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France Bans Official Use of Anglicized Gamer Words

Esports is now "jeu video de competition" in official French communications.
Esports is now "jeu video de competition" in official French communications. / Joe Brady/GettyImages

French government officials have decided to ban the use of several anglicized words drawn from the gaming community in order to preserve the purity of the French language.

The French culture ministry, which plays a part in the process, told Agence France-Presse the terms could act as "a barrier to understanding" for Francophones that aren't immersed in gaming culture. It said it searched video game websites and magazines to see if French terms already existed, and used them when possible.

The changes to the language vary in their severity. Pro gamer will be changed to "joueur professionel" in a fairly direct translation; meanwhile, streamer becomes "joueur-animatuer en direct," a significantly longer and more cumbersome phrase.

Other changes: cloud gaming will be "jeu video en nuage;" esports will be "jeu video de competition."

The ban, handed down by the French language watchdog the Académie Française, is binding for government workers writing official documents. It remains to be seen whether the average French speaker will adhere to the new guidelines.