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The Threat Of The Anglo Word E-mail

Non, Non, public servants cannot use the Anglo word e-mail says the French Ministry of Finance when it announced the ban earlier this week. John Howard reports.

The French Ministry of Finance has announced it has banned from official public service use and documents many common English language business words such as 'start-up' and 'e-mail.'

The goal, according to a detailed ministry statement, is to limit the spread of the English language throughout the Internet.

The ministry last year established seven different committees to search out and substitute with French translations as many widely accepted anglo computer terms as possible.

The ministry now says that public servants have been directed to use in all official documents and communications the phrase a 'jeune pousse' (a young plant) for start-up, and to use the phrase 'courrier electronique' for e-mail.

The announcement comes as two French newspapers - Liberation and Le Monde - noted last week that French President Chirac often used anglo computer or finance terms.

Last week Chirac referred to some companies as " les start-ups" and to their managers as " les start-upistes."

Explaining the project to turn the anglo computer phrases into French, the head of the ministry's terminology committee Jean Saint-Geours said, " Of course it is not possible for the State to dictate phrases for other persons. But, for the entire nation, it is important everyone should talk the same language."

There are an estimated 4.5 million French people who use the Internet, a figure expected to rise to 23 million by 2002.

Sacre Bleu!!


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