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France plans to oust English language from EU meetings

France is planning to use its EU presidency to oust English as the bloc's most common tongue.

When Paris takes over the rotating presidency of the EU council in 2022, French diplomats will conduct key meetings and working groups in French, with notes taken mainly in the Gallic language, and translations will not always be provided, an EU diplomat told The Telegraph.

France will also dedicate more funding to giving out free language classes for diplomats who may wish to learn la langue de Molière.

The move, while common during French presidencies of the Council, takes particular significance at a time when the country is pushing to promote la Francophonie as part of its cultural heritage, within EU institutions and beyond.

“Even though the French language is alive, flourishing, and its teaching is developing around the world, it is at home, within the European institutions, that it suffers,” Clement Beaune, France's Europe minister, wrote in an op-ed in April.

“In the Commission, in the Council, in the agencies, bodies and administrations, meetings are now too often held in English, giving rise to reports in English, even though this language is now no more than that of two Member States,” he added.

Since his election, President Emmanuel Macron has pushed initiatives to boost French learning across the world and promote plurilingualism.

French is one of the EU's three working languages, which also include English and German, and one of 24 official languages.

It used to be the dominant language in EU diplomatic circles in the predominantly francophone city of Brussels, but the expansion of the bloc in 2004 to include eastern European countries such as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic saw its usage decline.

Meanwhile the use of English - the most spoken language in Europe - rose in the corridors of EU institutions in the city, pushed by a large number of speakers of English as a second language and bolstered by the importance of Britain within the bloc.

But with Brexit leaving only Ireland and Malta as EU countries where English is an official language, its dominance could be at risk.

Around 80% of European Commission staff already spoke French as their first, second or third language as of 2020, according to the body.

Already, letters arriving from the European Commission in English go unanswered. “When a [French] commissioner receives a letter in English, we wait for the French version before we hand it over to Paris,” an EU diplomat told The Telegraph, in French.

“We will speak French during the Council's working groups. Some of the working groups do not have translation systems. If something has not been understood, on the sidelines of the meeting we will explain it again. We are in Brussels, among the European civil servants there is a vast majority that speaks French.”

France is not the only country to conduct Council meetings in its native language, but the practice had been fading over the years.

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by Anonymousreply 74Last Thursday at 10:37 AM

Le Meow

by Anonymousreply 1Last Monday at 11:58 AM

[quote] But with Brexit leaving only Ireland and Malta as EU countries where English is an official language, its dominance could be at risk.

Official language means little, English is the most widely spoken language in Europe.

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by Anonymousreply 2Last Monday at 12:08 PM

They blew it by waiting so long. If they did this 50 years ago, when French was still considered the diplomatic language of the world, it would have made sense to secure their position with this move. But now?

by Anonymousreply 3Last Monday at 12:11 PM

English is the easiest language to learn. It has no masculine/feminine words and you don't have 600 endings for each verb.

by Anonymousreply 4Last Monday at 12:13 PM

English does have a hell of a lot of words though. English was a whore, darlin'.

by Anonymousreply 5Last Monday at 12:22 PM

After the past several years, I wish I didn’t understand ANY language.

by Anonymousreply 6Last Monday at 12:28 PM

It's the UK who blew it. They could have been in on the ground floor of European integration and thought they were too powerful to bother. They thought their future lay with the US and with the Empire. Now they're a medium-sized economy who can't produce a product worth a damn who allowed their nationalist news media to fuck them by selling them fairy tales of their long-dead economic power.

France has every right to do it. Who says the future is in English anyway? Maybe it's in Mandarin.

by Anonymousreply 7Last Monday at 12:32 PM

The future might be Mandarin but it sure the hell isn't French.

by Anonymousreply 8Last Monday at 12:36 PM

Mandarin or Spanish.

by Anonymousreply 9Last Monday at 12:37 PM

[quote]Now they're a medium-sized economy who can't produce a product worth a damn

Hey, now. We export tossers. Ain't that enough?

Harry Windsor

James Corden

by Anonymousreply 10Last Monday at 12:41 PM

I appreciate their insouciance

by Anonymousreply 11Last Monday at 12:42 PM

[Quote]Who says the future is in English anyway? Maybe it's in Mandarin.

