Parlez-vous franglais ?

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Parlez-vous franglais ?

Message  Philippe-Henri le Mer 13 Fév - 20:24

Un anglophone natif, désireux d’apprendre le français, écoute France-Info. Au fil des jours, il y entend à répétition des mots bizarres comme « linguedine », « locauste » (holocauste ?), « m’en chestère iounéitide » qu’il ne trouve pas dans son dictionnaire. Il en parle à un ami français. Celui-ci éclate de rire en expliquant, papier et crayon à l’appui, qu’il s’agit de « LinkedIn », « Low Cost » et « Manchester United ».

Ceci n’est pas une blague. Si les autorités publiques laissent aux présentateurs de la radio toute liberté de parler franglais, comment voulez-vous que les Français désireux d’apprendre l’anglais comprennent ces mots anglais en écoutant la BBC ?

« C’est réciproque » me direz-vous. Oui. Mais quand, au cours d’une conversation, on doit utiliser un mot dans une langue étrangère, faisons au moins l’effort, avant de le prononcer maladroitement, de marquer une petite pause en guise d’ouverture de guillemets (sans oublier de les fermer après).

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Re: Parlez-vous franglais ?

Message  MurielB le Mer 13 Fév - 21:10

Merci pour cette réflexion Philippe-Henri
Il faudrait absolument bannir de notre vocabulaire "Leaflet" et dire plutôt "prospectus" "Newsletter" et dire plutôt "Lettre d'information""shuttle" et dire plutôt "navette" cela éviterait d'embrouiller nos voisins d'outre manche.

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Re: Parlez-vous franglais ?

Message  gerardM le Mer 13 Fév - 23:32

Hi Muriel, Philippe-Henri, hi everyone,

> « LinkedIn », « Low Cost » et « Manchester United »
The French are physically unable to pronounce most of the sounds that English natives have in their language.
So they will never pronounce correctly.
It's approximately the same for Brits pronouncing some of our sounds (try to get them to pronounce "en un an" ou "mille-feuille").
However, a big difference is that the Brits do their best to be close to the French sounds but the French don't make any effort. In addition, a French guy having a right English accent "looks ridiculous".

Another trait is that, at least in the past, proper foreign names were transformed to Frenchie spelling as well: Rome, Florence, Londres, Angleterre, etc. without a least effort.

I personally don't ban English words (in French language) but I think the minimum is to respect the pronunciation or do our best.


Dernière édition par gerardM le Mer 13 Fév - 23:45, édité 1 fois

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Re: Parlez-vous franglais ?

Message  gerardM le Mer 13 Fév - 23:36

Hi,

> "Leaflet" et dire plutôt "prospectus" "Newsletter" et dire plutôt "Lettre d'information""shuttle" et dire plutôt "navette"
There's also "flyer".
A French word I like for "newsletter" is "infolettre".

Another word with ridiculous pronunciation is "sweatshirt" Laughing Sure that Brits cannot understand.
I guess the worst is a word recently borrowed from English but with an incorrect meaning such as "staff".

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Re: Parlez-vous franglais ?

Message  krystynaD le Lun 18 Fév - 23:32

Ha, mille-feuille is an impossibility !
The best I can do is "mill-foy" !
And despite that I eat one per week, I still cannot master how to correctly ask Fatima (ma boulangère) for it !
But Fatima understands every word I say in French, and I understand everything she says to me !
I guess neither of us are speaking actual French !!! Very Happy
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Do you speak Frenglish?

Message  Philippe-Henri le Mar 19 Fév - 7:58

Hi KrystynaD

Oups! Millefeuille… that’s just a piece of cake, or as we say in French: c’est de la rigolade. Her Gracious Majesty’s subjects visiting Paris will never forgive the Froggies for having intentionally slipped the Parisian ‘r’ in the city’s main monuments: NotRe Dame, MontmaRtre, SacRé Coeur, ARc de Triomphe, Place de la ConcoRde, TouR Eiffel, Musée du LouvRe, JaRdin des TuileRies, CentRe Pompidou, Musée d’ORsay, TouR MontpaRnasse… It’s an excellent tongue-twisting exercise, though, isn’t it?

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Re: Parlez-vous franglais ?

Message  gerardM le Mar 19 Fév - 11:44

Hi Philippe-Henri,

True! LOL Krystyna can't deny having some issues with Rs. Laughing

You could also speak about our French nasal Ns, the "guy" the French poorly put in "foreign" Wink

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Parlez-vous franglais ?

