𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐅𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐡 𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐮𝐚𝐠𝐞. 𝐖𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐚 𝐜𝐚𝐩𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚 𝐬𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐝
For nearly four centuries L'Académie française, founded by Cardinal Richelieu in 1635, has been guarding the French language, defending it with a spirit the three musketeers would have admired.
𝐅𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐅𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐬 An elite of some 40 gallic literati, wearing green-fringed capes coming in at around €40,000 each, is charged with defending the French language. Known as “Les immortels”, their mission is to halt the lazy adoption of English, Franglais, as with terms such as “un walkie-talkie” and “le weekend.” They started their dictionary in 1935 ... One of L'Académie française’s objectives is to produce a French dictionary, of appropriate words, though progress is slow as they published their last dictionary in 1935. Their task is unlikely to be complete by “le weekend.”
𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐝𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐋'𝐀𝐜𝐚𝐝𝐞́𝐦𝐢𝐞 𝐟𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐜̧𝐚𝐢𝐬𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐦𝐩𝐞𝐫 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞? There are questions as to whether L'Académie française could put a brake on progress. In the organisation’s desire to retain the purity of the French language, will the august body restrict France’s exposure to global ideas? Will the L'Académie française hamper cross-fertilisation of new concepts and inadvertently slow French progress in many fields that include culture, medicine, science and technology?