French losing battle with English for general use despite Macron campaign

French losing battle with English for general use despite Macron campaign

French losing battle with English for general use despite Macron campaign

If you’re planning a quick exit from the UK for a new, more enjoyable lifestyle in France, the use of English is on the up, but so is the pressure to speak French.

As France becomes ever more popular as a bolthole for disenchanted Brits, the use of English is growing exponentially, often at the expense of the French language. The situation hasn’t pleased France’s recently elected, English-fluent President Macron, who’s pushing back with a campaign to protect and encourage the use of his native tongue. His strategy includes making French the preferred language across the entire African continent, and possibly in the world.

Let’s face it, English became the world’s international language due to the much-criticised British Empire and its vast trading networks worldwide. It’s no surprise the French, traditionally foes of the Brits, would reject the spread of the English language across their home country, even if it’s good for business and tourism. Nowadays, English is found all over France on billboards, on the TV, on storefronts and in everyday conversations, with supporters of French worried the trend is simply selling the ‘American dream’ of globalisation.

Entrepreneurs are major offenders against those wanting to protect their lingo, as English is now seen by many as the cool, funky, trendy and fun language of modernity. However, its supporters state that, compared with the French language, English says more by using fewer letters, thus making it easier to learn. One French linguist actually wrote a book pleading with the French to dump at least 100 English words, but professional translators believe it’s all gone too far.

So, how does this affect Brit expats deciding to live in France but unsure of their linguistic abilities? Perceived wisdom indicates learning French is an absolute must if integration with the locals is a goal, but what if the locals are being forced to learn colloquial English in order not to be thought of as dinosaurs on a globalised planet? Luckily, many Brit expats in France realise the language is inextricably tied up with French culture, the understanding of which is essential for fitting in.

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