Evaluation

As we have seen, status planning measures in Quebec have by and large been quite successful, even if Francophones retain their self-perception as an endangered minority (see Section 3.2.1). In the last few years, however, various studies of Quebec language policy have voiced concerns over the status of the province’s Anglophone minority. At the same time, the policy is perceived extremely negatively by US American stakeholders, as a poll carried out in 1999 showed (Bourhis and Landry 2002:123-124). There is also concern about the social and economic effects of massive outmigration and the brain-drain of Anglophones; a very high proportion of English-speaking university graduates leave the province to find work (Bourhis 2012: 38-39). Another focus of current research is the relationship of immigrants to French.

For Catalonia, the literature focuses partly on legal problems stemming from the conflicts between regional institutions and Spanish ones such as the central government and the Constitutional Court. As for language usage in the business sphere, some recent studies paint a rather negative picture, while others are quite optimistic (although the latter are primarily based on respondents’ self-reported language ability). Studies of the use of officially recommended Catalan economic terms on

Catalan public television and radio (see Section 3.1.2) have shown that these media (with few exceptions) use the official terminology - as they are, of course, required to do.

As to the effectiveness of French language status legislation, specifically the Loi Toubon, Sauliere (2014) arrives at a rather sceptical assessment. The responsible state agency is poorly staffed and must thus rely on allies such as trade unions; its ideology, masked by unconvincing, supposedly practical arguments, often meets with resistance and non-cooperation from business managers. Owing to its various loopholes, the law is poorly observed; effectively, it is unenforceable. As an alternative, Sauliere recommends dealing with language problems in the business environment by applying the corporate social responsibility approach. Stakeholders, such as trade unions or managers, should discuss language problems and seek solutions independently of ideological positions, while the state and its institutions limit themselves to the role of mediator and arbiter.

It is easy enough to find overviews of officially recommended neologisms, but much more difficult to tell whether the recommendations were successful or not. The success or otherwise of recommended terminology in France is often assessed by analysing commercial dictionaries, the assumption being that the presence of neologisms in such dictionaries provides direct and indirect evidence about their actual usage. This approach is used by Depecker (2001: 471-544, with economic terms listed specifically on pages 493-495). Humbley (2008) discusses, much more cautiously, its potential for analysing Anglicisms. The dictionary method allows many terms to be analysed without excessive effort. However, it has the drawback that linguists must rely on the possibly idiosyncratic decisions of dictionary compilers. Depecker therefore complemented his analyses of dictionaries with studies based on polls of specialists in the respective fields. Finally, Quirion, who studied terminology implantation in Quebec, argues that, since terminology management is primarily aimed at institutional communication, the implantation of terminological recommendations should be studied using corpora of such communication (including that originating from businesses). These should be selected according to a rigorous research protocol, preferably on a sound statistical basis, in order to enable quantitative research, or terminometry (Quirion 2003, 2011).

Terminology’s success can be studied for each term independently. Thus Rochard (2004) compares the success of the two officially recommended French terms merca- tique (marketing) and echange (swap, as in ‘interest rate swap’ etc.). He finds that usage of the former is more or less limited to educational institutions dependent on the state, whereas the latter is also used by independent businesses and stands a fair chance of establishing itself in French financial language. Mercatique probably failed to establish itself because it is a new and artificial term, based on the etymology it shares with marketing. A further problem is that mercatique is defined in a more restrictive way than marketing, so is not synonymous with the borrowing it was intended to replace. ЁсЬащв, by contrast, is a word frequent in the common language, and similarity to the English term was not a consideration in its selection. It is thus immediately comprehensible and attractive for translators. ЁсИаще also has better prospects of becoming established because the state (to be precise, the Ministry of Finance) directly influences financial markets through its management of public debt, whereas such direct state influence is lacking in the domain of marketing (Rochard 2004: 189-191). Generally, Rochard recommends a pragmatic approach to replacing Anglicisms and expresses a preference for naturally sounding words over clearly artificial neologisms. Similarly, Gaudin (2003: 200-204) is critical of the output of terminological committees, preferring a bottom-up approach which relies on neologisms being created and spread by language users themselves.

 
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