English words feature increasingly in French

14th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, March 14, 2007 (AFP) - Despite the country's famous pride in its culture and language, more English words have entered the French language in the past decade than in the preceding century, a French government official conceded in an interview published on Wednesday.

LONDON, March 14, 2007 (AFP) - Despite the country's famous pride in its culture and language, more English words have entered the French language in the past decade than in the preceding century, a French government official conceded in an interview published on Wednesday.

"We have not stopped borrowing massively from English for the past 10 years," Xavier North, the director of the French foreign ministry's department responsible for the promotion and protection of the French language, told The Daily Telegraph.

"We are even taking English words without giving them a French pronunciation, like 'standing ovation' or 'stock options'," North said.

North added that every month, 18 government "terminology commissions" produced a list of new words that could be used by public sector workers to make French "a productive language apt at expressing modernity."

He cautioned against panic, however, telling the newspaper: "In the 16th century, the same thing happened when Italian took French by storm. Many of the words used then were later rejected. Some we keep, some we spit out."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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