Here is a news item that may have escaped many SFN members. It was in the Le Figaro (online version) earlier this week. It concerns text messaging (sending and receiving SMS) within France. It refers to the use of all languages other than French when texting.
The new law says that a maximum of 12% of all SMS traffic within the French telecommunications system in foreign languages will be allowed (Loi 2872bis, Décret 842a, 18 Mars 2013, Loi concernant l'utilisation des langues étrangères dans les télécommunications). It would appear that it includes such expressions as ‘le weekend’, ‘le parking’, ‘bye bye’, ‘angst’, ‘email’ and ‘ciao’ that have become firmly implanted in the French vocabulary. However, for ‘email’ the French equivalent ‘courriel’ is now expected.
The most worrying part of the new law is the fact that once daily quotas are full, texts in entirely (or partly) foreign language and even using a single non-French word will be blocked!
The law comes into effect on Friday, 5 April and of course, we here at SFN are totally opposed to this new law.
A member of the French parliament has followed on by proposing that all websites based in France must now contain a minimum of 33.3% French language content! Plus, all foreign language sites must offer the possibility of full availability in French. He has also suggested that chat rooms and other facilities have limits similar to the mobile telephony regulations.
SFN is of course, just as opposed to such a move. We would like to get feedback from members. What your views are on these new rules?