In what city was the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) developed, an agency that currently represents a network of 774 establishments covering all continents in 90 countries worldwide? Read more »
Monthly Archives: May 2012
The American astrophysicist Trinh Xuan Thuan has been awarded the prestigious Cino del Duca World prize for 2012 from the Simone and Cino del Duca Foundation/Institut de France for his work on scientific popularisation in French.
Vietnamese born Thuan, was educated in French and is the author of a number of books, originally written in French, on philosophical questions the universe raises. Thuan, an expert in extragalactic astronomy, is a professor at the University of Virginia as well as a researcher at the Paris Institute of Astrophysics.
Thuan will receive the prize (a value of 300, 000 Euros, almost 400, 000 CAD) on June 6th at an official ceremony being held under the Dome of the Institut de France in Paris.
Announcing Jean-Benoît Nadeau’s new blog on the Forum mondial de la langue française (The French Language World Forum).
About the Forum: www.ForumFrancophonie2012.org
Excerpt taken from the book The Story of French (Ch.17)
The main reason that English words are not a threat is that most are either fully integrated into French or swiftly abandoned. According to linguist Françoise Gadet, most borrowings from English are either Frenchified within a decade or fall into disuse. In 1964 French linguist Rene Étiemble wrote a scathing pamphlet called Parlez-vous franglais? (Do You Speak Frenglish?), meant to warn his compatriots against the growing number of English words seeping into their language. Twenty years later, hundreds of the English words he used as examples had already gone out of style and were no longer being used (he subsequently argued that this was the effect of his book). Read more »
Excerpt taken from the book Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong (Ch.11)
During our stay in France, we met at least half a dozen mayors who explained the various aspects of local administration to us. The most generous was our friend Jean-Marie Marsault, the former sergeant of the First Armored Marine Division, who fought in Algeria. Before retiring, Jean-Marie worked as an insurance salesman. He had had a busy life raising a family of four and acting as mayor of his town, Fresnes (population eight hundred), in the Loire Valley from 1977-89. His biggest accomplishment, by far, was the transformation of a swamp near the village center that used to belong to the local châtelaine (castle owner) into a park with a pond. Read more »
Jean-Benoît Nadeau is among the finalists for the Grands prix 2012 from L’Association québécoise des éditeurs de magazines for his article in L’actualité, Plan Nord : un Québec flou, flou, flou…
Two years ago, when we were living in Phoenix, Arizona, we celebrated Cinco de Mayo the “traditional” way – by drinking margaritas out of plastic glasses at a local student hangout. That’s just to say, there are lots of Cinco de Mayo parties in Phoenix, but most of the people attending them are not Mexican. We also noticed that middle-class Mexicans were curiously absent from the festivities. One of our friends, married to a middle class Mexican, told us: “It’s not a Mexican holiday.” Period.
Indeed, in Mexico, only the state of Puebla celebrates Cinco de Mayo, and it’s a pretty minor celebration outside of the city of Puebla. The date commemorates the victory of the Mexican army over the French in a battle fought on the outskirts of the city of Puebla in 1862. The Mexican victory was highly symbolic: Mexico’s army of mestizos and Indians had defeated well-equipped European forces. Read more »