French Gov't bans the term "e-mail".

Old Jul 19th, 2003, 07:03 AM
  #21  
 
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Could somebody please tell me how you do pronounce e-mail in French? I've been trying to get my tongue around it while reading this thread and I've never heard it pronounced in French.
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Old Jul 19th, 2003, 11:38 AM
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Re: "...especially since e is a rather clumsy contraction of the 'correct' word, 'electronic'. Also, in English, as we all know, adjectives are supposed to be separated from the nouns they modify, as in 'e mail'"

That's true about adjectives being separated from the nouns they modify, Sue, but I wonder if that rule can be "officially bent" if the adjective is shortened to one letter. Another example that comes to mind is "f-stop", short for, I believe "focal stop." I may be mistaken -- and I'm sure professional photographers will correct me if I'm wrong -- but I think it's conventionally written that way instead of sans hyphen.
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Old Jul 19th, 2003, 02:35 PM
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Sue,
the definition of what is a "French song" is quite large. For the purpose of the law a French song is defined as a musical piece created or performed by a French artist or an artist from a French-speaking country.
So a Belgian singer singing in Arabic a song written by a Senegalese is still a French song.
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Old Jul 19th, 2003, 03:20 PM
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I've always been fascinated by the evolution of languages, even while I'm an abysmal linguist and know less of French than most languages.

But I've seen this in conjunction with an old thread I was reading about American vs "England English" and it sort of tied together in my mind.

I've always thought that the English spoken in various counties and regions was a direct result of all the various influences on it. Think about the influx of various immigration in the US that did not occur in the UK and you get the difference between the two. The variation of speech patterns in the US south vs the north, especially in terms of daily contact with African influences and viola, you have southern accents. Australians do not sound like Londoners, even if we Americans don't always hear the difference - different mixes.

Anyway, the point, if there is one, is that I do wonder if the ability of a language to adapt doesn't make it more accessible to a greater number of speakers. I'm not meaning that dumbing down is the answer, but accepting the realities of change. English, by it's demonstrated ability to adapt, has become widespread in areas that were not once British colonies. Think how many words in the English language are in fact, French.

I'm not sure that you can force a living language into a vacuum of ideals without smothering it. There's not a lot of Latin speakers out there today. I wonder if the need to create a French translation of each new term may not someday (perhaps a very distant someday) isolate the language into disuse?
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Old Jul 19th, 2003, 03:25 PM
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ira
 
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>I've always been fascinated by the evolution of languages, even while I'm an abysmal linguist and know less of French than most languages.
.............
The variation of speech patterns in the US south vs the north, especially in terms of daily contact with African influences and **viola**, you have southern accents".

You didn't have to prove it, Clifton.
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Old Jul 19th, 2003, 03:28 PM
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Well, I warned you
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Old Jul 19th, 2003, 03:30 PM
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A "vacuum of ideals"...nice phrase there, Clifton.

You raise an excellent point regarding "adapt or die" with languages. That's certainly the way it works in nature. Take us humans. We are probably the most adaptive animal -- or at least mammal -- on the planet and, because of that, we're everywhere. Kind of like English.

You're right about how many words in the English language are of French origin. I think it's Richard Lederer who I read who said that something like one-quarter to one-third of all words in English come from French and that's due, in large part, to the period when the Normans ruled England.

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Old Jul 19th, 2003, 03:35 PM
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This article, "E-mail? The French beg to differ", at...

http://msn.com.com/2100-1105_2-10273...7&tag=msn_home

...says that the preferred French alternative to e-mail, "courriel", is, interestingly, "French Canadian in origin, a French dialect considered a bastardization of the language by traditionalists in France."

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Old Jul 19th, 2003, 04:12 PM
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Oh really, Capo? Just who considers French Canadian a bastardization of the French language? Its hardly the case! Instead its a rich language that has many 17 and 18th century words in its "dialect" for the simple reason that it was cut off from France for at least two centuries. It(the language) also had to adapt to the North American reality
The French really don't consider it to be inferior to what is spoken in the hezagon and it is a respected variation that exists in the francophone world.
 
Old Jul 19th, 2003, 05:05 PM
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Cabicou, Capo was just quoting the article, so the author of the article was saying that. didn't there used to be a quota on Canadian songs played on the radio also?
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Old Jul 19th, 2003, 07:52 PM
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If anyone doesn't like what Americans developed they can call it what it is or quit using it. Plenty of French words in the English language.

