France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language (Prima Aprilis)

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Le Baron
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Re: France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language

Postby Le Baron » Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:28 pm

April fool's joke? In any case the chit-chat around this usually comes from the French who are singularly obsessed with the old fact of being dethroned as the global lingua franca. But the same criticism can be reversed: why French? That too was only spread through the same colonialism or dominance. Just this evening I saw a comment on You Tube stating 'French is the language of the future, everyone will be speaking it!' The delusion around this is heavy indeed.
A strange position to take when you consider that most of these crackpot cheerleaders are usually also the ones moaning about the destruction of French because of Verlan and 'immigrants' and claiming 'real' French is disappearing! Even the official bodies have a somewhat inflated view of the future of French.

English as the de facto EU auxiliary language has never been ideal, but let's see how pleased everyone will be if they have to learn French or German. Even in Belgium where you don't have to cross a national border to find French there are people who barely speak it (or likewise are ignorant of Dutch/Vlaams). I'm willing to wager that the major players in the EU are more willing to speak English than adopt one of the other 'official' languages. How could it ever be a fair decision anyway because we all know only about 5 countries actually hold power in the EU.
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Re: France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language

Postby Raconteur » Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:58 pm

Le Baron wrote:'French is the language of the future, everyone will be speaking it!' The delusion around this is heavy indeed.
Right? Maybe if the next General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party is an unapologetic, totalitarian francophile, phasing out Chinese in favor of French. Then, perhaps, French might have a future. (April fools' 2022?)

Le Baron wrote:A strange position to take when you consider that most of these crackpot cheerleaders are usually also the ones moaning about the destruction of French because of Verlan and 'immigrants' and claiming 'real' French is disappearing! Even the official bodies have a somewhat inflated view of the future of French.
This is indeed puzzling. Given their obsession with "real" French, seems to me like they should do everything in their power to prevent French from serving as an international language (would they really want a French variant of "Eurocorporate English"? ... Sacrebleu!)
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Re: France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language

Postby Raconteur » Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:03 pm

lysi wrote:Man, this post got my hopes up but after realizing it's just an april fools joke I'm slightly sad. :(
Sorry to disappoint :cry: , but many thanks for calling out the prank. I was hoping someone would in time!
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Re: France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language

Postby lysi » Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:23 pm

Le Baron wrote:A strange position to take when you consider that most of these crackpot cheerleaders are usually also the ones moaning about the destruction of French because of Verlan and 'immigrants' and claiming 'real' French is disappearing! Even the official bodies have a somewhat inflated view of the future of French.

Nobody actually thinks that Verlan is ruining French, though some do think that immigrants are ruining the language. If you look at the trends of the French language then you'll see that most of the changes happening today have been underway for a long period of time, but there certainly are things that horribly unacceptable. It's actually impossible to go online without seeing like, at least 1 spelling error per message. I've seen some sentences where 80% of the words were spelled incorrectly. It has to do with French orthography and the ability to spell basically any verb wrong (er:ez), homophones (on:ont), presence of unsounded letters (-it:-is for finir standard endings), but all of this is so basic. It's like, when's the last time you saw someone spell 'night' as 'knight' or vice-versa? And yet I'll see people spell a pronoun (on) like the third person plural conjugation of avoir (ont) and nobody will say a thing, and consistently make this same error. And it doesn't make any sense for the purposes of SMS language since it's HARDER to write in most cases, it's just not acceptable. So I find that there's a serious decline in French mastery by most French people which is really regrettable.
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Re: France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language

Postby lysi » Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:26 pm

Raconteur wrote:
lysi wrote:Man, this post got my hopes up but after realizing it's just an april fools joke I'm slightly sad. :(
Sorry to disappoint :cry: , but many thanks for calling out the prank. I was hoping someone would in time!

To be fair for a lot of people this was posted on the 31st, not the 1st. I was looking around the site you posted yesterday and I was super tired, couldn't manage to find it and just decided to go to sleep after since if I couldn't find a simple document in French, obviously I was too tired. Turns out it just didn't exist. I had a good sleep though.
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Re: France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language

Postby Raconteur » Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:31 pm

lysi wrote:
Raconteur wrote:
lysi wrote:Man, this post got my hopes up but after realizing it's just an april fools joke I'm slightly sad. :(
Sorry to disappoint :cry: , but many thanks for calling out the prank. I was hoping someone would in time!

