French government bans English gamer words like ‘esports’

French officials have issued an edict that gamer words like 'esports' and 'cloud gaming' will not be used by government officials.
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French government officials have issued on edict that gamer jargon words like ‘esports’ and ‘cloud gaming’ are not to be used in official circumstances going forward, in an effort to reduce confusion for those unfamiliar with the gaming world. It appears English words like ‘pro gamer’ and ‘streamer’ will be banned from government use in future, with common terms being replaced by French language alternatives – joueur professionnel (pro gamer) and joueur-animateur en direct (streamer).

According to the country’s Ministry of Culture, using these English language gamer terms can pose ‘a barrier to understanding’ for those with only a surface-level understanding of video games. Essentially, the ruling is a means to create more accessible conversations about the games industry.

As Gizmodo points out, it’s also a sign of France’s continued, passionate commitment to ‘preserving’ the French language by not allowing English idioms and phrases to penetrate the lexicon.

In the past, the country has reportedly attempted to remove phrases like ’email’ from common vernacular by replacing it with the unwieldy ‘courriel’, meaning electronic courier. It also tried to replace ‘cloud computing’ with ‘informatique en nuage’ and ‘hashtag’ with ‘mo-dee-yez’.

Read: The Commonwealth Games Federation is exploring esports

The changes to gamer idioms were made on Monday, per The Guardian, with the edict now officially being entrenched in French law. Going forward, government officials will be banned from using these English-created terms when discussing matters of gaming in a professional capacity.

That means ‘cloud gaming’ is now ‘jeu video en nuage’, and that ‘esports’ is now ‘jeu video de competition’, as far as the government is concerned.

While the changed phrases will allow for a greater understanding of gaming terms in parliament, given their more descriptive, flowery nature, they remain fairly unwieldy, and are unlikely to be picked up by the wider populace. Esports in particular is an established word understood worldwide – and no amount of reinforcement will change this brand.

Going forward, the French government lexicon will change dramatically, but don’t expect this to have much of an impact outside of parliamentary decisions.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.