Rummys Blog An world of endless Monday

Friday, 26 February, 2010


Filed under: General — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:04 pm

It’s taken as a given in the UK that the French are “touchy” about their language and don’t like it when it’s not used correctly. This is in any sort of “formal” activity, check I suspect that they are generally quite pleased when an ignorant englishman makes the effort to actually speak it.

The question that came into my mind this morning is why do the French get upset when their language is abused, but the English aren’t anything like as bothered. My first thought was colonialism, having a large number of “occupied” territories means that the “natives” are almost certainly not going to do a good job of “speaking the lingo”, but that falls down when you think that the french owned a considerable part of Africa and (I’m sure) several other countries including large swathes of Canada. So the “Pidgeon” explanation doesn’t seem to hold water.

Maybe it’s being conquered. We in England have been conquered a number of times, the last being the occupation that around a 1000 years ago. But to counter this, France on the mainland Europe have surely been conquered a few times, certainly within the last 10 centuries.

Maybe it was this, maybe it was because they’ve been occupied considerably more recently than us that makes them value their language so much more.

Maybe we British don’t care because we’ve got the USA talking our language with their diversity, or maybe we don’t care because that’s just the sort of culture we have.

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