Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

France: 2014 in review

Read more

#THE 51%

South Africa: Taking a stand against child marriage

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

France 24’s best documentaries of 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'We have to build a new Tunisia', says the president of the Tunisian Parliament

Read more

FACE-OFF

France on alert after attacks: a case of collective hysteria?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'Beijing needs to revaluate its policy in the Tibetan areas', says FM of the Tibetan government-in-exile

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Uruguay: freed Guantanamo detainees try to adjust to normal life

Read more

France

'Au revoir' to English, demands French PM

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-04-29

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault urged ministers to avoid using English words instead of French, after industrial renewal minister Arnaud Montebourg launched a new industrial sector for the elderly with the English title "Silver Economy".

French Socialist Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault wrote a letter to members of the government Thursday asking them to avoid using English words, even when dealing with technological innovations.

The request comes after Arnaud Montebourg, minister of industrial renewal, and Michèle Delaunay, minister for the elderly, announced they were creating a new industrial sector called “Silver Economy,” regrouping “all companies working with or for the elderly.”

A few English words of French origin used in this article

Nearly a third of all English words are derived from French, according to some estimates. Many became part of the language after the Norman invasion of England in 1066 AD but others are more recent.

Penchant (17th century)

Parlance (14th century)

Bon mot (18th century)

Vanquish (14th century)

Taint (14th century)

 

They chose the English name “Silver Economy,” in reference to greying hair, because the sector is likely to open international export opportunities, a source in the ministers’ cabinet told leading French daily Le Figaro.

‘Non!’


But Prime Minister Ayrault was not impressed. Ayrault sent out a memo the same day to all members of the government asking them to favour the French language as much as possible. In his note, he reminded ministers that the 1992 Constitution recognised French as the official language in both the administration and justice.

“Our language is able to express all of our contemporary issues, as well as describe all innovations in the fields of science and technology,” the note said according to Le Figaro.

Date created : 2013-04-29

  • CULTURE

    Govt urges youth to say 'non' to English words

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French universities court world’s brightest students

    Read more

  • FRANCE-UK

    British poet anointed to guard French language

    Read more

COMMENT(S)