The French Academy, the historic guardian of the French language, has warned the nation’s public bodies against encouraging "franglais", saying it poses a real danger.
L'Academie Francaise said it was “seriously concerned” at the mixing of French with English words — an increasingly common phenomenon in an age of social media and globalised marketing.
Phrases such as “fake news”, “happy hour” or “Black Friday” have been widely adopted in France as elsewhere.
The academy said that “repeated violations” of the 1994 Toubon law, which sets out rules and requirements for the use of French, “distort our language” not just because of the “invasion of the Anglo-Saxon terms” but because of the damage done to syntax.
It did not identify any offending state officials, but said it “solemnly alerts public authorities and invites them first and foremost to respect the law themselves.”
“If they do not react vigorously, if the public does not appreciate the danger that threatens it, French will cease to be the living and popular language we love,” the academy said.
The Toubon law also banned the use of foreign languages in all TV broadcasts, requiring all foreign-language programmes to be dubbed. It also dictates that radio stations must play French songs at least 40% of the time.
In August, French culture minister Franck Riester spoke out about the encroachment of other languages in France, by ordering his Twitter followers to “say things in French.”