nettime's_roving_reporter on Sat, 19 Jul 2003 18:18:33 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> no 'email' in .fr: 'courriel'

     [ via <>]

< >

   Posted on Fri, Jul. 18, 2003 
   French Government Bans Term 'E-Mail'
   Associated Press

   PARIS - Goodbye "e-mail," the French government says, and hello
   "courriel" - the term that linguistically sensitive France is now
   using to refer to electronic mail in official documents.

   The Culture Ministry has announced a ban on the use of "e-mail" in all
   government ministries, documents, publications or Web sites, the
   latest step to stem an incursion of English words into the French

   The ministry's General Commission on Terminology and Neology insists
   Internet surfers in France are broadly using the term "courrier
   electronique" (electronic mail) instead of e-mail - a claim some
   industry experts dispute. "Courriel" is a fusion of the two words.

   "Evocative, with a very French sound, the word 'courriel' is broadly
   used in the press and competes advantageously with the borrowed 'mail'
   in English," the commission has ruled.

   The move to ban "e-mail" was announced last week after the decision
   was published in the official government register on June 20. Courriel
   is a term that has often been used in French-speaking Quebec, the
   commission said.

   The 7-year-old commission has links to the Academie Francaise, the
   prestigious institution that has been one of the top opponents of
   allowing English terms to seep into French.

   Some Internet industry experts say the decision is artificial and
   doesn't reflect reality.

   "The word 'courriel' is not at all actively used," Marie-Christine
   Levet, president of French Internet service provider Club Internet,
   said Friday. "E-mail has sunk in to our values."

   She said Club Internet wasn't changing the words it uses.

   "Protecting the language is normal, but e-mail's so assimilated now
   that no one thinks of it as American," she said. "Courriel would just
   be a new word to launch."

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: contact: