back to article France levels up local video game slang with list of French terms to replace foreign words

France’s Commission d'enrichissement de la langue française* has decided to offer citizens new ways to describe video games in the language of the land. The Commission’s mission is to create new terms that replace adopted words from foreign languages that become part of common speech in France, so that French doesn’t have gaps …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

    Long ago I remember hearing that said Commission declared that "weekend" was to be replaced by "fin de semaine".

    Yeah right. Everybody says weekend.

    I'm guessing this new publication will only be important in the offices of those who wrote it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

      Long ago I remember hearing that said Commission declared that "weekend" was to be replaced by "fin de semaine".

      The thing is just literally translating the words doesn't change the fact that France has no concept of "the weekend" in the way the UK does. So they still need "Le Weekend" for that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

        Interested to know what this concept of the weekend is that "fin de semaine" doesn't convey and how come other romance languages manage to struggle on with "fin de semana" (Spanish), "fim de semana" (Portuguese), "fine settimana" (Italian) without needing to import "weekend" from English.

        1. quartzie

          Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

          Most Slavic languages adopted weekend without any translation:

          Víkend, Vikend, uïk-end, weekend, vikhidni, vykhadnyja.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

            Many, many years ago my Dad amused himself by learning Hebrew. The modernisers of the language had the choice of either directly importing modern words from other languages for stuff that Hebrew didn't cover or to make up new Hebrew words to cover things.

            They ended up doing it roughly 50/50.

            Likewise modern Celtic languages.

            English is a bit odd in that it's probably taken more words from French than French ever has borrowed from English - that's one reason why English vocabulary is so flexible..

            1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
              Headmaster

              Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

              English has the claim to fame of taking the same French word *twice* : "Petite"

              1) Petite -> petty (which morphed from simply "small" to "small minded")

              2) Petite -> petite (small in stature)

              1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

                “petty”

                I’d guess that “petty” indirectly came from the masculine form of the French word, « petit », because the second T of « petit » is silent (which is reflected in the spelling pronunciation of “petty”), and because the English word “petit” (with the same pronunciation as “petty”) is still found in legalese, e.g. “petit larceny”.

            2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

              "The modernisers of the language had the choice of either directly importing modern words from other languages for stuff that Hebrew didn't cover or to make up new Hebrew words to cover things.

              They ended up doing it roughly 50/50.

              Likewise modern Celtic languages."

              Yep! Though if you looked at my Welsh essays in school, you'd think it was way over 50/50 - I tended to "Welshify" English words if I didn't know the actual Welsh word!

            3. Fifth Horseman

              Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

              Japanese does it too - 'uisuki' - whiskey. 'takushi' - taxi. My favourite, vaguely self-parodying: 'koinrokka' - coin locker.

            4. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

              And Hebrew has a good example of the silliness of these ivory tower academicians trying to control language; their chosen word for a computer equated to "thinking thing"

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Happy

          Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

          French guy here : when you say "fin de semaine" you're talking about Friday afternoon/evening basically. Whereas "weekend" is the word used to describe Saturday and Sunday.

          We don't have a word, except "weekend", to describe what happens between Friday evening and Monday morning.

          Also, "une semaine" (~a week) covers the seven days period, whereas "la semaine" (~the week) is mostly about the Monday to Friday period.

          So, yeah, saying that further on we need to say "fin de semaine" to describe what we are calling "weekend" won't work because we already use "fin de semaine" for something else.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

            So there is an existential void where Saturday and Sunday should be... sounds pretty French as well.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

              It's worth remembering that a "week day" in English means the working week Monday to Friday and excludes Saturday Sunday which are also part of a week but not week days.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

                Correct. Saturday and Sunday are the "weekend".

          2. Jedit Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            "French guy here"

            Thanks for the explanation. While we're on the subject, though, can you explain "le camping"?

            1. Warm Braw Silver badge

              Re: "French guy here"

              English guy here: see also "le parking" and, more bizarrely, "le brushing".

              They're applying the strict rules of (Latin) grammar and using the gerund to form a noun, even where the original language does not.

              Less easy to explain "en suite" and "double entendre" which, AFAIK, are unknown in French.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "French guy here"

                English is such a great language! It can borrow from other languages, even if the words and phrases don't actually exist.

                1. Gene Cash Silver badge

                  Re: "French guy here"

                  English doesn't exactly "borrow" - it takes other languages behind the alley, beats them senseless, and rifles through their pockets.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: "French guy here"

                    The word is "non-consensual". Which is basically Latin, but somebody added an -al at the end. At the time, Latin was a dead language, and the dead can't give consent, so this was also .... non-consensual.

                  2. vogon00

                    Re: "French guy here"

                    "rifles through their pockets"

                    OK, so where did we steal 'le dogging' from :-)

                  3. Justthefacts Silver badge
                    Happy

                    Re: "French guy here"

                    We……assassinate them

                2. phuzz Silver badge
                  Coat

                  Re: "French guy here"

                  English isn't a language!

                  It's at least three languages in a trenchcoat.

                  1. Swarthy Silver badge

                    Re: "French guy here"

                    At least three, and some of them twice!

                    1. Swarthy Silver badge
                      Trollface

                      Re: "French guy here"

                      *Too late for an edit*

                      English has French "loan" words coming out our oiseau.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "French guy here"

                Don’t forget “le fooding”, my favorite.

            2. wknd
              Trollface

              Re: "French guy here"

              Sorry, it seems that it has been "stolen" from English.

              But while we are here... we are also reusing "glamping" for "glamorous camping".

              And do you know how we call an RV? "Camping-car". Yes, because it's a "voiture" (car) that you use for... camping.

              And do you know how we call a coach (the bus for long travels)? "un car" (short for "autocar").

              I love this game!

              1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                Re: "French guy here"

                And "un short" for a pair of shorts, on the basis that a pair of trousers is "un pantalon".

              2. Cuddles Silver badge

                Re: "French guy here"

                "And do you know how we call an RV? "Camping-car". Yes, because it's a "voiture" (car) that you use for... camping."

                In English they're called campervans. Because it's a van you use for camping. RV is American, not English.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

            > to say "fin de semaine" to describe what we are calling "weekend" won't work because we already use "fin de semaine" for something else.