English will remain the cool lingua franca for the next century or so. No one is trying to replace it with culturally unrelatable Mandarin.

by Anonymousreply 12Last Monday at 12:43 PM

Like it or not, English is the recognized global language, kind of like the dollar is the global reserve currency. That may and can change, but France is simply being France and, sadly, reminding the world why people haven't generally liked them and why the French have often been seen as the more snobbish and moronic people, especially in Europe.

France won't even defend itself in war, and has literally allowed another culture, an aggressive culture and one that generally hates everything about the Western World, to completely take over its capital city. I was last in Parish in 2017. 2014 before that. And I remain shocked at just how dominant Muslims and radical Islam is over there. Just like in World War II, France laid down, too cowardly to control the situation or push-back, and has allowed itself to be dominated by a stray street bitch. And NOW they wanna be all bold and ballsy and shit and play the whole 'We Hate English' thing? Sorry cunts. Too late. You're ovah.

by Anonymousreply 13Last Monday at 12:45 PM

Le français est une langue de second ordre provenant d'un pays de troisième ordre qu'aucune personne sensée ne devrait jamais avoir à apprendre.

by Anonymousreply 14Last Monday at 12:47 PM

Very cool move.

With the UK gone, it makes more sense for Europe to choose a European language.

And yes we all know the importance and ease of English.

by Anonymousreply 15Last Monday at 12:47 PM

Unless the Chinese start taking over other countries and imposing itself on them like the British did, and it won't, Mandarin will never become a lingua franca. Just because a billion Chinese people speak it in China doesn't mean jack squat.

by Anonymousreply 16Last Monday at 12:47 PM

Oh R7, you're STILL butt-hurt over Brexit and want to damn the entire U.K. and British system because some voters made a decision your ass didn't like? They're hardly a "medium" economy and are still very much a World power. But keep trying to fuck that cat honey. As long as it makes you feel good.

by Anonymousreply 17Last Monday at 12:48 PM

Eh bien, sentez-les!

by Anonymousreply 18Last Monday at 12:49 PM

I say no subtitles or dubbing of American films and TV shows in French.

by Anonymousreply 19Last Monday at 12:49 PM

It doesn't affect the UK at all, R7.

by Anonymousreply 20Last Monday at 12:51 PM

English is the lingua franca.

Who knew?

by Anonymousreply 21Last Monday at 12:55 PM

[quote] lingua franca

Sounds rather dirty to me!

by Anonymousreply 22Last Monday at 1:03 PM

Why don't they use Esperanto? It was meant for this purpose! If they are willing to give diplomats French lessons why not give them Esperanto lessons which is an easier language anyway? I guess it's true that chauvinism still reigns supreme, everyone wants THEIR language to be spoken .You would think the EU would have sorted this problem out especially when Britain was part of it. Instead of making English the main language which subtly reinforced it's power and influence, they should have chosen a neutral language.

by Anonymousreply 23Last Monday at 1:06 PM




Queen Elizabeth began her reign as the figurehead of a world-spanning empire and it's quite possible the UK will break up before she dies. Voters in Scotland and Northern Ireland are mad as fuck at blundering Boris and his fuckups and are eying their own exit.

Not sure why R17 is so horny for Brexit. Maybe his boyfriend left him for a Polish plumber.

Enjoy all that money the UK is saving! I'm sure National Health will be SO much better now!!

by Anonymousreply 24Last Monday at 1:30 PM

[quote[Voters in Scotland and Northern Ireland are mad as fuck at blundering Boris and his fuckups and are eying their own exit.

They'll never leave. The Scots are cheapskates and the Irish are drunks. Neither can self-govern.

by Anonymousreply 25Last Monday at 1:33 PM

Let them eat Brioche!

by Anonymousreply 26Last Monday at 1:36 PM

Bullshit sounds more romantic in French.

by Anonymousreply 27Last Monday at 1:53 PM

This will go as well as the French attempts at the vaccine. The French are good for one thing only, making others look better.

by Anonymousreply 28Last Monday at 1:57 PM

France is GANGSTA! That's how you do it!

