The use of Franglais can cringe some purists of the French language, but a study shows that it has no negative effect on the language.
Shana Poplack, the professor who runs a sociolinguistics laboratory at the University of Ottawa, has studied a vast amount of words and hundreds of speakers to come to this conclusion. She says that in the long run these words “borrowed” tend to disappear.
“We have looked at millions of words of Quebec francophones since 1846, and most borrowed words simply disappear after their first mention,” she says.
The research also shows that when English words are used in a francophone context, they do not change the fundamental bases of the language.
“English words are treated like any other French word. So mixing them has no effect on the grammatical core of the language, “says Poplack.
Shana Poplack, who was on the morning show Le 6 à 9, Thursday morning, says that with this study she wants to break the myths that persist around languages that are considered non-standard. According to her, the mixture of languages is generally badly seen by society.
She finds the term franglais a little negative, as well as spanglish , chiac or joual .
What about people living in minority communities?
She says it’s a question of use. If we continue to speak the language regularly, the language will survive. She adds that the use of vocabulary which comes mainly or almost entirely from another language does not affect the grammatical structure of the language.
She cites the example of the English language, which would derive the origin of its words from the French language to almost 50%. Despite this fact, these words of French origin are still used in English, and the structure of the language has not been affected.
These words are not invading the language and do not bring their grammatical properties. The preconceptions of purists are understandable, but science does not support them, concludes the professor.