To be fair for a lot of people this was posted on the 31st, not the 1st. I was looking around the site you posted yesterday and I was super tired, couldn't manage to find it and just decided to go to sleep after since if I couldn't find a simple document in French, obviously I was too tired. Turns out it just didn't exist. I had a good sleep though.
Ah, such are the dangers of global communities - one has to account for time zones when it comes to pranks :lol:
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Re: France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language

Postby Le Baron » Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:38 pm

lysi wrote:
Le Baron wrote:A strange position to take when you consider that most of these crackpot cheerleaders are usually also the ones moaning about the destruction of French because of Verlan and 'immigrants' and claiming 'real' French is disappearing! Even the official bodies have a somewhat inflated view of the future of French.

Nobody actually thinks that Verlan is ruining French, though some do think that immigrants are ruining the language. If you look at the trends of the French language then you'll see that most of the changes happening today have been underway for a long period of time, but there certainly are things that horribly unacceptable. It's actually impossible to go online without seeing like, at least 1 spelling error per message. I've seen some sentences where 80% of the words were spelled incorrectly. It has to do with French orthography and the ability to spell basically any verb wrong (er:ez), homophones (on:ont), presence of unsounded letters (-it:-is for finir standard endings), but all of this is so basic. It's like, when's the last time you saw someone spell 'night' as 'knight' or vice-versa? And yet I'll see people spell a pronoun (on) like the third person plural conjugation of avoir (ont) and nobody will say a thing, and consistently make this same error. And it doesn't make any sense for the purposes of SMS language since it's HARDER to write in most cases, it's just not acceptable. So I find that there's a serious decline in French mastery by most French people which is really regrettable.


I saw one only a couple of days ago on YT. 'Je pense à mon enfance qu'en j'entends cette chanson'. (for the record the song in question was Il est mort le soleil - Nicolette)

As to Verlan, there are quite a lot who think it pollutes French. I have a friend who visits me (originally from Cognac) who absolutely hates things like 'c'est ouf!' And 'kiffe'. To be honest I don't even know half the things he's railing about; for someone who hates it he knows a lot of it.
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Re: France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language

Postby lysi » Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:50 pm

Le Baron wrote:As to Verlan, there are quite a lot who think it pollutes French. I have a friend who visits me (originally from Cognac) who absolutely hates things like 'c'est ouf!' And 'kiffe'. To be honest I don't even know half the things he's railing about; for someone who hates it he knows a lot of it.


Kiffer isn't verlan though. Kiffer is Arabic. The most popular verlan words are, I think, meuf (first time I saw this was like 7 months in!) and ouf. Arabic influence on French is actually really interesting, though, because there are plenty of words that are incredibly ancient, but also quite a few more popular words that come from Arabic, like toubib (doctor), gourbi, and caoua (café).
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Re: France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language

Postby Le Baron » Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:05 pm

lysi wrote:Kiffer isn't verlan though. Kiffer is Arabic. The most popular verlan words are, I think, meuf (first time I saw this was like 7 months in!) and ouf. Arabic influence on French is actually really interesting, though, because there are plenty of words that are incredibly ancient, but also quite a few more popular words that come from Arabic, like toubib (doctor), gourbi, and caoua (café).

Ah yes, you are quite correct, that is indeed Arabic. In any case it's all just a new argot all of which has been recorded for a long time and was extant in any era people now want to refer to as their idealised golden era.
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Re: France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language (Prima Aprilis)

Postby mokibao » Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:20 pm

Funnily enough 'sich bekiffen' actually means getting high in German.

lysi wrote:It's actually impossible to go online without seeing like, at least 1 spelling error per message. I've seen some sentences where 80% of the words were spelled incorrectly


This says more about the French language than its speakers imo. French pupils spend twice as much time learning to write their own language than, say, Spanish or German pupils, with pithy results. Are French people genetically dumber than their immediate neighbours beyond the Pyrenees or the Rhine? I doubt it. Coincidentally, Spanish and German happen to be very phonetic languages that are almost entirely devoid of mute consonants (and the quality of their respective literature, poetry or songs doesn't suffer for it). Also coincidentally, pupils from the UK also happen to suck at spelling their own language. Hmm, I wonder if there isn't a trend there.

French speakers tend to worship their own spelling system too much. You can't tread this subject without stirring up very strong reactions, allegedly for the sake preserving the language's history and quirks that supposedly make its "beauty" (this makes one wonder what such people would think of the beauty of Spanish or Italian, but sometimes it's better not to ask). Yet, when you actually investigate the history of the French language, you quickly find out that most of those spelling quirks are long forgotten artifacts from copyists making mistakes or abbreviations (the horror so dreaded by language purists), or grammarians artificially introducing "etymology" to sound cool, sometimes with mistakes as well.

Lots of languages have undergone reform to harmonize their linguistic communities or make their spelling more consistent with itself and with the spoken language, and are not the worse for it: Portuguese, German, Russian, etc. I don't see why French should be any different.
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