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JAN 10, 2013 - The Economist

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French political language: Lost in translation

A TIMELY gift landed unexpectedly on The Economist’s desk during the holidays. Entitled “Lost in Translation: a glossary of new French doublespeak”, it offers a handy guide to decoding political speech under François Hollande’s Socialist government. Both the left and the right in France have a tradition of disguising policy with woolly or euphemistic turns of phrase. Lionel Jospin, a Socialist prime minister, for instance, privatised more companies than his right-wing predecessors without ever using the word, preferring “opening up the capital”. For those bemused by the linguistic ambiguity ... Read More

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