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Linguaholic

French protectionism: too much


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French languages has its oddities. And one of the oddity is the problem to accept words from other languages. You wouldn't believe me? You know some words are from Spanish, Latin-languages, Italian, English, etc and you don't think they could be like that? Let me explain you then!
For example, take a new word, "hashtag". Hashtag is a famous word on the social media world because it is a way to tag content easily and to associate with a topic on a search. The thing is...French Commission decided to create a new word and basically "deprecate" hashtag: "mot-dièse". Yes. It means, if you wonder, "sharp word", where sharp is the symbol.
Another example: "cédérom". Yes, it is intended to be the translation of "CD-ROM", or "Compact Disc Read-Only Memory". Seriously.
What do you think of these Frenchization? Shouldn't you ban them somehow?

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What a great topic FlagOnce!

You are right. French people really value their language so much. However, I think that is nice! But sometimes they do exaggerate it a little bit, that is true.

They even have an equivalent for computer = 'ordinateur' and they dont say Walkman, they say 'balladeur'. Can't think of other countries that have their own words for those too (at least not in Europe). 

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French languages has its oddities. And one of the oddity is the problem to accept words from other languages. You wouldn't believe me? You know some words are from Spanish, Latin-languages, Italian, English, etc and you don't think they could be like that? Let me explain you then!
For example, take a new word, "hashtag". Hashtag is a famous word on the social media world because it is a way to tag content easily and to associate with a topic on a search. The thing is...French Commission decided to create a new word and basically "deprecate" hashtag: "mot-dièse". Yes. It means, if you wonder, "sharp word", where sharp is the symbol.
Another example: "cédérom". Yes, it is intended to be the translation of "CD-ROM", or "Compact Disc Read-Only Memory". Seriously.
What do you think of these Frenchization? Shouldn't you ban them somehow?

As a non-French speaker and a foreigner with only a 'tourist knowledge' view on French culture, I think it's good if one wants to preserve/protect their language as much as they can. 

That said... cédérom? Yes, this is a bit too much. Surely 'CD-ROM' is acceptable? It's just an abbreviation. I mean, a native French won't be considered forsaking his language just because he use 'CD-ROM' right?

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The most ironical thing from the French for example is that, Quebec may protect more the French language than people from France would do it, you know. I think that rightly translated words aren't a problem and using ordinateur instead of computer is something I do on my everyday life. But I would certainly not going on the "too much" French. Some can't just be said in the language and sometimes, think about it, it is also something we should leave to U.S. and its English languages: they done many of the new computers invention, it is normal we use some words from them as a kind of tribute and respect, much like they use some sauces' name from French. 

What a great topic FlagOnce!

You are right. French people really value their language so much. However, I think that is nice! But sometimes they do exaggerate it a little bit, that is true.

They even have an equivalent for computer = 'ordinateur' and they dont say Walkman, they say 'balladeur'. Can't think of other countries that have their own words for those too (at least not in Europe). 

Thanks!

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I totally agree with Linguaholic, I think it's admirable that the French actually find the means to have French equivalents rather than borrow from other languages. I think it's to be commended because what that says to me is that they value their language and wish to preserve and protect it. When you think of how many French words the English language has borrowed over time, and even my own language borrows from more than one language, I say way to go to the French :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Actually, I like that about French. Yes, some say it's ridiculous and unnecessary but I don't agree. English is everywhere now. There are more and more words and expressions coming in from English that actually have their native equivalents but people prefer to use English ones. I think that's very sad. English is great but so are other languages, and if French speakers try to protect their language from too much of a good thing that is English, then I can only take off my hat and bow.

I even admire the fact that some French people know English but refuse to speak it :) Arrogant? Yes, very much, and also annoying. But for as long as you can afford that arrogance, it forces your business partners to learn French or to hire people who speak it. Thus helping promote the language. So not such a bad thing after all.

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Actually, I like that about French. Yes, some say it's ridiculous and unnecessary but I don't agree. English is everywhere now. There are more and more words and expressions coming in from English that actually have their native equivalents but people prefer to use English ones. I think that's very sad. English is great but so are other languages, and if French speakers try to protect their language from too much of a good thing that is English, then I can only take off my hat and bow.

I even admire the fact that some French people know English but refuse to speak it :) Arrogant? Yes, very much, and also annoying. But for as long as you can afford that arrogance, it forces your business partners to learn French or to hire people who speak it. Thus helping promote the language. So not such a bad thing after all.

The fact you are favored is enough, you don't need to restrict. Putting you in a bubble when you're doing business is always an error, because markets and businesses only works so great because there's many exchanges, and exchanges are mainly bound by cost, laws, languages and location.

About the word, I think when it's the reverse, we're all happy to see all these French words in other languages especially when it comes to cuisine. Are we seeing English people being arrogant and refusing to use "Béchamel", just because it is French? No. It is the loss of English? No, we all agree on that. So, what's that thing?

It just shows a real trend: when it comes to technology, United States are in a great position and imposed the English language in that expanding domain, that's all. That's why we see more English than usual in other languages.

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  • 3 months later...

I'm gonna be honest, most of these french versions of differents of words are not used in the general language. Everybody just use the english version of these words. Now from what I've heard, canadians are the one that love having french versions of different word and actually when you hear them speak it can sound quit weird to a nattive french speaker :).

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