Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Not happy franglais

After two full months of summer vacations (July and August), today is back to school day for all French children. "Franglais" (combination of Français and Anglais) is a mixture of French and English, as typified by the above caption: "Happy Rentrée". Rentrée means "back to school" and the ad is for running shoes which will most likely be used as every day school shoes (as a reminder, there are no uniforms in French schools). The boy here is wearing a baseball cap, has an i-pod in the front pocket of his jeans, a skateboard on his back and a mobile phone glued to his ear - the complete cool kid look ! French regulations forbid the use of foreign languages in advertising unless a French translation is provided - the ad complies, thanks to the tiny asterisk in the bottom right corner: *joyeuse rentrée !
But the use of English continues with the other captions on the right: Sport Leader, design your life. Fighting for the French language is an uphill battle in today's world but there is some consolation to be found in remembering the many French words that the English have borrowed and keep borrowing from us.

Aujourd'hui c'est la rentrée des classes et plus que jamais le franglais gagne du terrain - "happy rentrée" nous dit cette pub pour des chaussures de marque (avec une minuscule astérisque dans le coin droit donnant la traduction française : *joyeuse rentrée ! pour satisfaire aux obligations légales). Le gamin a une casquette de baseball sur la tête, un i-pod dans la poche de son jean, un skate dans le dos et un téléphone portable à l'oreille : toute la panoplie des accessoires "cool" ! L'usage de l'anglais continue juste à côté avec, sur fond bleu, les mots Sport Leader, design your life. La défense de la langue française est un combat bien difficile ! Pour garder le moral, rappelons-nous que les anglophones eux aussi nous empruntent de nombreux mots (surtout ceux liés à la gastronomie et à l'art de vivre, non ?)...

24 comments:

Olivier said...

un happy post aujourd'hui ;o) c'est marrant c'est pas le franglais qui me choque le plus dans cette publicité, mais plus tôt les produits "dit" obligatoires pour faire une happy rentrée : Ipod (évidement l'Ipod est plus discret que les gros Wakmans de notre époque ;o) )+ Téléphone Portable, je plains les profs.

Bergson said...

il va leur falloir un casier sécurisé pour déposer tous ces objets.

Il semble parti pour bien travailler

claude said...

C'est peut-être mieux que "Joyeuse school starts" !
Tu as raison, défendons notre français ! Notre Minisre de l'Education veut que tous les jeunes français soient bilingues.
Alors on leur apprend par ce Happy à être content de retourner à l'école, justement pour appendre l'english !

Château-Gontierdailyphoto said...

Et pour finir ....Adiracer low kid.
Bon Et tout cela se trouve au supermarket dans la zone commerciale d'Avignon nord....le principal c'est que l'adresse soit bien français pour pouvoir dépenser ses sous au bon endroit....non ?
Moi je dis vive les pubs en frallemand, fratalie et en Frapagne...au moins là on aurait l'air Européen....

Maxime said...

Que dire, dès lors, du panneau "STOP" pour "arrêt", un immigré parfaitement intégré aujourd'hui. Quand à la pâtisserie, qui ne s'appelle pas (encore) pastry shop, n'oublions pas que le mot anglais "pastry" vient de l'ancien français "paste" pour pâte (d'ou l'accent circonflexe en français moderne).
Une photo bien fertile en vocabulaire, en tout cas, car on pourrait continuer avec "zone", pour lesquels il n'y a pas lieu de se disputer, puisque, dans les deux langues, le mot est donné pour venir directement du latin "zona".... et on pourrait continuer avec "commercial"....alors "don't worry, be happy !"

Nathalie said...

Ah Maxime, :-)

Je pense que le métissage des langues, comme celui des peaux et des cultures, est en route et va s'accélérer. Il se trouvera toujours des puristes pour regretter la batardisation de la langue, mais si la fraternité mondiale est à ce prix, je pense que le jeu en vaut la chandelle ! Je reste cependant profondément attachée à la qualité, quelle que soit la langue. J'aime le bon anglais et le beau français !!!

Virginia said...

I can understand your point. Perhaps we keep borrowing your French words because we think your language is tres beau (belle?????).

Tanya said...

