Okay, so I moved my blog from WordPress hosting to my own local server because it didn’t seem to make sense to pay $50 a year for a blog I hadn’t updated since 2016. So now I guess I should update it?
The French are at it again. For those who don’t know, the French language has a bunch of fuddy-duddy custodians who hate the idea of loanwords coming in from other languages, so whenever you get a new word like “computer,” they have to make sure that French people don’t just call it “le computer” but instead use a real French word, “l’ordinateur.” That hatred of the British runs deep, I guess.
At any rate, the latest uproar is over online gaming. Apparently, you can’t call it e-sports (even though “sport” is a French word), you have to call it “jeu video de competition.” You can’t be a streamer, you have to be “un joueur-animateur en direct.” You can’t be playing Doom Eternal on a “cloud gaming” service, it has to be a “jeu video de nuage.”
Predictably, the younger generation thinks this is ridiculous. Which it is, but there’s a simple solution: L’Académie Française should pick French versions that are actually good instead of long, unwieldy phrases. If “sport” is a French word, why not call e-sports “sports en ligne” (online sports)? That at least flows better. Instead of turning cloud gaming into “videogame of cloud,” call it “nuage-jeux” or portmanteau it into “nuajeux” (literally “cloud games”).
We say “streamer” or “streaming” in English because saying “live video shower of gameplay” is ridiculously overworded, and “stream” is a handy metaphor for stuff (in this case video) flowing from one place to another. So I don’t want to be “un joueur-animateur en direct,” but I’d be happy to be “un fleuveur” or “un couranteur.” You catch more flies with honey than with up-turned noses.