The theorists of the alleged “great replacement” populations of the North by the peoples of the South denounce a linguistic colonization, while those who consider the French language as a “spoils of war” are jubilant to see this tropicalized loot. Every year, the popular dictionary Robert integrates into its pages new words which it considers will prove to be durable. Some terms are validated by technological or societal developments, such as “biogenetics”, “podcaster” or, this year, “instagramer”.

Other words are swallowed up from foreign languages, such as “ersatz” or “pasionaria”, sometimes from French-speaking practices in other countries. In the 2023 edition of Robert, for example, come three pickled words in West African French. If it is surprising that “toubab” is only ennobled this year, “brouteur” has had as dazzling a success as the web crooks it designates. As for the word “go”, it certainly owes a lot to “la go Antou” from the song by the group Magic System. “Gaou” is certainly in the starting blocks for the next editions.

59% of French speakers in the world

There is no need to remember that the demography of African populations guarantees a promising future for the Francophonie, Africa already hosting 59% of the world’s French speakers. The linguistic community is home to the former French colonies who shun the former colonist more than his grammar, the rebellious putschists willingly taunting in the language of Molière. Africa could allow French to retain the status of the fifth most spoken language after English, Chinese, Spanish and Arabic.

Read more by clicking here

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.