On a different note, why would Scotland and Northern Ireland want to leave because of Boris and his fuckups? Wouldn't that make them happy as they are and more prone to stay?

by Anonymousreply 29Last Monday at 1:57 PM

The EU members with the best general knowledge of English among its population are the Nordic Countries (Denmark, Sweden, Finland), BeNeLux (Belgium, specifically northern Belgium/Flanders, Netherlands, Luxembourg), Austria and Germany. France, Spain and Italy have always been fairly abysmal (likewise southern Belgium/Wallonia). France is still living in the 17th century when it comes to the perceived global significance of the French language, bolstered in parts by their efforts to sustain French-language instruction in former colonies.

by Anonymousreply 30Last Monday at 1:58 PM

The French assign gender to nouns. How do you say ‘triggered’ in French?

by Anonymousreply 31Last Monday at 2:08 PM

The French are exhausting

by Anonymousreply 32Last Monday at 2:14 PM

No one, and I mean no one, out- cunts the French!

by Anonymousreply 33Last Monday at 2:20 PM


by Anonymousreply 34Last Monday at 2:23 PM

Well - I understand the reasoning and it's another slap in the face for the Brits and their stupide Brexit decision.

However - this isn't going to make French more widely used. It's ceremonial.

This isn't going to have any impact on the use of English in Europe or anywhere else.

by Anonymousreply 35Last Monday at 2:37 PM

White arrogance eff I'll destroy you every time.

The fall of an empire is always something to behold as things continue to decline.

by Anonymousreply 36Last Monday at 2:49 PM

We both speak English better than the English.

by Anonymousreply 37Last Monday at 2:53 PM

The Chinese aren’t interested trying to have the entire world embrace and learn Mandarin. They teach their kids English from elementary school or earlier.

High-IQ people accept the reality of the world.

by Anonymousreply 38Last Monday at 3:05 PM

R32 I am fatty gay.

by Anonymousreply 39Last Monday at 3:17 PM

The EU is barely relevant. Now France seems to want to make the EU even more irrelevant. The big players in the world are the US, China, and Russia. Everyone else falls into a sidecar of one of these three big players.

by Anonymousreply 40Last Monday at 3:28 PM

And the rest of the world gives "le shrug."

by Anonymousreply 41Last Monday at 3:39 PM

R41, And continues to use English for all practical and important purposes.

by Anonymousreply 42Last Monday at 4:03 PM

The EU has the second or third biggest economy in the world, depending on the day. Russia is barely keeping its head above water. Its people are sick, drunk, old and dying. The reason they're a nation of criminals is because there's no other way to make a life in that godforsaken shithole. Their leaders are thieves and have picked the whole nation clean. They can cause trouble but can't do any real damage. They had fucking Trump in the White House and what was he able to do for them? Nothing.

Voters in Scotland have pretty firmly gone over to the SNP. They see a future being a part of Europe and they see nothing being tied to the angry old dummies in England who believe the shit they see on TV. It won't happen tomorrow, but it's coming.

Boris fucked Northern Ireland in the Brexit deal and they are NOT happy. There is still a cultural and (mildly) religious attachment to England among a slim majority of them, but given how the ROI is much less explicitly Catholic and much more prosperous that they used to be, uniting the whole island into one nation doesn't look so dangerous or scary.

The English fucked themselves. They're the irrelevant ones. Too small and poor to matter to America. Too much of a pain in the ass for the EU to deal with them.

by Anonymousreply 43Last Monday at 5:25 PM

You only have to watch Eurovision to understand the France's obsession with their language.

On comes the presenter, in front of a huge pic of the Eiffel Tower to remind you that she's (for it's always she, the embodiment of Mareianne) going to babble in French for her allotted 30 seconds in French to remind Europe that they, like Britain are a small country, batting above their weight on the global stage.

It's an anachronism to when the Berlin Wall was up and Europe really meant Western Europe. Time has moved on and with the growing significance of Eastern Europe no wonder, with the language of business being English, that French is being sidelined more and more.

by Anonymousreply 44Last Monday at 9:06 PM

R29, bumbling boris screwed it up bigtime. I just read about it yesterday. I'll give you a quick version from know nothing American.

The UK created a shitty Brexit agreement with the EU. Especially when it comes to Northern Ireland. Bumbling boris had some legal expert called Lord Frost create the Brexit agreement and he did a really shitty job, especially when it comes to trade with Northern Ireland. boris boasted that “Northern Ireland has got a great deal." Boris also lied by saying, it "would not require costly and burdensome checks on trade across the Irish Sea" In boris's defense, he may just have been too fucking stupid to know what was in the agreement or even know what goes into trading (he's just like trump, who knew insurance was so difficult?).