Message  Philippe-Henri le Mar 19 Fév - 12:39

Hi Gérard

My purpose was not to mock the British for their accent in French. The Battle of Azincourt (1415) has for long been forgotten…

The core of the problem today is that I, as a non-native French or English speaker, I can understand the British, Scottish, Irish and American trying to speak French more easily than the French trying to speak English. The latter seem to take it too easy with grammar and pronunciation.

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Re: Parlez-vous franglais ?

Message  gerardM le Mar 19 Fév - 14:54

Hi Philippe-Henri,

I'm not making fun of English speaking people pronouncing French. Through my messages on this forum, we can see my words stating they do their best ans are even moving with "garage", "rendez vous".
Mispronouncing Rs are not an important problem for me as inhabitants of several regions of France (south west) cannot pronounce Rs either.

> The Battle of Azincourt (1415) has for long been forgotten…
Hmmm are you sure?

> the British, Scottish, Irish and American trying to speak French more easily than the French trying to speak English.
>The latter seem to take it too easy with grammar and pronunciation.
I second you totally.
The French usually don't respect foreign languages, don't even try, still thinking everyone on Earth has to speak French like centuries ago!! Smile

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Parlez-vous franglais?

Message  Philippe-Henri le Mar 19 Fév - 17:51

Hi Gérard

I know you don’t poke fun at the English mispronouncing French. Neither do I. My hint at the Parisian ‘r’ and the Battle of Azincourt was just meant to be a harmless badinage.

Talking seriously, I won’t argue that English or French or Chinese or Esperanto or any language should be declared to be spoken by the whole world community today. This is a political issue I don’t want to join in.

Language is the spokesman of culture. Claiming to be a respectable polyglot means you show thorough respectfulness towards someone else’s culture. Speaking nonchalantly pidgin English or petit-nègre français or pequeño negro español or steenkolennederlands equals cultural humiliation.

Now, when a French politician caused a diplomatic incident the other day by declaring publicly that, due to their nuclear programme, Iran would EAT Israel (he meant HIT), I really feel ashamed to live in this country where even prominent French politicians don’t give a damn about making a speech in English without being able to pronounce it correctly.



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Re: Parlez-vous franglais ?

Message  gerardM le Mar 19 Fév - 20:36

Hi Philippe-Henri,
Philippe-Henri a écrit:... Now, when a French politician caused a diplomatic incident the other day by declaring publicly that, due to their nuclear programme, Iran would EAT Israel (he meant HIT), I really feel ashamed to live in this country where even prominent French politicians don’t give a damn about making a speech in English without being able to pronounce it correctly.
I came to think a French ear cannot hear all of the English sounds.
My personal experience shows this is my case. English has got lots of subtle sounds I'm not able to detect.

It's difficult to produce sounds one cannot hear (this can explain subtle sounds in the vowels).

However, there's no good reason but laziness, or arrogance, to mispronounce:
- H - silent H's are very rare in English; I know of 4-5 words (roots) only
- TH - except regional accents, there're only a few variants of pronunciation for TH's (I'd say natural variants due to neighboring sounds) - I know of 2 words that include TH pronounced T
- the stress on words
- the stress in a sentence
A bit of knowledge is needed for:
- long and short vowels
- subtleties

The French claim the pronunciation of English is difficult... yes, it's difficult but it's not a reason to avoid the least efforts.
French language is a nightmare with tons of silent letters: tabac, monsieur, je suis, il est, charmant, récent, bâtiment, bois, pot... fille/ville... the French don't even realize (I say they are lucky to be born French).

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Do you speak Ingliche?

Message  Philippe-Henri le Mar 19 Fév - 21:55

Why is the French ear unable to «hear» all of the English sounds? Because the French ear has been educated, from a very tender age, to hear French sounds only. TV cartoons in English for kids are systematically postsynchronized in French. Movies for children, teens and adults, instead of being subtitled, are systematically postsynchronized in French. Live coverage in English (or any other foreign language) on radio and TV is systematically «choked» by the voice of a French translator. What the hell do you want a French ear to get familiar with other sounds than those of his own language?

Listen to the BBC and watch TV or movies in original English. Skip the subtitles and try to follow the scene by looking at the gestures and listening to the voices. Ring your penpal in Los Angeles to wish him happy birthday or happy new year. This is how you learn to recognise the different sounds, tonics and modulations of the English phrase. And then, by imitation, you will start speaking English, not Ingliche.



