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Freedom Tower
July 18th, 2003, 02:09 PM
France Bans the Term 'E-Mail'
Fri Jul 18,10:37 AM ET *Add AP - Feature Stories to My Yahoo!


By JAMEY KEATEN, Associated Press Writer

PARIS - Goodbye "e-mail", the French government says, and hello "courriel" — the term that linguistically sensitive France is now using to refer to electronic mail in official documents.

*

The Culture Ministry has announced a ban on the use of "e-mail" in all government ministries, documents, publications or Web sites, the latest step to stem an incursion of English words into the French lexicon.


The ministry's General Commission on Terminology and Neology insists Internet surfers in France are broadly using the term "courrier electronique" (electronic mail) instead of e-mail — a claim some industry experts dispute. "Courriel" is a fusion of the two words.


"Evocative, with a very French sound, the word 'courriel' is broadly used in the press and competes advantageously with the borrowed 'mail' in English," the commission has ruled.


The move to ban "e-mail" was announced last week after the decision was published in the official government register on June 20. Courriel is a term that has often been used in French-speaking Quebec, the commission said.


The 7-year-old commission has links to the Academie Francaise, the prestigious institution that has been one of the top opponents of allowing English terms to seep into French.


Some Internet industry experts say the decision is artificial and doesn't reflect reality.


"The word 'courriel' is not at all actively used," Marie-Christine Levet, president of French Internet service provider Club Internet, said Friday. "E-mail has sunk in to our values."


She said Club Internet wasn't changing the words it uses.


"Protecting the language is normal, but e-mail's so assimilated now that no one thinks of it as American," she said. "Courriel would just be a new word to launch."

I always knew they were snobby, but this is ridiculous!!

NYatKNIGHT
July 18th, 2003, 02:24 PM
It's like those French have a different word for everything!

Steve Martin

Freedom Tower
July 18th, 2003, 04:56 PM
:biggrin:

Chicagoan
July 18th, 2003, 09:48 PM
Hmmm. For years I have been following this "defense" of the language by the french in France and Quebec.

It is understandable that they would want this. As a native french-speaker, I take that to heart. But I do think at some point it goes to far. I am not sure this is one of them.

I also think it is a sign of the reflectivity that the the French have for their language, that Americans do not have for theirs. I would not want us to have an "academy" like the French, although we did so many years ( notice how many American english words are decidely different than English every elsewhere, including Canada).

But I do wish we would consider where our language is going in terms of usage, etmology, slang encroachment and grammar among many others- ( god, if I here another split infinitive, or "hot water heater" or "ATM machine" I will "allez postal".)

Freedom Tower
July 19th, 2003, 05:18 PM
IMO, this is one of the times that the defense of their language is out of hand. Even some French people interviewed said they always use the word "email" and will continue to do so. It's just so common now it's ridiculous to change it. Plus they still want to get back at us for renaming "Freedom fries". There's no legitimate reason to end the word email. It's too popular.

Chicagoan
July 20th, 2003, 02:07 AM
Quote: from Freedom Tower on 6:18 pm on July 19, 2003
IMO, this is one of the times that the defense of their language is out of hand. Even some French people interviewed said they always use the word "email" and will continue to do so. It's just so common now it's ridiculous to change it. Plus they still want to get back at us for renaming "Freedom fries". There's no legitimate reason to end the word email. It's too popular.

I respecfully disagree with your reasoning for why "e-mail" should not be translated into french for official uses.... just because it is popular?

This issue is not new and predates the Iraq-US-France situation. This has nothing to do with "Freedom Fries". I do not think you know what "french fries" are called in french. An overwhelming majority of French do not care at all about "freedom fries".

Most Americans do not care about the degradation of their language, except when immigrants into this country do not know, or refuse to, speak it. But if a majority of Americans themselves knew just how little they knew of thieir own language, then maybe they would care and want to defend it too.

Fabb
July 20th, 2003, 09:18 AM
Quote: from Chicagoan on 2:07 am on July 20, 2003


This issue is not new and predates the Iraq-US-France situation.


That's correct.
Besides, it doesn't really matter because most of the rules in France are totally ignored by the public.
For example, smoking is not allowed in the Paris métro and the ride is not supposed to be free, but nobody cares.

Inventing new rules is a national sport. Ignoring them is the way many French people have chosen to express their freedom.
With the complicity of the authorities.

ZippyTheChimp
July 20th, 2003, 05:20 PM
I always suspected that the Quebec language police are more sinister than their French counterparts.

This English-French battle has been going on since William the Conqueror. English dictionaries are descriptive; French dictionaries are prescriptive.

