Monday, November 20, 2006

Watching France 24, en Anglais, naturellement

Well, who'd jhave thought it, a French TV channel in, er, English. France 24 (pronounced France vingt-quatre, natch) will be launching in December giving a French pespective on news, culture and sport. Click HERE to watch its very unFrench trailer. I assumed it would be a French language channel, mais non. Ils parlent la language de notre Reine. Ausgezeichnet.


Anonymous said...

No doubt for all the ex-pat Brits who've upped and moved there in recent years, in some cases practically taking over whole villages (as native populations decline and disappear).

Anonymous said...

Ah, but will it be as aesthetically pleasing as France itself?

Qu'est-ce tu pense Iain?

Anonymous said...

It is being broadcast in French and in English, it says on the link provided. It claims there are 170,000,000 French speakers worldwide. Many speak forms of French which are scarcely intelligible to French people - Creole etc. Their English viewing audience might be the bigger one.

There must be a demand for 18 Doughty Street around the globe. I hope to watch it while away in Asia in Jan/Feb. Are you getting a collection of viewers in far flung corners, Iain?

Anonymous said...


Gezundheit, darling.

Anyway, against gruelling competition worldwide, this may be the most irritating TV trailer I have ever endured in my life.

It is going to do EVERYTHING, including testify! On whose behalf? Who wrote this scat?

The only person in the entire commercial who we saw actually speaking was a black woman. Oh, pulleeeeeeeeeeze! So Eighties! (Way behind the times is very French, though, so a fair reflection in one sense.) And you would think they could have got a British announcer who knows that culture is not pronounced "culcha!"

Or if not, could they have got a Brit, there must be tens, if not hundreds, of thousands, who can pronounce vingt-quatre. That this obvious London actor inexplicably hired for the job excitedly shouts "Vont cat" every two seconds, tells us, I believe, that this is not going to be as good as even normal French TV, which is the world's worst after Mexican TV. Streets behind Singapore TV and Malaysian TV.

Frankly, Iain, I think it is very French. Lots of sleight of hand, hyperactive style and no content.

Anonymous said...

cawp - I have never encountered a British expat in France who didn't speak at least passible and, in most cases, very good, French.

French populations are declining and disappearing? Well, it would be Harold's revenge of course, but it's a mad fantasy.

Anonymous said...

I never doubted the abilities of the Brits to speak French, but I do think an English language channel in France must surely be aimed at (perhaps misguidedly) at the many thousands of Brits freshly arrived and living there. Unless there's another English-speaking constituency in that country?

The depopulation of Europe is well-documented, I'm afraid. Spain's birthrate is 1.1, Greece's is 1.3. France's is around there, too. Certainly well below replacement rate. Ergo, the population *is* disappearing.

No idea who's revenge it is you speak of.

Anonymous said...

Its a pity its in English- I really would love the digital TV stations here to carry more foreign languages- being a fairly monoglot and ashamed Briton I need exposure to learn things and would love to sit down to listen to French TV or radio of an evening. I'm trying to read Le Monde every day but its not as engaging as having someone actually speak the language to you.

Anonymous said...

Verity, believe me there are lots of expats in France who can't speak a word of French.

This channel is designed to spread "French values". The French government feels that CNN and the BBC are flogging free-market capitalism around the world and this new channel is designed to redress the balance with a sprinkling of everyday French gaullo-communism. Like the French version of google called Quaero, it is being produced to counter the cultural hegemony of the US.

And like the silly search engine, it will fail because it's mission is to pump out propaganda first, listen to its customers second. The French don't really do news, the idea of Newsnight or Radio4 interviews where the questions are incisive and persistent is unheard of. Even today you'll find newspaper interviews with a minister with the caveat "this interview has been read by the minister and corrected according to his wishes".

Anonymous said...

"France 24 recognises diversity", then CLUNK, cut to a black woman newsreader. Heavy handed, patronising tokenism - why can't they simply include her with the other presenters, rather than announce her by clobbering viewers like this?

We know the French are about 20 years behind when it comes to representation of minorities in the media, but most people don't bat an eyelid at black presenters. We probably wouldn't have noticed her if the producers hadn't fanfared her as a signal of their "diversity."

Just makes the channel look silly.

Anonymous said...

King Harold. You know Battle of Horsham, 1966 and all that.

Croydonian said...

I wrote about a while back, but it had slipped my mind of late. Apparently, its raison d'etre is to transmit "French values, diversity of opinions, a sense of debate and confrontation, and not forgetting culture and the French art de vivre".

More here

Anonymous said...

The Union flag comments are highly disturbing. This woman has as big a chip on her shoulder as Ali Miraj.

