France: The inevitable French language debate

by Benny Royston 356 views

The inevitable happened yesterday when French Member of Parliament from the President's UMP Party, François-Michel Gonnot, spoke out against France's Eurovision Song Contest entry. Only 13 words in the song will be peformed in the official French language, the rest will be in English.

Mr. Gonnot stated unequivocally "Our fellow citizens don't understand why France is giving up defending its language in front of hundreds of millions of television viewers around the world".

Sebastien Tellier's producer, Marc Teissier du Cros, hit back firmly: "Sebastién Tellier sings in English, French and even in Italian according to his inspiration…This year, half the Eurovision candidates are singing in English and I don't think that singing in French is the best way to make oneself understood by the whole world."

France first sang in English in 2001, when Natasha Sait-Pier performed the second half of her song in English and took fourth place in Copenhagen. The last two songs that France performed in French finished second last in 2005 and third from last in 2006.

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