The French culture minister has ignited a debate over the encroachment of other languages in France, by telling his followers to “say things in French”.

Franck Riester made his plea in a Twitter post on Sunday, which marked the 25th anniversary of the Toubon Law that governs the use of French on TV and radio.

The 1994 law banned the use of foreign languages in all TV broadcasts — meaning all foreign-language shows are dubbed. It also dictates that radio stations must play French songs at least 40% of the time.

Riester said: “The Loi Toubon is 25 years old! It’s the interpretation of article 2 of our Constitution: ‘The language of the Republic is French.’ Our daily lives would be so different without this simple demand: say things in French!”

While the culture minister’s comments may seem like innocuous patriotism in a country that prides itself on its language and culture, the debate over the issue is more complex than that.

In 2015, the then socialist culture minister Fleur Pellerin caused a stir when she criticised the Toubon Law, stating “a language is always moving”, and arguing that neighbouring languages such as English and Italian had given the French hundreds of new words.

Pellerin, who was born in South Korea and speaks French, German and English, argued at the time that “French is not in danger and my responsibility as minister is not to put up ineffective barriers against other languages but to give all our citizens the means to make it live on.”

Critics rounded on Riester’s tweet, pointing out that President Emmanuel Macron regularly uses English idioms.

“Macron himself uses Anglophone slogans!” said Didier Van Staevel, replying on Twitter.

Cinema executive Christophe Courtois pointed out that top French companies regularly use English slogans rather than French, such as Renault’s adverts titled “Never Too Much” and Air France’s “France Is In The Air” posters.

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

‘How have I not seen this before?’: Trump’s ‘House of Wings’ 2004 SNL skit goes viral (VIDEO)

Trump performed throughout the episode but was the centerpiece of the skit…

U.N. warns world not doing nearly enough to avert climate catastrophe

Geneva — Countries have procrastinated for too long and need to begin making…

Video of boys beating deer prompts investigation

A viral video of two boys beating an injured deer that had…

Saudi Arabia’s first female RACING DRIVER says she still cannot believe it as she prepares to compete in her home country for the first time

Sliding behind the wheel of a sleek electric SUV, Reema Juffali is…