Frenglish or Franglais?

The English call it - Frenglish and the French - Franglais, however, the bottom line is that it represents an incorrect usage of both languages, a little here, a little there. It is nonetheless comical to see it and even great writers used it to point this out. It will bring a smile to you; a French or an English one?!
Frenglish for English speakers, or Franglais for French, is the incorrect mixture of the two languages, due to poor knowledge and improvisations from the part of beginner learners. Frenglish should not be confused with the dialect spoken in Canada, especially in Quebec. The language used there is made up of linguistic interchanges caused by the coexistence of the French and English communities there. Therefore, the language in use there should not be regarded as containing linguistic mistakes. The language spoken by the English minority of the Quebec province, has now many French borrowings like: autoroute (highway), dépanneur (corner store) stage (internship), metro (subway), and many other. One must underline the fact that all these are permanent traits of local language usage rather than mistakes improvised by new learners of one of the two languages. In this part of Canada, English and French seem to have turned into major components of the same mutually shared tongue, and is born out of mutual borrowings and linguistic compromises.

As for French part, there are some authorities like the High Council for the French Language (Conseil supérieur de la langue française) or The French Academy (Académie Française) who usually make proposals of alternative words for the English borrowings. These proposals may vary a great deal. Thus, one may think of the French word "ordinateur" or "logiciel", which existed in the French language long before the appearance of the English terms "computer" and "software" within the French vocabulary. They are accepted and used in France and other French-speaking countries, instead of their English equivalents. On the other hand, the French variant for "week-end", "vacancielle" did not gain any popularity, whereas "fin de semaine" is largely used in Canada. Another famous example is that of the word "courriel", the French equivalent of "e-mail", which slowly gains more and more acceptance especially in the written French language.

Here is an example of this strange combination between English and French, which is spoken and written in Quebec:

Rue Main Street
On va winé et diné
Qu'est-ce que tu veux pour lunch?
On va bruncher
J'veux mes oeufs sunny-side-up
La soupe chicken que chose, c'é bin alright
Un coke, dés fries, pas d'gravy
Lés fries sont crispy
J'aime lés oignons rings
Un sandwich au tuna, s.v.p.
J'aime d'la relish pis d'la moutarde sur mon hot-dog
Trois takeout, s.v.p.
Un ordre de toast
Veux-tu du peanut butter pis d'la jam sur tés toast?
Veux-tu du sirop sur tés pencake?
J'ai lés munchies
Veux-tu an autre drink?
Deux boules d'ice cream s.v.p.
Amène-moé le bill
As-tu laissé un tip?

Nonetheless, Frenglish is likely to refer to language misuses due to poor knowledge from the part of the speaker. It can be found in literature, in order to create humorous situations and style. In this respect, we may think of Mark Twain, the celebrated American writer of the 19th century. In his work entitled "Innocents Abroad", he included a very funny letter written to a Parisian landlord:

"PARIS, le 7 Juillet. Monsieur le Landlord--Sir: Pourquoi don't you mettez some savon in your bed-chambers? Est-ce que vous pensez I will steal it? La nuit passee you charged me pour deux chandelles when I only had one; hier vous avez charged me avec glace when I had none at all; tout les jours you are coming some fresh game or other on me, mais vous ne pouvez pas play this savon dodge on me twice. Savon is a necessary de la vie to any body but a Frenchman, et je l'aurai hors de cet hotel or make trouble. You hear me. Allons. BLUCHER."

For the same comic purposes, another humorist called Miles Kington actually authored a column in the magazine Punch, in the late '70s, bearing the title Parlez vous Franglais. All these columns finally made up books like:" Let's Parler Franglais", "Let's Parler Franglais Again!"," Parlez-vous Franglais?", "Let's Parler Franglais One More Temps", "The Franglais Lieutenant's Woman and Other Literary Masterpieces".

However funny these may seem, they may be seen as attempts to get rid of language barriers and establish a common language for all. So, lucky you if you know a little of both French and English, you can speak a whole new language in that case: Franglais or... should I say Frenglish?
By Claudia Miclaus
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