But come to find out, there's a ton of paperwork required because of the shitty Brexit agreement. The Brits don't want to do all the paperwork, so they aren't sending much over to Ireland. It's gotten so bad that Ireland has a severe shortage of food, medication, vaccines.

And there's even more paperwork requirements that boris & frost are hoping to delay for 6 months. The EU is saying, "no, we can't trust the UK, fix it now and base it on EU laws". frost is saying, the EU needs a needs to stop being "legal purists" by wanting to follow a legal contract and should "trust their friends and neighbors" in the UK. How funny is that?

Also complicating things is the U.S, who signed the Good Friday peace talks in Northern Ireland many years ago. Part of that required the U.S to make sure England/UK doesn't fuck over Ireland. The G7 Summit is next week and Biden is expected to tell the UK, don't even think of screwing over Northern Ireland and that the UK's trade agreement with the U.S will be in jeopardy if they do

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by Anonymousreply 45Last Monday at 9:42 PM

Do nouns in French get to declare their preferred pronouns?

by Anonymousreply 46Last Monday at 9:58 PM

Apoio totalmente essa decisão!

Inglês é uma língua bárbara e não deveria ser usada em contextos diplomáticos.

by Anonymousreply 47Last Monday at 11:10 PM

I'm glad that I learned English as my first language. There are more irregulars than regulars, more exceptions than rules. And pronunciation, e.g.,Through Thought, Though, Trough. Most other languages, if it's written, it's pronounced. Not like English and French, where whole strings of letters are silent or have the aforementioned irregular pronunciations. On the plus side, at least English is not gender-specific like most European languages, so you don't have to waste a lot of memory matching up articles, subject, object, pronouns, etc.

by Anonymousreply 48Last Monday at 11:24 PM

Regardless of what France wants the Fourth Reich ultimately will shift to deutsche Sprache.

by Anonymousreply 49Last Monday at 11:42 PM

[quote] Already, letters arriving from the European Commission in English go unanswered. “When a [French] commissioner receives a letter in English, we wait for the French version before we hand it over to Paris,” an EU diplomat told The Telegraph, in French.

They really are whiny little babies aren't they. Anyway France is only the second biggest EU economy if he wants to wean the Eastern bloc off preferring English he'd be better trying to encourage German. There's no way French has a hope of taking off in Poland, the Baltics, or Balkans because there's no economic or cultural incentive for them to bother.

by Anonymousreply 50Last Tuesday at 12:05 AM

Makes sense.

by Anonymousreply 51Last Tuesday at 12:14 AM

What, no SoCal Valley Gurl-speak?

by Anonymousreply 52Last Tuesday at 12:30 AM

When Macron throws a hissy fit or lusts after PM Sánchez of Spain, what will his French version of "Ooh gurrllll" be?

by Anonymousreply 53Last Tuesday at 1:14 AM

Isn't this just Macron playing to the French public, who are becoming very unhappy with him and are lurching to the right? I mean shouldn't he be more worried about the terrorist attacks that happen in Paris than be concerned about what language everyone is speaking at an EU meeting?

by Anonymousreply 54Last Tuesday at 1:25 AM

R54, how DARE you malign the religion of peace?

by Anonymousreply 55Last Tuesday at 1:33 AM

r54 Becoming? They've been rioting since his presidency started. Its only about 2 years since the taxi drivers tried to burn down Paris, and he only even won the election because he scooped up the centrist vote of everyone who didn't want president Le Pen. But yes lets make everyone speak French will probably play well with right-wing voters.

by Anonymousreply 56Last Tuesday at 1:42 AM

It's so weird the way online right-wing trolls base their stupid criticisms on the idea that a person or a government can only do one thing at a time. Like "shouldn't Macron be FIGHTING TERRORISM rather than do this????" Sweetie, the directive to do this probably took all of three minutes out of his day. Honestly, this decision probably didn't make it up to Macron's level.

by Anonymousreply 57Last Tuesday at 4:14 AM

Macron got his face slapped today. Lesson learned: don’t go walking among the peasants.

Viva la revoluccion!