Its called e-mail.
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Old Jul 19th, 2003, 09:03 PM
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To whoever asked how you pronounce "e-mail" en français - you just pronounce the letter "e" as pronounced in French (equivalent to the pronounciation of "eux" in French - kind of a grunt), followed by "mail" as pronounced in English.

Eux-mail

And while we're on the topic, while there are definite differences in the vocabulary and pronounciation between the French spoken in France and that spoken in Canada, there is only one French language. "French Canadian" is not a separate language. Nor is it a "dialect." A variation, to be sure, but no more a separate language or a dialect than the Spanish that is spoken in South and Central America is a separate language from that spoken in Spain, though any beginner language student could note differences.
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Old Jul 19th, 2003, 09:12 PM
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SO, What's a variation. One speaks correct French or not?
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Old Jul 19th, 2003, 09:25 PM
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If you live in Philadelphia and I live in Maine, we both probably speak a variation of English, using different vocabulary words for the same things (hoagie versus submarine, milkshake versus frappe, etc., etc.). We also have different accents and use different idioms and speech patterns. It doesn't mean either one of us is speaking incorrect English.
If you're from the deep South, you might pronounce words differently from Northerners, too - saying UMbrella and CEment, for example, as opposed to umBRELLa and ceMENT.
Vocabulary differs, accent differs. It's the same language, though. Not a matter of what's correct. These are all normal types of variations in any language.
French Canadian would have to be vastly different from French French to be classified as a separate language or a dialect - it isn't.
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Old Jul 20th, 2003, 12:08 AM
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The French over-reacted on this one. E-mail is designed for fast, *global* use and for best understanding e-mail should have one simple name. Can you imagine if the Dutch, Germans, Spanish, Italians, etc., all insisted on using THEIR version of the name? E-mail is a clear, simple term understood by millions of people in hundreds of countries. No need to go mucking about with it out of some misplaced sense of national linguistic purity.
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Old Jul 20th, 2003, 12:33 AM
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Interesting discussion. I think the word should be "email". It accurately and concisely describes both the system and the product. Friday I had a discussion with a Polish lady and her friend from Belarus. We used Polish, English and Russian in the conversation. It is possible that humans are developing a universal language.
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Old Jul 20th, 2003, 05:29 AM
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Thanks, StCirq, I do speak some French but that pronunciation had me stumped.

Capo, what I remember about the Norman influence on the English language is that it reveals the social distinctions of the (eleventh century) day. For example, the word "pig" is used in English for the livestock, and the French-derived word "pork" is used for the food, indicating the difference between the native English who raised the animal and the Normans who saw it only on the plate.
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Old Jul 20th, 2003, 06:01 AM
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Capo,

Interesting that you mentioned the Normans in the conversation about the spread of French, what with the Normans originally being an outside influence, within France. I'm sure most everyone has read this somewhere, but I thought it may be sort of relative to the subject of cultural and language evolution.

I'd been reading on the history of Ireland at one point before/after visiting various Viking ruins and fortifications there. Learning a little about the influence that the Vikings played there, first as raiders and destroyers of monastaries and latter as settlers. One of the things that caught my eye was the similar settling of viking groups in the north of France. They too eventually assimilated and the name "Norse" or "Norseman"... evolved to "Northman", an anglo variation and certainly geographically explicable and was finally contracted to "Norman".

So, I suppose French has absorbed a little bit of outside influence and that adaptation (intentionally or not) became a device to spread the language. I just thought it sort of went to the case in point and wonder how much Norse language went into that assimilation.
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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 01:34 PM
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On the NY Times Op-Ed page today...

"You've Got Courriel"

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/28/opinion/28MON3.html

Cabicou, you asked "Just who considers French Canadian a bastardization of the French language?" According to that article at the link I posted, it's considered to be that by "traditionalists" in France but that shouldn't come as any surprise, no? Don't traditionalists of all kinds often see non-traditional things as bastardizations, threats, etc.?

Nikki, I've read the same thing as you, about the Anglo-Saxon/Norman naming of farm animals and their meats as revealing the social distinctions of that time between, as you noted, the native English who raised the animal and the Normans who saw it only on the plate.

By the way, according to Merriam-Webster, "farm" and "plate" both have an origin in Old French and "native" has an origin in Middle French...so it's going to take a lot more than Freedom Fries to purge English of clever French invaders.
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