Saturday, March 14, 2015

France surrenders to the hashtag

Didn't see this coming: France's Minister of Culture, Fleur Pellerin, last week declared that she (and thus France) are ready to end the stubborn resistance to the incursion of English words into French, declaring a unilateral truce in the decades-long war on English. “French is not in danger and my responsibility as minister is not to erect ineffective barriers against languages but to give all our citizens the means to make it live on,” Pellerin told an audience assembled for the opening of French Language and Francophonie Week, acknowledging with one sentence both the futility and misguidedness of the battle.

“French is not in danger” is a remarkable assertion from the chief language guardian of the country that once fined TWA for issuing boarding passes in English and that has been trying to keep the language pure since King Louis XIII.  Perhaps the final straw was the ridicule heaped onto France for trying to come up with a French word for "hashtag," settling on mot-dièse.

My only question for the Mlle Pellerin is,  did she run this past the elders (and some of them are quite elder) in the Académie français? Or is the merde about to hit the fan? Bon courage, ma fleur!

1 comment:

  1. Now that is something! France has always took pride in their language, and this "embracing" of English words into French is a milestone that will be remembered in French language history. Bon courage, indeed!


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