Jeff Steiner's Americans in France.
Resource for people that would like to live or travel in France.

Attractions

Culture

Daily Life

Driving

Links

Moving Planner

Podcast/Hangouts

Q & A

Reading List

Travel Planner

Videos

Expat Store
Currency
Services

Driver's License

Events

Foods

Garbage
Disposal Units


Insurance

Learn French

Tax Services

Telephony

CultureLanguage Paradox

Like a lot of people, the French are full of paradoxes. The French insisting on abbreviating their words; that is, changing proper words and making them into slang. One would think that a country with an avowed love affair with its language would want to keep its words in their original form.

What I am taking about is the madding habit - madding when you're trying to learn and understand their language - the French have of taking words like manifestation, which means "demonstration," cutting it in half, and just saying manif. Other examples are the newspapers Libération and Le Nouvel Observateur referred to as just Libé and Le Nouvel Obs respectively.

Interestingly enough, this practice is not just for the chic and the young. I have heard people in their fifties refer to an ordinateur (computer) as an ordi. I have also heard radio reporters using this type of slang.

At first I did not understand this paradox, but now I think I do. It's about the French having command over their language and being able to play games with it. Wit is very important to the French, and nothing shows more wit more than being able to play with words. Also very important to the French is command over language. So, in this context, it is understandable that words like manifestation would become manif. The French are just showing off both their wit and command of Language that manifests itself in very clever demonstrations - n'est-ce pas?

Sign-up for the FREE Americans in France newsletter!



cookieassistant.com

HomeBack

Contact

Newletter

About

Search Site



Travel Store

Auto Rentals

B&B's

Cell Phones

Hotels

Phone Card

Sightseeing

SIM Card

WiFi

Workshops

Terms &
Conditions

This site
uses Cookies!

Terms of Service

Other

Follow me
on Twitter.


Facebook Page

RSS Feed