Damn it ! French ministry prohibits English playing conditions

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(Photo: Anthony Choren/Unsplash)
In an attempt to preserve the “purity” of its language, France has banned English terms that refer to common pillars of gaming culture.

Since Monday, French government employees are not allowed to use English video game jargon, according to changes put in place by the French Academy (the age-old French ministry in charge of French language issues). Instead, employees are required to use the French versions of each term, no matter how more complicated the French alternatives are.

“While some phrases find obvious translations – ‘pro-gamer’ becomes ‘professional gamer’ – others seem a bit more strained, as ‘streamer’ is transformed into ‘live gamer-host'” reports The Guardian, which learned updates from Agence France-Presse. The term “eSports” must be replaced by “competitive video game”, which does not really leave the language, even for French speakers.

Two volumes of the official dictionary of the French Academy. (Photo: knockelions/Wikimedia Commons)

While the French Academy says its goal is to reduce confusion among non-gamers, the organization regularly warns that the French language could be spoiled by overseas communities. His panic stems from the “Toubon law”, a law enacted in 1994 by the then Minister of Culture, Jacques Toubon, which pledges to protect the French language and guarantee the right of French citizens to use it. in education, work and other everyday contexts. From the outset, the Toubon law has been brandished as a tool to prevent French citizens from migrating to the excessive use of Anglo-Saxon terminology. Example: the official site of the French Academy advise citizens to swap “data scientist” for “big data expert” and the increasingly popular “click and collect” for “pick up in store”. In fact, the site has several pages of “say, don’t say” guidelines, which are exactly what they sound like (although many of its “rules” relate to grammar and syntax, not the national language).

The directives of the French Academy are considered binding for State agents. This means that any future policy that uses gaming-related terminology – changes to intellectual property law, for example, or antitrust sanctions – will have to use the longer French jargon instead of the (admittedly more widely used) English shorthand. The organization’s website also gives the impression that these language guidelines apply to public universities.

As of now, there’s no public information on what happens when a government employee uses a “banned” English term, or whether private entities (like French game developers) will make an effort to s align with the new rules. But if you’re playing internationally adored multiplayer games, now might be a better time than ever to brush up on your French.

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