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(Telegraph)   Former British official describes the French language as "useless." De Gaulle of some people   (telegraph.co.uk) divider line 162
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5512 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Jun 2010 at 6:28 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-06-15 11:53:25 PM
"The swine."
newsimg.bbc.co.uk
 
2010-06-15 11:57:54 PM
Somebody takes his Futurama hardcore. Now if you excuse me, I have to order a pizza...
 
2010-06-16 12:26:32 AM
I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!
 
2010-06-16 12:34:10 AM
The French language has many uses. And when I say "many," I mean it has some. For instance, it makes it much easier for normal people to tell when they are dealing with the French.

So, it has one, at least.
 
2010-06-16 12:35:19 AM
Just about everything is a useless language. People piss and moan about culture and eleventy words for 'snow' and such, but global communication just needs less languages, if not one single modern language.
/French is one of the more useful of the languages though, since it's still used and fairly popular in industrialized nations.
 
2010-06-16 12:36:32 AM
Yeah, it's useless except for creating modern English. The King's English used to be French.
 
2010-06-16 12:38:27 AM
GAT_00: Yeah, it's useless except for creating modern English. The King's English used to be French.

I kinda bind british english to be useless too.

/not really, but, I wonder how he would respond to that.
 
2010-06-16 12:39:51 AM
"Omelette au fromage."
open.salon.com
 
2010-06-16 12:47:24 AM
GAT_00: Yeah, it's useless except for creating modern English. The King's English used to be French.

French is the Homo erectus to the English Homo sapiens.

/Which must make Latin Homo habilis.
 
2010-06-16 12:49:10 AM
Snarfangel: GAT_00: Yeah, it's useless except for creating modern English. The King's English used to be French.

French is the Homo erectus to the English Homo sapiens.

/Which must make Latin Homo habilis.


The french homos I wanna hear about are lesbians.
 
2010-06-16 12:56:04 AM
Que?
 
2010-06-16 01:36:52 AM
Barakku: Just about everything is a useless language. People piss and moan about culture and eleventy words for 'snow' and such, but global communication just needs less languages, if not one single modern language.

img392.imageshack.us
 
2010-06-16 01:39:13 AM
Tell this to a few American® idiots I know who are protesting illegal immigration by making their kids take anything but Spanish to fill their foreign language reqs. The most popular alternative? You already know, French.

I've always wanted to pick up a few languages before I die, but between next to no room for electives while in school and a shortage of time since joining the workforce, it hasn't happened. Funny enough, the tops of my language list (Spanish, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Arabic) were all considered "useful" by the guy from TFA.

/Totally clueless in Mandarin and Arabic
//Pretty familiar with Spanish, but very out of practice. Usually comes back after a couple days, though.
///Only recognizes bits of Portuguese because of commonality with Spanish.
 
2010-06-16 01:54:22 AM
GAT_00: Yeah, it's useless except for creating modern English. The King's English used to be French.

English is mostly derived from Germanic languages. Not the Latin derived languages.
 
2010-06-16 02:06:56 AM
The French language has produced some of the most beautiful works of literature in existence.

French novels like Madame Bovary, while excellent in any language, are said to cross over to the sublime when read in its native tongue due to the inherent grace and lyrical quality of the French language.

French also suits Hip Hop for the same reason
 
2010-06-16 02:33:54 AM
Sun God: GAT_00: Yeah, it's useless except for creating modern English. The King's English used to be French.

English is mostly derived from Germanic languages. Not the Latin derived languages.


It depends on how you ask the question. Most of today's most common words have Germanic roots, but the majority of today's English words are Latin/French-derived.

I hate linking to Wikipedia, but the stats I've heard before are similar to the ones on Wiki. Plus, the article gives sources if anyone wants to doublecheck: Wikipedia speaks (new window)
 
2010-06-16 02:59:02 AM
skandalus: It depends on how you ask the question. Most of today's most common words have Germanic roots, but the majority of today's English words are Latin/French-derived.

I think you need to reread what you said. Most common words versus the majority of words?

Buch/book, auto/auto, bier/beer, hause/house, blau/blue, rot/red, braun/brown.

Ich/Je

It isn't really a case for some kind of chauvinistic discussion. The English language is based on Germanic origins. It is a fact.

Queen Victoria was German.
 
