Question about L'Académie française (The French Academy)

OK, first, for those those who have never heard of it, and that included me till a couple of months ago, here’s the Wikipedia description, “The Académie is France’s official authority on the usages, vocabulary, and grammar of the French language, although its recommendations carry no legal power — sometimes, even governmental authorities disregard the Académie’s rulings.”

So anyway, my question is, do French speaking Canadians pay attention to what the Academy has to say?

For Ogsake, matt_mcl, shut the door when you laugh like that, I could hear you all the way from Montreal. :wink:

The official regulatory agency for the French language in Quebec is the Office québécois de la langue française. I don’t know if other officially French-speaking provinces, like New Brunswick, have similar agencies, but I suspect not. As a matter of policy, though, the standard written dialect of Quebec French differs very little from the standard written dialect of France, weird inexplicable stuff like Quebec French “versions” of Tintin albums notwithstanding. (Link to the French Wikipedia; I didn’t find anything about it on the English Wikipedia.) This is in order to ensure maximal mutual intelligibility. For example, the recent French spelling reform was done in collaboration with people from the regulatory agencies for the French language in several French-speaking countries.

Of course, what’s questionable is the role that the French Academy actually plays in regulating the French language in France. They occasionally publish a dictionary, so that’s one thing, but I’m sure Kobal will come here and say that nobody cares what the Academy says. He’s right in the sense that the Academy has no legal authority on the French language, as your cite itself says. They can only suggest, and then usage will either accept the suggestions or not. Similarly, I believe that the Office québécois de la langue française’s recommendations are usually taken into account in official publications by the Quebec government, but in the end usage still rules here. In the case of the recent spelling reform I alluded to earlier, it’s still not known if usage will accept it or not, and since that’s not how I learned to spell, I use the old way. So the best answer to your question would probably be that nobody (or only Nobody? ;)) pays attention to what the Academy has to say, at least directly, but sometimes they can eventually influence people.

Not being a Francophone, no, I don’t pay attention to what they say. :cool: