France bans English jargon from gaming tech to preserve language purity


French authorities continued their centuries-old battle to preserve the purity of the language on Monday, revising rules for the use of video game slang in English.

While some expressions find obvious translations – “pro-gamer” becomes “professional player” – others seem more forced, such as “streamer” becomes “live player-host”.

The Ministry of Culture, which is involved in the process, told AFP that the video game sector is full of Anglicisms that could act as « a barrier to understanding » for non-players.

France regularly issues terrible warnings about the degradation of its language across the Channel, or more recently, across the Atlantic.

The French Academy, a centuries-old language watchdog, warned in February of a “degradation which should not be considered inevitable”. He highlighted terms that included the brand name of train operator SNCF “Ouigo” (pronounced “go”) as well as simple imports like “big data” and “drive-in”.

However, Monday’s changes were published in the official gazette, making them binding on officials.

Among several terms that were given as official alternatives in French were “cloud gaming”, which becomes “cloud video game”, and “eSports”, which will now translate to “competition video game”.

The ministry said experts searched gaming websites and magazines to see if any French terms already existed. The general idea, according to the ministry, was to allow the population to communicate more easily.


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