French officials in effort to preserve the purity of their native language decide to ban English terms related to video gaming. The ban comes from the “Commission d’enrichissement de la langue française” (French language enrichment board), an agency of the French Ministry of Culture.
Authorities say the gaming industry is filled with Anglicism that could be a “barrier to understanding” for people unfamiliar with the gaming world. They say the change is aimed at making it easier for the French-speaking population to communicate.
While some expressions find obvious translations – “pro-gamer” becomes “joueur professionnel” – others seem a more strained, as “streamer” is transformed into “joueur-animateur en direct”.
French government employees are also not allowed to use English video game jargon, per changes rolled out by the Académie Française. Although, there isn’t any public information on what happens when a government employee uses a “banned” English term, nor whether private entities (like French game developers) will make an effort to align with the new rules. But if you play internationally-adored multiplayer games, now might be as good a time as ever to brush up on your French.
Among several terms to be given official French alternatives were “cloud gaming”, which becomes “jeu video en nuage”, and “eSports”, which will now be translated as “jeu video de competition”.
The ministry said experts had searched video game websites and magazines to see if French terms already existed. The overall idea, said the ministry, was to allow the population to communicate more easily.
Although this decree is legally binding on French government employees, it does not restrict the use of anglicisms for citizens or in publications. We can therefore believe that the use of these terms will continue among the general public.