French Government Bans English Gaming Terms

Screenshot via Youtube user Nought (

The French government has banned staff from using English terms from the video games world. It’s ordered them to use French equivalents in official documents.

Mandatory alternatives include some literal translations such as “jeu video en nuage” for “cloud gaming” and some more creative alternatives such as “joueur-animateur en direct” (roughly “live player-host“) for “streamer”.

The order comes from France’s ministry of culture and would be relevant both in regulation and promotions of the games industry. It says using English terms within the industry could deter non-experts from getting involved.

France has historically been protective of its native language with the nearly 400-year-old Academie Francaise publishing an official dictionary that rarely adds words of foreign origin, even when they are widely used in France.

The ministry of culture says it researched specialist gaming magazines and sites to try to find French alternatives already in use where possible.

Other mandatory alternatives include “contenu téléchargeable additionnel” for “downloadable content”, “appariement de joueurs” for “matchmaking.”

The list also includes “squelettage”, which roughly translates as “skeletonization” but is now the official French alternative for rigging (as in the games development technique.)

Editor’s note: I would not be surprised to see a more extreme version of the same thing happening in Quebec, Canada, with the recent introduction of Bill 96, which is a bill aimed at protecting the French language in the province.

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