Friday, February 03, 2006

Parléz-vous 'Net?

Today I am flummoxed by French organization that is actively seeking interenational clients, but is hobbled by a French desire to 'Preserve the French language".

The Powernext Exchange in Paris is a market place to trade power products and emissions credits (for the new emissions trading scheme in which I am actively involved. "carbon trade" is the way Investopedia describes it).

The thing is, they are really out there looking for more companies to buy and sell these emissions allowances but one of the key functioning parts of the settlement chain, the cash account holding bank, "Caisse de depots et consignations" requires that the 100 plus pages of documents must be the legal version, and signed.

This means that should a legal problem arise, the French version will be the only legally binding one.
This means that my company has to have the whole thing translated.
This means that we will then pay another French-speaking lawyer to make sure it was translated well.
This means that my company will be at the mercy of a good translator.
This probably means that we will pay through the nose.
This means that my efforts to trade on Powernext will be delayed probably anohter month.

Most of the European financial and commodities market operate happily in English. And even our Czech company accepts legally binding English documents.

I only want to say, without appearing as an English speaking tyrant, 'come on, you silly frogs, lets do away with this reedeeeculous pretention so that we all can make ze money!" Okay that was a sad atttempt to sound French.

Searching for other cases of this obscene waste of time because of the French, I find some other interesting examples.

Parléz-vous 'Net?

One blogger said (while replying to other things French) "a government funded institution whose sole mission is to preserve the French language. This body is no figurehead. It authoritatively dictates what words may be used in government documents, school texts, and in the public sphere generally. Any word of foreign origin that seeps into colloquial language is quickly replaced with a new French word or term. Take, for example, the word "email". Until recently, the French simpy said the English word, "email". However, 4 years ago, the word was officially changed to "courrier electronique".

And a more virulent case
: "In what may be a precedent-setting case, two French-language watchdog groups are suing Georgia Tech Lorraine because the World Wide Web site for the campus in Metz, France, is only available in English."

Que horrible!

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