Thursday, 23 May 2013

Franglais row: Is the English language conquering France?

This is the heading to an article in yesterday's BBC news magazine and the article raises some interesting points about the "value" of language, not just as a means of expressing thoughts but also as a type of litmus to the culture and nationality it represents. I'm only mentioning one or two main points very briefly

For some time now the elite universities have been teaching courses in English and the suggestion is that this should percolate down to all universities to make them more competitive to international students.

However this argument is far reaching; is it possible that International students might elect to study in France to subsume themselves in its language and culture? In this case, teaching in English would be pointless.

If the UK were to leave the EU there would only be three countries with English as their joint official language, so there would no longer be a need for EU business to be conducted in English.

And perhaps the most convincing argument....
"Teaching [them] Proust in English, in France, would be a travesty"

It's a heated debate, with even good old Cardinal Richelieu getting a mention! The Academie Francaise was founded in 1635 by him to fight off foreign influences on the french language, though in this case it was Italian not English..

Few countries guard their linguistic heritage as closely as France, so we suspect they will still be debating this one when the High Speed Rail link from London to Birmingham is complete. (!??)

Or maybe they are just waiting for us (expats) to give up trying to speak in French?? Now there's an interesting thought!

To read the full article go to this link:  .

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