Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Tu as le ball-diffe?

Bremmer of the London Times notes some interesting aspects of the French language scene:
The word ordinateur , invented to block le computeur in the 1950s, has done its job fine. Young French talk about their ordi while most other Europeans use variants of computer. Le balladeur (wanderer), which was decreed as official French for Walkman in the early 1990s, has long ago been adopted -- hence ballado-diffusion, i.e. "Walkman-broadcasting".
This new phrase is meant to replace 'podcasting' and according to French law, must be used by journalists on both France television and Radio France channels. This is not the first time France has been invaded by a foreign language(from Wikipedia):
From the 5th to the 8th centuries, Celtic-speaking peoples from southwestern Britain (Wales, Cornwall, Devon) traveled across the English Channel, both for reasons of trade and as a result of the Anglo-Saxon invasions of England...

From the 6th to the 7th centuries, the Vascons crossed over the Pyrinies, a mountain range in the south of France. Their presence influenced the Occitan language spoken in southwestern France, resulting in the dialect called Gascon...

Scandinavian Vikings invaded France from the 9th century onwards and established themselves in what would come to be called Normandie (Normandy). They took up the langue d'oil spoken there and contributed many words to French related to maritime activities, amongst other things...

With their conquest of England in 1066, the Normans brought their language. The dialect that developed there as a language of administration and literature is referred to as Anglo-Norman...

The Arab peoples also supplied many words to French around this time period, including words for luxury goods, spices, trade stuffs, sciences and mathematics.
And in turn, International English borrowed a great number of words from French and it's romantic siblings.

In Canada, where French is a national language and the fracophones are, for the most persuing independence from the Canadian Dominion, they have developed their own culture meltedded sentences and slang. One of my favorites is "s'leur' in Quebecois this is the equivalent of 'eh?'

Language is one of those dynamic pieces of the human existence; why pass laws against it?

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