Language and Societies

ANT/LIN 5320 at Wayne State University

French Naming Practice of Assimilating English-based Internet Terminology

French Naming Practice of Assimilating English-based Internet Terminology

Asa Choate

This study analyzed the process of assimilation that English internet terminology undergoes allowing France to adopt a new French term over an English loanword and the overall effectiveness of this system.  The alarming influx of English loanwords, or Anglicisms, related to the internet and telecommunication necessitated a method to mass produce an entire collection of new terminology by French language authorities.  Reviewing research done during the internet’s growth in use in France to present in addition to the list of official French words aided in gauging the effectiveness of the system used in France.  Overall, the process has been effective in implementing official French terminology over English while still maintaining the source without sacrificing the appearance of natural French.  Evidenced by the decreased yearly output of terminology in this domain, the French government has efficiently offered replacement vocabulary for the specialized technical aspects of the internet, which are only understood by those who study them, and many public domains widely used.  However, in the public domain of social media and other communication media, the English loanwords have gained popularity over the French replacement.  These special cases can be attributed to the increased length of the French word compared to the English one, or the replacement’s failure to encompass the system as effectively as the loanword.  Despite the success in implementing key terminology over an English loanword, the popularly used features of the internet have changed so rapidly that the system of loanword assimilation fails to effectively cover every area of the internet.

April 2, 2018 - Posted by | abstract


  1. It is hard to imagine anyone wanted to keep up with the changing language surrounding technology. Did you notice if the people who preferred the English loanword were part of a more connected generation?

    Comment by Craig Meiners | April 17, 2018 | Reply

  2. This is a fascinating topic that I, as an English speaker, have never considered. Do you know if the French speakers in Canada have a similar system in place?

    Comment by Andrew McKinney | April 21, 2018 | Reply

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