Meet the new French language

The following is a quote from a semi-official Usenet newsgroup for the French institution EPITECH where current and soon-to-be students can meet and discuss their past and future education in computer science:

moi chui pa un intelektuel mer g ete pri fo just avoir la motiv couz. moi jveu savoir c ki kisera dan ma class et si ya moy kon se voi avan la rentrer. au fet jven un psp ki li ler jeu graver.

A translation of this text in “traditional” French would read as follows: « moi, je ne suis pas un intellectuel mais j’ai été pris; il faut juste avoir de la motivation, cousin. Moi, je veux savoir qui sera dans ma classe et s’il y a moyen qu’on se voie avant la rentrée. Au fait, je vends une PSP qui lit les jeux gravés. »

Regardless of the content, which is of little value outside of the specific milieu where this quote belongs, I find it striking how the new French differs from the language of the “litterature.”

There are two interesting facts to be observed here:

  • to my knowledge, most youngsters below 20 of age nowadays use this new form of the language when they type on keyboards;
  • as time passes, without major cultural transformations we will see more and more language corpus generated with keyboards.

Combining these facts, I would expect that in little more than 10 years we will see French being gradually replaced and/or transformed for many uses, including business, services, education, information, correspondence and all places where the corpus is not intended to be archived. This will result in a cultural shift where two languages will be in use : classical French for literature, law, treaties and such other items of historical interest, and colloquial French for all the rest, radically different and more closely matching the spoken language.

For my part, I will be practicing the new style for the coming years. I intend to be able to mold into the new generation and not be left behind.