            You should do it the English way and start calling it semaine-fin.

            I dare you to say that quickly in polite company though. :)

            1. Swarthy Silver badge

              Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

              I propose "cul de semaine" as either Friday afternoon/evening (to replace fin de semaine, freeing it up to cover Saturday/Sunday) or as a replacement for "le Weekend"

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: how come other romance languages manage to struggle on

          You're English aren't you ? Telling us how foreign languages work without ever bothering to try yourself.

          If you had, you'd know you were talking cobblers. My Italian father often commented how fine settimani was totally not "weekend" in English.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: how come other romance languages manage to struggle on

            Hey, sorry. "El weekend" is just not a really thing in Spain. "El finde" is.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

          Roughly, fin de semaine refers to a point in time and could be translated as "the end of the week", as opposed to "the weekend".

          Though I seem to recall that in Quebec they do call the weekend, fin de semaine. I stand to be corrected though.

          1. phuzz Silver badge

            Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

            As far as I can tell, the Quebecois try and remove every English word from their language, rendering it comic or indecipherable to French speakers.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

        France has no concept of "the weekend" in the way the UK does

        Same sort of cultural difference that means a sportsmanlike gesture is "tres fairplay', there's apparently no equivalent native concept.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

          Really?

    2. entfe001
      Trollface

      Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

      > Long ago I remember hearing that said Commission declared that "weekend" was to be replaced by "fin de semaine".

      Well, at least they aren't calling it dernières deux jours hebdomadaires

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

      I'm guessing this new publication will only be important in the offices of those who wrote it.

      Some moon ago I was running a training class in France (its an American company so training is in "English") and over lunch one of the company's top performance consultant who was from Paris told me that the following week he had to attend a French class.

      I looked confused, "But you're French"

      Yes, but next week I need to go on a special "learn French" course to learn all the French words for things to do with computers. I need to go and sort out some problems on a government site and if I use any American word I will be banned from the site and I won't be able to solve their problems for them.

      Like so many cases, technical ability counts for nothing, they are just interested in the ability to jump through hoops.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

        learn all the French words for things to do with computers

        Interestingly, the Gaidhlig (Scots Gaelic) word for 'database' is 'stordata'..

        1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

          the Gàidhlig (Scots Gaelic) word for ‘database’ is ‘stòrdàta’

          In Irish, the word stór (with multiple meanings, like [and from] English “store”) also exists, but the Irish phrase for “database” is bunachar sonraí (literally “base of data”). Analogously, its English abbreviation “DB” is BS in Irish.

          1. Falmari Silver badge

            Re: the Gàidhlig (Scots Gaelic) word for ‘database’ is ‘stòrdàta’

            BS, what a load of bullshit. ;)

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

        they are just interested in the ability to jump through hoops

        'Tis the way of bureaucrats everywhere. What matters is not doing things properly, it's doing things the way the form says it should be done..

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

        > if I use any American word I will be banned from the site

        I call either bullshit or a gross exaggeration. Quite often the French themselves don't know proper French terminology, even though they do have one, having invented a number of technical and engineering concepts that the Americans went on to "borrow".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

          ite often the French themselves don't know proper French terminology

          Hence the reason he was being sent on the class to learn the words that were required at this customers site.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

            He wouldn't have been banned from anywhere though, for saying email instead of courriel or server instead of serveur (they sound close but not the same).

      4. Phones Sheridan Bronze badge

        Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

        I had to do a years computing french as part of my time at uni. Only problem was, the teacher, while thoroughly fluent in several languages (including native English, Russian and French, he was a cross breed) he knew not a jot about computers, and there was no formal curriculum outside of "where is the gas station" and "can I have 100 grams of butter please", so he asked us to bring in anything we could find that was computer related, with an English and French translation printed on it, and he'd then teach us it. By the end of the year, I was fluent in Lemmings, Megalomania, Stunt Car Racer, Speed Ball 2 and many other Amiga games that a couple of us had original boxed copies of. No joke, part of our final exam was the question "Please list the system requirements to play the game "Lemmings".

        I did get a B, but now some 30ish years later I can't remember diddly squat.

      5. Fifth Horseman

        Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

        I came across one of these diktats many years ago when writing technical documentation. Whilst I can vaguely understand the motivation for them, they deny the fact that human languages are fluid, dynamic beasties that evolve over time. Vocabulary, morphology and syntax all change.

        This particular edict seemed deliberately obtuse, and had the result that it was side-stepped by writing the documentation in English. Everybody understood the result better, but I doubt the Language Commissioners were best pleased.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

          > it was side-stepped by writing the documentation in English

          I see you've never made acquaintance with "European English" then? It was for a time the "official" form of English we were supposed to use on EU texts relating to aviation.

          I'm not quite sure how actually official it was though. My recollection is not clear but in retrospect I reckon it might have been some busybody's pet project or something.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

      Cue the horde of self-righteous anglo-ethnocentrists whose intuitions are divinely infallible... <sigh>

      If you've spent any time in Québec, whose French-language heritage diverged from Europe close on 4 centuries ago and has "modernised" in subtly different ways to the Europeans, you'd know that "fin de semaine" has been the way of referring to the weekend since before many English-speaking countries spoke English and it continues to be common usage to this day. It rolls of the tongue much better/faster in the fanco-american accents, and anyone who has heard a side-by-side comparison of a Québecois saying "fin de semaine" with a Parisian saying "weekend" should be able to understand why English terms aren't and shouldn't be the canonical answer to every other language's evolution.

      Ditto "magasinage" (in North America) versus "shopping" (in Europe, whose pronunciation by francophones must surely contravene some provision of the Geneva Conventions).

      Funnily enough, after moving to Québec a long time ago and learning its language and ways, I am always amused when I hear my unilingual anglophone friends mention that a given street is a cul-de-sac. Most of them are die-hard Tolkein fans, but don't realize what a fine opportunity they're missing: it should of course be a "Bag End". (Tolkein was a linguist, I'd be surprised if this wasn't a clin d'oeil on his part.)

