How the French Learned French, Part II: To the Barricades!

Three colours, one flag, one empire
In major American cities, public service announcements are more often translated into Haitian Creole than French. As nearly as I can figure, the top two lines of this poster in French would be, Arrêter la propagation des microbes/ Aider à prévenir la propagation des maladies respiratoires telles que Covid-19.
In France’s former colonies, the language is still implicitly associated with modernity and the ideals of the Revolution.
This time of year (in a normal year, at least), tourists from all over France flock to Strasbourg. The city’s Christmas festivities harken to Alsace’s ancient German heritage, but you would probably get a chilly reception wishing someone there today Frohe Weihnachten.



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Sam Quillen

Sam Quillen

Former linguistics student; current investment bank analyst who sometimes thinks about something other than spreadsheets