Thursday, March 10, 2011

On French

French is spoken in large swatches of Africa as the language of business and politics. While most of the world has embraced English as the international language with one in six people speaking it, Francophone Africa sticks with French as its lingua franca. Unfortunately French is an impossible language that not even the President of France is able to speak correctly. Much like George W. Bush, he has come under attack for butchering the language. And he is not the only one. As The Economist recently reported:
“Mr Sarkozy is not the only French politician to wrestle with the language. Some fail to make adjectives agree with nouns, or conjugate verbs improperly. Others simply slip up while their minds are apparently elsewhere. Brice Hortfeuz, the interior minister, recently referred to “genitals” (genital) rather then “digitales” (digital) fingerprints. And in a discussion about the economy, Rachida Dati, formerly justice minister, coolly said “fellation” (fellatio) instead of “inflation”.

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