September 27, 2021

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Feedback | For a third language on our ID cards

Posted on April 26, 2021, at 7:55 PM

The European Union has a national language identity card and at least one other official language in its 27 member states. However, France will select the same English language and select all the elements that appear in the document. Why this maximum choice, especially English?

Of course, there is no question in questioning the secular enrichment of Shakespeare’s Moliere’s language, or let us not forget that there are more French words in ordinary English today than in ordinary French. English. But this is a bigger issue than you think.

In a recent poll, when asked about the elements of the sense of belonging to the nation, the French language tops the list with 79%, the values ​​of the Republic 64%, the history of France and its culture. Symbols in 63%, rights 57% and Triangle and La Marcelays 53%. In fact, beyond the diversity of social circumstances, political views or religious beliefs, how much better is it for all the children of the Republic, regardless of their origin, to be integrated through a common language?

Our language has universal values, but also a way of thinking associated with it.

And then to promote France in the world. Our language has universal values, but it also has a specific way of thinking: for many people, French is a language that denies cultural standardization, which is just another way of communicating with the world. Think about the world. No other country in history has been proud to have seen a language chosen by so many writers from five continents: formerly Casanova, yesterday Beckett or Julian Green, more recently Milan Gundera, Franுவாois Cheng, George Sembrun, Eduardo Manet, Hector Pianciotti, Julia Christeva, Amin Malouf, Pia Peterson, Agoda Christoph, Aki Shimasaki, Leila Slimani, Andre McKinney …

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Finally, to promote economic growth. The two countries that share linguistic contacts tend to exchange 65% more than they do: speaking the same language creates special economic connections, and French, the third language of business, should be a more stable machine than it is today. Development

So how to act and react? The DuPont Act of 1994 should be respected and a circular in 2016 reminded all administrations of their duty to be role models in the use of the French language: it must be updated. In the field of education, it is necessary to strengthen the learning of French: spelling and grammar in school, literature and poetry in college; And the global dimension of French-speaking philosophy in high school. In the field of economics, we need to know the businesses and their diplomatic networks about the growth potential that a French-speaking region like the Commonwealth can represent. Finally, in the international arena, how can we forget that French has been the language of diplomats for centuries, from Charles V to Catherine of Russia or Frederick of Prussia, as a sovereign? How can we forget that the Treaty of Versailles was written in French in 1919, as was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948?

At the time of Brexit, it was unthinkable to make only English eligible to appear on our French identity card.

This story compels the use of French as the official language in Brussels and the United Nations, which takes place only in English.

Coming to the future identity card, a smart solution is to ask every citizen to choose another EU language for their identity card in addition to English. By the time the British leave the European Union, it will be paradoxical, paradoxical, and unthinkable, only to make their language worthy of appearing on our French identity card.

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Andre Vallini, A former minister of La Francophonie, is a PS senator from Isère.