French linguist brands his fellow countrymen as ‘lazy’ over increasing use of English words and phrases in the language
- Language expert Professor Jean Maillet called English use ‘reprehensible’
- 90 per cent of French people regularly use English words and phrases
- French culture ministry began bid to ban English words three years ago
Well, he’s an expert so he must be right. Is he really?
- Certain words or expressions sound silly to the French when using Voltaire’s lingo. Also, L’Académie Française, the official body regulating the use of the language is so slow in according its benediction that French citizens take the law into their manicured hands. It’s to do with the average age of its members being far right of the 80 mark.
- The other way round; so many French phrases have entered the Oxford dictionary that we can only cite a few, yet no English linguist has branded Her Majesty’s subjects as linguistically challenged and worthy of a long sojourn in the Tower of London.
Professor Jean Maillet described his compatriots’ increasing use of Franglais as ‘reprehensible and unnecessary’ because French already has a rich vocabulary of its own.
His comments come after a study released for French Language Week which revealed 90 per cent of French people regularly use English words and phrases when speaking.
Professor Maillet – who taught English at a Paris university – said: ‘There’s never been so many anglicisms in our vocabulary. There is as many as ten percent, and it’s increasing exponentially. ‘The reason is partly due to linguistic laziness, because many English words are shorter and more user-friendly than their French counterparts.
This is a very good reason.
Language is a communication tool. If what you say is understood by the listener, it doesn’t matter where the etymological roots of the words you use are buried.
‘They don’t sound nice on the ear, but we use them because they have become automatic. He must clean his ears more frequently!
‘Why do French people use the word ‘look’ when our own language proposes: aspect, apparence, tenue, allure…’
Well, we use allure to describe the (superior or bang on trendy) look.
We use tenue to describe behaviour or conduct (once again a positively superior one, because the word is French).
The French culture ministry launched a drive three years ago to ban the torrent of English words invading their language.
What a load of piffle!
The ministry even put up a list of English words on its website ago which it said had slipped into common French usage and should be banned. These included ’email’, ‘blog’, ‘supermodel’, ‘take-away’ and ‘low-cost airline’.
So, they think that pedant French will go for ‘courrier électronique’ or ‘discussion courante sur la toile’ or ‘ ligne aérienne pratiquant des prix raisonnables’?
Even such obscure terms as ‘shadow-boxing’ and ‘detachable motor caravan’ and ‘multifunctional industrial building’ were blacklisted over 65 pages of forbidden vocabulary on the website.
Senior French government adviser Herve Bourges warned at the time that the global domination of Anglo-Saxon culture had plunged the future of the French language into ‘deep crisis’.
Well, the next time Hervé Bourges crosses the Channel let him find a street with no exit or a blind alley when he’s looking for a Cul de Sac!
Or get a sexy outfit from The Provocative Agent, (Agent Provocateur) or a mulled wine when he’s searching for après-ski fun.
Is our expert and his man from the ministry au fait with latest avant garde trends? No, they’re firmly stuck in the Belle Epoque.
I’d write him a billet doux, but my dearest hasn’t given me a carte blanche in this matter.
For Professor Maillet it may be a case of déjà vu, but for Tradwell, the ability to insert elegant French words of sayings is de rigueur.
But enough doubles entendres, Tradwell is neither an eminence grise nor an enfant terrible, no, for Tradwell, interjecting English with smart French is not a faux pas nor a case of force majeure, but a fait accompli!
Yes, noblesse oblige and many a happy ménage à trois can testify to that, even if Tradwell prefers a languid pas des deux.
Here’s Tradwell’s pièce de resistance, written in a modest pied à terre, wearing a zeitgeist prêt à porter outfit and a pot-pourri fragrance.
Tradwell’s raison d’être and we say it with sang froid, is vive la difference.
Which rougly means, Professor Maillet, that Tradwell invites you to a tête à tête to prove that freedom of speech is mightier than your yesteryear’s soupe du jour.
Or Soupe de Choux.