English has been called linguistic oxygen - it will bond with anything. The laissez-faire (oops!) attitude of the U.S. toward its mother tongue may have contributed toward its proliferation. :)

Only Chinese is spoken by more people than English, but English is by far more widespread around the world. 750 million people speak English, but it is mother tongue to only 350 million.

Vocabulary (estimates):
English - over 1 million
German - 185,000
French - 100,000

English is the language of the Olympics and international flight. More than half of all scientific and technical material is first published in English. 75% of all mail is in English. 80% of all information stored in computer databases is in English.

Fabb
July 21st, 2003, 09:07 AM
Quote: from ZippyTheChimp on 5:20 pm on July 20, 2003

English is the language of the Olympics

No.
French is the official laguage of the Olympic Games. Their modern version was invented by Baron Pierre de Coubertin in 1896.
However, I'm perfectly aware that English is more widely used than French at the Olympics as well as major international events.

ZippyTheChimp
July 21st, 2003, 10:12 AM
It seems we are both right (wrong), but you get the tiebreaker.
http://www.olympic.org/uk/organisation/missions/charter_uk.asp

Also, I discovered thast each Olympics has its own official language - for 2004 there are six.

Fabb
July 21st, 2003, 11:10 AM
In the event of any discrepancy between the French and English in the Olympic Charter or any other IOC document, the French text prevails.

Yessss !
I get the tiebreaker.
Or, like we say in good French : je gagne le tie-break ;)

billyblancoNYC
July 25th, 2003, 11:53 PM
Ugh. *

Freedom Tower
July 27th, 2003, 10:28 PM
Just got back from vacation. :) Hmmm, now I'm going to read what you all wrote about this....

Freedom Tower
July 27th, 2003, 10:31 PM
How come all of you English speakers agree with this decision to ban the word email? Im sure French people wouldn't agree of the name "Freedom Fries", and Im sure they have at least read it in the news at one point.

(Edited by Freedom Tower at 9:21 am on July 28, 2003)

ZippyTheChimp
July 28th, 2003, 02:56 PM
I think you need another vacation.

Freedom Tower
July 28th, 2003, 08:34 PM
I'd like another vacation Zippy. Do you know of somewhere nice... besides France of course ;)

tamspuppy
May 2nd, 2005, 11:08 AM
I totally agree with France banning the english language. For it is NOT English, but that American derivative that upsets so many of my english compatriots. How many times !, it's 'Centre', 'Colour', 'Neighbour', 'Defence' and 'Harbour' etc.

It's taken centuries for my language to evolve. Shakespeare wouldn't lift a pen if he was living today and saw the mess his vernacular was in.

Hands Off !!!,


Regards.

ZippyTheChimp
May 2nd, 2005, 11:36 AM
The needless use of extra letters is a primary reason your empire collapsed.

tamspuppy
May 2nd, 2005, 03:18 PM
Yes, but at least we had one to loose old bean. Have to got my local church for the evening. It's celebrating it's 900th anniversary next year. I think i've got cream cheese in my fridge older than your country. Vive la france.

tamspuppy
May 2nd, 2005, 03:20 PM
Ps, like your avatar. George 'dubya' Bush is looking good these days.

TLOZ Link5
May 2nd, 2005, 04:19 PM
Yes, but at least we had one to loose old bean. Have to got my local church for the evening. It's celebrating it's 900th anniversary next year. I think i've got cream cheese in my fridge older than your country. Vive la france.

How is that possible if cream cheese was invented in Philadelphia in 1872? :D

P.S.: Just because the U.S. doesn't have as much white history as Europe, does not mean that it lacks history. Of course, your initial (read brutal) colonisation of this continent ensured that Native American culture would be thereafter marginalised. Thanks for that.

P.P.S.: Isn't it spelled L-O-S-E, O great advocate of the Queen's English?

TLOZ Link5
May 2nd, 2005, 04:24 PM
Ps, like your avatar. George 'dubya' Bush is looking good these days.

Rest assured that you won't find many fans of him here.

Ninjahedge
May 3rd, 2005, 03:42 PM
Yes, but at least we had one to loose old bean. Have to got my local church for the evening. It's celebrating it's 900th anniversary next year. I think i've got cream cheese in my fridge older than your country. Vive la france.

Keep it tight.

Peace.

TLOZ Link5
June 24th, 2005, 04:03 PM
I totally agree with France banning the english language. For it is NOT English, but that American derivative that upsets so many of my english compatriots. How many times !, it's 'Centre', 'Colour', 'Neighbour', 'Defence' and 'Harbour' etc.

It's taken centuries for my language to evolve. Shakespeare wouldn't lift a pen if he was living today and saw the mess his vernacular was in.

Hands Off !!!,


Regards.

