The resistance to Anglicization of the language has been a strong one until recently
It was only last week that we reported how Italians are calling for resistance to the anglicization of their language. The Italian drive is spearheaded by the Dante Alighieri Society which is calling for protection of the Italian language in opposition to “Anglitaliano”, the hybrid mix of Italian and English. The Dante Alighieri Society was has been influenced by French efforts to roll back the creeping anglicization of their language through the Académie française which has a long track record of trying to keep the French language as free of English influence as possible.
However, The Economist is reporting that the English language and Franglais in particular are experiencing a resurgence in France:
Despite rules requiring advertising slogans in English to be sub-titled, French manufacturers brazenly borrow English words to confect brands in franglais. L’Oréal, a cosmetics group, promotes “Age Re-Perfect Pro-Calcium Nuit” and “Revitalift Double Lifting Yeux”. France’s fashion press is another cross-dresser, writing of “Vive la fashion attitude” or “Le Hit des It Bags”. In a post-modern twist, teenagers are importing American slang via the heavily north African banlieues, where hip-hop flourishes and street dress is styled on the Bronx.
The sheer power of American and British popular culture was the initial force behind the anglicization of French. It continues to be so, but with globalisation the financial incentive of knowing English also comes into play. Lastly, the rush in Italy to defend the language and the rising French acceptance of English reflect political trends in both countries. France’s Nicolas Sarkozy has ended the long run of French ambivalence towards the United States while Silvio Berlusconi of Italy has changed course from a pro-American position towards a more nationalist direction.