2010-06-16 03:25:09 AM
Sun God: I think you need to reread what you said. Most common words versus the majority of words?

Buch/book, auto/auto, bier/beer, hause/house, blau/blue, rot/red, braun/brown.

Ich/Je

It isn't really a case for some kind of chauvinistic discussion. The English language is based on Germanic origins. It is a fact.

Queen Victoria was German.


Nah, I'm pretty sure of what I said. The most frequently occurring words in English tend to be Germanic. However, a larger portion of the overall vocabulary has Latin roots. Both of those are also facts. If you want to fight me there, knock yourself out. You'll still be just as wrong, but knock yourself out. Either way, I'm off to bed in a few.

Beyond that, English is still classified as a Germanic language (and for a host of good reasons), but the language's mongrel heritage muddles things.
 
2010-06-16 03:39:07 AM
skandalus: Nah, I'm pretty sure of what I said. The most frequently occurring words in English tend to be Germanic. However, a larger portion of the overall vocabulary has Latin roots. Both of those are also facts. If you want to fight me there, knock yourself out. You'll still be just as wrong, but knock yourself out. Either way, I'm off to bed in a few.

You keep saying the same thing twice. "English has Germanic roots but what we speak today is rooted in the Romance Languages." This really isn't true. Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, Welsh, some Slavic languages are all rooted in non-Latin languages, and have more similarity to English than Spanish, French, or Italian.
 
2010-06-16 03:47:29 AM
I wouldn't say "useless";

People who speak Latin-based languages consequently have more sex. That's why they're called "Romance languages".
 
2010-06-16 03:48:05 AM
skandalus: Nah, I'm pretty sure of what I said. The most frequently occurring words in English tend to be Germanic. However, a larger portion of the overall vocabulary has Latin roots. Both of those are also facts. If you want to fight me there, knock yourself out. You'll still be just as wrong, but knock yourself out. Either way, I'm off to bed in a few.

Oh. I get it. You'll be just as right. Or at least not incorrect.
 
2010-06-16 03:49:57 AM
images2.wikia.nocookie.net
Bonjour!
 
2010-06-16 03:53:37 AM
Sun God: You keep saying the same thing twice. "English has Germanic roots but what we speak today is rooted in the Romance Languages." This really isn't true. Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, Welsh, some Slavic languages are all rooted in non-Latin languages, and have more similarity to English than Spanish, French, or Italian.

That's not what I said either. Maybe it's the way I'm wording it, or maybe it's the way you're reading it. Just check the link in my very Boobies. That "Word Origins" section is a wordier version of what I actually said. If it's still unclear after that, I'll let someone else hammer the point home.
 
2010-06-16 03:55:04 AM
Sun God: skandalus: Nah, I'm pretty sure of what I said. The most frequently occurring words in English tend to be Germanic. However, a larger portion of the overall vocabulary has Latin roots. Both of those are also facts. If you want to fight me there, knock yourself out. You'll still be just as wrong, but knock yourself out. Either way, I'm off to bed in a few.

Oh. I get it. You'll be just as right. Or at least not incorrect.


FINALLY, lol.
 
2010-06-16 04:01:02 AM
Sun God: skandalus: Nah, I'm pretty sure of what I said. The most frequently occurring words in English tend to be Germanic. However, a larger portion of the overall vocabulary has Latin roots. Both of those are also facts. If you want to fight me there, knock yourself out. You'll still be just as wrong, but knock yourself out. Either way, I'm off to bed in a few.

Oh. I get it. You'll be just as right. Or at least not incorrect.


Perhaps you didn't parse your words, but actually said something inarguable:

The most frequently occurring words in English tend to be Germanic. However, a larger portion of the overall vocabulary has Latin roots.

What is the "overall" vocabulary?
 
2010-06-16 04:16:37 AM
Oh, come on! French is very useful. For example...

"Le singe est sur la branche."

See? Useful.
 
2010-06-16 04:51:22 AM
The French say "merde." I think that means they want their mommy. And whom among us doesn't.

Germans say, "schiesse"
According to Fark, English speakers say shiat.
 
2010-06-16 05:37:36 AM
pamplemousse
 
2010-06-16 06:05:46 AM
brainiac-dumdum: pamplemousse

ananas
 
2010-06-16 06:11:49 AM
Let's c'est this thread ist gehen tu be uber vous tete? Quo Vadis?
 
