Game over for English video game slang as France revises the rules

French officials Monday continue their centuries-long struggle to preserve the purity of the language and are overhauling the rules for using English video game jargon.

French officials Monday continue their centuries-long struggle to preserve the purity of the language and are overhauling the rules for using English video game jargon.

While some expressions find obvious translations — “pro-gamer” becomes “joueur professionnel” — others seem more tense, as “streamer” is converted to “joueur-animateur and direct”.

The culture ministry, which is involved in the trial, told AFP that the video game industry is rife with anglicisms that can present a “barrier to understanding” for non-gamers.

France regularly warns of the degradation of its language from across the Channel, or more recently the Atlantic.

The age-old language watchdog Academie Francaise warned in February of a “degradation that should not be seen as inevitable”.

It highlighted terms such as the SNCF train company’s “Ouigo” brand (pronounced “we’re going”), along with straightforward imports such as “big data” and “drive-in.”

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However, Monday’s changes were published in the Official Gazette, making them binding on government employees.

Among several terms that had to be given official French alternatives were “cloud gaming”, which will become “jeu video en nuage”, and “eSports”, which will now be translated as “jeu video de competition”.

The ministry said experts had searched video game websites and magazines to see if French terms already existed.

The general idea, the ministry said, was to make it easier for the population to communicate.

Arun Agarwal
I am Arun Agarwal, a passionate blogger and gamer. I love to share my thoughts on games and technology through blog posts. I’m also an avid reader of books about history, philosophy, science-fiction, and other genres as well as an anime fan. I like reading books that give me new perspectives or help me think differently about the world around us.