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France profonde

A proposal that English be made compulsory in French schools is provoking outrage. Any other language would be preferable — Spanish, German, Arabic…

By Tim King   December 2004

There is nothing new about the defence of the French language by the French; indeed, their quixotic efforts to legislate against English lighten one’s day. At the moment deputés are proposing a bill to force French affiliates of multinationals to call themselves by French names. Thus Vivendi Universal would become Vivendi Universel. Traitors who stoop to using la langue de Dobeliou get short shrift. When Jean-Claude Trichet, governor of the European Central Bank, addressed the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe in English, the French delegation walked out. Philippe Baudillon, director general of the Parisian 2012 Olympic campaign, gave…

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