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Encyclopedia > Toubon Law

The Toubon Law (full name: law 94-665 of 4 August 1994 relating to usage of the French language), is a law of the French government mandating the use of the French language in official government publications, advertisements, and some other contexts. The law does not concern non-commercial communications, web pages or publications from individuals or private bodies. August 4 is the 216th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (217th in leap years), with 149 days remaining. ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International year of the Family. ... French (français, langue française) is one of the most important Romance languages, outnumbered in speakers only by Spanish and Portuguese. ... French (français, langue française) is one of the most important Romance languages, outnumbered in speakers only by Spanish and Portuguese. ...


The law takes its common name from Jacques Toubon, a conservative, who was Minister of Culture when it was passed and who proposed the law to Parliament. A nickname is Loi Allgood – "Allgood" is a syllable-per-syllable translation of "Toubon" into English, whereas the law can largely be considered to have been enacted in reaction to the increasing usage of English in advertisements and other occasions in France. Jacques Toubon is a conservative French politician. ... Conservatism or political conservatism is any of several historically related political philosophies or political ideologies. ... The Minister of Culture and Communications is, in the Government of France, the cabinet member in charge of national museums and monuments; promoting and protecting the arts (visual, plastic, theatrical, musical, dance, architectural, literary, televisual and cinematographic) in France and abroad; and managing the national archives and regional maisons de... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


The law was met by mixed reactions in France. It was often criticized in other countries, particularly English-speaking countries, often according to inaccurate and excessive understandings of its scope.

Contents

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (648x877, 158 KB) First page of the Toubon Law. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (648x877, 158 KB) First page of the Toubon Law. ... The Journal Officiel de la République Française (JORF or JO) is the official gazette of the French Republic. ...


Effects of the law

The most significant effect of the law is that it makes it mandatory for commercial advertisements and public announcements to be given in French. This does not rule out advertisements made in a foreign language: it is sufficient to provide a translation in a footnote, a very widespread practice. This was justified as a measure for the protection of the consumer.


In addition, the law specifies obligations for public legal persons (government administrations etc.), mandating the use of French in publications, or at least in summaries of publications. In France, it is a constitutional requirement that the public should be informed of the action of the government (Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, article 15: "Society has the right of requesting [an] account[ing] from any public agent of its [i.e., society's] administration."); since the official language of France is French, it follows that the French public should be able to get official information in French. Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen: Revolutionary patriotism borrows familiar iconography of the Ten Commandments The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (French: La Déclaration des droits de lHomme et du citoyen) is one of the fundamental documents of the...


Other dispositions concerned the use of French in colloquia. These dispositions are largely ignored by many public institutions, especially in the academic fields.


Some dispositions of the law were found to be unconstitutional by the Constitutional Council (decision 94-345 DC), on grounds that they violated freedom of speech, after a complaint by members of parliament of the left-wing opposition. A republican guard giving directions to visitors at the front entrance of the Constitutional Council The Constitutional Council (Conseil Constitutionnel) was established by the Constitution of the Fifth Republic on 4 October 1958. ... The examples and perspective in this article do not represent a worldwide view. ... The Parlement of France is bicameral, and consists of the National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) and the Senate (Sénat). ... The examples and perspective in this article do not represent a worldwide view. ...


Perception abroad

This law has often been very inaccurately described in the English-language press. In particular, it was incorrectly said to make it mandatory for French websites to be in French, and to ban the use of English words in French publications. Furthermore, it has often been lambasted in commentaries as a sign of French arrogance or inability to deal with the current world situation. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The front page of the English Wikipedia Website. ...


The Georgia Tech Lorraine case

One incident related to the Toubon law became particularly known in the United States of America, as it concerned the French branch of an American college.


Two groups, the Association for the Defence of the French Language and the Future of the French Language, used the Toubon Law to demand that information on some websites based in France, which they deemed to constitute advertisement, must be in French, and filed a complaint against Georgia Tech Lorraine. Generally speaking, advertising is the paid promotion of goods, services, companies and ideas by an identified sponsor. ...


Georgia Tech Lorraine is the French branch of the Atlanta-based Georgia Institute of Technology with a campus in Metz, in eastern France, with a current enrollment of 60 students. Classes are conducted in English, and the faculty rotates in from Atlanta. All course descriptions on its internet site were in English, which was supposed to violate French law in the reasoning of the two associations: according to them, these course descriptions constituted an advertisement for this private college and thus fell under the Toubon law. This article is about the state capital of Georgia. ... Georgia Institute of Technology The Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, is located in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. With over 16,000 students, Georgia Tech is one of four public research universities in the University System of Georgia. ... City motto: Si paix dedans, paix dehors (French: If peace inside, peace outside) City proper (commune) Région Lorraine Département Moselle (57) Mayor Jean-Marie Rausch Area 41. ...


Should the court have ruled against Georgia Tech Lorraine, the school could have been forced to pay a fine of 1,000 French francs for every day after such a ruling that the site was not translated into French, and 10,000 francs to each of the two plaintiffs. However, the case was dismissed by the court on a technicality, and the plaintiffs chose not to appeal the ruling. Since then, Georgia Tech Lorraine has made its website available in French and German in addition to English.


The case was inaccurately described in the American press as an example of a blanket prohibition of English-language sites in France.


See also

The Académie française, or French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. ... The examples and perspective in this article do not represent a worldwide view. ... The Charter of the French Language (also known as Bill 101 and Loi 101) is a framework law in the province of Quebec, Canada, defining the linguistic rights of all Quebecers and making French, the language of the majority, the sole official language of Quebec. ...

External links

  • Text of the Toubon law (in French; unconstitutional dispositions are marked as such)
  • Text of the decision deeming many dispositions of the Toubon law unconstitutional (in French)
  • Georgia Tech Lorraine official site

  Results from FactBites:
 
Reference.com/Encyclopedia/Toubon Law (664 words)
The Toubon Law (full name: law 94-665 of 4 August 1994 relating to usage of the French language), is a law of the French government mandating the use of the French language in official government publications, advertisements, and some other contexts.
Some dispositions of the law were found to be unconstitutional by the Constitutional Council (decision 94-345 DC), on grounds that they violated freedom of speech, after a complaint by members of parliament of the left-wing opposition.
One incident related to the Toubon law became particularly known in the United States of America, as it concerned the French branch of an American college.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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