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France bans ‘streaming’ and ‘eSports’ – well, sort of

If you rolled your eyes at the UK government plans to bring back Imperial measurements for the Jubilee as some kind of grand flag-humping operation; over in France the government is all like: “Hold my vin rouge”.

Our neighbours from across the Channel have banned a number of English language tech terms like ‘streaming’, ‘e-sports’ and ‘pro-gamer’ in favour of French language alternatives.

The Académie Française has decided a streamer must be referred to as “joueur-animateur en direct”, while a pro-gamer will now be referred to a “joueur professionnel.”

eSports are to be referred to as “jeu video de competition” while cloud gaming is now “jeu video en nuage”, the AFP reports. It’s not clear why tech terms and specifically gaming terms have been targeted as part of the language preservation efforts, but it may be due to the burgeoning online gaming scene.

The report says the French culture ministry is convinced the gaming sector has too many anglicisms that could be “a barrier to understanding” for the wider population who aren’t au fait with the modern parlance.

While it’s going to be difficult to stop young people in those sectors using the terms they’re familiar with, government officials are now legally obliged to use the French language terms.

The ministry also said that it searched through gaming magazines and websites to see whether French terms existed prior to the anglicised terms becoming common. However, that wasn’t the case and so the rather clunky new terms are now in the Journal Officiel.

Trusted Take

While the preservation efforts are admirable from a certain perspective; I’m a big believer that the words of French origin make English a lovelier, more romantic, and pleasant-sounding language. So I’m hoping this move from the French government won’t give our lot any more rubbish ideas.

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