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FRENCH CONNECTIONS

A quirky, insider’s guide to understanding France and the French, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Thursday at 1.45 pm.

Latest update : 2016-02-18

The guard dog of the French language

FRENCH CONNECTIONS – Thurs. 11.02.16: This week we focus on the French language and the official institution whose mission is to protect it: the Académie Française.

 
Last week, the Académie française (French Academy) was in the spotlight for controversial recommendations it made about simplifying the French spelling back in 1990. While many linguists and teachers applaud the simplification, language purists are outraged.
 
Members of the French Academy, known as "the Immortals", are the guard dogs of the French language, a language that has evolved over time. They are in charge of publishing the official Academy dictionary, which has doubled in size over the past half-century. For years, they have been fighting to protect French from the “invasion of English”, though they are more lenient than other Francophone countries. The Canadian province of Quebec, for instance, is particularly foreceful in its protection of  the French language.

By Florence VILLEMINOT

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Archives

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