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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusanFento

Words that are American by nature.

Are some American words used in French? An example is email.

March 17, 2018

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShotgunJohnny99

Since when did "American" become a language?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slogger

Acc. to the French it is--at least since the 1950's or so. Modern translations of U.S. books published in France in paperback often say on the cover and title page "traduit de l'américain."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

That is because the original author wrote using "American" English and not "British" English with which far more European French speakers are familiar.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slogger

And so . . . ? No kidding. What is your point?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShotgunJohnny99

Hmm, that's actually really interesting! I was just being sassy, but I can't believe my sarcasm turned into a legitimate question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CommeuneTexane

Many English words are borrowed into French and vice versa. Some examples I can think of off the top of my head include: un t-shirt, un jean, des baskets (it means sneakers), faire du jogging, internet, cool, week-end...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThanKwee

Also "le parking" = the parking lot, or some other place where cars are parked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

The source and first usage of the word "email" has not yet been established and the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) has appealed many times for its earliest citing. So, we don't know if "email" is American by source. It definitely isn't American by nature as it is used globally.

And, as ShotgunJohnny pointed out, "American" isn't a language.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adder3

see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_words_from_indigenous_languages_of_the_Americas . By the way Jeans are named after the city of Genoa in Italy, a place where cotton corduroy, called either jean or jeane, was manufactured.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gatiquo

Eventually, french scholars will come up with a french word for email.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

They already have - since 2003, l'Académie française have insisted that Francophones use the word courriel and not "email". There's an interesting discussion (in French) here:

https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/email-courriel-mel.4378/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CommeuneTexane

They have quite a while ago. "Courriel" is the French word for "email," but I believe it is more commonly used in Quebec than in France...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThanKwee

I'm not sure if "courriel" is used more in Quebec. I did a survey with the French people I know, and they all use "email"

It's so difficult to translate because of regional differences

https://www.thoughtco.com/le-courriel-vocabulary-1371793


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CommeuneTexane

My sample size is admittedly small too. The Francophones I know from France use "email", and the handful I know from Quebec use "courriel". I do know that the Quebecois tend to be more vigilent against the incursion of English words into their vocabulary; they have had a long history of pushing back against threats to their culture and language in English-dominated Canada.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThanKwee

I only know one person from Quebec and he says exactly what you described.

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