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Streamer, cloud gaming, free to play: their equivalents in French have been found and they will not please everyone


According to the website of the Ministry of Culture, the Commission for the enrichment of the French language has “primary mission to create new terms and expressions in order to fill the gaps in our vocabulary and to designate in French the concepts and realities that appear under foreign names“. The latter recently looked at Anglicisms related to video games, such as “streamer”, “cloud gaming” or even “free to play”. Their equivalents have all been found, it remains to be seen whether the general public will use them.

when the French language gets involved

Based on “a network of 19 groups of experts in scientific and technical fields spread over 14 ministries, and working in permanent consultation with institutional partners such as the Academy of Sciences, university language specialists, but also members of standardization bodies (AFNOR) and those responsible for language policy in French-speaking countries“, the French Language Enrichment Commission recently targeted the anglicisms used daily in video games.

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“Streamer”, “cloud gaming”, “free to play”, terms originating from across the Atlantic which have since been adopted. Nevertheless, like their predecessors, these terms are subject to the critical eye of the Commission for the Enrichment of the French Language, which studied them before proposing their equivalents in the language of Molière. In addition to the clear French terms, definitions are also provided. It is in the last delivery of the Commission for the enrichment of the French language, published in the Official newspaper of May 29, that recent finds have been shared. Thus, we should soon no longer say “streamer” but “a live player”.

Likewise, “cloud gaming” becomes “cloud video game”, “game as a service” becomes “video game on demand” and “free to play” is arranged as “free access video game”. A “streamer” playing a “game as a service” “free to play” game in “cloud gaming” would therefore become: “a live player playing a video game in the cloud with a video game on demand with free access” . A heavy but French formula which must now be validated by the French Academy. A first version which is therefore not yet listed in the dictionary, but which could integrate it in the coming months. If they are validated, these terms will then be of obligatory use in the administrations and the establishments of the State.

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Despite everything, these Frenchified Anglicisms pose a problem. In the case of streaming for example, a streamer is not necessarily playing since he is simply sharing live content on the Internet. So it’s a safe bet that terms and definitions will change. At least we hope so. For your part, do you approve of the proposals of the Commission for the enrichment of the French language. Do not hesitate to share your opinion with us via the poll below and the comment section.

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