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Re: Parlez-vous franglais ?

Message  gerardM le Mar 19 Fév - 22:39

Philippe-Henri,

You're totally right.

As you know, French language doesn't have long or short vowels; our stress is usually put on the last syllable of a word (though not in Paris); there is no strong stress in a sentence; our genuine French accent is said to be in Tours.
When I was a kid, the schoolmaster taught me a few different sounds for "e" with or without accent: there were long, short, open, close, etc. "e"'s same thing for "o"'s. Today's French language forgot these variants so that we've got lots of spellings for a same sound.
For some reasons, our vocal language became rather poor. In comparison, English keeps a very rich variety of sounds (maybe be too "rich" if we think of "ough" and as a matter of fact, the many mistakes made by English speaking people).

As you know, a few centuries ago, (till a bit more than 1) the French diplomacy was very strong and any ambasssador on earth had to learn and speak French. France was a strong military country and had a huge empire. This didn't help French people learn foreign languages.

When a ear is not trained, it loses its skills. In addition, it seems that after the age of 7, an ear cannot hear properly any longer and especially the rich English sounds (under 7 our kids become perfect bilinguals).

English has lots of variants. British English is being transformed every day; this language is living due to its freedom, the possibilities of everyone to change it (in the States, they say "people rule").
The irony is that despite Globish, English is not becoming impoverished. However, there're dangers for it in the future.


I didn't give any reasons for French which became impoverished since my childhood...
I didn't try to give reasons or explanations regarding English which stays an important language nor the "dangers"...
These would be interesting topics.

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Re: Parlez-vous franglais ?

Message  gerardM le Mar 19 Fév - 22:45

Philippe-Henri,

Philippe-Henri a écrit:... Listen to the BBC and watch TV or movies in original English. Skip the subtitles and try to follow the scene by looking at the gestures and listening to the voices. Ring your penpal in Los Angeles to wish him happy birthday or happy new year. This is how you learn to recognise the different sounds, tonics and modulations of the English phrase. And then, by imitation, you will start speaking English, not Ingliche.
I worked a lot for about a decade with personal American teachers and I remember being close to tears as I couldn't understand most of the hundreds of voices and accents from dozens of countries that I had to listen to from tapes.

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Impoverishment of French

Message  Philippe-Henri le Mer 20 Fév - 7:11

Back to the supposed 'impoverishment' of your French since your childhood. This would be an interesting topic indeed if only other Polyglots would join us. What, for instance, would say someone familiar with linguistics or speech therapy?

As to the stress and sound of syllables, either in French or in English, there are no standard values. Remember Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald singing «Let’s go the whole thing off»

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2oEmPP5dTM

Another funny example is the English «garage», which admits three different pronunciations.

Besides, languages are not static. Like living things, they change, develop and evolve according to time and space. They generally control themselves in order to maintain a certain degree of understanding inside and between groups of speakers. I doubt whether we can call it impoverishment. A language, as we speak it today, is the eventual result of centuries and centuries of enrichment, adaptation and acculturation. No public authority, even if it calls itself Académie française, can halt this evolution and prevent people from changing usage. «People rule», as you put it.

Some elitists would make us believe that «genuine French» is spoken in Touraine. I feel reluctant to agree to this bias: it would discriminate the rest of the national and foreign French-speaking community. Think of Québec, Dom/Tom and a range of African countries.



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Re: Parlez-vous franglais ?

Message  gerardM le Mer 20 Fév - 17:29

Hi Philippe-Henri,

Thanks a lot for your very interesting answer (as usual).
I can read many points to which I will respond a bit later for most of them.
Very interesting indeed! :-)

Yes, there are several possible new topics to develop. A forum moderator will split this discussion (to create new ones) if several posts are dedicated to specific side-topics...

Philippe-Henri a écrit:... Some elitists would make us believe that «genuine French» is spoken in Touraine. I feel reluctant to agree to this bias: it would discriminate the rest of the national and foreign French-speaking community. Think of Québec, Dom/Tom and a range of African countries.
It's good to have a model; that doesn't prevent regions or countries from having their specificities.
There's no Academy in England. This allows flexibility and ease in the language. Like in economical domains in the UK and US, vocabulary, grammar, styles that will be kept in the long term are based on results and usage by people (liberalism).
That doesn't prevent English linguists from distinguishing between several (even lots of) English languages: Queen's English, BBC English and so on and so forth.
In the UK, there are different styles for the language and everyone is free to use their style.
Everyone is consequent (I mean responsible enough) and know they will carry things attached to the style they chose, about education, social class, good/bad company, region, etc.
In France, linguists say our model is Touraine. This doesn't discriminate the rest of the French speaking world. Everyone can choose their own style.

In English, people can choose to pronounce "speakin'" instead of "speaking", they can say "I don't want nothin'"... it's up to them! They are English speaking guys, no problem!
In French, in Provence, we have our accent and vocabulary and special punctuation mark (I mean the swearwords we place every 10 words as commas or points), we do feel French and this language was even on fashion a bit less than a century ago (with film mkes and film actors and theater actors and singers, etc.)

I'll consider other paragraphs later.

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Re: Parlez-vous franglais ?

Message  MurielB le Mer 20 Fév - 21:54

Hi Gérard, Philippe-Henri everyone
Words are useful to express emotions or thoughts and make people understand each other. You have silent families or groups who don't express their feelings or thoughts and talkative families or groups who know the subtilities of the language and express accurately what they feel or what they think.
In the first case the language is poor and the other the language is rich. It usually depends of the environment you are brought up in not your birth place. What do you think ?


Dernière édition par MurielB le Mer 20 Fév - 22:19, édité 1 fois

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Re: Parlez-vous franglais ?

Message  MurielB le Mer 20 Fév - 21:58

About splitting the discussion into side- topics, just let me know what I have to do.

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Do you speak Ingliche?

Message  Philippe-Henri le Jeu 21 Fév - 7:33

To Gérard

Yes, several related language topics haven’t to do any longer with «Do you speak Frenglish? But even that subject didn’t stir up much enthusiasm among our Froggies. May they realize they actually speak Frenglish themselves?

Looking at language in a larger scope, ranging from the Babel Tower legend to Ferdinand de Saussure and Noam Chomsky, one cane notice a general trend to link language to particular populations, mostly referring to a particular territory. Several countries, such as France, have included their «national» language(s) in their Constitution, thus claiming their language as a part of their national patrimony. The obvious idea behind this is purely political: centralization of power. (One can find a similar pattern in religion, where a «church» tries to gain widespread authority by imposing its dogmas).

As a liberal, i.e. naturally opposed to any alienation of freedom, I believe it’s no good to think, speak or live according to a «model» imposed from the outside. This applies to language too. Anyway, what would be the purpose of a Touraine model, as everyone can nevertheless choose his own style?

In France, the latest spelling reform carried out by the Académie Française has been overwhelmingly ignored by schools, writers and media. The Francophonie and the Alliance Française pretend to promote French language and culture abroad. Actually, they are State agencies that try to restore France’s supremacy in the world.

The Dutch, who have may dialects, realized that they could sell their books and trade one with another if they used a common language that would be understood by all dialect speakers. They created, without the help of any external authority, the so-called Standard Dutch. The Belgian failed to grasp that opportunity and are still divided into a patchwork of local communities that are unable to understand one another. A governmental Language Union was set up, to no avail. Either country, though speaking the same language, has to subtitle its TV programmes for the other. So what’s an «academy» for? Language regulates itself, just like our body, which adapts itself to environmental stimuli.



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Language ans speech

Message  Philippe-Henri le Jeu 21 Fév - 7:36

To Muriel, Gérard and co-readers

Muriel asks herself whether richness or poverty of speech depends on the environment in which you were brought up, or on the place where you were born.

The answer is self-evident: your mother tongue is the language spoken by your parents, generally but not necessarily related to the group or territory where they live in or come from. Languages are not «rich» or «poor» in the absolute sense. Their subtleties depend on the pragmatic needs of the group. For instance, languages of primitive hunter-gatherer groups contain lots of different words related to flora and fauna, which we, in our developed Western culture, have to learn from works of botany and zoology.

Regardless of the language, the quality of our speech is acquired through education at home and at school, and through practice.

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Re: Parlez-vous franglais ?

Message  MurielB le Jeu 21 Fév - 21:56

Philippe-Henri a écrit: Languages are not «rich» or «poor» in the absolute sense.

You are right to add that. of course our ancestors ' vocabulary was richer as far as words about Fauna and Flora were concerned. Anyway in certain families communication is better because the parents teach their children how to express their feelings or emotions. Expressing what you feel has not the same importance as the number of words you know about trees, fruit or flowers. In some urban areas where law and order have broken down, it is important for people to enrich their vocabulary. When they know enough words to be able to express what is inside themselves, violence gradually disappears.

