Le smartphone? France has another term in mind

  • Published in World

Even French President Emmanuel Macron checks his 'mobile multifonction'. Smartphones may have become ubiquitous in France, but the country's language mavens hope there's still time to keep the word from becoming ensconced in everyday speech. The Enrichment Commission for the French Language has come up with what it considers a more suitable expression: "le mobile multifonction", or the multifunction cellphone. It doesn't exactly trip off the tongue, but it fits with the commission's remit: Keep foreign words out of French. The ruling was published in France's official journal on Friday, meaning that government texts will have to use the new term. It annuls and replaces "terminal de poche", required -- in theory at least -- since 2009. A 'mobile multifonction' also comes in handy to take a selfie with the Eiffel Tower. The commission, which works hand in hand with the language guardians at the Academie Francaise, also advised "reseau dorsal" for backbone network and "fibronique" for fiber optics.
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