Frequency and Nature of Anglicisms in Written French Advertisements: A Review of Ads in French Journals

Antoinette Barffour


The use of Anglicisms in French advertisements is widespread. However, the frequency and nature of Anglicisms, as well as their effect on the French language remain incompletely understood. This study takes a systematic approach to characterize and examine Anglicisms occurring in four French journals between 2010 and 2015 to determine the nature of the Anglicisms, their frequency, and trends.  A total of 22 (Les Inrocks), 30 (Paris Match), 84 (Le Figaro Quotidien), and 37 (La Croix) ads were reviewed and analyzed. Results showed that about 40% of all ads reviewed contained at least one Anglicism, with the highest prevalence occurring in the cultural magazine (les Inrocks). Although Anglicisms were mostly identified in the domains, including entertainment, business or financial services, and fashion, automobile-related products were deemed most favorable to the use of Anglicisms. Despite the prevalence, the use of Anglicisms appears to have decreased over time within the observed six-year period. Anglicisms were mostly recorded with slogans, brand, and product names, but results also showed an increased occurrence of compound structures in French considered as innovative ellipsis typical of the English synthetic compound structure. 


Anglicisms, Ads, borrowings, French, compound nouns

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