Emmanuel Macron is apparently telling us all that French – that largely unintelligible series of grunts – is and should remain a world language. This is held to be some sort of hypocrisy given that his English is pretty good for a foreigner and that he’s the first French President to give interviews in John Bull’s Finest.
All of which isn’t the point at all. Instead, look at who he was talking to when he said it:
Emmanuel Macron launched an international drive to promote French as a “world language” on Tuesday, urging Francophone countries to resist the temptation to turn to English.
“France today should be proud of being one country among others that learns, speaks and writes in French,” he told the Académie Française, an august body of luminaries that has struggled for decades to turn back the relentless tide of English expressions flooding into French. “French should become the language that creates tomorrow’s world.”
Yes, he’s saying it to the Academie Francaise. Not to say this at this location to that audience is as with telling Mother that the apple pie’s not that good, telling the RSM that regimental pride isn’t a real thing.
That is, don’t take any notice of what he’s said there because given the there well, he would, wouldn’t he? No one pitches up to the librarians’ convention and insists this reading stuff is all old hat now, do they?