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LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

A collection of the best ‘re-invented’ franglais ‘ing’ words

The French have unwittingly re-invented a whole set of English words by adding "ing" to the ends of things. Here translator Jane Proctor shares her favourites.

A collection of the best 're-invented' franglais 'ing' words
Photo: Artur Chalyj/Flickr
Le camping 
 
Where do you go camping? At a camping. Yes, “camping” is the French word for camp site. 
 
A campsite in Ain, central France. Photo: Victor Engmark/Flickr
 
Le dressing 
 
Dressing is the French word for “walk-in wardrobe”, where many people might actually do their dressing. 
 
Photo: Anne-Marii/Flickr
 
Le fooding
 
Fooding isn't “eating” or “instagramming your meal”. No, it's the art of cooking.
 
Photo: Etolane/Flickr
 
Le footing 
 
You'd be forgiven for thinking footing had something to do with football, but it's actually the word for jogging.
 
Photo: EmilyRides/Flickr
 
Le parking 
 
Where do you park your car? At the parking, of course. It's French for car park.
 
Parisians paying dearly for their bad 'parking'An example of someone who couldn't wait to get to the “parking”.  Photo: Tejvan Pettinger/Flickr
 
Le planning 
 
This is how the French say “schedule”, which makes total sense if you ask us.
 
Photo: Mike Blackburn/Flickr
 
Le brushing 
 
This is how the French say “blow-dry” – potentially confusing for us foreigners visiting French hairdressers. 
 
Photo: Artur Chalyj/Flickr
 
Le pressing 
 
Here's another one that makes perfect sense, pressing means “dry-cleaners”.
 
Photo: Thomas Leuthard/Flickr 
 
Le shampooing
 
No, it's not a verb – shampooing is just the French way of saying “shampoo”. And “”après-shampooing” is conditioner.
 
Photo: devra/Flickr
 
Le training 
 
And lastly, what do you wear to do your training? A “tracksuit” of course (or a training, as the French say).
 
Photo: Dennis Yang/Flickr 
 
Jane Proctor is a French to English translator who runs the alpinelinguists blog. Follow the blog on Facebook here. 

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FRENCH LANGUAGE

‘Sac iconique’: France unveils French shopping terms to replace English versions

A commission that seeks to act as a guardian of the French language has published a string of recommendations for translations of shopping and style terms, to replace widely-used English ones.

'Sac iconique': France unveils French shopping terms to replace English versions

Perhaps inspired by this month’s Paris Fashion Week, the non-binding recommendations from the Commission for Enrichment of the French Language were published in Wednesday’s Official Journal.

Instead of an “it-bag” — defined as “a handbag in the latest fashion or that stands for a brand” — ministries and businesses are encouraged to write “sac iconique“.

An “it-boy” or “it-girl” can now safely be described as an “icone de la mode” and a “must-have” transforms into an “incontournable“, while “try before you buy” becomes “essayer-acheter”.

There are also more baffling business terms that may be unfamiliar to many native English speakers, like “digital native vertical brand” (“marque integree nee en ligne“).

Set up in 2015, the Commission for Enrichment of the French Language aims to “provide French vocabulary appropriate to the need for communication that is clear and accessible to the greatest number of people”, it said in the introduction to its 2021 annual report.

Led by a member of the Academie Francaise — founded in 1635 under King Louis XIII to guard “pure” French — the Commission says it “recalls to a broad audience the importance of having and using French vocabulary so as to keep our language functional”.

Given the dominance of English in global business and technology, its terms are the most frequently targeted for translation into the language of Moliere.

“These days there’s no invention, innovation or discovery that doesn’t have its corresponding term, increasingly often in English,” the Commission said in its report.

“The flow of new concepts that must be defined and named in French is therefore continuous.”

The report cited fields including hydrogen power, the Covid-19 pandemic and malicious digital activities as recent areas to which  its 20-odd expert groups have turned their attention.

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