Au Revoir Smartphones!
The French people as a whole are very proud and protective of their culture and customs (as referenced in our previous article, Battle of the Baguette), and there is no exception when it comes to the language itself. In an effort to avoid the “Englishification” of their language, officials in France have been coming up with alternatives to many of the most popular phrases of our current digital age.
In the past, the official journal of the French Republic, the Journal Officiel, has suggested “internet clandestin” instead of the term dark web. The very popular word, hashtag is called “mot-dièse” or “hash-word.” The latest word to get the official "Au revoir" in France is the term, smartphone thus giving way to “le mobile multifonction.”
This proposal is headed by the Commission d’enrichissement de la langue française & Academie Française to preserve the French language, and it isn’t the first time that they’ve encouraged French citizens to switch over to Franco-friendly words for tech products. Instead of smart TV, for instance, the commission suggested that French speakers say “Televiseur connecté.” A relatively straightforward translation was offered for net neutrality: “neutralité de l’internet.” Previous suggestions for smartphone have included “ordiphone” from “ordinateur,” the French word for "computer" and “terminal de poche” or "pocket terminal".
Today’s protectors of the language may be mostly concerned with emerging tech terms, but the battle against English influence has been waged for decades as France’s first committee to protect the country’s vocabulary was established in 1966: The General Delegation for the French language and the languages of France ("Délégation générale à la langue française et aux langues de France.”
What do you think about the Commission d’enrichissement de la langue française & Academie Française's attempt to say "Au Revoir Smartphones?" Leave a comment below!