French Language and Francophonie Week (18–20 March 2017)


An initiative of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the French Language and Francophonie Week invites language lovers to celebrate our rich language.

Organized around March 20, International Francophonie Day, the 22ⁿᵈ edition of this Week will be held from 18 to 26 March 2017.


More than 1,500 events throughout France and the world

Writing workshops, dictations, slams, cultural activities, contests, readings, shows, language games and exhibitions will enable people from all walks of life – families, young people, language enthusiasts – to discover the intricacies of the French language. From Marseille to Saint Malo, by way of Nouméa or even Melun, more than one hundred cities and villages in Metropolitan and Overseas France were officially labelled a “partner city or village” on account of their massive investment in this initiative.
Also, more than 200 book stores in France and abroad have increased the number of original initiatives and ideas such as featuring books about French words and expressions or meetings with authors. Lastly, several events targeting the general public or academics will be organized by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, rue de Valois, during this Week. The aim is to give as many people as possible the chance to express themselves.

A social media expert in the spotlight

This year, Bernard Pivot, a French language and social media aficionado (with nearly 430,000 followers and 7,854 tweets to his credit), will be the guest of honour. Together with him, many other artists will help make this Week successful.

On 20 March 2017, the 3rd annual International Francophonie Day in audiovisual media

During French Language and Francophonie Week, France’s broadcasting regulatory authority, the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel, has invited television and radio stations to do special features on our language. With a specific editorial line, audiovisual media are promoting the use and respect of the French language.

2017’s theme: French on the Internet

This year, the French Language and Francophonie Week is celebrating French on the Internet.

Should we say e-mail or courriel? Uploader or télécharger? The 22nd edition focuses on digital technology and encourages people to incorporate words from the virtual world. Although modern French has been spoken and written since the 17th century, it is constantly evolving, adapting to contexts and technological usage, and being enriched with new meanings.

This new edition of the Week aims to show the way in which French is being transformed due to its contact with digital technology and use. It is gaining new meanings, but without necessarily borrowing words from another language. An exploration that is full of surprises, leading to the discovery of a modern and agile French identifying words taken from the digital realm.

Tell me ten words on the Internet

After the “Mots migrateurs” (2007), the “Mots à la folie” (2014), the “Mots que l’on accueille” (2015), the “Dis-moi dix mots” contest in 2016-2017 has highlighted ten words from digital technology.

Throughout the year, this game to raise people’s awareness about the French language invites people to express themselves in a literary or artistic way. Every year, people send ten words that they write, slam, sing or film.

Chosen by different Francophone partners – France, Belgium, Quebec, Switzerland and the International Organisation of La Francophonie – which bring together more than 80 States and Governments from around the globe, what the ten words have in common is that they come from the digital realm. Eight of them transpose realities or practices taken from the physical world into the digital world. A poetic aura emanates form each of these words: avatar, canular, favori, fureteur, héberger, nomade, nuage and pirate. Two terms, however, have been created recently: émoticône, a symbol expressing an emotion, and télésnober, which means consulting your telephone when someone else is talking.

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