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Old 11.07.2011, 03:16
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When French Was the Language of Enlightenment

Just read a very interesting book review in the Sunday NY Times: When French Was the Language of Enlightenment, an English translation of Quand l’Europe Parlait Français:
Quote:
With his magisterial study, “When the World Spoke French,” Marc Fumaroli harks back to a time when the situation was exactly the reverse. In the 18th century, he shows, “the international community of the learned” tended “to speak, write and publish mostly in French.” Whether they hailed from Russia or Prussia, Sweden or Spain, Austria or America, the Enlightenment’s best minds gravitated to French out of their shared reverence for both the matchless sophistication of the French art de vivre and the spirited intellectual exchanges of the Parisian salon.
There is an interesting point towards the end:
Quote:
Like most of the tableaux in his gallery, Fumaroli’s portrayal of Aldenburg supports his claim about the “unique alliance of intelligent power and insolent joie de vivre” that earned the French language so many devotees. For this very reason, though, reading his subjects’ “French” texts, appended to each chapter, proves a somewhat unsatisfying exercise, despite Richard Howard’s characteristically able translation.
It sounds fascinating, and I am planning to buy the French original in Sion (will buy or order it from Payot on Tuesday ). Has anyone read it? Amazon.fr lists it as "Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 350 en Livres (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres)
n°7 dans Livres > Histoire".
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Old 11.07.2011, 08:19
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Re: When French Was the Language of Enlightenment

Well of course it would. The French still believe they had the greatest empire in the modern world...

<where's the snigger smilie when you need it?>
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Old 11.07.2011, 08:31
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Re: When French Was the Language of Enlightenment

French was also the diplomatic language. I believe every king spoke French.
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Old 11.07.2011, 10:52
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Re: When French Was the Language of Enlightenment

Most noble and well-to-do families all over Europe employed French Tutors and Governesses. My Aunt Berthe, a primary school teacher, worked for a noble family in Rumania, and later for the Skoda family in Czechoslovakia. Whilst my Aunt Nelly worked for the Roosevelt- to speak French with the children.
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Old 11.07.2011, 10:57
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Re: When French Was the Language of Enlightenment

Bah humbug!!!




My name says it all.
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Old 11.07.2011, 11:02
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Re: When French Was the Language of Enlightenment

I'm glad you truly feel that Swiss German is a more melodious language than French but there is no need to be so rude about itreally.
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Old 11.07.2011, 11:30
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Re: When French Was the Language of Enlightenment

In that regard I think Latin still has the record.
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Old 11.07.2011, 11:40
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Re: When French Was the Language of Enlightenment

Britain was very nearly French-speaking...

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Two events in history saved the English language from being replaced completely by Norman-French. One was political, and the other a natural disaster. Politically, the Norman-French lost their lands in northern France to the French king – thus cutting ties to the mainland. Also, the plague which swept across Europe is said to have killed at least one third of the population of the British Isles – labouring and merchant classes thus found themselves in demand and with greater social status. By the end of the 13th century, even the ruling classes and court had reverted to English – by this time transformed into what we now refer to as Middle-English. Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales belongs to this period.
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Old 11.07.2011, 12:06
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Re: When French Was the Language of Enlightenment

I'm guessing thats where the phrase "Lingua Franca" came from? Going down the tenuous scale, maybe the saying "can i be frank with you?"
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Old 11.07.2011, 12:09
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Re: When French Was the Language of Enlightenment

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I'm guessing thats where the phrase "Lingua Franca" came from? Going down the tenuous scale, maybe the saying "can i be frank with you?"

Je ne sais pas. I don't know. but my favorite word in French starts with an "M", has 5 letters, and comes in handy when you knock over a vase.
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Old 11.07.2011, 12:18
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Re: When French Was the Language of Enlightenment

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Je ne sais pas. I don't know. but my favorite word in French starts with an "M", has 5 letters, and comes in handy when you knock over a vase.
"Maman!!!"
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Old 11.07.2011, 12:19
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Re: When French Was the Language of Enlightenment

Roland Dumas was the french Foreign affairs minister for many years in the 80s and 90s. He attended a european meeting with many european ministers and the British delegation was lead by a young assistant to Thatcher.
When he had to do his speech, Dumas started in french. The young British guy stopped him and said "Would you mind speaking in a civilized language that most people would understand?" Dumas didn't flinch, and started again, in german...
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Old 11.07.2011, 12:37
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Re: When French Was the Language of Enlightenment

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I'm guessing thats where the phrase "Lingua Franca" came from? Going down the tenuous scale, maybe the saying "can i be frank with you?"

Nope: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lingua_franca

In particluar "Franca was the Italian word for Frankish. Its usage in the term lingua franca originated from its meaning in Arabic and Greek, dating from before the Crusades and during the Middle Ages, whereby all Western Europeans were called "Franks" or Faranji in Arabic and Phrankoi in Greek during the times of the late Eastern Roman Empire.[3] The term lingua franca is first recorded in English in 1678."[4]


Thus "Franca" does not only mean the French as we would now know them.
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Old 11.07.2011, 13:01
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Re: When French Was the Language of Enlightenment

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Bah humbug!!!




My name says it all.
OH was it about the language? I thought it was purely sexual.



P.S. In German, French=oral sex /there are other nationalities for other pleasures...).
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Old 11.07.2011, 13:03
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Re: When French Was the Language of Enlightenment

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P.S. In German, French=oral sex /there are other nationalities for other pleasures...).
Oh, I don't know - I've been the victim of a Dutch oven more times than I care to count...
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Old 11.07.2011, 13:41
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Re: When French Was the Language of Enlightenment

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Oh, I don't know - I've been the victim of a Dutch oven more times than I care to count...
That gave me the laugh of the day.
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Old 11.07.2011, 17:16
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Re: When French Was the Language of Enlightenment

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Oh, I don't know - I've been the victim of a Dutch oven more times than I care to count...
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OH was it about the language? I thought it was purely sexual.



P.S. In German, French=oral sex /there are other nationalities for other pleasures...).
So "English" would be...?
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Old 11.07.2011, 17:19
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Re: When French Was the Language of Enlightenment

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So "English" would be...?
Tea.


.......... sorry, but you asked.
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Old 11.07.2011, 17:23
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Re: When French Was the Language of Enlightenment

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Tea.


.......... sorry, but you asked.

In the words of Paris Hilton: "that's hawt."
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Old 11.07.2011, 17:24
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Re: When French Was the Language of Enlightenment

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So "English" would be...?
...terribly polite.
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