Friday, September 11, 2009
An article here in French goes over some newly proposed French words for some common English terms, which you can see here in the latest vous pouvez le dire en français. Not being fluent in French I have no idea how they come across to native speakers, but here they are:
Spamming becomes arrosage, hacker becomes fouineur, hotline becomes numéro d'urgence, cracker becomes pirate, bombing becomes bombardement, worm becomes ver, flame becomes message incendiaire, bug becomes bogue, cybersquatting becomes cybersquat, and phishing becomes filoutage or hameçonnage.
Note that all of those (except one) either have the same or greater number of syllables than the English equivalent. Sometimes that can be a barrier to the adoption of a new word, but certainly not always - English has replaced -man with -person in a great many instances in spite of the greater length.
A few people in the comments below are saying that they would like to see some completely new terms created for these, as the newly proposed French terms don't mean exactly the same thing. Something like courriel. One person thinks spam should be pourriel (also from Quebec). Pourriel is what spam is called on the French Wikipedia.