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France Bans the Term 'E-Mail'

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
France Bans the Term 'E-Mail'

PARIS (AP) - 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.''

Isnt this silly?
post #2 of 21
Are we Americans (and Brits) THAT scary to the French that they even hate the language? IT language isn't American, per se, it is international. Get a grip.
post #3 of 21
That s the french - trying to keep their language poure :roll: :roll: - they have always been special in that way !! :idunno:
:crazy2: :crazy2: :crazy2: :idunno:
post #4 of 21
LOL I think it's pretty weird! I don't say email most of the time, I say oh look a new message

post #5 of 21
Maybe all French words should be banished from the English language! No, I know it sounds silly, but I also find that "modern" German uses far too many English words. That makes it easier for me, but I'm afraid that too many words, whether French, German, Dutch, etc. will be lost forever.
post #6 of 21
Are they forgetting that a great many English words come from other languages?
post #7 of 21
Back in the day French was the leading language for all important meetings between leaders of nations. French was the required language in politics, but come World War II English replaced French. The French haven't been happy about it since. I can understand the need to protect the language, but to change a word because it deemed "English" seems a bit spiteful.


post #8 of 21
post #9 of 21
Me thinks France doth protest too much. As the world becomes smaller we are all going to have to be more tolerant and start to incorporate more of each others' language and culture.
post #10 of 21
France is suffering from unending growing pains. They just can't seem to grow up and mature. They've been very jealous for many years and are now pouting. Honestly, it just shows their true side. And they're sister country must be North Korea. They keep pouting too. ONly they are pouting because they want more attention from big daddy, G. W. Bush!
post #11 of 21
I agree with Sherral46, stupied stupied stupied
post #12 of 21
I am not surprised that France would do this.
post #13 of 21

It's not just the French. In Japanese there are words used for modern things which sound like an English word with Japanese overtones. I don't remember any specific examples at the moment. I've forgotten what I've learnt in classes.

But on the other hand I speak fluent Cantonese and for some things, it's a heck of a lot faster to say the English word than the Cantonese version, that is unless you're speaking to a person who doesn't understand English at all.

I don't think it's stupid for any attempt to preserve a language. Several thousands of languages have been lost over the years without ever been fully recorded with the spread of English. English has become a language that is widely spoken because traditionally, it was those in power who spoke it and spoke nothing else. So in order to do business, one was required to speak English. Though ironically, English is made up of several languages, including, French, Italian and German. And there are derivatives from the 'dead' language of Latin.
post #14 of 21
I speak alot of French - It's a beautiful language!
post #15 of 21
Wow Sam you speak FRENCH!!! What are you doing going to private school? I have a hard enough time getting English down and you are bi-lingual! You go girl!
post #16 of 21
I take French Lessons

Merci Teresa!!!!(Thank you)
post #17 of 21
The great thing about languages is how adaptable they are. Languages don't remain the same, they are dynamic and flexible. As Maggie said, English has been influenced by lots of different languages over the years.

A society who won't allow their language to change is rigid and not open to change in general. They will have difficulty in the future as our world becomes more interdependent.
post #18 of 21
LOL E36 you made me spit my coke all over my keyboard!!!!

Rock On!!!!
post #19 of 21
Originally posted by WellingtonCats
LOL E36 you made me spit my coke all over my keyboard!!!!

Rock On!!!!
would have been even funnier if they left the post up!
post #20 of 21
Personally I think that if the French want to call their an electronic mail something else, it's their business. I don't think the government is forcing it on anyone, and i imagine most of the french are comfortable with it, otherwise they would have protested by now.

Protesting, is as natural to the french as fast cars are to the italians. Don't forget, they were the first european country to really change things for the better by way of protest. For them, protesting is a way of life. It's the way the population interacts with their government. Quite frankly I think it's healthy.

And I really have to applaud their efforts to retain what they believe to be their identity. I can't see how preserving their language, and protecting their culture is immature... And I find it difficult to believe that a people with such a rich cultural and historical heritage can be accussed of jealousy. Jealous of what? Big Macs? The Spice Girls?

They go to great pains to protect their culture. They have huge subsidies for the french film industry, specifically to protect it from American films. I don't blame them. I'm sure the countries whose film industries have all but been wiped out by Hollywood would love to have the ability to do what they do. The same goes for music, art, etc... And as a result, French culture is alive and thriving. Why shouldn't it be? & why shouldn't they be proud of it?

They are an example, of a country whose culture has withstood first the british then the americans. And i applaud them. The terms rigid and inflexible may be true to an extent, but at least they are never accussed of trying to IMPOSE their culture on other countries. What they do in the privacy of their own country is their own business...

I don't think anyone would care if a small eastern european country decided to do the same... It seems that the courriel is: Oh it's just the French being silly again... I dare say, that there may be more to it than national silliness.

And i don't think i read in the article that the French were doing this to keep english, american, or even senegalese out of their language... They're just keeping their language theirs; and though i may not agree with what they do entirely i will defend to my death their right to do it.
post #21 of 21
Awwww! Did they delete it, Stink!
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