      1. Wade Burchette

        Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

        The English language is an amalgam of many other languages - Old Frisian, old German, old French, old Viking, some Greek, Latin, and Hebrew due to the church. The English language does not mind adopting foreign words. The language has been doing that for hundreds of years!

        I may be wrong about this, but the impression I get from some French is that they are bitter that French is not the lingua franca. So it seems like they are trying to protect their language from any English influence. Which I think is stupid. Every language has a strength and weakness. Why not use the strength of another language to make yours better? Okay, so "weekend" doesn't sound French? Well, "hacienda" doesn't sound English, but it is now part of the English language.

        Also, languages are living. So, it is only natural that Quebec French would differ from France French. Just like American and Canadian English differs from British English which differs from Scottish English which differs from Australian English and so on.

        1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

          "French is not the lingua franca"

          Ackshually . . . it still is literally the lingua franca. It's just not the figurative lingua franca.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

            Nice word play (though I'm not sure the etymology follows)

          2. Cuddles Silver badge

            Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

            Actually, the term comes from "language of the Franks", whose various kingdoms covered most of western Europe at different times, and it was around long before any kind of united France or French language existed. The original lingua franca was a pidgin language used around large parts of the Mediterranean for trade between people who spoke many different languages.

            So it's actually the exact opposite. Not only has French never been the lingua franca, but efforts like the one in the article all but guarantee it never could be.

            1. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

              Interestingly, ( to me at least) until relatively recently, there was no one French language.There were numerous languages, like Breton or Languedoc/Occitan. Paris decided to make their language the language. Just as the British (English) tried to kill off Welsh. And indeed Breton, Welsh and Cornish are pretty much the same language. The Acadamie Francaise has only been around since the 1630s, and at that time only posh people spoke proper. It became universal in the 1880s or thereabouts when the French (Paris) decided to educate the masses.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

        > Cue the horde of self-righteous anglo-ethnocentrists whose intuitions are divinely infallible... <sigh>

        You then go and patronisingly scoff at a point made that an actual French person in this comment section has verified to be the case.

        Now, some would say that the typical pompous Quebecan attitude to French vs English has wormed its way into your psyche, but I couldn't possibly comment on that.

        "<sigh>" indeed.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

          > > Cue the horde of self-righteous anglo-ethnocentrists whose intuitions are divinely infallible... <sigh>

          >

          > You then go and patronisingly scoff at a point made that an actual French person in this comment section has verified to be the case.

          Huh? By the time I read the article there was already a comment about "administrative busybodies" that had a slew of follows ups, in which the use of the English word in French was frequently and unashamedly argued to be normal, natural, modern, [etc]. (With an inference that any discussion otherwise is some kind of retrograde and futile exercise in pencil-pushing.) We all read through the prism of our own experience and perhaps this leapt out at me more than it leapt out at you. But it satisfies the anthropological definition of ethnocentrism as far as I can tell so I don't think my comment was out of line.

          As for patronisingly scoffing, I don't even know at which or whose point you believe I scoffed. I went on to make my own point, not scoff at anyone else's. At least that's what I was thinking when I wrote, and had nobody else's point in mind, for scoffing at or anything else. Apologies to anyone who felt scoffed at, but as it clearly wasn't you, let me just say that you judged my intentions (incorrectly) rather addressing what I wrote or the point I was trying to make.

          As for this alleged scoffing victim being an "actual French person" - so? I speak and write French natively enough, having lived and raised kids in the language for more than a couple of decades, and I was specifically speaking from the perspective of French as it is spoken in North America, _as opposed to what might seem to be normal in France_. Indeed that was _exactly_ my point. (Some intellectually lazy oaf is likely at this point to whip out the old "but that's not real French", to which I'd just draw their attention to how the English-speaking world is currently spread out and urge them to draw some parallels.)

          Whatever the hoopla may be about the use or recognition of "fin de semaine" in France, it is utterly moot from the perspective of at least one significant French-speaking people (outside Europe) that has _never not used those words_. On the contrary, it is the increased use of "weekend" (like "shopping", and "parking", and ...) coming from Europe that comes off as bizarre _in this French-language context_, given that linguistically native terms are already in wide usage ("magasinage", "stationnement", ...). If y'all wonder why the French might want to find and use non-English words in their language, we are more often than not wondering why they want to adopt English words in the first place when there are _already_ words for such things that harmonize more naturally with the rest of the vocabulary and grammar, and that sound less freakish when applied.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

        Canadian French consists of taking an American English-language phrase and replacing some of the words with French ones, while leaving the order and structure unchanged. It leads to such delights as "mon tire est flat", and "salle de repos" (for "toilet")

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

          > Canadian French consists of taking an American English-language phrase and replacing some of the words with French ones, while leaving the order and structure unchanged.

          That is exactly as true as saying that American English consists of removing some vowels and randomly inserting the word "like". Which is to say, utter b******t. But hey, if asinine cultural prejudices of that sort help you get through the day, best of luck.

    5. Fading
      Joke

      Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

      The reason why the French struggle with the concept of "the weekend" is they couldn't contemplate the concept of not working for only two days every week.......

      [grabs coat and ducks to avoid barrage of onions and baguettes]

    6. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

      Germany has a more pragmatic attitude, they use native words and imported words, which can get confusing, especially as the imported word tend to have a different case.

      Der Wagen, das Auto = the car

      Die Apfelsine, die Orange = the orange.

      Die Möhre/Mohrrübe, die Karrote = the carrot

      Der Rechner, das PC = computer

      Der Bildschirm, der Monitor = monitor

      Der Fernseher, das TV = TV

      Die EDV (elektronische Datenverarbeitung), die IT (Informationstechnik) = IT

      Although Fernseher is still widely used, as TV (pronounced Tee-Fow) is actually harder to say out loud.

      We still use EDV (eletronic data processing) at the company where I am at the moment.

      There are also confusing ones, where an English word is taken and used in a completely different context:

      Das Handy = mobile/cell Phone/smartphone

      Der Beamer = projector

  2. Lis

    E-sports professionals?

    Ok, I get it. Someone who makes money out of playing games. And good luck to them.

    But to call sitting on your arse infront of a telly, pressing a few buttons and maybe twiddling a joystick a "sport"?

    Seriously?

