English rocks French

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Apr 19 01:16:58 UTC 2008


Some years ago, the French Ministry of Culture under Jack Lang - note
his stereotypically-French name - passed a law to the effect that
there could be no singing before the public of a song not in French,
i.e. in English, unless there was an interpreter (or should that be
"translator'?) onstage to render the foreign language into French.

As a consequence, a French magazine shortly thereafter published a
cartoon in which a French rocker, before a French audience, is
singing, "Shake, baby! Shake! Shake! Shake!" Stage right stands the
interpreter, singing into his own mike (or should that be "mic"?),
"Cheique, b├ębi! Cheique! Cheique! Cheique!"

-Wilson

On Fri, Apr 18, 2008 at 6:10 PM, Dennis Baron <debaron at uiuc.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>  Poster:       Dennis Baron <debaron at UIUC.EDU>
>  Subject:      English rocks French
>  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>  There's a new post on the Web of Language:
>
>  English rocks French
>
>  The French government spends millions of Euros every year to promote =20
>  French and discourage English in every corner of French life. And =20
>  French Pr=E9sident Nicolas Sarkozy is one of the French language=92s =20
>  biggest fans, when he isn't being distracted by his new bride, the =20
>  Italian singer/songwriter/model Carla Bruni.
>
>  But apparently the government-run television network France 3 didn=92t =20=
>
>  get the memo calling for all French, all the time, and so five weeks =20
>  ago it selected an English-language song, S=E9bastien Tellier=92s =20
>  =93Divine,=94 to represent the nation in the annual Eurovision song =
>  contest.
>
>  Sarko=92s Minister of Culture, Christine Albanel, who is responsible =20
>  for ensuring that French TV complies with France=92s national language =20=
>
>  policy, confessed this week that she had no idea that France 3 had =20
>  done such an unpatriotic thing. Perhaps she didn=92t get the memo =20
>  either. . . .  When the news of the latest French capitulation to the =20=
>
>  English juggernaut (a Hindi word meaning 'juggernaut') came to light, =20=
>
>  the response was predictable: an uproar in Parliament and a protest =20
>  from Marc Favre d'Echallens, director of the organization Defense of =20
>  the French Language,
>
>
>  read the rest on The Web of Language
>
>
>  www.uiuc.edu/goto/weboflanguage
>
>
>  Dennis Baron
>  Professor of English and Linguistics
>  Department of English                                   =09
>  University of Illinois=09
>
>  608 S. Wright St.
>  Urbana, IL 61801
>
>  office: 217-244-0568
>  fax: 217-333-4321
>
>  www.uiuc.edu/goto/debaron
>
>  read the Web of Language:
>  www.uiuc.edu/goto/weboflanguage=
>
>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



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All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-----
 -Sam'l Clemens

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