2010-06-16 06:12:22 AM
Hindmost: brainiac-dumdum: pamplemousse

ananas


groseille à maquereau
 
2010-06-16 06:20:31 AM
brainiac-dumdum: Hindmost: brainiac-dumdum: pamplemousse

ananas

groseille à maquereau


Jus d'orange
 
2010-06-16 06:36:25 AM
The Brits better start learning Spanish if they ever want to holiday in the States and understand what anyone says.
 
2010-06-16 06:36:51 AM
Hindmost: brainiac-dumdum: Hindmost: brainiac-dumdum: pamplemousse

ananas

groseille à maquereau

Jus d'orange


Fruits de mer
 
2010-06-16 06:37:26 AM
oldebayer: The French language has many uses. And when I say "many," I mean it has some. For instance, it makes it much easier for normal people to tell when they are dealing with the French.

So, it has one, at least.


I very nearly laughed out loud at this. What color do you like?
 
2010-06-16 06:40:45 AM
GAT_00: Yeah, it's useless except for creating modern English. The King's English used to be French.

That's only because the House of Plantagenet (ie: the Normans) ruled the English throne during the Middle Ages. They all spoke French, but English had already been well established before then.

The truth is English is a bastard language. The island was conquered no less than 14 times by 10 different cultures between 500-1000 AD (the Franks, the Normans, the Celts, the Danes, the Jutes, the Angles, the Saxons, the Vikings, and some miscellaneous Angevin and Burgund and Lombard immigrants visited there as well), and it already harboured a multi-ethnic indigenous base (Celts, Picts, Scots, Britons, Druids, Romans, Welsh), and each invader bukkaked their influence all over the language, creating, by 1100, a clusterfark of a language that had more words, more rules, more idioms, more dialects, more customs, more accents, and more ways to say the same god damn thing than any other language on earth.

And somehow this abortion of a language became the de facto communications medium for all business and commerce in the modern world. God help us all.
 
2010-06-16 06:41:15 AM
GAT_00: Yeah, it's useless except for creating modern English. The King's English used to be French.

To be complete, the King's English used to be French, and Latin (straight-up, not 'Latin via French'), German, Icelandic, Old English, Welsh, and whatever else was in Chaucer and Shakespeare's respective refrigerators at the time. Oh, and toss some Indian (subcontinent, not American) phrases in there for seasoning at a later date.

//And French is actually moderately useless, it's only spoken by the French and a couple spare ex-colonies nowadays due to draconian regulation of the tongue rendering it farking useless as a trade-pidgin. Spanish is actually far more useful if you're picking a second language, as is Russian or German (east bloc, western Asia), Arabic (north Africa, middle east), Japanese (the effective trading tongue of Polynesia and possibly micronesia) or any of half a dozen Chinese dialects. It's not dead by any means, but if you're trying to, say, give your students a wider potential exposure to the modern languages of the world, French is like seventh on the list at best.
 
2010-06-16 06:42:31 AM
Voulez-vous de beurre?
 
2010-06-16 06:43:11 AM
I came here for an obscure 'Allo 'Allo reference and left disappointed.
 
2010-06-16 06:47:41 AM
Calling useless is a bit severe. It is still useful. But as a language in the business world mandarin and arabic are really(as he said) much more in use as the major trade nations use these languages. French...not so much. We have the same problem up here. French is not a very good resource when much of the nations immigrants are either oriental,middle eastern or south asian. French is not going to help me communicate with them or the major businesses that deal with North America. It is an outdated piece of curriculam that needs to be overhauled.
 
2010-06-16 06:49:31 AM
I've started using the term "American" to describe the language we speak in the USA. It is sufficiently different from the language they speak in England that articles written in that language are difficult to understand here with both different spellings and different rules for punctuation, not to mention a completely different and non-sensical lexicon.

Mexican is in the same way different from Spanish. Though the two languages share a common root, culture and time has caused the two countries to diverge linguistically. So too are the Americans and English separated by a common language. It makes little sense to consider them the same language now that they have drifted so far apart.
 
2010-06-16 06:49:39 AM
French gave us "cigarette" and "toilette" and "Cabernet" and "brassiere," and shoot, a feller could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.
 