    In that case, if I sit further from the bar and make more frequent trips to said bar for more beer, then that should surely qualify me as a marathon runner?

    Cheers... Ishy

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: E-sports professionals?

      It's that old argument of sports vs games again. Darts, Bridge, Snooker etc etc.

      Bit I find odd is that people want to watch other people play video games.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: E-sports professionals?

        Darts - one of the few sports where the viewers are often fitter than the contestants!

        Thanks, I will have my 7 pints now =>

      2. RockBurner

        Re: E-sports professionals?

        "There are only 3 sports, mountain climbing, motorsport and bull fighting; all the rest are merely games" (Hemingway).

        (I'd add rugby personally, yes more of a game, but still plenty of potential for life-altering injury)

        I get his point completely, and agree that watch someone play a pc-game would seem dull as ditch water, but then plenty of people watch things like golf or football.

        1. MiguelC Silver badge

          Re: E-sports professionals?

          What about combat sports?

          They're not games, that I can assure you!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: E-sports professionals?

            My girlfriend used to say that my definition of sport was "if you don't stand a good chance of getting killed or maimed doing it, it's not a sport".

      3. gotes

        Re: E-sports professionals?

        Bit I find odd is that people want to watch other people play video games.

        Even before "e-sports" was a thing, I enjoyed watching my friends play video games. I'm not into esports btw, but I do enjoy watching other people play video games. It's far more enjoyable to me than watching a football match.

      4. Binraider Silver badge

        Re: E-sports professionals?

        E-sports, nope. No interest in bad twitch shooters; especially those being played by caffeinated, sugar-rushed 17 yr olds.

        However, the speedrunning / glitching communities can be incredibly entertaining. Kaizo mario is a whole rabbit hole all of it's own. Try "Summer games done quick 2019 SMW Blind Kaizo Race" and you will see why it's worth a watch.

        Another one I'd recommend is Heinki's speedrun of Deus Ex (SGDQ 2018).

        The old Gamesmaster show had quite an audience in the 90's for people watching people play games (sometimes).

      5. jmch Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: E-sports professionals?

        Shooting and archery are Olympic sports, darts isn't particularly different in the physical requirements. In fact I have a huge respect for the mental arithmetic capabilities of darts players, who can manage to break down any number < approx 150 into (1..3)x + (1..3)y + 2z before I've even had time to register what the number is.

        With respect to snooker, anyone who's had to deal with a cue ball on the opposite side of the table knows that snooker requires a remarkable agility in certain situations, and with respect to 20-30 years ago all the top professionals are exceptionally trim, if not exactly 'fit'. Of course as in any other sport, you get the ultra-talented using their talent to get physically lazy eg Ronnie O'Sullivan just switching hands instead of reaching over the table with his 'stronger' hand.

        I don't know anything about esports but surely it requires at the very least a very high level of mental concentration and stamina, which in turn is greatly helped by physical fitness.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: E-sports professionals?

          But we're not saying that they don't involve skill - we're saying that they aren't sports.

          By your definition, chess would be a sport, as would sitting exams, or performing an operation...

          1. jmch Silver badge

            Re: E-sports professionals?

            I actually agree with you... I'm not saying snooker, darts etc should be considered sports, rather that archery, shooting and the like are more games than sports. even though they all require high levels of coordination

      6. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: E-sports professionals?

        Bit I find odd is that people want to watch other people play video games.

        I watch other people play because personally I'm complete shit at it, so I don't enjoy playing myself.

        Sometimes it's fun watching someone so good that he plays Call of Duty with just a knife and still ends up with more kills than everybody else combined.

        Or watch someone play Dark Souls and get to see parts of the game I would never get to if I was playing.

      7. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: E-sports professionals?

        It's that old argument of sports vs games again

        And sports people vs athletes.. The two are *very* much not the same..

      8. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: E-sports professionals?

        "Bit I find odd is that people want to watch other people play video games."

        I agree. I wonder if it's an age thing, related to the initial scarcity of games?

        Cheer people on? We actively wanted them to fail - I remember as a kid, hanging around the local arcades hoping for the player to use his lives so I could have my turn!

    2. Alumoi Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: E-sports professionals?

      But to call sitting on your arse infront of a telly, pressing a few buttons and maybe twiddling a joystick a "sport"?

      Amen, brother! I'd call that watching porn, not sport.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: E-sports professionals?

        Are there any porn watching competitions?

        Been training all my life for that kind of thing.

      2. Phones Sheridan Bronze badge

        Re: E-sports professionals?

        Even better if it's a 2 player co-op!

    3. ssharwood

      Re: E-sports professionals?

      I know ... computer games are a sport?

      Whatever you call them, they're big business.

      This story just scrapes the surface of the bigness https://www.theregister.com/2020/10/16/lenovo_esports_services/

    4. entfe001
      Joke

      Re: E-sports professionals?

      There are plenty of properly Freecell professional players out there. Playing it during working hours counts as such, doesn't it?

    5. Def Silver badge

      Re: E-sports professionals?

      Maybe this is oversimplifying things, but the way I see it is:

      Game = Something you play.

      Sport = Something you watch.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: E-sports professionals?

        Sport = Hunting Animals.

        Game = The animals that are hunted.

        Strange language.

        1. Def Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: E-sports professionals?

          The animals are playing at being hunted while watching you?

          1. Persona Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: E-sports professionals?

            Yes they watch you intently and play so hard (dodging/running/flying) you would think their lives depended on it.

        2. Irony Deficient Silver badge

          Game = The animals that are hunted.

          Looking at the entries for “game” in the OED, I suspect that this meaning was an evolution from a now obsolete meaning:

          9. Sport derived from the chase. dog of game: one used in hunting or sporting. to be in game: to be engaged in the chase. Obs.

          10. a. The object of the chase; the animal or animals hunted.

          b. transf. and fig. An object of pursuit; also, an object in view. fair game: a legitimate object of pursuit, attack, etc.; also forbidden game.

          11. collect. a. Wild animals or birds such as are pursued, caught or killed in the chase.

          b. The flesh of such animals used for food.

          c. jocularly, of vermin.

          d. slang. (See quot.)

