— Published 26 September 2023

French in the text

With the Paris 2024 Games less than a year away, the Francophonie in sport is gradually taking shape. The good news is that it is also taking on a linguistic dimension. At the initiative of the French Ministry of Culture, via the Direction générale de la langue française et aux langues de France (DGLFLF), a working group was set up last year to look into the question of new sports at the Olympic Games. Its aim: to find a French-language version of the many English-language terms and expressions. Made up of representatives from the sporting world, academics, journalists and representatives from the DGLFLF and the Académie française, and chaired by Professor Arnaud Richard of Toulon University and President of the French National Olympic Academy, the working group began by looking at two of the additional sports at the Paris 2024 Games: surfing and breaking. The working group then made a foray into rugby for the 2023 World Cup in France. Its latest production has just been released. It’s called “Parlez-vous rugby? The document, whose terms have been published in the Journal Officiel, offers a French-language equivalent to a whole series of XV rugby terms. Maul becomes groupe pénétrant, ruck is translated as mêlée ouverte (or mêlée spontanée), rucking as ratissage, and hand-off as raffut.