The French Are Weird – Discuss

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Sure and we’ve got that point that it only takes an Englishman to open his mouth and other Englishmen will hate him. Accents do in fact matter. Because they are indeed evidence of who you are and where you’re from. This being as true of the most perfect RP as it is of Twerton’s glottalised Mummerset.

And yet the French are still weird:

In France, it’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it. When the prime minister, Jean Castex, opens his mouth, he is often accused of being “a bit rugby” – he comes from the south-west, where the sport is popular. Others with regional accents sound like “they should be reading the weather”.

Now the French have not only come up with a word for this kind of prejudice – glottophobie – but a new law banning it. The Assemblée Nationale has adopted legislation making linguistic discrimination an offence along with racism, sexism and other outlawed bigotry.

This is, remember, a country which has an authorised and legal body – the Academie – which determines what words may be used, what words must be used. A country with the Toubon law which insists upon what words may be used in advertising. Jack Allgood having demanded that only French – that language controlled by the Academie – may be used.

A country where indigenous languages like Breton were illegal to teach in. Which has spent centuries trying to wipe out regional variation like Oc in favour of Oil.

And now they’re saying that it is to be illegal to note, or take action upon, peeps who speak with variations?

The French are weird and don’t ever let anyone tell you different.

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jgh
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jgh

They’re going to prosecute my ears for distinguishing between oui and oi?

Boganboy
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Boganboy

There is a case for government schools teaching the Official Dialect, so everyone can understand everyone else. But giving a damn otherwise about what people say or how they say it is something you’d expect only foreigners to worry about.

But that’s what you’re saying isn’t it.

Chorley Fun
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Chorley Fun

I’ll believe this law works when I can speak French, with a Lancashire accent, in a bistro in Paris and get service. Maybe it’s not the accent that’s the problem. Hmmm?

Michael van der Riet
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Michael van der Riet

In Paris I ordered a beer and they brought me a kilo of butter.

TD
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TD

Savoir faire will now be compulsory

Matthew H Iskra
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Do they still have “Le Parking”? Franglais is a thing, no matter how illegal L’Academie makes it.

But my French is more Arcadian (Cajun) courtesy of childhood summers spent in Bayou La Batre.

Spike
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Spike

True French treat Quebecois as a felony. Does the legislature think it can stop prejudice against colonials?

Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

The French find Québecois about as comprehensible as Germans find Schwizertütsch.

Matthew H Iskra
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I had to look up “Schwizertütsch”. Argentinian German. Neat.
When I had a Creole friend, he and I would speak a patois of American English with Spanish loan words in a mangled Gulf Coast French. We made a game of it to annoy our elders, with phrases like “Je sius les Ropa vieja amore pour steak de la flank.” It would explode the heads of French language purists.

Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

In much of Latin America (anywhere within a few hundred miles of the Brazilian border), the default language is Portuñol.