English jargon has invaded every corner of France, causing consternation among language purists — a trade fair popular with politicians during election season is called “Made in France,” for example. Despite widespread usage in business and elsewhere, the government has decided to pick on gaming, officially banning terms like “streamer” and “cloud gaming,” according to AFP. Going forward, the far more convoluted terms joueur-animateur en direct and jeu video en nuage must be used for any government communications.
The changes were made in consultation with France’s Ministry of Culture, which has in the past touted the gaming industry as a French economic success story. However, it told the AFP it’s concerned that English terms could become a “barrier to understanding” for non-gamers. (That’s a solid point, as I can attest that many French non-gamers wouldn’t have a clue what a term like “streaming” means.) France’s language keepers, l’Académie française, has also expressed concern about English jargon in gaming, having published a lexicon of alternate French terms back in 2017.
The changes were issued in the government’s official journal, meaning they’re binding on all government workers. However, it’s hard to see them catching on in daily use or even on French websites or newspapers. Previous efforts by l’Académie française to replace anglicisms have not gone well — its attempt to get people to use l’access sans fil à internet instead of le wifi failed completely, as The Local France points out.
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