SUEFRENCH LANGUAGE WATCHDOGS U.S. SCHOOL FOR ENGLISH WEB PAGE

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SUEFRENCH LANGUAGE WATCHDOGS U.S. SCHOOL FOR ENGLISH WEB PAGE
BY NICOLAS MARMIE AP WRITER

PARIS (AP) FIGHTING TO PROMOTE FRENCH IN CYBERSPACE, LANGUAGE WATCHDOGS ASKED A COURT MONDAY TO PUNISH A U.S. UNIVERSITY WHOSE FRENCH CAMPUS FAVORS ENGLISH ON THE INTERNET.
IN A LANDMARK CASE THAT COULD FORCE OTHER INTERNET SITES TO CONFORM TO A NARROWLY ENFORCED LANGUAGE LAW, TWO GROUPS WERE SUING ATLANTA-BASED GEORGIA TECH'S CAMPUS IN EASTERN FRANCE.
THE COURT IS EXPECTED TO ANNOUNCE ITS DECISION FEB. 24.
CITING A 1994 FRENCH LAW THAT BANS ADVERTISING IN ANY SINGLE LANGUAGE EXCEPT FRENCH, THE WATCHDOG GROUPS ASKED THE COURT TO MAKE GEORGIA TECH LORRAINE TRANSLATE THE ENGLISH CONTENT OF ITS PAGE ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB.
“UNDER THE FRENCH CONSTITUTION, FRENCH IS THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE, AND PARENTS WHO HAVEN'T MASTERED ENGLISH HAVE THE RIGHT IN FRANCE TO UNDERSTAND THE EDUCATION PROPOSED TO THEIR CHILDREN IN FRANCE,'' SAID THE GROUPS' LAWYER, MARC JOBERT.
IF GEORGIA TECH LOSES THE CASE, THE SCHOOL COULD FACE FINES OF UP TO 25,000 FRANCS (DLRS 5,000) EACH TIME THE UNTRANSLATED INTERNET SITE IS VISITED.
GEORGIA TECH LORRAINE, A CAMPUS LOCATED IN THE EASTERN CITY OF METZ BUT STAFFED BY ATLANTA-BASED PROFESSORS, MAINTAINS A WEB PAGE WITH COURSE AND REGISTRATION INFORMATION IN ENGLISH. IT ALSO HAS DIRECTIONS TO THE CAMPUS IN FRENCH AND ENGLISH.
GEORGIA TECH LORRAINE DEPUTY DIRECTOR FRANCOIS MALASSENET CALLED THE LAWSUIT “FRIVOLOUS,'' AND SAID THE LAW SHOULDN'T APPLY TO THE UNIVERSITY.
“THE WEB SITE IS AN INFORMATION STRUCTURE AND NOT BY ANY MEANS AN ADVERTISEMENT,'' HE SAID. “IF YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO READ ENGLISH, YOU WILL NOT BE ADMITTED.''
GEORGIA TECH LAWYER JACQUES SHAEFFER SAID HE ALSO ASKED THE COURT TO DISMISS THE CASE BECAUSE THE WATCHDOG GROUPS FILED THE SUIT WITHOUT FIRST ALERTING FRENCH JUDICIAL AUTHORITIES, A CONDITION OF THE LANGUAGE LAW.
THE TWO WATCHDOG GROUPS, THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE DEFENSE OF THE FRENCH LANGUAGE AND THE FUTURE OF THE FRENCH LANGUAGE, ARE ACCREDITED AND PARTLY FUNDED BY THE CULTURE MINISTRY TO FILE CIVIL SUITS AGAINST BUSINESSES THAT RUN AFOUL OF THE LAW.
AMID DEBATE FRAUGHT WITH IRONY OVER POLICING THE SPOKEN WORD, FRANCE ADOPTED THE 1994 LAW TO FORBID ADS PRODUCED IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE UNLESS THEY ARE ACCOMPANIED BY A FRENCH TRANSLATION.
UNDER THE LAW, MANUFACTURERS CANNOT SELL GOODS WITHOUT INSTRUCTIONS IN FRENCH, AND BROADCASTERS CANNOT USE ENGLISH WORDS ON TV AND RADIO WHEN FRENCH EQUIVALENTS EXIST.
SAYING THE TWO LANGUAGE GROUPS WANTED TO “SET AN EXAMPLE,'' JOBERT ON MONDAY ALSO ASKED FOR A SIMILAR PUNISHMENT FOR CONSUMER ELECTRONICS CHAIN INTER DISCOUNT, WHICH SOLD COMPUTER GAMES WITH ENGLISH-ONLY INSTRUCTIONS.
THE GROUPS ALSO FILED SUIT AGAINST THE BRITISH COSMETICS CHAIN BODY SHOP, WHICH HAS STORES THROUGHOUT FRANCE, JOBERT SAID. BODY SHOP LOST A SIMILAR CASE LAST YEAR AND LATER TRANSLATED THE ILLEGAL ENGLISH LABELS ON ITS PRODUCTS.
JOBERT SAID HE WOULD SOON FILE ADDITIONAL SUITS AGAINST RESTAURANTS “WHO PROPOSE THEIR MENUS ONLY IN ENGLISH.''
(JS-NM-BK)
061832 JAN GMT

Questo messaggio è stato modificato da: Info_LI, 22 Apr 2004 – 23:49 [addsig]

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