Language purists in France are increasingly getting angrier by the invasion of English words. The government recently decided to crackdown on English vocabulary, specifically with gamer lexicon. The country has decided to ban certain words like “streamer” and “cloud gaming” in an attempt to eradicate foreign jargon. French terms like “joueur-animateur en direct” and “jeu video en nuage” need to be used instead, especially in government communication.
A consultation occurred last week with France’s Ministry of Culture. The governmental agency intends to ban English words because they could become a “barrier to understanding” for French speakers. Non-gamers who don’t know these English terms could be confused, which would apparently start a divide between these two types of French locals. Other French linguists and academics have expressed concerns about their language being diluted by foreign terms.
In April, a document was published by the French Language Enrichment Commission of the French Academy, which provided new gamer terms for francophone countries. This group is under the authority of France’s prime minister and works together with the French Academy to create its documents and rulings. The committee wants to remind people of the language’s rich history and its ability to adapt to current times. A list of more than twenty terms that convert English words to French gamer-speak is included in the document. The goal is to preserve French terms, even when it comes to technological advancements that the original French speakers couldn’t have predicted.
Though there have been many attempts to replace common English words and terms with French alternatives, these initiatives haven’t caught on considerably. French websites and newspapers are known to use colloquial terms, even in English, when they’re widely used in a specific field like gaming. The French Academy has tried to replace anglicism and English-origin terms numerous times, but they have not yielded positive results.
Over the past decade, there was a known proposal to replace the word WiFi with a French term. Unfortunately, the French Academy introduced a longer phrase to replace the English term for internet connection: l’access sans fil à internet. The wordiness of this phrase did not convert many French speakers to using the term, so the anglicism “WiFi” remains in vast popularity around the country. Most attempts from the French Academy to eradicate English words have not been met with open arms from the general public, but forcing government employees to adopt these terms could change things.
On Monday, the newest implementation of French terms regarding gamer language was issued for all government workers. Though the Ministry of Culture stated that the intentions are to have French citizens communicate more efficiently, having the government force people to give up English words is a strange way to create better social correspondences.
The French Academy was exceptionally honest about its intentions to replace English words. The new French gaming terms were initiated to preserve the French language, fearing that a “degradation” would occur to the general French lexicon. It’s unknown how the Prime Minister and the government will enforce the new terms for government workers, but for the most part, these initiatives haven’t been widely successful.