          12. A flock or herd of animals kept for pleasure. Obs. exc. in a game of swans.

    6. Craig 2

      Re: E-sports professionals?

      Sport - "an activity involving physical exertion"

      So it's definitely not a sport.

      E-Sports are a game of skill: reactions, strategy, dexterity etc.

      As for watching it, anyone saying "can't understand", "it's boring" etc are just showing their age. Anything can be interesting performed at it's highest levels. Apparently quite a few people watch a load of cooks in a tent bake stuff, or celebrities perform ballroom dancing!

      As someone who spent significant time leant on an arcade cabinet waiting for their turn, watching others play was almost as fun. Just be wary of criticizing new things you don't personally find interesting, it's another step towards being old and irrelevant.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: E-sports professionals?

        Well, you forgot your charm pills this morning.

      2. heyrick Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: E-sports professionals?

        "it's another step towards being old and irrelevant."

        That happens naturally and without any additional effort.

    7. Def Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: E-sports professionals?

      To be pedantic for a second, "e-sport" has its own entry in the dictionary with its own distinct definition that is different to the definition for "sport".

      Comparing the two is a bit like claiming all catastrophes are caused by cats.

      (ok, bad example.)

      1. heyrick Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: E-sports professionals?

        "like claiming all catastrophes are caused by cats"

        So, you have proof that they aren't?

        I've seen my cuddly little mass murderer in action. I can well believe that most catastrophes are caused by cats, and tragically (for us), done purely for amusement.

        Icon, because she would if she could, just because.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: E-sports professionals?

          So, you have proof that they aren't?

          Yes - I've got 6 of the blighters and I'm not dead ye

          1. heyrick Silver badge

            Re: E-sports professionals?

            I'll just leave this here.

            https://theoatmeal.com/comics/cat_kill

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coat

    French terminology

    un animal de compagnie, simply for pet...

    1. WhereAmI?

      Re: French terminology

      Unfortunately certain groups over here want to call pets just that - companion animals - because 'pet' is 'demeaning to the animal'. So if I want to stroke one of my cats, I now have to refer to it as 'animal companioning' instead of 'petting'?...!

      Twats.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: French terminology

        I know, right? And just think of all the swimming pool signs which would have to be changed - "no running, no dive bombing, no heavy animal companioning". It's madness!

      2. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: I now have to refer to it as 'animal companioning' instead of 'petting'?...!

        OH MY GOD! IS THIS THE LAW NOW????

        THE WOKESTERS HAVE WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Someone get me half a litre of beer, I need a lie down.....

    2. wknd
      Thumb Up

      Re: French terminology

      It seems that previous people replying missed the joke : in French "pet" stands for "fart".

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: French terminology

        in French "pet" stands for "fart".

        In English, pets & farts are also closely linked.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It seems that previous people replying missed the joke : in French

        We voted unanimously to leave the EU precisely so we wouldn't have to understand jokes in French.

        Back Off Brussels!!!!

        1. Swarthy Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: It seems that previous people replying missed the joke : in French

          And you were hoist by your own petard.

      3. Potty Professor Bronze badge
        Facepalm

        Re: French terminology

        I used to work for GEC in Rugby. We had a close relationship with another electronics company, Plessy, and a combined telephone exchange production facility in Coventry. It was always referred to as "GPT", which stood for GEC/Plessy Telephones, except in France, where it was referred to a "TGP", Telephones GEC Plessy. I asked why this was, and was told that "GPT" said with a French accent sounded like "j'ai petez", which is French for "I have farted".

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: French terminology

          Hmm. Or maybe, like OTAN, (NATO) it just reflects how French works

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: French terminology

          "j'ai pété"

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not that bad

    It's not that bad, since, at least, the words are meaningful in french, even if they are really straightforward.

    They particularly didn't re-invent terrible terms like "bogue" for "bug" or similar non-sense.

    I don't even think I've read anyone use this awful word "bogue" anywhere, but I'm sure this is still the "regular" french term for "bug".

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: not that bad

      I think "bogue" is the spelling that is the closest approximation to "bug".

      Because... wouldn't "bug" come out sounding like "boog"?

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: not that bad

        Alot of new Welsh words are like that - the Welsh spelling of an English word.

        It prompts comments like "Not only could they not think of their own word, they can't even spell it correctly"

    2. Proton_badger

      Re: not that bad

      Sometimes they're even better. I remember when Québec wanted to replace the word "selfie" with "égoportrait". I thought it was perfect and I still call it that, even though I live in BC.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: not that bad

        I once saw a group of middle eastern women in burkas taking a selfie against the backdrop of the London Eye - why?

  5. nijam Silver badge

    An esteemed academic colleague of mine - who had lived in France for many years - maintained that the mere existence of the organisation, and its predecessor(s), was clear evidence that French is a dead language.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      The interesting thing is that while "official" French increasingly resembles an unopened Hammer Horror crypt, festooned with dust and cobwebs, your actual French (to borrow a phrase) is rather more inventive, especially amongst the younger people in the técis, which no doubt leaves their ramps somewhat vénères.

      France is by no means the only country to have an official body that determines linguistic orthodoxy - it's actually quite common. In most cases, though, their main function is to keep the official version in line with current practice - which ensures everyone a perpetual job as all languages change over time. It does seem that the French - and more particularly the Quebecois - have a particular missionary zeal in their endeavours.

      1. MiguelC Silver badge

        I'm (also) French, living outside France since infancy and with seldom contact with French people not living abroad for long. Whenever I speak to French residents in a casual setting I'm always adjusting to new words and new expressions, because spoken French evolves at a higher rate than any other of the languages I speak. Business French, au contraire, is much more stable.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          True that.

          I'm not French, thank God, but have spoken French since childhood and seen it evolve in the way you describe.

          It's worse in Austria though. Where we always used to heel click nowadays blokes will try to kiss you instead.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > France is by no means the only country to have an official body that determines linguistic orthodoxy - it's actually quite common. In most cases, though, their main function is to keep the official version in line with current practice

        Yup, but you're describing (one of the functions of) the académie française, which these guys have nothing to do with. In fact the académie are quite open on the matter and share the opinion that languages evolve through constant contact with each other and that it's pointless to try to rein in on that.

