It’s not a smartphone, it’s a ‘mobile multifonction’

Language authority publishes list of recommended French terms for 21st-century life

If you are one of those people who hates the English-creep into the language of Molière's, you will be pleased to know that guardian of French the Commission d'enrichissement de la langue française on Thursday published the recommended French terms for modern media and telecommunications in the Journal Officiel.

“Smartphone” is out. Instead, the French should say “mobile multifonction”, or “mobile” for short. A Smart TV should be correctly referred to as “téléviseur connecté”.

Most of the terms included are direct translations of the English, which makes life a little easier. “The Internet of Things”, a term used to describe the network of connected technologies in a modern home, is now “Internet des objets”; while net neutrality - a hot topic in the USA right now - translates as “neutralité de l’Internet”. A phone scam, meanwhile, is an “appel-piège”.

Language authorities in France have tried to phase out Smartphone before. Previous recommendations included “terminal de poche” or “ordiphone”, so whether ‘mobile multifonction’ is more successful remains to be seen.

For the full list of terms - from fibronique to appel-piège - click here

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