New French words proposed for spamming, hacker, hotline, cracker, bombing, worm, flame, and more

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.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sellamat Dave !

Indeed one half of these words have entered the common language.

Olivier

Novparl said...

J'ai certainement entendu "bogue" plusieurs fois sur les radios des grenouilles. Mais en Europe on dit toujours e-mail pour courriel.

(Je vois que les Bleus anticipent la perte de plusieurs sieges au Quebec. )

Anonymous said...

En France, e-mail et courriel coexistent.

Olivier

Antonielly said...

It's interesting that Wikipedia hasn't adopted at least some of those terms yet. See, for instance:

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fouineur

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacker

An excellent comment I have read about that is the one that follows:

Pourquoi la plupart des termes informatiques sont en anglais ? Parce que c'est chez les anglophones que se situe l'innovation, donc c'est eux qui inventent les termes qui vont avec. Quand la France innovera quelque part, des mots français seront peut-être plus utilisés à l'étranger, mais c'est pas demain la veille (sauf accident exceptionnel). Les partisans de la francophonie me font un peu pitié. Au lieu de défendre la langue, défendez ce qui est derrière la langue : l'économie, les exportations, la capacité d'innovation d'un pays, la qualité de sa production culturelle.

C'est ça qui force le monde à utiliser votre langue, pas une loi débile.
(source)

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this last comment is wrong. Even when French-speaking people invent something new (ex: "carte à puce"), the French word is not adopted worldwide and often replaced by an English equivalent....
Please do not focus on the official lexicons (nor on adds which do the contrary) but simply on the usage made by common French-speaking people who have a decent level of litteracy.

Olivier

Kevin said...

Re comment by Antonielly:
I think there is much truth in the idea that language imposes itself through innovation, especially when that innovation comes from many different sources at once: culture, technology, economy...

Re comment by Olivier:
Maybe "carte à puce" would be adopted in other languages if there were a constant stream of innovation coming from France in diverse domains. If it's just a few terms here and there, it won't catch on.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this last comment is wrong. Even when French-speaking people invent something new (ex: "carte à puce"), the French word is not adopted worldwide and often replaced by an English equivalent....
Please do not focus on the official lexicons (nor on adds which do the contrary) but simply on the usage made by common French-speaking people who have a decent level of litteracy.

Olivier

Anonymous said...

En France, e-mail et courriel coexistent.

Olivier

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