        1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

          In fact the académie are quite open on the matter …

          … and share the opinion that languages evolve through constant contact with each other and that it’s pointless to try to rein in on that.

          They’d certainly expressed a strong preference to rein in the evolution of écriture inclusive, having declared that

          devant cette aberration « inclusive », la langue française se trouve désormais en péril mortel

          I’ll grant that it can be unwieldy (e.g. Déclaration des Droits de l'Homme et du Citoyen vs. Déclaration des Droits Humains et du·de la Citoyen·ne), but does that really put the French language into mortal peril?

    2. Potemkine! Silver badge

      This commission's origin can be traced back to the Académie Française created in 1635. Claiming that French is a dead language since four centuries is clearly an academic-type joke: it's trying to be witty with no sense of reality.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        This commission has bugger all to do with the académie.

    3. wknd
      Linux

      French is everything but dead. It's renewed basically on a daily basis.

      It's just the official grumpy old guys that are trying to keep things the way they never really existed. Kind of the FFGE (Faire le Français Grand Encore or Make French Great Again).

      I can only recommend Paul Taylor's show on this topic : https://youtu.be/Pae2AMnmUVA?t=3760

  6. John Sager

    Iceland

    I wonder what the Icelanders do with this stuff. They are possibly even hotter than the French on preservation of the language against loan-words. I also get the impression that Icelanders largely support that, in contrast to the average personne française.

    Of course the Icelanders are probably far more sensible than to indulge in professional computer game-playing.

    1. FIA Silver badge

      Re: Iceland

      Of course the Icelanders are probably far more sensible than to indulge in professional computer game-playing.

      "The 2021 League of Legends World Championship was an esports tournament for the multiplayer online battle arena video game League of Legends. It was the eleventh iteration of the League of Legends World Championship, an annual international tournament organized by the game's developer, Riot Games. The tournament was held from 5 October to 6 November in Reykjavík, Iceland."

      Mind you, they've never quite struck me as a sensible bunch.

      ;)

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Iceland

      "Of course the Icelanders are probably far more sensible than to indulge in professional computer game-playing."

      No, they'd rather spend time stripping down and souping up a 4WD so they can drive it up a near vertical cliff face :-)

      I do wonder if those tyres actually get some grip to propel the vehicle forwards or if the soil is just acting as reaction mass.

    3. Irony Deficient Silver badge

      Re: Iceland

      What the Icelanders do can be shown in an example. The Icelandic word for “video game” is tölvuleikur ; it comes from tölvu (the genitive declension of tölva, “computer”) + leikur (“game”). Tölva is a portmanteau word, formed from tala (“number”) + völva (“prophetess”). All of the root words of tölvuleikur came from Old Norse, but those roots can be used in novel ways.

  7. ShadowSystems Silver badge

    What's French for...

    "Go stick your head in a pig"?

    I've got a fifty mile high neon sign ready to half-bury in mud & I need to get the "accidental" electrical shorts in the right order. =-)p

    1. Def Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: What's French for...

      Va mettre ta tête dans un cochon.

  8. FIA Silver badge

    We're an odd species really.

    Language is the thing we use to communicate with each other, to convey our ideas, thoughts and emotions, you'd think we'd all be madly rushing towards some kind of commonality, especially with the globalisation of communications. (Imagine, just being able to talk to anyone.... no matter where they were...)

    However, we don't, we become nostalgic about it, as though it's the only way to maintain a specific cultural identity (despite that being an ephemeral thing that's constantly changing and differs from person to person), we romanticise it and jealously guard it.

    All so we can be less well understood by each other. How strange.

    Iechyd da!

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      That's an interesting way of putting things.

      But don't worry, if Serenity is anything to go by, soon all Earthlings will be bilingual Chinese/English and there will be no other languages.

      Well, maybe on Mars . . .

      1. Binraider Silver badge

        Gurps Terradyne postulated the future common language would be "Janglish", though I have to admit Chinglish seems rather more likely a future.

        $DEITY help us all, because literal translations between the two usually go horribly wrong.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "though I have to admit Chinglish seems rather more likely a future."

          Having read user guides and service manuals in that language, I suspect that will be the road to de-evolution!

      2. Def Silver badge
        Headmaster

        ...if Serenity...

        I think you mean Firefly.

        1. PhilBuk

          Both are good. Serenity was the film based on the Firefly series.

          Phil

    2. Def Silver badge

      English is the defacto common language. When two foreigners who don't speak each other's language meet, they generally get by with English.

      Four hundred years ago French occupied this role, and basically they're still angry about it.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        they generally get by with English

        Indeed - for lots of boring historical reasons. But also because basic English is very, very flexible (because it's a context-derived language that, even when fairly corrupted, can get the meaning across).

        Whereas other languages that are more rigidly structured get messy very quickly.

    3. Triggerfish

      English tends to be fulfilling that role to some degree.

      The problem with trying to achieve true commonality IMO is you have to have a homogeneous culture to understand all the naunces and references. There are sayings in some languages that just don't make sense even if translated, and slang throws things right out.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Worse than that, many English people seem to treat other things the same way. Cheering a return to shillings and d, because something something empire something.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Language is the thing we use to communicate with each other

      Chomsky makes a compelling case that languages (as opposed to language) exist not in order to communicate but in order to be able to identify the enemy, or at least the outsider.

      There's a recording of one of his lectures on the topic, at a French university coincidentally.

    6. Potty Professor Bronze badge
      Headmaster

      So what happened to Esperanto?

  9. Potemkine! Silver badge

    FTFY

    "Sacre Bleu" => "Sacrebleu".

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Considering the way governments seek to eliminate the local languages of people in countries they have invaded and/or groups they don't like, maybe such languages do have some importance ?

    PS: programmers complaining about too many languages ??

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Programmers complaining about languages

      They even went through the process of "let's make one language without all the arcane syntax and grammar", and created a simple language that's easy to learn. Esperanto failed to catch on, and everyone carried on using existing languages instead.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Programmers complaining about languages

        Could the same thing happen to Python?

        1. druck Silver badge

          Re: Programmers complaining about languages

          Once the GIL is fixed...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Programmers complaining about languages

        > They even went through the process of "let's make one language without all the arcane syntax and grammar", and created a simple language that's easy to learn.