Now you see, that American English is a "bastardization" of Commonwealth English is a common misconception made by almost every Briton. In fact, the opposite is the case, to a certain degree.

An informed entry from urbandictionary.com:

"[American English is a] dialect of English whose pronunciation is frozen along with that of Canadian English. While British English had some drastic sound shifts, American and Canadian English pronunciation had only undergone a few minor vowel changes, as well as the changing of some Ts and Ds to alveolar flaps (butter sounds somewhat like "budder").

"Most of the different spellings of American English (which, for all of you elitest Britons out there, are listed in the OED) developed in the U.S.'s early years, some of them created by dictionary maker Noah Webster. The differences are comparable to the ones between Brazilian Portuguese and Portuguese Portuguese. (TLOZ's note: now how many elitist [read petty] Iberians do you see mocking the good people of Brazil for their linguistic variation of Portuguese? Especially if you take into consideration that there are more speakers of Portuguese in South America than there are in Europe.)

"Another interesting fact about American and Canadian English is that both dialects still use the -ize spelling for words (organize, organization, etc.), while countries outside North America have almost completely dumped it for the newer -ise spelling. However, the OED and Fowler's Modern English Usage (both of which are decent books of British origin) prefer the -ize spelling. (TLOZ's note: We do not, however, say "despize," "arize," or "chastize.") Folks from North America also use the older aluminum spelling instead of the newer aluminium spelling. (Though neither spelling is the original; the original is alumium.)

"Americans also refer to the letter Z using the 17th century name "zee" instead of the name "zed" used elsewhere (including in Canada). Rest assured, the name "izzard" is pretty much obsolete.

"Sources: Wikipedia and the Concise Oxford English Dictionary.

"Give American English a break. There's nothing wrong with having a little bit of diversity in the Anglosphere. You don't see us complaining about your dialect every second, do you?"

TLOZ's note:
It's interesting to note that what we now call the United States and Canada were colonized at a time when the English language was still universally rhotic (that is, when the letter "r" was still pronounced, as it is in the United States and Canada). Like with the linguistic deviations in spelling noted above, "American" English "froze" in development because cultural contact with Great Britain was essentially severed. Thus, the two linguistic variations developed differently. So in terms of phonetics and pronunciation, American English is closer to Shakespearean English than is Commonwealth English. This is particularly true in the regions of the country further west from the Eastern Seaboard, where contact with Britain was still somewhat of a regular occurrence. Which is why the stereotypical Noo Yawk accent, for instance, has a nonrhotic "r."

P.S.: Shouldn't the "-our" suffix be considered less etymologically correct than the original Latin or Greek spellings, taking into account the influence of French lexicons on English following the Norman Conquest? Keep in mind that certain words that once ended in -our in the Commonwealth (like professor, conductor, governor, and chancellor) are now universally spelled (spelt?) with -or at the end.

TomAuch
June 24th, 2005, 05:41 PM
The irony in this thread is that the word that France chose to replace email is originally from Quebec, yet you guys are fighting over which English dialect is more "proper". The truth is that there are MANY English dialects, but Americans tend to be the most diverse. Our dominant accent, standard Midwestern, is the one that you will hear from the majority of Americans and tv personalities. However, the Southern accent is perhaps the second-strongest. We're not just different in politics, you know. Also included are the New England accent (saying "-aahhh" instead of "-er" at the end of words) and "Noo Yawkese" which is dying off (I know many people whose parents have the accent but they don't). Ebonics, which is spoken by many African-Americans (and now second-generation Hispanics in some cities) is a variant of the southern accent, but has its own variations due to blacks living in their own areas (you could argue that Ebonics is a legacy of segregation).

Gab
July 15th, 2005, 01:57 PM
I always suspected that the Quebec language police are more sinister than their French counterparts...
If we count people from Morrocco, Algeria, Tunisia,Quebec and several country in africa there's more people that you expect.

ZippyTheChimp
January 31st, 2007, 07:14 AM
Just an excuse to resurrect an old thread.


January 31, 2007

Globalist

United States as the Anti-France

By ROGER COHEN
International Herald Tribune

NEW YORK Does the United States, the real country, exist in the French mind, or has America become a kind of Gallic fantasy, a dark specter to be deployed for political ends, a sort of ultimate negative against which the qualities of France shine?

That question may seem outlandish. The web of connections between the two countries is intricate. In general it is easier to fantasize about the unknown than the known. But the United States seems curiously impervious to French knowledge because the French prefer to preserve the country in the realm of the imaginary.

There are deep roots to this fantasy. Some lie in the rivalry of two universalizing powers, in the Gaullist myths forged to rebuild French pride after the humiliations of World War II, and in the persistence of a left-of-center political culture that holds Yankee free market forces to be anathema.