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by Anonymousreply 58Last Tuesday at 1:06 PM

"The Slappening", at a theatre near you.

by Anonymousreply 59Last Tuesday at 1:10 PM

It must have been a DLer who was annoyed that English was being replaced.

by Anonymousreply 60Last Tuesday at 1:21 PM

Ha! As soon as the French hear foreigners speaking French they become even nastier which is quite an achievement. Well they enjoy enormously being nasty in any case.

by Anonymousreply 61Last Tuesday at 2:18 PM

You can't blame them for being nasty. They're not Germany, they're not the UK, they're just the other European country.

by Anonymousreply 62Last Tuesday at 2:19 PM

Why were the French given a portion of control of Berlin after WW2?

by Anonymousreply 63Last Tuesday at 2:26 PM

Because the British didn't want to be the only ones responsible financially for feeding the Germans and rebuilding Germany. Also, the British (incorrectly) saw their future with the Empire and wanted to be rid of European burdens. They wanted the French to be the ones responsible for policing the Continent.

They didn't realize how weak and broke they were and how quickly their power was going to drain away. They didn't realize their future was with Europe.

by Anonymousreply 64Last Tuesday at 2:59 PM

R13. Yes, Paris looks like Birmingham now. And the main plaza in Birmingham looks like a Taliban settlement.

by Anonymousreply 65Last Tuesday at 3:21 PM

R63 The main reason was that France's elevated status was expedient to the USSR. Stalin needed an ally against the US and France was the best option - it still had a significant empire, was relatively strong militarily, and DeGaulle had realized he needed Soviet support so had actively pursued a strategy which kept France on the periphery of the American sphere of influence,

At the same time, the UK had neither desire nor ability to police Europe - they faced the monumental task of rebuilding the country while Empire was virtually bankrupt (and had been since the First World War) and independence movements were springing up all over the place. On top of that, Churchill was skeptical that the US would stick around after the war so peace keeping would fall to the UK. That meant another continental power needed to be established.

by Anonymousreply 66Last Tuesday at 3:27 PM

France is the cultural capital of the world. Jealous, bitches?

by Anonymousreply 67Last Tuesday at 3:48 PM

Alors, jamais je l'ai fait!?!

by Anonymousreply 68Last Tuesday at 3:50 PM

Is this why that guy slapped Macron?

by Anonymousreply 69Last Tuesday at 3:51 PM

Haha so true R61. I have a terrible Detroit accent and ordering a "crasawnt" enraged the guy behind the counter. I was going to take french lessons for my next trip but fuck it. We agree to loathe each other.

by Anonymousreply 70Last Tuesday at 4:17 PM

R63, the British insisted that France be given an occupation zone after Germany had surrendered, because France had been Britain’s original ally since the start of the war. Churchill admired De Gaulle very much (despite, or perhaps because of, De Gaulle’s supreme arrogance) and wanted to shore up his legitimacy, especially because the French communists had played a big role in the resistance and Churchill worried that De Gaulle was the only one who could take control of the country from them. Churchill was very worried by the communist advance across most of Europe, and extremely frustrated by FDR’s conviction that the US could come to an arrangement with Stalin and trust him to share power.

Churchill’s nightmare scenario was that France would fall within the Soviet zone of interest. That would have made it much more likely that the whole of Germany would have turned communist. Once victory was assured, Churchill’s strategy was to limit The Soviet threat. One way he did this was to support De Gaulle. Another was to encourage British troops to concentrate on sweeping across the far north of Germany and cut off Schleswig-Holstein before the Russians reached it. That meant that Britain liberated Denmark and Norway instead of the The Russians, and were able to guarantee that the Baltic remained open to allied shipping.

by Anonymousreply 71Last Tuesday at 4:30 PM

Sorry but Churchill was turned out on his ass before any of those decisions had been made.

by Anonymousreply 72Last Tuesday at 5:38 PM

R72 Churchill was turned out on his ass, as you so elegantly put it, in July 1945. The decision on 4 zones of occupation (including France), was taken in Yalta in February 1945, where it was agreed that France would be given an occupation zone made up of areas previously assigned to The UK and US in the London Protocol of the previous year.

At Yalta, Churchill also insisted that the French should be a full member of the proposed Allied Control Council for Germany.

by Anonymousreply 73Last Tuesday at 6:29 PM

J. Loree Jeeflay.

by Anonymousreply 74Last Thursday at 10:37 AM
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