French Connection - Le français aujourd'hui et demain

Le français aujourd'hui et demain

What will French sound like in the future?

Listen

New words from the old world? Critic Bernard Pivot

Bernard Pivot Dans certains pays d'Afrique, ils ont inventé le verbe 'girafer', la girafe. Savez-vous ce que ça veut dire 'girafer' dans un pays africain ? Eh bien, c'est un élève qui copie sur la copie de l'autre, qui copie, qui regarde, donc il est plus haut, donc il 'girafe', vous voyez ? Donc il est au-dessus, il plonge le regard. C'est magnifique ! Quelle invention !

Translation

In certain African countries they've invented the verb "to giraffe". Do you know what 'girafer' means in an African country? It refers to a pupil who copies another pupil's work from behind. He is taller than the other pupil, and he looks down over him. That's magnificent! What inventiveness!

sample

Listen

Do French people really care about la francophonie? Stephan Smith, Le Monde

Stephan Smith D'un côté, on a l'impression que les Français sont assez indifférents à l'égard de la francophonie en tant qu'organisation ou en tant que mouvement. En même temps, ils sont très, très sensibles à la langue française étant utilisée dans le domaine international. Et donc vous avez à la fois une grande sensibilité et un désintérêt pendant toute l'année entre les sommets de la francophonie qui se tiennent tous les deux ans. Personne ne parle, même dans les médias français, de la francophonie.

Translation

You get the impression that French people are fairly indifferent about Francophonie as an organisation or as a movement. But at the same time, they're very sensitive to the French language being used in the international domain. And so there exists a huge sensitivity, accompanied by an indifference which lasts throughout the whole year. Between the Francophonie Summits, which take place every second year, no-one, not even the media, speaks about Francophonie.

sample

Listen

Author and critic Henri Lopes sees the future in 'le métissage'. Author and critic Henri Lopes

Henri Lopes Les Français, quand ils prennent une partie de notre culture, c'est peut-être un hommage qu'ils nous rendent, mais c'est surtout, c'est qu'ils font avancer leur propre culture. Et nous non plus, on ne doit pas avoir peur d'emprunter ailleurs, mais ne pas rejeter ce qui était nôtre, qui va se métamorphoser, qui va évoluer, et vous ne serez pas étonnés que le métis que je suis, vous dise que l'avenir est au métissage.

Translation

When the French stand up for another culture, perhaps they are paying homage to us. But the main thing is that by doing so they're also advancing their own culture. And the same applies to us. We shouldn't be afraid of borrowing from elsewhere, provided that we don't reject the things that are ours, which will metamorphose and evolve. And you'll not be surprised to hear a mixed-race person like myself telling you that the future belongs to the mixing of races.

sample

Open/close

Online Courses

Hakim, your French guide, in a café

French Steps

All-in-one beginners' course. Complete it in 12 weeks with our weekly tips

Talk French

A video introduction to the language in 10 short parts

Post-beginners

Ma France

For French improvers. 24 units with video, key phrases and games. Refresh your language and keep it up-to-date

Open/close

Your Say

Worms © Fotolia XIII - Fotolia.com

Worms for dinner?

A wriggly word left one of you lost for words

Don't try this abroad!

Don't try this abroad!

Ever felt flustered in France? Watch this and other funny tales

More of your tips and stories

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.