionable, one feels just so international, but at the end of the day, one is a bit of a loser''.

    A 1994 law saying that French ''is the language of teaching, work, trade, and public services'' throughout the territory of France has led to companies like General Electric Medical Systems being found guilty of not translating their product instructions into French.

    Radio, TV, and mass retail are among the sectors most invaded by anglicisms, Le Parisien reported, citing numerous Anglo-Saxon terms now commonly used in supermarkets. (ANSAmed).

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