France bans English jargon from gaming tech to preserve language purity

French authorities continued their centuries-old battle to preserve the purity of the language on Monday, revising the rules for using English video game jargon.

While some expressions find obvious translations – “pro-gamer” becomes “professional player” – others seem more strained, since “streamer” turns into “live player-host”.

The Ministry of Culture, which is involved in the process, told AFP that the video game sector was plagued by Anglicisms which could act as “a barrier to understanding” for non-gamers.

France regularly issues terrible warnings about the debasement of its language across the Channel, or more recently across the Atlantic.

Secular observatory of languages, the French Academy warned in February against a “degradation which should not be considered inevitable”. He highlighted terms such as train operator SNCF’s brand “Ouigo” (pronounced “we’re going”) as well as direct imports such as “big data” and “drive-in”.

However, Monday’s changes were published in the official gazette, making them binding on officials.

Among several terms to be given official French alternatives were “cloud gaming”, which becomes “cloud video game”, and “eSports”, which will now be translated as “competitive video game”.

The ministry said experts searched video game websites and magazines to see if any French terms already existed. The general idea, the ministry said, was to allow people to communicate more easily.

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