Francization or Gallicization (and informally Frenchification) is a process of cultural assimilation that gives a French character to a word, an ethnicity or a person.

Francization of the language

There are many examples of Francization in history and popular culture:
*"Crème anglaise" replacing the word "custard" on restaurant menus.
*Anne Boleyn choosing the French spelling "Boleyn" over the traditional English "Bolin" or "Bullen".
*Mary I of Scotland choosing the spelling Stuart over "Stewart" for the name of her dynasty.
*The common "-esc"u" final particle in Romanian being traditionally changed to "-esc"o" in French spellings, and being occasionally adopted by the persons themselves as a French equivalent of their names ("see Eugène Ionesco, Irina Ionesco, Marthe Bibesco").

The same exists for other languages, for example English, in which case objects or persons can be Anglicized.

Francization of ethnic minorities in France

Francization is also a designator applied to a number of ethnic assimilation policies implemented by French authorities in the 19th and 20th century. These policies aimed at imposing or maintaining the dominance of French language and culture by encouraging or compelling people of other ethnic groups to adopt the French language and culture, and to develop a French identity.

The term can be applied to the Francization of the German-speaking inhabitants of Alsace-Lorraine after this region was reannexed by France following the First World War, to the Flemings in French Flanders, or to the Occitans in Occitania, as well as as to Bretons, Catalans, Corsicans and Basques.

Francization in Quebec

The Government of Quebec has francization policies intended to establish French as the primary language of business and commerce. All businesses are required to provide written communications and schedules in French, and may not make knowledge of a language other than French a condition of hiring unless this is justified by the nature of the duties. Businesses with more than fifty employees are required to register with the Quebec Office of the French language in order to become eligible for a francization certificate, which is granted if the linguistic requirements are met. If not, employers are required to adopt a francization programme, which includes having employees, especially ones in managerial positions, who do not speak French or whose grasp of French is weak attend French-language training. [ [ Summary of the language of work and francization of business firms] ]

As part of the francization programme, the Quebec government provides free language courses for recent immigrants (from other countries or other provinces) who do not speak French or whose command of French is weak. The government also provides financial assistance for those who are unable to find employment due to being unable to speak French. [ [ Information from the Quebec government] ]

Another aspect of francization in Quebec regards the quality of the French used in Quebec. The Quebec Office of the French language has, since its formation, undertaken to discourage anglicisms and to promote high standards of French language education in schools. [ [ Quebec Charter of the French language] ]

Such francization programmes have been criticized as failures with the Montreal area becoming increasingly English-speaking and allophones continuing to favor English over French. [ [ Quebec entry] in "Encarta"]

Rates of francization may be established for any group by comparing the number of people who usually speak French to the total number of people in the minority language group. See Calvin Veltman's "Language Shift in the United States" (1983) for a discussion.

Francization of Brussels

In the last two centuries, Brussels transformed from an exclusively Dutch-speaking city to a bilingual city with French as the majority language and lingua franca. The language shift began in the 18th century and accelerated as Belgium became independent and Brussels expanded out past its original city boundaries. fr [] "Wallonie - Bruxelles", Le Service de la langue française, 19/05/1997] fr [] "Villes, identités et médias francophones: regards croisés Belgique, Suisse, Canada.", Université Laval, Québec]

ee also

*French colonial empires


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