Francization: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Francization or Gallicization (and informally Frenchification) is a process of cultural assimilation that gives a French character to a word, an ethnicity or a person.


French Colonial Empire

Lycée Albert Sarraut, it was a French high school in Hanoi, Vietnam during the French colonial period. The school offered high standard academic programmes with the explicit purpose to create foreigners who thought in French and like Frenchmen. Many well-known Vietnamese scholars and leaders graduated from Lycée Albert Sarraut.

French Neocolonialism

French language usage outside a supermarket, in Boulevard Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in Abidjan, Côte D'Ivoire

Francization of ethnic minorities in France

Francization is also a designator applied to a number of ethnic assimilation policies implemented by French authorities from the French revolution to nowadays. These policies aimed at imposing or maintaining the dominance of French language and culture by encouraging or compelling people of other ethnic groups to adopt the French language and culture, and to develop a French identity.


National minorities

The term can be applied to the Francization of the German-speaking inhabitants of Alsace-Lorraine after this region was reannexed by France following the First World War, to the Flemings in French Flanders, or to the Occitans in Occitania, as well as to Bretons, Catalans, Corsicans and Basques.

It began in fact with the ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts under king Francis I of France, that prescribed the official use of the French language in all the documents. The other tongues like Occitan began to disappear as written languages.

Everything was francized step by step : surnames, place-names, etc. Nowadays it still continues but people can change their names to bretonize (replacement of 'Le' by 'Ar' for instance Le Bras becomes Ar Braz 'the tall') or occitanize it again. The city signs for example, must be spelled the French way, but the local authorities are now allowed to add the original way.

Foreign minorities

Francization in Quebec

The Government of Quebec has francization policies intended to establish French as the primary language of business and commerce. All businesses are required to provide written communications and schedules in French, and may not make knowledge of a language other than French a condition of hiring unless this is justified by the nature of the duties. Businesses with more than fifty employees are required to register with the Quebec Office of the French language in order to become eligible for a francization certificate, which is granted if the linguistic requirements are met. If not, employers are required to adopt a francization programme, which includes having employees, especially ones in managerial positions, who do not speak French or whose grasp of French is weak attend French-language training.[1]

As part of the francization programme, the Quebec government provides free language courses for recent immigrants (from other countries or other provinces) who do not speak French or whose command of French is weak. The government also provides financial assistance for those who are unable to find employment due to being unable to speak French.[2]

Another aspect of francization in Quebec regards the quality of the French used in Quebec. The Quebec Office of the French language has, since its formation, undertaken to discourage anglicisms and to promote high standards of French language education in schools.[3]

Such francization programmes have been criticized as failures with the Montreal area becoming increasingly allophones while French and English are droping .[4]

Rates of francization may be established for any group by comparing the number of people who usually speak French to the total number of people in the minority language group. See Calvin Veltman's Language Shift in the United States (1983) for a discussion.

Francization of Brussels

In the last two centuries, Brussels transformed from an exclusively Dutch-speaking city to a bilingual city with French as the majority language and lingua franca. The language shift began in the 18th century and accelerated as Belgium became independent and Brussels expanded beyond its original city boundaries.[5][6] From 1880 on, more and more Dutch-speaking people became bilingual, resulting in a rise of monolingual French-speakers after 1910. Halfway through the 20th century the number of monolingual French-speakers carried the day over the (mostly) bilingual Flemish inhabitants.[7] Only since the 1960s, after the fixation of the Belgian language border and the socio-economic development of Flanders was in full effect, could Dutch stem the tide of increasing French use.[8]

Francization of the language

There are many examples of Francization in history and popular culture:

The same exists for other languages, for example English, in which case objects or persons can be Anglicized.

See also


  1. ^ Summary of the language of work and francization of business firms
  2. ^ Information from the Quebec government
  3. ^ Quebec Charter of the French language
  4. ^ Quebec entry in Encarta. Archived 2009-10-31.
  5. ^ (French)[1] "Wallonie - Bruxelles", Le Service de la langue française, 19/05/1997
  6. ^ (French)[2] "Villes, identités et médias francophones: regards croisés Belgique, Suisse, Canada.", Université Laval, Québec
  7. ^ (Dutch)"Thuis in gescheiden werelden" — De migratoire en sociale aspecten van verfransing te Brussel in het midden van de 19e eeuw", BTNG-RBHC, XXI, 1990, 3-4, pp. 383-412, Machteld de Metsenaere, Eerst aanwezend assistent en docent Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  8. ^ J. Fleerackers, Chief of staff of the Belgian Minister for Dutch culture and Flemish affairs (1973). "De historische kracht van de Vlaamse beweging in België: de doelstellingen van gister, de verwezenlijkingen vandaag en de culturele aspiraties voor morgen" (in Dutch). Digitale bibliotheek voor Nederlandse Letteren. 


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