Interesting post. We have the same problem here in the US although it's with Spanish advertising everywhere.
I collect things with the "fleur de lis" on them, so that is one that I can think of that we've adopted from France!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

As you probably already know, many Quebecois are serious about preserving their French too.

Cultures have always borrowed words from each other (a LOT of English started out as French centuries ago) and with globalization it will only happen more.

French is a beautiful language, though, and I can see why certain people want to keep it as pure as possible.

Nathalie said...

Note - I believe this is the first photo I post that wasn't taken in Avignon "intra-muros" (inner city) but in a suburb (Saint Jean). The buildings aren't quite as glamorous and this Patisserie (pastry shop) has been closed for years. Nothing has reopened in its place, large shopping malls are killing local shops.

Note- je crois que c'est la première photo que je montre qui ne soit pas prise intra-muros mais dans un quartier extérieur (St Jean. Les constructions ont moins de cachet. La patisserie est fermée depuis des années et n'a pas connu de remplacement. Les grands centres commerciaux ont tué le petit commerce.

Michel Benoit said...

Je am very d'accord with toi, Nathalie
(il had un pretty nom my guide...)
Moi, je suis pour le mélange.

Abraham Lincoln said...

A very nice post, indeed. I like your explanation too.

Our schools have been going now for about two weeks and I think this is the third week. They have some of the same rituals -- everyone wants the latest and parents in a pinch or laid off from work or whatever are always in a bind trying to please their kids. I don't think anybody over here tells their kids they can't have it "because" and explain why. Some probably do it but most kids have whatever is popular.

In Japan in the first part of the 1950s, the children there all wore uniforms to school and they were just beginning to be more liberal with that when I got there in 1953. You could sometimes see a skirt in red and the rest of the group wore black.

Marcie said...

I grew up in Montreal..where 'Franglais' was 'du rigeur'!!! Didn't expect to see it in France. Nice images.

Kelly said...

And yet the STOP sign in English?

I didn't know about the regulation against foreign words and phrases advertising, and yet I can certainly understand the desire to maintain such a key component of the French culture.

A very thought-provoking post!

Chuck Pefley said...

Looks like he might be chatting on an iPhone as well as having the iPod in his pocket.

Kris said...

I thought that there were laws in France to prevent this sort of thing?

Therese said...

Une petite réponse en direct sur mon site Nathalie.

nathalie in avignon said...

Merci Thérèse, tu es géniale. La réciprocité parfaite !

Thanks Therese, your post is perfectly reciprocal. Brilliant!

Peter said...

… et mon blog que je fais entièrement en anglais ! (J’ai un peu honte ! Toi, tu défends bien les deux langues !)

Nathalie said...

Several of you commented on the STOP sign which I had failed to register as quite significant! English is everwhere indeed...

Plusieurs d'entre vous ont remarqué le panneau STOP qui est sans doute, par son sens comme par sa nature, complètement révélateur du thème abordé. Merci de me l'avoir signalé, je ne l'avais même pas "vu" !

babooshka said...

This is so interesting. Pais daily, Eric showed an advert to about the english language. You have covered in your post a question I asked him. My French freinds here use words like email, internet and happy hour. When they return to france they use when possible the French equivalent. I do beleive in the preservation of languages and which so many english or americanisms didn't seep thoguh do much. Frech as a beautiful language afterall.

vera said...

les stages intensifs hors temps scolaires, cela va l aider drolement!!

Sally said...

Ah, I am happily looking forward to le weekend for a bit of lo sport (Italian).

Do you think there are any words borrowed from French into Engish, then borrowed back into Franglais? I'm going to ponder that one!

David -- www.CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

Regarding the spread of English, I was amused once while dealing with the clerk in the lost luggage line at the airport in Venice. She was very helpful to me, speaking in English. The next customer was a German and they were having trouble communicating. She lost patience with him and scolded him by saying, derisively, "Can't you speak ENGLISH."

English has borrowed many words from French, of course. I remember being a little surprised when a hotel desk clerk in Cannes handed me my receipt and said "viola." In the USA, we would use "voila" only for very special circumstances, such as a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat or presenting someone with a gift. We would never use "voila" for something ordinary. Of course, it sounds more special and sophisticated when we use a French term.

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