May 30, 2024


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Why is English a made-in-France language?

Why is English a made-in-France language?

Although the week of March 16 to 24 is dedicated to the French language and Francophonie, it is good to remember that English is a dialect “made in France”. If we say that the French language has been invaded by the English, 29% of English words are, basically, French words.

This is ten times more than French, which contains only 2.5% of words from across the Channel. To understand this borrowing from English to French, we need to go back William the Conqueror when he conquered England in 1066. The latter imposed French as the language of the country, which explains why The British royal motto is, even today, a phrase in French: “Dieu et mon Droit”. In the English Parliament, when a law is enacted, the writer also declares: “The King wills it.”

total, There are almost 25,000 French words in English. Among them are essentials pronounced in the French way, such as “déjà vu”, “cliché” or “creme de la crème”. But, in fact, most of these words are written like ours. Only the pronunciation differs: “fruit”, “prison” or “table”.

“Spoil”, “disease”, “entertainment”….words of French origin

It should also be noted that many of the English words that have been accused of polluting the French language are of French origin. Let's take the example of the word “spoiler” used when revealing the ending of a series to someone else. The name comes from an Old French word. “Espoiler”, meaning “peeling off”. This happens when we “spoil” someone knowing the outcome and stealing their happiness.

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Another solid case with the word “fun”. The verb “fliter” comes from the French verb “fleureter” which means “to say a little flower”., a fleuret is a sweet little note with flowers sent to one's sweetheart. It was fashionable at the time, it was “fashion”. The latter, moreover, is a word of French origin. It comes from “fashion” which, in the time of François I, was the knowledge required to make luxury clothes.

Finally, one last example “Entertainment” comes from the French word “hopin”., the name of a white horse in the 12th century. But what does this have to do with “entertainment”? “Hobby” is short for “hobby-horse,” a toy with a fake horse's head mounted on a stick that children place between their legs to pretend to ride. It was a pastime, a “hobby” for them.

As our academics and politicians insist (“stress” comes from the Old French word “destresse”, which made “suffering”), Anglicism is, after all, not an invasion, It is to return to their own country!

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