Ms Patel, who worked on the former Tory leader William Hague's press team, said that at her first interview with a constituency selection panel she was thrown when she noticed a man at the back "wearing a union jack tie".

She added: "I found that very distasteful."

Where the f does she think she is?

This is Britain, we should be proud of our flag and our country. Why is it distasteful? Does she feel that the Union flag is only a union of white people? Why does she have this belief? It is surely her belief alone, and a deeply unpleasant and racist one: it implies that she imagines that being British doesn't include people like her. What is she then? If she does not feel she is British and cannot identify with our flag, why is she standing for election for the British Parliament?

This doesn't happen in America, politicians there regardless of colour or origin are proud of their country, but it seems this ghastly woman regards Britain as an unpleasant concept.

Why are we selecting candidates that hate Britain? To be clear this is not a race issue: I am married to a woman from South East Asia, and she is constantly surprised that people in this country seem to be encouraged in the name of cultural diversity to set up ghettos and to live separately from Britain. This is a particular culturally Marxist far-left agenda that has no place in the Conservative party. The conjugation of racism for these people is follows "You are unconsciously discriminating." "He is racist." "I need affirmative action"

I am not sure that this woman is really does bring us any diversity:

She is

"Manager of responsible drinking and corporate relations for drinks company Diageo"

"Previously a Policy adviser and consultant to a range of organisations including the Bar Council of England & Wales, Nestle, IKEA, Rolls-Royce and BMW. "

Ah yes, the authentic voice of the common man. Responsible drinking advisers everywhere will realise that the Conservatives are finally starting to look out for them.

There is a long thread about her here, and while her views on Europe are welcome, her extreme racial politics are closer to Yasmin Alibai-Brown than to any rational conservative.

Anonymous said...

C'est la langue, Iain, et non pas la language. Putain bordel de merde, c'est incroyable.

Anonymous said...

Verity, then you have never been to France.

Croydonian said...

Depends on the circles in which one moves when Anglophone and outre mer - there are those who embed themselves among the French, and those who shun them.

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

Well they don't want to miss all the fun of bashing Bush & Blair. They fear no one understands their venting at the pair so they have to do it in English. And surrender sounds so much better in English than in French.

Man in a Shed said...

What will President Chirac do when he tunes in? Walk out of his living room?

The Stoat said...

More! More!

I was cheered up no end (whilst off work with a miserable head cold) for being able to flick between Al Jazeera Eng, Russia Today and Fox to escape the dreary humdrum on Sky and the BBC! Who needs daytime TV when there's Russian business news?

Differing opinions and editorial lines can only be good. France 24 will be a welcome addition to the world of the assessing audience.

Anonymous said...

Lagwolf, you're a daft clot.

Anonymous said...

Jacques Chirac ....

Sir! You are an Englishman in verbal disguise!

A true French person would never correct you; simply talk around you and laugh at you without you ever realising it had happened; and wait for the next time ....

Anonymous said...

anonymous 9:51 a.m. "Verity, Then you have never been to France." Apart from having lived in the Languedoc for over two years, no.

Cawp: "No idea who's revenge it is you speak of." That would be King Harold fighting off Normans in 1066. We lost, if you recall.

To all the posters who think this TV chanel is a good idea, French TV is eye-wateringly, mind-bendingly bad. It's so poor, so devoid of ideas, so up itself that one sits in front of the TV set stunned with disbelief. The only watchable shows are The Weakest Link and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Both copied, badly, from the Brits but still better than anything home grown. OK, Millionaire has Jean-Pierre wotsisname and he's quite cute, although he doesn't quite get the point of the show. He gives the contestants little clues and hints ... maybe humming a few bars of a song... Kind of takes away the suspense. On The Weakest Link, the woman cannot bring herself to be cutting and mean - it's that French devotion to mincing politesse - so it doesn't have the Robinson sting.

Anonymous 9:39 - albeit it on the wrong thread, that was a very interesting post. She sounds like a nasty piece of work. I wonder why she got chosen? Reverse discrimination. So passé. Like French TV.

Johnny Norfolk said...

It has been a long and dificult road for the french to accept that English is the world language.
They will never say it but this proves it.

Anonymous said...

Talking about French ethnic stereotyping, there is a cracking example here, published in the leading journal of liberal opinion, of a jaw-dropping crassness unseen in anglo-saxon countries for a good 30 years.,12-0@2-3208,31-837002,0.html


MorrisOx said...

I can't wait for this one.

If Fohnz Van Cat is anything like the pompous TF1 then we can look forward to regular fawning interviews with M. President.

I only hope they're on air soon enough to prostrate themselves in front of Chirac.

What a hoot.