In France, what matters is not what you say, but the “accent” you say, even the French Prime Minister. When Jean Castex opens his mouth, his accent is often sarcastically “somewhat like rugby” – and it’s only because he comes from the southwest where rugby is very popular.
Now, the French not only came up with the word “glottophobie” (accent discrimination) to describe this prejudice, but also introduced a new law to prohibit it.
According to the British Guardian on the 27th, the French National Assembly (i.e. the lower house of parliament) passed a bill on the 26th by an overwhelming vote of 98 to 3 to include accent discrimination in the list of prosecuting discrimination, which is equivalent to racial discrimination, gender discrimination and discrimination against persons with disabilities.
According to the bill, discrimination against individuals on the basis of accent will be regarded as an offence under labor law and criminal law. The maximum penalty for violating this bill is three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 euros.
Christophe Euzet, the initiator of the bill, from the southern French city of Perpignan, said: “If you speak in France with a local accent, you will naturally be regarded as a country bumpkin. You are a little cute but essentially It doesn’t mean too solemnly.
Yuz further noted that it is inconceivable in France to comment or speak on Middle Eastern politics on National Memorial Day by a person with a Southern or Northern accent.” But today, this is also a political issue. The yellow vest movement is a typical example. Millions of people from all over the world look at their representatives in Paris and feel that they have nothing in common with them.
However, among those who voted against the bill were former presidential candidate, chairman of the Liberals et territories party and famous speaker Jean Lassalle.
He also speaks with a southwest accent, but he said, “I’m not asking for charity. I don’t want to be protected. I am me.
French Minister of Justice, éric Dupond-Moretti, said he was “convinced” in the need of the law.
France 24 said on the 27th that last month, Jean-Luc Melenchon, a left-wing member of the French parliament, was accused of being rude to a female journalist with a southern accent from a French local television station. He said he would not listen. Understand the reporter’s questions and turn to other reporters: “Can anyone ask me questions in French? Make it easier to understand…”. the scene was filmed and spread widely on social media.
Since then, about 30 million French citizens have launched a boycott, which has reached almost half of France’s 67 million population.
The BBC pointed out on the 27th that France’s local accent has always been despised by Parisians who think they are superior. The main accent is the southern accent, the most significant difference being the pronunciation of “e” at the end of the word.
There are also local accents in Corsica, France (with German influence), Brittany and northern France.
For anyone seeking promotion in broadcasting, national politics or academia and administration, or even telemarketing, speaking with a southern accent can be in trouble.
France does not have the English accent diversity, according to the report. After the French Revolution, centralists tried to suppress local languages, such as Occitan and Briton, and then suppressed the accents that appeared from these languages.
The school was the first “factory” of the “integrated” accent, followed by mass media.