Re: Miscellaneous comments/questions.

From: Antoine Leca (
Date: Thu Jul 13 2000 - 11:55:50 EDT

Alex Bochannek wrote:
> A similar issue was very interesting to observe in France and
> Germany. The use of the English language in advertisement seems to run
> rampant in Germany while almost all ads that include English in France
> (mostly tag lines) are followed by an asterisk and the literal French
> translation somewhere near the edge of the sign.

That's a legal requirement in France (so if you see such an ad without
the footnote, the marketing agency is risking quite an amount of money).

The idea below it is to try to banish English as far as possible from
the current language, and as advertisement is known to be a powerful
mass media that drives cultural habits, it made its way.

Obviously, this is quite a lost battle (I believe I should not say that
here, but anyway). Particularly in the IT-related things, English is
already viewed as _the_ language to use, so even the French marketing
guys use and abuse it, until France Telecom (the state-owned telecom
company, #1 in stocks capitalisation) which tries to uses it everywhere
(the Internet product is called Wanadoo, a name with no French roots;
the symbol for the first-price mobil phone, Ola, is a pumpkin; they
want the brand name to be written without accents, i.e. the English
way; etc.)


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