2010-06-16 06:49:55 AM
brainiac-dumdum: French also suits Hip Hop for the same reason

French suits hip-hop cause hip-hop is also useless.
 
2010-06-16 06:52:11 AM
I really really regret not taking French in high school.

All the cool people at my university spoke French, many of which were pretty young girls.
Or maybe it's just that all the French-speaking people were also pretty cool.
 
2010-06-16 06:54:25 AM
Why can't they just speak American? It was good enough for Jesus.
 
2010-06-16 06:58:36 AM
Sun God: skandalus: Nah, I'm pretty sure of what I said. The most frequently occurring words in English tend to be Germanic. However, a larger portion of the overall vocabulary has Latin roots. Both of those are also facts. If you want to fight me there, knock yourself out. You'll still be just as wrong, but knock yourself out. Either way, I'm off to bed in a few.

You keep saying the same thing twice. "English has Germanic roots but what we speak today is rooted in the Romance Languages." This really isn't true. Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, Welsh, some Slavic languages are all rooted in non-Latin languages, and have more similarity to English than Spanish, French, or Italian.


Is this... seriously a point of contention? I don't even care enough to do my own research on this, here's C&P from wikipedia:


A computerised survey of about 80,000 words in the old Shorter Oxford Dictionary (3rd ed.) was published in Ordered Profusion by Thomas Finkenstaedt and Dieter Wolff (1973)[75] that estimated the origin of English words as follows:

Influences in English vocabulary
Langue d'oïl, including French and Old Norman: 28.3%
Latin, including modern scientific and technical Latin: 28.24%
Other Germanic languages (including words directly inherited from Old English; does not include Germanic words coming from the Germanic element in French, Latin or other Romance languages): 25%
Greek: 5.32%
No etymology given: 4.03%
Derived from proper names: 3.28%
All other languages: less than 1%

A survey by Joseph M. Williams in Origins of the English Language of 10,000 words taken from several thousand business letters gave this set of statistics:[76]
French (langue d'oïl): 41%
"Native" English: 33%
Latin: 15%
Old Norse: 2%
Dutch: 1%
Other: 10%


And here's the breakdown of that into more general categories:
upload.wikimedia.org

So the vocabulary is about 30%/30% split between French and German (with German words inherited through French counted as French), with the bulk of the remainder coming from Latin directly rather than from a romance language, and some miscellany for the rest. I'd speculate that truly modern english probably shrinks the french/germanic categories and grows the Latin (new words like "telephone", photon) and Miscellaneous (laser, radar).

It's also worth noting that English is firmly classified as a Germanic language for reasons primarily related to grammar and syntax (specifically, it descends from the northern Germanic tongues), which appear to be regarded as much more important than vocabulary by linguists, who I assume know what they're talking about.
 
2010-06-16 06:58:48 AM
Ishkur:
And somehow this abortion of a language became the de facto communications medium for all business and commerce in the modern world. God help us all.


Thank the Brits again for that and their mutton munching empires.
 
2010-06-16 07:01:06 AM
Ishkur: And somehow this abortion of a language became the de facto communications medium for all business and commerce in the modern world. God help us all.

English is a very efficient language. It takes very little skill to speak it, and it's fairly readily understood even if you screw up the pronouns. No de/da/dein/mein German predicates. It's just English. I, you. We. Go.
 
2010-06-16 07:03:07 AM
Sun God: No de/da/dein/mein German predicates. It's just English. I, you. We. Go.

You mean
I, me
you, y'all
We, us
They, them
Go, went, gone, going, has gone, have gone, will go
 
2010-06-16 07:03:07 AM
BadAnalogyGuy: I've started using the term "American" to describe the language we speak in the USA. It is sufficiently different from the language they speak in England that articles written in that language are difficult to understand here with both different spellings and different rules for punctuation, not to mention a completely different and non-sensical lexicon.

Mexican is in the same way different from Spanish. Though the two languages share a common root, culture and time has caused the two countries to diverge linguistically. So too are the Americans and English separated by a common language. It makes little sense to consider them the same language now that they have drifted so far apart.


While vocabularies and notations (and some idioms) tend to differ, grammatically speaking American English and British English are more or less identical. Same for Mexican and Castilian Spanish.

The word you're looking for is "Dialect". We use distinct dialects, not distinct languages.
 
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