May 20, 2022

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Town halls, universities, museums … In a statement this Tuesday, the French Academy expressed its concern about the overuse of English in corporate communications.

Data, start-ups, movement … In recent years, the English have flourished in corporate communications, which is of particular concern to the French Academy. Many of its members panicked in a statement released on Tuesday about its overuse in town halls, ministries, museums, universities and other French institutions.

As reported in this report Le Figaro, The French Academy refers to English words or “great use” of English words, i.e. French words derived from English. “Their massive, unstable arrival undermines the identity and future of our language,” laments the Immortals.

Bustling Syntax, Neologism …

The commission, comprising Gabriel de Broglie, Florence Delay, Danièle Sallenave, Dominique Bona, Amin Maalouf and Michael Edwards, condemned “a lot of indefinable collective lexical cymes”. In fact, according to him, this aid to English leads to the creation of neologisms or the misuse of English words.

With Franglais, the traditional syntax of sentences is often disrupted, articles and proposals disappear. Bad applications with “effects of a particular gravitational force on syntax and French structure”, according to the French Academy.

In addition, the French academy fears a social and generational divide because the French are far from proficient in English, especially among the older ones. “Anglo-American vocabulary is often misunderstood as familiar to the general public”, still annoying to the academy.

Fear of a social divide

In the document, he recalled that access to English “only affects a small, privileged, educated section of the population.” Therefore, its widespread use in corporate communications carries the risk of creating “linguistic insecurity”.

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Also, do not fail to mock the advertising slogans used by these companies. “There has been a degeneration of slogans since the 1980s,” he notes. “English has become the new Esperanto. Advertisers think it’s nice to use slang with English words, but that’s a bad good idea.”

Finally, he warns: “It is important not to be complacent about excessive standardization and simplification, not to fit into a single axis, and to lead yourself towards a thought”.

Jean Blunt BFMTV journalist