French officials have banned the use of various English video game-related terms, including words like streamer, pro-gamer, and eSports, from its government.
The ban on the words comes from the French Ministry of Culture. As for the reason? It’s because the gaming sector is filled with “anglicisms” that could serve as “a barrier to understanding” for people unfamiliar with gaming. French culture ministry officials say the change is to allow the French-speaking population to communicate more easily, and that it searched French video game websites and magazines for alternative French terms.
It’s far from the first time French officials have warned of English gaming terms being a problem, with the Guardian stating that “France regularly issues dire warnings of the debasement of its language from across the Channel, or more recently the Atlantic.” The French-language watchdog the Académie Française has recently expressed concern over English gaming terms and released a list of alternate French terms in 2017. In February, the Académie Française warned that the “degradation” of the French language “must not be seen as inevitable.”
The decree is legally binding for French government workers, but does not restrict the use of the English terms for regular French citizens or publications, which means the terms will likely still be around in some form. While English terms like streamer, pro-gamer, eSports, and cloud gaming can no longer be used, French officials have come up with approved alternatives, such as “jeu video en nuage” for cloud gaming and “jeu video de competition” for eSports.
France is home to numerous game development studios and companies, most notably Ubisoft, which has its headquarters in Montreuil, France.