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vocabulary and education

Message  Philippe-Henri le Ven 22 Fév - 9:21

to Muriel

Sorry, but I believe that talking about feelings has exactly the same importance as talking about trees, fruit or flowers. It depends on your subsistence, your way of life, hence your lifestyle. Our prehistoric ancestors and former American Indians knew a lot about trees and animals because this knowledge was essential for their survival. They had no time to piss around about their feelings. Today, our spoiled and pampered city-dwellers get their food, ready for use, directly from the supermarket. Why should they feel involved in fruit-gathering, vegetables-growing or cattle-rearing? Their survival depends on income, profit and security and their vocabulary is adapted accordingly.

I doubt whether an appropriate vocabulary to express what is inside ourselves will gradually reduce urban violence and aggressiveness. Modern society is divided into classes, casts, fashionable districts, slums and more of that stuff. Roughly the Wealthy and the Pauper. In terms of globalization, the world is based on power and money and consequently ruled by the Law of the Prince, as Niccolò Machiavelli would say. The rich can afford proper home and school education, the poor cannot. This growing difference is reflected by the growing wear and tear of our language. In France, more than two thirds of secondary school students appear to be unable to speak and write French correctly. This is a political issue I daren’t interfere with. They’re having other fish to fry with their four-and-half days school week…


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Académy française

Message  Philippe-Henri le Ven 22 Fév - 9:27

To Gérard

Yes, several related language topics haven’t to do any longer with «Do you speak Frenglish? But even that subject didn’t stir up much enthusiasm among our Froggies. May they realize they actually speak Frenglish themselves?

Looking at language in a larger scope, ranging from the Babel Tower legend to Ferdinand de Saussure and Noam Chomsky, one cane notice a general trend to link language to particular populations, mostly referring to a particular territory. Several countries, such as France, have included their «national» language(s) in their Constitution, thus claiming their language as a part of their national patrimony. The obvious idea behind this is purely political: centralization of power. (One can find a similar pattern in religion, where a «church» tries to gain widespread authority by imposing its dogmas).

As a liberal, i.e. naturally opposed to any alienation of freedom, I believe it’s no good to think, speak or live according to a «model» imposed from the outside. This applies to language too. Anyway, what would be the purpose of a Touraine model, as everyone can nevertheless choose his own style?

In France, the latest spelling reform carried out by the Académie Française has been overwhelmingly ignored by schools, writers and media. The Francophonie and the Alliance Française pretend to promote French language and culture abroad. Actually, they are State agencies that try to restore France’s supremacy in the world.

The Dutch, who have may dialects, realized that they could sell their books and trade one with another if they used a common language that would be understood by all dialect speakers. They created, without the help of any external authority, the so-called Standard Dutch. The Belgian failed to grasp that opportunity and are still divided into a patchwork of local communities that are unable to understand one another. A governmental Language Union was set up, to no avail. Either country, though speaking the same language, has to subtitle its TV programmes for the other. So what’s an «academy» for? Language regulates itself, just like our body, which adapts itself to environmental stimuli.



Philippe-Henri

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Re: Parlez-vous franglais ?

Message  MurielB le Ven 22 Fév - 13:32

Philippe-Henri a écrit:



I doubt whether an appropriate vocabulary to express what is inside ourselves will gradually reduce urban violence and aggressiveness.

serious studies in pediatrics have proved that the children who have been taught to express their feelings are less violent than the others. These studies have proved that violence is all the more important since people don't have the words to say what they feel.
When I don't know how to say "I hate" you, i use my fists.
i have always been interested in active listening and improving parentchild communication by helping my children express themselves. Also listen and attend to what my children express. It is not so easy ! it is a very difficult but how useful exercise !

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Merci de me faire part des grosses fautes dans mes messages en langue étrangère. Grâce à vos remarques, je pourrai m'améliorer :-)
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MurielB
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Je m'en rappelle

Message  Philippe-Henri le Ven 22 Fév - 14:30

Well, Muriel, you're probably right. I've not the faintest idea of how to cope with what you call parent-child communication. We've got one son, Frederik and there had never been any problem in his education. His mother taught him the sense of (classical) music. I taught him the sense of French grammar. He never used his fists to solve problems with his classmates. At four years old, he said: "Je m'en souviens" or "Je me le rappelle". A day, I came and pick him up at the school gate and met his nursery school teacher. I introduced myself as Frederik's dad. "Oh yes", she said, "je m'en rappelle". No comments.

Philippe-Henri

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