        Yup. Isn't Schema great? :o)

  11. heyrick Silver badge

    If you say so...

    This is the country where "après-midi" is shortened down to "aprèm". And they don't even say "bon weekend", everybody around here says "bon week"...and an awful lot of things are known by abbreviations and acronyms - Sécu, CAF, etc.

    So I would contest that people aren't speaking English words because "English is cool", but rather it's partly because tech words likely came first in English, and mostly because it's less of a mouthful than whatever the académie française might dream up.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: If you say so...

      "and mostly because it's less of a mouthful than whatever the académie française might dream up."

      And that's where their problem begins. They seem to almost exclusively come up with descriptive phrases to replace the "loan" words. Those loan words were, in many cases, created from Latin or Greek roots (Like French itself!) or made up from parts of existing words intended to convey a new meaning. After all, my name is John, not Yohanan nor it's English translation of "Graced by God"

  12. Terry 6 Silver badge
    Joke

    Bureaucratic Language

    I'm trying to think of a better suited group of people than Bureaucrats to develop elegant, organic, spontaneous language that rolls naturally off the tongue.

    Nope. Can't think of any better group. Though business consultants could run a close second.

  13. TeeCee Gold badge

    Same old..

    This has been the way in France since forever. Every now and again, some bunch of aristocratic bigots, who spend the rest of their time bemoaning "anglo-saxon imperialism", chuck out a bunch of French neologisms to replace all the new loan words that have crept into use.

    These will be mandatory in use in government and the snottier bits of academia, but nobody else will take any notice.

    The funny side, looking in from outside, is the longer this goes on the more difficulty the general populace has in understanding what their lords and master are saying. I reckon this is deliberate.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Same old..

      "The funny side, looking in from outside, is the longer this goes on the more difficulty the general populace has in understanding what their lords and master are saying. I reckon this is deliberate."

      After the Normans invaded and subjugated England, that was the case for hundreds of years here. The aristocracy almost exclusively spoke French while everyone else spoke Anglo-Saxon, Middle English in their local accents and dialects.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Same old..

        The aristocracy almost exclusively spoke French while everyone else spoke Anglo-Saxon

        Which is why there are separate words for the animal and their meat (sheep vs mutton or pig vs pork spring to mind) - it was the peasants that raised the animals and so they were identified using the peasant language whereas it was (mostly) the aristocrats that ate the meat so it ended up using the appropriate word from the aristocratic language.

        1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

          The aristocracy almost exclusively spoke French while everyone else spoke Anglo-Saxon

          For the same reason, when the rulers asked for something (using the Old French verb demander ), the ruled took it as an order (hence the English verb “demand”).

    2. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Same old..

      "Every now and again, some bunch of aristocratic bigots"

      Every now and then they make these grand assertions that the rest of the world ridicules in order to demonstrate some sort of relevance.

      Thou dost not speaketh like somebody from the Bible because language evolves. Yes, even English loan words in French, for when there's no suitable concise French equivalent.

      It's just a shame that this makes the French seem a bit insular and stupid, when it's only a few snooty "guardians of the language" who are probably still reeling in shock that nobody wants to know about the plus-que-parfait du subjonctif anymore.

  14. JClouseau
    Pint

    Clutching at straws

    I'm glad and thankful that the comments for this "news" didn't turn out as the total french-bashing-fest I was expecting, it even came up with interesting linguistic discussions.

    But personally this kind of thing, along with the abysmal/appalling/monstrous/inept/etc... handling of last weekend's Champions League disaster makes me want to crawl under a rock and stay there for a week. Possibly even try to get a UK (blue, right ?) passport.

    That commission did find some acceptable words at time ("mél" for email, pretty harmless, and nobody uses it), but "joueur-se en direct" for "streamer" ?? This is public (mine) money we're talking about folks !! Do something useful ! Secure the freaking stadiums and put the thugs in jail ! Send them to Guyana !

    I'm OK with "jeu en nuage" though. I don't know exactly how "cloud" is perceived in English, but "nuage" for me retains some kind of poetry, whatever the context.

    Again, sorry a thousand times to all Liverpool supporters out there. Have a beer. Yes, the kids too if they want.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Clutching at straws

      ("mél" for email, pretty harmless, and nobody uses it)

      "courriel", as a contraction of "courrier electronique" (literally "electronic mail") seems to be catching on, I quite like it.

  15. katrinab Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    I'm confused

    Électricité is a French word that means "electricity".

    Sport is a French word that means "sport".

    So why is "e-sport" not considered sufficiently French?

    If you want to insist on "é-sport", then I have no problem with that, but I don't see any need to insist on "jeu vidéo de competition"

    1. Roger Mew

      Re: I'm confused

      Because it is almost 2 times as long to say it, as a consequence the younger people will not use it. I was surprised some years ago to see a university student text " R U cumin 2nite" in French it would be pages long , yes I do know that that is a bit of an exaggeration but hey " Vous venez ce soir ? Certainly longer and not possible to shrink!

  16. VoiceOfTruth

    Nous surrender

    = we was all in le resistance, so we was.

  17. Joe Gurman

    This nonsense

    ....all goes back to la loi no 94-665 du 4 août 1994 relative à l'emploi de la langue française, the project of Jacques Toubon, the French minister of culture at the time. Preserving the French language, particularly against the insidious creep of English into it, was viewed as a sacred duty.

    The law, of course, is known to my French friends as "la loi de Jack Allgood."

  18. Barry Rueger

    Nous devons arrêter ces actions!

    And then, we must get rid of all of the French Stop signs, which say "STOP".

    God I love this country!

    1. John Sager

      Re: Nous devons arrêter ces actions!

      Even the Russians use СТОП. And of course ARRÊT doesn't fit on a stop sign...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nous devons arrêter ces actions!

        > And of course ARRÊT doesn't fit on a stop sign...

        That's exactly what stop signs say in Quebec.

        And by the way, stop is a perfectly legitimate French noun. There's also the verb stopper.

      2. Roger Mew

        Re: Nous devons arrêter ces actions!

