Hacktivism, fashionista, queer, SUV, and dark net have all been officially added to France’s two main dictionaries this year. This is just the tip of the iceberg, with detox, startup, clubbing and chatbot also listed, reports FRANCE 24.
The most surprising fact about these additions to 'Le Petit Robert' and 'Le Petit Larousse' (France's two main dictionaries) has been the lack of uproar.
A few years ago, there would have been a furore about Anglicisms being added to the language of Molière, Voltaire and Simone de Beauvoir. Initiatives to prevent the Anglicisation of the French language are normally led by the Académie française.
To underscore the importance of their language, the "Journée de la Francophonie" (“Day of the Francophones”) is celebrated each year on 20th March to bring together the world’s 270 million French speakers.
But why have the defenders of the French language remained quiet this year?
President of the French Defence Association Didier Berberat, told French daily Le Matin: “I regret that people are using more and more English words, but if they are in everyday life, they should be in the dictionary. But it’s a shame as French equivalents exist or could be created. It’s down to a certain laziness."
MEP and defender of the French language Jean Romain added, “It may be the mark of failure”. He explains that the battle to keep out English words often ended up with, “ridiculous French terms that no one used”.
According to Berberat, some areas must give way to the dominance of English: "In the world of technology, it is extremely difficult to fight against and these words do come from the Anglo-Saxon world.”
Linguist and author Jean Maillet told French newspaper 20 Minutes: “There is a certain snobbery, even a ‘cool’ condescending attitude attached to using English words. There is also a certain linguistic laziness.”