English gaming terms banned in France in favour of native equivalents

Terms like "esports" will now have proper translations for French speakers

France has banned the use of anglicised video game terms like “esports” and “pro-gamer”, instead forcing government officials to use French equivalents.

The words are being changed in an effort to preserve the purity of the language, as the French culture ministry told Agence France-Presse (via The Guardian) that the anglicisms may act as “a barrier to understanding” for those that don’t play games.

“Pro-gamer” is now “joueur professionnel” (“professional player”), whilst “streamer” has become “joueur-animateur en direct” (roughly translates to “live-player host”). “Esports” has become “jeu video de competition” (or “competitive video game”) and “cloud gaming” is now “jeu video en nuage”.


Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Credit: Nintendo

This stems from regular warnings from France about the reduction of its language from adopted words, which is why a number of gaming-centric terms have been given actual French translations, instead of officials having to use the English language versions instead.

Each change was issued in yesterday’s (May 30) official Académie Française – the principal French council that focuses on matters regarding the French language – which makes each change binding for government workers.

This follows a warning from Académie Française in February of this year that said the language shifts are a “degradation that must not be seen as inevitable”. The ministry says it is doing this to help the French population communicate more easily when talking about video games, by making the terms more accessible to native speakers.

In other news, a fan-made trailer has shown off what the potential Banjo-Threeie could look like. The trailer makes an effort to retain the cartoony visual style of Banjo-Kazooie whilst still giving it a modern and enhanced twist, and there are no plans for it to become a playable game.

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