        You all may like the following. At the side of the roads around here you will find concrete blocks with the tops painted red with distances etc for "mile posts". These are in fact cast in US mail boxes and were for the drivers of materiel for the war to know the red route. The same for empty trucks and ambulances and the tops were painted blue. There are also large things with insignia on them and distances again sometimes on them. These are drop tanks that have been filled with cement to mark the roads, (now they are made out of fibre glass,) German 5th columnist cannot easily alter them. Now as a plus, the shape of the stop sign is actually based on the lids of parachute dropped parcels for the soldiers and the STOP was actually in honour of the Canadian soldiers, many being French, that were here liberating France. Lastly, driving on an auto route or 4 ways in the centre of the road there is every kilometer a small road sign with the distance marker on it. This is again shaped as a US mail box with the rounded top Red and the bottom cream. There, some things about France that the French do not know!

    2. Roger Mew

      Re: Nous devons arrêter ces actions!

      What really annoys me is the sign in bars a Gestapo Law either in Red and white writing or white and Red writing. Many French do not know this was a gestapo law registering bars. It gets worse, I live in 44 (loire Atlantique). It should be in Brittany, the head of the Gendarmerie for here is in Rennes, 35 and in Brittany but we are not. So many gestapo laws still being upheld. yet these wallies get involved in a bit of English. In fact this part of France was originally English, and it was also at one time gaelic speaking, Celtic. Now the French government is ACTIVELY involved in stopping Gaelic! No, OK so why send a professional teacher of Gaelic to some out of the way place to teach French a language I was informed she was not fully able to teach. She taught here in France, Gaelic and something else, possibly maths, yet the French government sent her to a small island. (the education system here determines where you will teach!) Incidentally, here in France we are not supposed to complain publicly.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Nous devons arrêter ces actions!

        Yes, I mentioned some of those bits. Linguistically we tend to use the fewest words/syllables with the fewest tongue and mouth position changes. It doesn't feel right to move from, say, a "v"- top teeth pushed against bottom lip, to an "a" open mouth, to a "j" tongue lifted to just behind top teeth, to "I" open mouth with tongue pushed back to an "n" with tongue travelling to the front again, touching top teeth etc.

  19. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Real life speech

    When people speak they tend to choose the word that's easiest to say. This means two main things; the fewest possible syllables consistent with clarity and rhythm, and not too much difficult tongue movement between consonants.

    Which creates problems when trying to get people to use the correct words for body parts.- Vagina, three syllables and switch from a fronted tooth and lower lip consonant to a back tongue and upper mouth to a back teeth and tongue fronted tongue and upper teeth ( four different combinations in different parts of the mouth). Anus. Two syllables, but a long travel from near the back teeth to the front top then down again.And so on.

    Try "le weekend" compared with "fin de semaine". The first has two words that run together and takes and very little movement compared to the second. Three words that are very distinctly separated with a whole bunch of different mouth movements, it's a bit of a tongue twister.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Clouds"

    One thing that I constantly fought with when naming remote assets in France, I would call them nuage-xxx.blah.com and the French would find that extremely bizarre.

    — Mais ce n'est pas un nuage ! C'est un cloud !

    (Pronounced “clood”, of course)

  21. Caver_Dave

    Extreme

    I did some work for a French F1 team in the 1990's. Everyone had to speak French on-site. As soon as we passed through the gate on the way out on my first day I found out that many were English as they immediately switch to speaking English.

    We had a snigger later in the bar as we could hear the French staff complaining that "those two tables will only speak English to us - bloody English!" - one table were Dutch and the other German.

  22. Big_Boomer

    Vive la difference/Lang leve het verschil/Bizi diferentzia

    Whilst I agree that having the government or some agency "dictate" what words should be used is idiotic, I also like the fact that French is not getting too polluted by the "international" languages, unlike British English. Yes, language does encourage tribalism but it also reflects the national & cultural identity of different countries and regions. Can you imagine the outcry if the federal US government told Texans that they could no longer use "y'all" or if the UK government told Liverpudlians to stop using "arr-kid"? Yes, having international languages means easier communication, but it also means that people more closely approach being the same and therefore boring. UK and US citizens are amongst the worst foreign language learners simply because they haven't had to due to the British ex-Empire and the US's commercial Empire spreading of the English language. One of the funniest things I heard recently was when a colleague went to India for a business trip and found that he struggled to communicate without someone to interpret for him. He had heard that everyone in India spoke English, and most of them do, but their version of English along with local dialects and accents meant that he couldn't understand 1 word in 10. In the meetings he was fine because everyone spoke Business English but elsewhere he was lost.

  23. bernmeister

    Keeping the French Language pure.

    The real drive behind the "Commission d'enrichissement de la langue française" is to avoid what could end up sounding like pidgin French. Many French people have an aversion to the way colonials and foreigners speak French. I have experienced it and it is a strong feeling.

  24. Swarthy Silver badge
    Joke

    A modest proposal

    I propose we change the term "Francophile" to something more fitting with the language: "Ouib" which easily pluralizes as "Ouiboux"

  25. Roger Mew

    Hi I am also French and what the French young people are against is the fact that anything in French is about 2 times longer than in English. Worse, half the french get French wrong. It is so complicated that even one of the French language books has French language mistakes. This book is renown in France. To try and get the French younger people to use a French description will not happen. I talk to youngsters and see just how annoyed they get when things like this happen. A child I know speaks English and French and is doing Spanish at school yet her French school attainment is "moyen" but she is getting about 5 or 6 out of 20, 18 out of 20 in English and Spanish. Frankly I love to hear French but schools are making kids afraid to speak English or in fact any other language. As a result the kids do not do as well as they could. I have been with French people for about 60 years both here in France, and in the UK, they mostly can understand English spoken slowly, but are timid to speak it. To therefore try and stop the kids using English is a dramatic and very retrograde step!

  26. Colin Bain

    Weekend not weekend wven

    There is the definition of Sunday as the first day of the week. So actually the common understanding of weekend really week end week stsrt.

    Given that every French translation is much longer than the English version, to save the planet from destroying as many forests. Also n the heat generated from thus suggestion could power the world for csnturies!

    Now leaving , closing door softly.

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