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France bans popular English expressions

France bans popular English expressions | Geography Education | Scoop.it
France declares war on the English language. Erin Burnett reports....
Seth Dixon's insight:

France is famous for trying to slow the linguistic diffusion of globalization's most powerful online language (which also happens to belong to their age-old cultural and political rival).  France has a commission dedicated to removing new words that have English origins since 1996 with the goal of introducing words with have linguistic roots in French. Recently then have done away with the Twitter term #hashtag to #mot-dièses.  This video criticizes this cultural practice and it is also derided in this NPR article.   However this does not mean that France is immune to cultural pressure to change linguistic traditions.  There was been a movement to alter the term Mademoiselle on official documents with a new title that allows women the freedom to choose the form of address that they prefer (and not to force them to reveal their marital status--think Ms. vs Miss).


Questions to Ponder: Why (and how) do languages change over time?  Is it possible to keep a language 'pure?'


Tags: language, culture, globalization, unit 3 culture, France, gender.

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Jess Pitrone's comment, May 5, 2013 5:16 PM
A war on banning American-English phrases? Obviously France didn’t get the memo about the growing global community, either that, or they are choosing to fight it tooth and nail (Whoa. Too many puns). The world today is more united then ever, whether it be economically, politically, or socially; everyone is connected somehow. We share everything; the whole world is sitting around eating sushi, wearing Northface jackets made in Bangladesh, watching their country’s version of The Voice (a show of Dutch origin), and i-chatting someone across the world. Needless to say, the world has become a very small place.
France has become known as a country that is steeped in tradition. The French are very sensitive about every part of their culture, and try very hard to preserve it. But why would they reject words that, yes, have American-English origins, but have distinct meanings across the world? I’d say that it’s just another attempt at the French to combat outside influence, and most notably, deter its society away from all things American. Let’s see how they feel the next time we change our language to include freedom fries! Ha-ha
Sylvain Rotillon's comment, May 5, 2013 5:44 PM
It's not so simple ! You can't say "the French" as if everybody rejects english words. It's a national policy but in fact it's mainly a rearguard action denied everyday in the street.
Ana Cristina Gil's curator insight, October 12, 2013 6:39 PM

I think that language chances as culture changes, as time passed things get more modern. For example the past summer I went back to Dominican Republic, I haven’t been there for almost eight years. Even though I kept in contact with my family over there, I was very shock to find how much the Spanish that I knew in Dominican Republic have change so much. I don’t think is possible to keep a language pure, society is not the same as 100 years ago, I bet that certain words that were correct in the English dictionary don’t even exist anymore.

Geography Education
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Curated by Seth Dixon