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Nowadays, it is so common to hear colleagues using words or expressions in companies which, just by their intonation, are reminiscent of the language of Shakespeare. And you sometimes wonder what that could possibly mean.

Find out in the rest of this article what corporate language is, and why it is used by the French in business.

Corporate language in France

Also called Anglicism, corporate language is a borrowing from the English language by another language, in this case French. These are English words and expressions that are found occasionally in the French language. If you want to learn professional French or French at work, you will need to know these words borrowed from corporate language.

The Colpron Dictionary of Anglicisms distinguishes six categories of Anglicism, which are:

  • Semantic Anglicism
  • Lexical Anglicism
  • Syntactic Anglicism
  • Morphological Anglicism
  • Phonetic anglicism
  • Graphic Anglicism

Why Englishism at work

Corporate language also designates a set of words or expressions specific to an organization, corporation or profession. Indeed, the number and frequency of anglicisms vary according to the speakers and according to the fields of speciality. They are found much more in certain fields such as economics, and even more so in IT.

However, it is important to remember that centuries ago, it was rather English that borrowed from French. So what happened that today we are witnessing the opposite?

The reasons for the omnipresence of Anglicism in business

De nombreuses raisons expliquent l’usage de l’anglicisme dans le français au travail. En voici quelques-unes :

A language imposed by the language of invention

Like the world of music, which uses a lot of Italian words, or the world of cooking and fashion, where the use of French words is more widespread, the field of computing is full of Anglo-American words that imposed on professionals in the trade.

In fact, most programming languages ​​have English-inspired vocabulary; which makes programmers have a natural tendency to think in English.

Need for vocabulary unification

Often, the use of Anglicism is not due to a lack of French at work, but rather to a desire for unification or universalization of scientific vocabulary. The objective in this case is to facilitate the unambiguous transmission of sharp and rapidly evolving knowledge.

Thus, in certain fields such as zoology and botany, we can notice that it is Latin that is generally used to name plants and animals.

English, the trending language of professional success

Several factors have favored the entry of Anglicism into corporate language or into French in the workplace, starting with the proliferation of international exchanges. But the major reason for the success of English is that it is trendy and quite dynamic. Because of this, it is easily associated with professional success.

Anglicism, a code of belonging to a company or a professional environment.

In this profession, the use of a certain English vocabulary is the mark of a professional affiliation. If you choose to ignore these vocabularies and not use them, you risk coming across as a novice.

So many people end up using them without even realizing it. However, it will be necessary to avoid multiplying Anglicisms at work, at the risk of excluding certain collaborators.

Here are some words and expressions from French at work for you. If you already know some, we hope you will learn some new ones.

  • Deadline : to designate a deadline or a deadline.
  • Debrief: to say « to take stock », or « to take stock ».
  • Forwarder to say send, share a file, or a document.

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