Being the anti- France, the United States, it often seems, cannot be seen for what it is. So freighted is America with meaning, it ceases to be visible. It becomes an abstraction shaped by prejudice rather than a country intelligible through experience. It serves a purpose at the price of being severed from itself.

These reflections stirred on reading an eloquent example of Gallic delusion: the statement just published by Ségolène Royal's Socialist Party about Nicolas Sarkozy, her chief opponent in the French presidential election. This 87-page work amounts to a relentless exercise in Sarkozy-bashing through his depiction as that incarnation of menace: a card-carrying crypto-American.

Entitled "The Worrying 'Quiet Rupture' of Mr. Sarkozy," and displayed on Parti-socialiste.fr, the party's home page, the work begins by asking: "Is France ready to vote in 2007 for an American neo-conservative carrying a French passport?"

That gets the ball rolling. The party's core argument runs roughly as follows: America is bad, Sarkozy is its agent, ergo he is dangerous. The publication really has little more to say about Royal's center-right rival.

One chapter is entitled "Nicolas Sarkozy or the Clone of Bush." A memorable sentence, among many such gems, says: "Yesterday Europe was importing jeans, coke, rock 'n' roll and cinema from the United States. Now Nicolas Sarkozy is proposing that we import God!"

Apart from shipping God from Galveston to Dieppe and so destroying the lay French state, Sarko is accused of heading up "a sort of French subsidiary of Bush and company." He's said to manipulate the suffering of French Jews to partisan ends and to pander with equal unscrupulousness to the sensibilities of Catholics and Muslims.

"When one listens to Sarkozy, one would think one was listening to the evangelist George W. Bush addressing Hispanics of Catholic tradition in the last campaign," the pamphlet opines.

Really?

The Socialist Party portrait of American society evokes a place rotten to the core, stricken by obesity and a high murder rate, driving exploited workers to the limits of endurance, imprisoning 2 percent of its population, engaged in a failed affirmative action experiment that has only "made a racial issue of all problems," and beset by an ominous religious fervor.

The real U.S. unemployment rate, it is preposterously suggested, is not 5.1 percent, but 9 percent. America under Bush has no interest in international law because its sole international aim is "the promotion of the American empire."

The death penalty, torture, renditions, secret prisons, short or non-existent vacations, absent or expensive health care, a Darwinian labor market and the worship of "the individualist entrepreneur" complete this happy picture of France's ally.

"It is in this," the Socialists conclude triumphantly, "that Nicolas Sarkozy sees the future of French society!"

There are a couple of problems with all this. The first is that although some of the individual claims have some merit - a health care system that leaves more than 40 million people without insurance is a bad system - the composite picture is wildly distorted, a collage of doom and gloom.

The America in which French companies from Accor to Business Objects prosper, which grows and creates jobs in ways France can only dream of, which is restlessly self- transforming rather than irksomely self-obsessed, which has assured the postwar European security from which France and the European Union have benefited - this United States is nowhere to be seen.

The second is that although Sarkozy has been happy enough at times to don the mantle of the American agent provocateur - man of action, man of movement, man unafraid to suggest you should earn more for working more - he's been rowing back of late toward the Gaullist mainstream. In this light, Bush clone sounds like quite a stretch.

Sarkozy has criticized the Iraq war as a mistake. He has sounded a lot more wary of globalization. He has emphasized the important role of the state as a "regulator."

In short, he is toning down his neo- Liberal credentials, never entirely convincing, and adjusting his image from brash ideologue to competent pragmatist.

"The Socialist line of attack is weaker now because Sarkozy is playing the neo-Gaullist rather than the liberal card," said Stephane Rozes, a political analyst. "Moreover, America is an ambivalent rather than negative image for many in France."

That ambivalence may be tending more positive as the end of the Bush era looms and the French are able to indulge their Kennedy fantasy - the perennial notion that some JFK-like figure, in this case Barack Obama, will emerge to personify the French idea of what America ought to be.

That idea is not altogether clear, but it is safe to say it owes more to the West Village than Western Kansas, and more to Woody Allen than Allen Dulles.

The Socialists, in their Bush obsession, cite Sarkozy's reply to a question about how, if at all, Bush differs from him. "He's been elected president twice," is Sarko's pithy response.

Say what you like about the candidate of the Union for a Popular Movement, he looks the facts in the eye, more so at least than his America- mangling detractors.

E-mail: rocohen@nytimes.com

Copyright 2007

ablarc
January 31st, 2007, 10:50 PM
^ Interesting character: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Sarkozy

OmegaNYC
February 1st, 2007, 12:14 PM
So...... Is it all right to hate the French? :confused:

Jasonik
February 1st, 2007, 12:42 PM
No, we're supposed to pity them. ;)