Speak more Franglais

French dictionaries embrace English words

6 June 2017
By Peter Berlin

For Anglophones wrestling with French, the task is becoming easier as more and more English words sneak into the language.

Two of the guardians of the language, Le Larousse and Le Petit Robert, have unveiled the words they will be adding to their 2018 editions and they include several borrowed or adapted from English.

Many have made their way into French through social media or the internet. They include “gameur” (for a video gamer), “like” or, as a verb, “liker”, “googliser”, “spoiler”, “playliste” and “tweete” and “retweeter”.

The French are also taking up “hacktivisme” (when they use the new technology for political activism) and “uberisation” (for low cost services offered through the web). 

Those who surf on the sea, not the internet, can use a “paddle” to propel their boards across the French waves.

Lifestyle choices available to the French now include “hipster” and “flexitarien”.

Keeping abreast of fashion, “Burkini” and “bomber” (as in jacket) are accepted as French words.

While “post-vérité” may be an entirely French neologism, the concept will be familiar to any followers of recent political developments in English-speaking countries, as will the ideas behind two other additions: “europhobe’ and “européiste”.

The reference works also serve as Who’s Whos for France. Le Petit Robert, which comes out on June 15, has added entries for Donald Trump and Theresa May as well as Damien Chazelle, the American film director who made La La Land.

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