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  • Laura Vuillemin

Anglicisms in European French


I love English. But I donโ€™t love ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—บ๐˜€.


๐Ÿ”ฅ


The use of anglicisms in ๐—˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—™๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ต, and particularly in France, has increased quite a bit during the last decades.


I donโ€™t put all of them on the same level, though. Some have made their way through French simply because languages do evolve over the centuries. Nothing unusual or wrong with that.


Hereโ€™s how I personally classify anglicisms.



1. Anglicisms that I would consider "normal"


Iโ€™m thinking about terms which donโ€™t have any equivalent in French that would be as idiomatic.


Two examples:


๐—•๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐—ฒ

There is simply no other way to say it. You can go for ๐‘”๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘™๐‘™๐‘Ž๐‘‘๐‘’๐‘ , but this still doesnโ€™t refer to the device you use to cook the food.


๐—ช๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ธ-๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฑ

๐น๐‘–๐‘› ๐‘‘๐‘’ ๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘–๐‘›๐‘’ is used in Quรฉbec (I will talk about Canadian French in a future post) but not in Europe where itโ€™s been part of our vocabulary since the beginning of the 20th century.


๐Ÿ“‹ Letโ€™s also add ๐‘Ž๐‘–๐‘Ÿ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘”, ๐‘’-๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘–๐‘™, ๐‘ ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘œ๐‘, ๐‘ ๐‘›๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘˜ and so on. These words almost became French because they are the ones you hear when you acquire or learn the language.



2. Anglicisms that I would consider "unnecessary" (aka my bรชte noire ๐Ÿ‘น)


Anglicisms that I consider unnecessary (and, truth be told, that make me cringe), are English terms that are used when a perfectly valid and common equivalent exist in French.


Letโ€™s take the below sentences. They could easily be heard or read in France.


Jโ€™ai bien aimรฉ la punch line de la vidรฉo du CEO que jโ€™ai downloadรฉe.

โฉ What about phrase dโ€™accroche, PDG and tรฉlรฉchargรฉe ?


Quelques happy few ont pu participer ร  lโ€™activitรฉ outdoor aprรจs avoir bien checkรฉ leur inscription.

โฉ What about privilรฉgiรฉs, en plein air and vรฉrifiรฉ ?



I am not the Acadรฉmie Franรงaiseโ€™s advocate. Iโ€™m just trying to figure out why we would use these (letโ€™s face it, not so beautiful) wordings, if not ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—บ๐˜€.


Many French-speaking people donโ€™t like anglicisms. There seems to be this tendency to think that only Quebecers care about this issue, but thatโ€™s not the case.


๐Ÿ”ธ


As a ๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜€๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฟ, how do I cope with anglicisms?


If I donโ€™t receive any specific instructions related to this matter, I will do my best to avoid the use of unnecessary anglicisms in my translations because I know readers usually donโ€™t like it.


If some clients ask me to do otherwise, I will obviously follow their requirements, but I may try explaining to them why it might be a good idea to think about using โ€œrealโ€ French words instead. Clients always appreciate our input, after all.




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