Language Policies, Intercultural Antagonisms and Dialogue
Edited By Kamal Salhi
Malak Badrawi - French in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon: Attitudes and Policies 433
MALAK BADRAWI* French in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon: Attitudes and Policies France's preoccupation with the promotion of her language has been a long-standing concern of French politicians. Nowadays it is evident in the existence of the Haut Conseil de Ia Francophonie, which is chaired by the President of the French Republic, and in the creation of the inter- national Agence de Ia Francophonie. Both organisations strive to en- courage the spread of the French language globally, and their aims and motives seem benign, especially when compared to the not-so-distant past, when the French sought to impose their language on the nations they controlled. The underlying purpose continues to be the need to propagate the French language as a means of promoting French interests and influence, but current attitudes are radically different from those of a century ago. The French can no longer impose themselves through their military power and claim that it is their moral duty to 'civilise' 'backward' countries, nor can they force their language and culture on peoples as they once did. It is, however, true that colonial ambitions were not confined to the French, nor was France the only nation to impose her authority with cannons and bayonets. Moreover, French policies were not immutable; they depended on various factors: the public mood in France, the disposi- tions of different political parties, the tendencies of the cabinet in power, the vagaries of the international situation and the personalities of those responsible for implementing French policy abroad. Furthermore, France's...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.