Anglicism in French: Why are the French Concerned?

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Phemelo Kewagamang


In the definition of language as a social tool of communication, one often does not see what else
it carries. It is not the superficial function of communication that makes language an object of
endearment and passionate reverence – it is the intangible social marks that language puts in the
mind and conduct of a community. The social role of language as an identifier is more profound as
it is how a community identifies itself and express their belonging to a common enjoyable culture
and other complex expressions in their way of life. So, there is no language community that will
consciously discard this extraordinary tool of social communication. When a language is invaded,
therefore, there is a lot that is at stake and the invasion is construed as a profound attack on the
community, its identity, pride and indeed, its culture. Often, such an invasion on a language is felt
and seen as a form of colonialism, and speakers feel diminished as the new language becomes
an imposition and an agent of de-culturalisation. This essay examines some of the intricacies of
language politics manifested in the historical relationship between English and French.

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