April 23, 2024

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Despite the fight of a senator from Charente-Maritime, ID cards can be translated into English

Despite the fight of a senator from Charente-Maritime, ID cards can be translated into English

LHis answer came almost three years after the question was asked. In March 2021, Senator (PS) of Charente-Maritime Mickaël Vallet sent a written question to Interior Minister Gérald Turmanin regarding the new national identity card issued to citizens from August 2021…

LHis answer came almost three years after the question was asked. In March 2021, the Senator (PS) of Charente-Maritime Mickaël Vallet sent a written question to Interior Minister Gérald Turmanin regarding the new national identity card issued from August 2021 to citizens since 1995.

One of the rules offended him: characteristics (surname, first names, gender, date of birth, etc.) were specified in English in addition to French. Before being elected as a Member of Parliament, the former mayor of Marenz distinguished himself in 2019 by refusing to park in the city the “Orange Truck”, named after a mobile truck of a telephone operator that carries out commercial procedures. An Anglicism condemned in the name of respect for the use of the French language.

Michel Vallet, a few weeks later, received the Cercle Richelieu-Senghor Prize, which is awarded annually for works for the development of the French-speaking world (1).

In his question to the Ministry of the Interior, he said, “An important document like the national identity card, like the symbol it conveys, cannot make English appear on the same level as French, which is the official language of the Republic. Under the terms of Article 2 (2) of the Constitution. After all, it represents one of the languages ​​of the European Union. The argument has largely lost its relevance because no member state has English as its only official language. »

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Damn!

The ministerial response, published on February 15, 2024, argues that this new standard, resulting from the 2019 European regulation strengthening the security of identity cards, requires member states to specify “at least one official language” of identity institutions. The European Union “facilitates the verification of documents”. It notes that the identity card functions as a “travel document”, before noting that the choice of English was made to “simplify the controls” of French people abroad.

The senator's request is unlikely to succeedDecision of the Council of State on July 22, 2022 About these English translations. Seized by the defense of the French Language Association, the High Court ruled that Article 2 of the Constitution did not prohibit the “use of translations” which prevented the use of French, the language of “public services”.

A grim observation for supporters of the French-speaking world: according to the National Agency for Secure Documents, all EU member states have already chosen English as a second language in their identity documents. Damn!

(1) Cooperation activities with French-speaking Canada (including Acadia) and Senegal, including organizing a festival of French-speaking cultures.
(2) Article 2 of the Constitution states that “the language of the Republic shall be French”.