Sir, – I was surprised to read that the higher-level Leaving Certificate French paper made reference to “jeunes leaders” in wonderful Franglais, as opposed to “jeunes dirigeants”, as approved by the Académie française. No doubt it was for the benefit of those exempt from taking Irish. – Yours, etc,
CLÍONA NÍ RÍORDÁIN,
June 16, 2018
Sir, – I am writing à propos of Clíona Ní Ríordáin’s complaint (June 16th) of a crime of lèse-majesté against the French language by the use, quelle horreur, of the word “leaders” in a French Leaving Certificate paper.
May I suggest that, au contraire, it was the mot juste in the context of discussing a new generation of young European politicians. Effective communication in a Francophone world requires words which are not necessarily de rigueur with the Académie française.
Rather than being evidence of some fin-de-siècle malaise, I suggest that incorporating foreign words into French shows that it a living, global language. Rather than a coup de grâce, it is a tour de force. The leader of the Irish equestrian team is the chef d’équipe: a soupçon of French adds a certain je ne sais quoi, n’est-ce pas? – Yours, etc,