Macron Called to Protect French

In an open letter published in Le Parisien last month from the French Language Collective (Le collectif langue française) with over 100 signatories, French president Emmanuel Macron was urged to protect the French language from the “dictatorship”
of English.

“The French language is in a bad state. Stifled by the influence of British and American English, French is being ousted,” the letter begins. It reads best in French: “La langue française va mal. Étouffée par l’anglo-américain, elle voit désormais son usage même évincé par celui-ci. Confrontée à cette invasion, notre mémoire renvoie en écho un passé douloureux de soumission et d’oubli de soi. Une majorité capitulatrice plaidera le réalisme, hermétique aux cris sourds d’une identité enchaînée par une pseudo-langue universelle en réalité servante d’un maître particulier. Le français outragé, le français brisé, le français martyrisé. Mais le français rendu à la dignité si, monsieur le président, vous choisissez de suivre enfin la trace laissée par l’esprit de résistance.”

The letter then asks the French president, in his role as the chief contributor to l’Organisation internationale de la francophonie (OIF), to set an example by not using English (or l’anglo-américain, as it is referred to in the letter) abroad, enforcing existing laws to protect French, and not using English in France in order to discourage visitors from using the language.

Signatories include: Louis Maisonneuve et Dr. Pauline Belenotti, Président et secrétaire d’Observatoire des Libertés, France; Philippe Carron et Jacques Badoux, responsables de l’antenne Suisse romande pour le collectif, Suisse; Jean-Paul Perreault, Président du Mouvement Impératif français, Montréal, Canada; and Philippe Reynaud et Lucien Berthet, Président and secrétaire de Défense de la Langue Française-Savoie, France.


  1. Why do all these scholars and organizations ASSUME that the French language lives in some “existential danger of extinction,” and that French must be “protected” from the English language? French is a living, vigorous language, spoken by SEVERAL countries on the European continent, including Andorra, Belgium, Luxembourg, Monaco and Switzerland. French is spoken by 66 million people in both L’Hexagone and its overseas territories, including Corsica, St. Pierre Miquelon, Guyane, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Barthelemy, St. Martin, French Polynesia, Mayotte, Reunion, and New Caledonia. Here are a few other facts that should be considered:

    1. The French language is spoken on at least FIVE continents, including AFRICA and NORTH AMERICA.

    2. The French language is still widely taught in public and private schools and colleges,
    and in universities worldwide.

    3. The French language is successfully marketed worldwide, through independent and
    and chain schools–such as Alliance Française–in most countries of the world. Tourists
    can study French in most major cities of the English-speaking world, in addition to Francophone countries that have a developed language industry.

    4. The English language itself contains AT LEAST 25,000 French and/or French-derived
    words; fully ONE-THIRD of the vocabulary of the English language. French words and
    phrases dominate several domains of knowledge and activity in the English language,
    including cuisine, espionage, the workplace, dance, theatre, government, the military,
    and diplomacy.

    The French language industry does not show signs of diminishing or “going away.”
    In North America, French is the third-most studied language after Spanish.
    All Anglophones speak French on a daily basis, because of its pivotal importance to
    the English language. Anglophones cannot express complex concepts in the English
    language without resorting to French words and phrases, especially in academic and
    government contexts.

    The French language is HERE TO STAY, and shows no signs of “leaving Western

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