• France's news in English
Je suis 'troll': More English words enter French language
Photo: AFP

Je suis 'troll': More English words enter French language

The Local · 11 May 2016, 12:29

Published: 11 May 2016 12:29 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 May 2016 12:29 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Arty, émoticône and mook are just three of the new words that native English speakers may recognise from their own language in the latest edition of the famous French dictionary. 

The arrival of yet more English words in the French language will suit many Anglophone learners of French, who love to use the old trick of saying an English word in a French accent when they get stuck.

Perhaps given France's wealth of culture it is not surprising that a word like arty  - used in the same context as it would be in English, has been accepted into the dictionary, although you'd have thought the French would have already had their own version.

The emergence of words troll and émoticône reflect the inescapable impact of social media and new ways of communication.

(A look at a few "émoticônes". Photo: Sebastians Deckers, Flickr)

Troll has the same meaning as its English counterpart, which specifically describes an internet user who incites conflict on the with provocative comments in social forums. The word comes in verb form too, with troller (meaning "to troll").

Émoticône, which only differs from the English ‘emoticon’ by the accents and the final ‘e’, describes the digital icons of smiley faces that you can choose to accompany messages on your smartphone.

The French have been using English portmanteaus for many years. For example "brunch" has made it onto menus in fashionable French restaurants.

However, the latest is mook, which has trickled into French conversation and has now been made official in the dictionary. This is a merging of English words "magazine" and "book".

La fanfiction has also been given the green light by Le Petit Larousse, which explains it as a "feminine noun composed of fan and fiction, a narrative that has been written by a fan on the internet, following a pre-existing fiction, manga, series, movie or video game".

Rétrofuturisme is another word that was added, a term which describes depictions of the future produced in an earlier era. The word comes directly from the English word.

Similarly, the term spin-off was pinched from English too. 

The French also added a few new words that appear to be translations of English, for example a "one-man-show", which had until recently been adopted, has now been added to the dictionary as seul en scène.

Other words that have entered the French dictionary reflect recent events and changing eating habits.

Europhobe is now an official word as is complotiste or conspiracy theorist in English. These complotistes were all over French social media in the aftermath of the attacks.

Economie collaborative which is “sharing economy” in English is also a new entry, as is “covoiturer” which is carpooling.

There are also plenty of new foods entering into the dictionary suggesting French eating habits are changing.

There was yuzu, a lemon cake from Japan, the Vietnamese soup Pho, a wrap as well as burrata cheese and ciabatta.

As well as new nouns and verbs, 50 new personalities have also been added to the proper noun section, including British Formula 1 racer Lewis Hamilton and British comedy legends The Monty Python.

Story continues below…


(Lewis Hamilton is just one of the names added to the dictionary. Photo: David Wall, Flickr)

Le Petit Larousse is traditionally the bestseller at the time of la rentrée (the period when the French go back to school in September) and this year it will appear in bookshops from May 26th so French students will be able to be fully prepared for the academic year ahead.

The edition will celebrate the bicentenary of dictionary's founder Pierre Larousse, who was born in 1817. 

We wonder what Monsieur Larousse would have made of all these modern anglicized invasions into his work. 

By Hattie Ditton

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France joins fight for rich pickings from post-Brexit UK
Photo: AFP/DcnH/Flickr

France tries to woo EU's bank regulator and other agencies.

How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

French claims that Jungle camp is empty are rubbished
Photo: AFP

Reports from the scene say scores of migrants are still in the area of the Jungle despite French authorities claiming "mission fulfilled."

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel has been found alive after being kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Photo: Panoramas/Flickr

... and it's tenants in the smaller apartments that get hit the hardest. Could you be paying too much?

France takes baby steps to make life simpler
Photo: AFP

... including extending the ridiculously short time limit for registering a new baby.

IN PICTURES: Calais Jungle camp goes up in flames
All Photos: AFP

Migrants leave behind a scorched camp as they are moved to locations across France.

French expats in UK suffer Brexit abuse
French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

French nationals no longer feel at home in the UK, ambassador says. But Brits in France have been greeted with sympathy since the referendum.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

The topless pics sparked fury among the royals.

France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President François Hollande in his job.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
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
jobs available