Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Marine on the “fuite en avant”

Today’s New York Times published an op-ed  notable in two respects:   One, it is written by the head of a conservative/populist group  normally marginalized by the goodthink media (here, the Front National;  similarly AfD, UKIP, FPÖ, Swedish Democrats, etc.), Marine Le Pen.  Two -- remarkably -- it is offered (along with a translation) in the original French:

[Onomastic/orthoëpic note:   The surname Le Pen  is not pronounced by dropping the -n and nasalizing the preceding vowel.   The vowel is oral, the nasal fully sounded:  rhyming with reine, saine, pleine, and other nice words.]

And within her essay, she uses a favorite phrase that we elucidated earlier -- “fuite en avant”.  Here we find it in its natural habitat:

Une chose est certaine : le départ de la Grande Bretagne ne rendra pas l’Union européenne plus démocratique. La structure hiérarchique des institutions supranationales va souhaiter se renforcer car comme toutes les idéologies mourantes, l’Union européenne ne connaît que la fuite en avant.

(So far that prediction has proved true, with the incredibly bullying responses by Juncker and by Ayrault.)

The Times translated that  thus:

Like all dying ideologies, the union knows only how to forge blindly ahead.

For the full treatment of “fuite en avant”, click here:



[Sprachpolitische Bemerkung]  The Times’ language stunt was a novelty and a courtesy;  it was not an illustration of the absurd meme that has suddenly sprung up (like weeds at the spot where a bear has pooped) in the columns of uncritical journalists, to the effect that “the English language may be endangered” owing to the proposed Brexit!   Umm… Neither the USA, nor Canada, nor Australia, nor New Zealand, nor for that matter India or the other countries that use English as an official language, nor those many countries (e.g. Hungary, Poland, …) whose only hope of conversing with Joe Random Citizen (from Eritrea or Japan or wherever), are members of the EU, and English is flourishing.   It does so purely democratically, by practical free choice.    The fact that certain Eurocrats and their mouthpieces are muttering about disenfranchising the language, shows simply the authoritarian pettiness that led to widespread disgust with Brussels in the first place.

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