• France's news in English

'Binge drinking' no longer accepted in France

Sophie Inge · 29 Jul 2013, 09:10

Published: 29 Jul 2013 09:10 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Binge drinking – or the practice of consuming vast quantities of alcohol in a short space of time – now has an official French translation: “beuverie express”.

The phrase, which literally means “fast drinking”, was given the seal of approval on Sunday by the General Commission of Terminology and Neology, linked to France's Ministry of Culture.

Earlier this year The Local revealed the Commission were concerned at the overuse of the Anglo term "Binge drinking" and had come up with a "beuverie express" as a possible replacement. On Sunday, it became official when it was published on its website.

The phrase "binge-drinking" was one of a number of works and terms the Commission were seeking to outlaw by replacing them with Gallic alternatives.

To see the full gallery of Anglo terms the French want barred CLICK HERE.

The creation of a French word for "binge drinking" is also timely as booze culture especially among France's young people is changing, with more and more youngsters adopting the more Anglo-Saxon culture of drinking to excess on a night out.

Although the term “binge drinking” originated in Britain, the problem is becoming increasingly common in France where it is has also been known as “biture express” or “alcool défonce”, particularly among young people.

Evidence taken from a number of reports and studies suggest the culture is growing. This is backed up anecdotal evidence. The manager of an Irish pub in Paris recently told The Local that it was "just like running pub back home now," referring to how drunk the young French people would get.

In May, a report in the ‘Bulletin Épidérmologique Hebdomaire’ (Weekly Epidemiological Bulletin) suggested that French teenagers are now turning to alcohol at an earlier age and in increasing numbers.

One large poll found that 59 percent of 11 to 12-year-olds had admitted to drinking alcohol. Furthermore, one in six 11 to 14-year-olds had been drunk at least once – a figure that rose to 60 percent among 15 to 17-year-olds.

A recent study – by France’s Observatory on Drugs and Addiction and the National Institute for Health Education and Prevention – found that “repeated drunkenness” among young women had doubled in just the five years up to 2010.

There has been a string of recent scientific studies suggesting that France has a real and growing drinking problem among its young people.

In March, The Local reported a staggering 80 percent rise in short-stay hospital visits in the last year, mainly for alcohol-related accidents and falls, and especially among young men and women.

“We’re seeing more and more young people in the emergency room, seriously drunk, who stay for a day or two to sober up,” said Dr. Damien Labarrière, a gastroenterologist in the city of Orléans, south of Paris.

Not surprisingly, the French government is becoming increasingly concerned.

“Between 2005 and 2010, repeated drunkenness among young people under the age of 18 has risen from 15 to 25 percent in Paris,” Myriam el-Khomri, deputy to Paris’s mayor Bertrand Delanoë, told Le Parisien newspaper on Sunday. “This has convinced us to revise our prevention strategies.”

Already this summer, mobile teams dedicated to preventing the health risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption have been deployed to drinking hotspots in the capital, such as the Canal Saint-Martin.

Story continues below…

In the city of Lyon authorities have tried to stem the trend towards binge drinking by banning the sale of alcohol in shops after 10pm at night.

It is not just the binge drinking of teenagers which has been making the news in France recently.

More recently, the drinking habits of a police force in the town of Cogolin in south-eastern France were placed under scrutiny after their chief was caught drunk-driving in his patrol car without a license.

Dedicated to protecting and promoting the French language from corruption – particularly English words – the General Commission of Terminology and Neology also recently urged Twitter users to replace the English word "hashtag" with the more Franco-friendly "mot-dièse".

This decree sparked an immediate tongue-in-cheek Twitter frenzy with many ridiculing the move. Reacting to the furore in an interview with The Local, Bénédicte Madinier from the French Ministry of Culture leapt to the defense of the Commission, denying that it was more "fashionable" to use English words.

Sophie Inge (sophie.inge@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France’s 'Jungle' children arrive in UK
Authorities will start to clear the ‘Jungle’ migrant camp on Monday. Photo: Denis Charlet / AFP file picture

The first group of children from the French "Jungle" migrant camp with no connection to Britain have arrived in the country, the Home Office said Sunday, ahead of the camp's planned demolition.

French FM calls for end to Aleppo 'massacre'
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says the international community cannot ‘come to a negotiation under the bombs’. Photo: Dominick Reuter / AFP file picture

France's foreign minister urged the international community to "do everything" to end the "massacre" in the Syrian city of Aleppo on Sunday after fighting resumed following a 72-hour truce declared by Damascus ally Russia.

French cheer police, reviving Charlie spirit
French police officers on Saturday demonstrated for the fifth night in a row to protest mounting attacks on officers. Photo: Thomas Samson / AFP

Angry French police have taken to the streets for five nights in a row -- and Parisians have started to cheer them on, reviving scenes last seen following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015.

Scarlett Johansson turns popcorn girl in Paris
US actress Scarlett Johansson greets customers at the Yummy Pop gourmet popcorn shop in the Marais district of Paris. Photo: Benjamin Cremel / AFP

Hollywood superstar Scarlett Johansson swapped the red carpet for a turn behind the counter at her new popcorn shop in Paris on Saturday.

US couple donates huge art collection to Paris
Marlene (centre) and Spencer (right) are donating their collection ‘for the benefit of art lovers’. Photo: Thomas Samson / AFP

A Texan couple who discovered their love for art during a trip to Paris in the 1970s are to donate the multi-million dollar collection they have amassed since to the French capital.

France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available