French Language Week is held every year in spring around Journée internationale de la Francophonie on March 20. It aims to give the general public the opportunity to celebrate the French language by marking attachment to the language and celebrating its richness and diversity.
Holding the place of honor in 2009 will be ten words that reflect the French language’s ability to adapt to the realities of tomorrow’s world. As true indicators of modernism, these words invite us to describe or imagine the future in French: ailleurs, capteur, clair de Terre, clic, compatible, désirer, génome, pérenne, transformer, vision. These ten words were chosen by Belgium, Québec, Switzerland, and the International Organization of La Francophonie. This joint effort points to a shared vision of the role of the French language in active societies.
Each of these words will be adopted by a celebrity who will cast it in a new light based in their respective experience, profession, or imagination. These “words for tomorrow” will be at the heart of a number of events held in France and across the world. Events will include an exhibit on the words presented in over seventy partner cities, caravans of the ten words making their way through France and some twenty French-speaking countries, a contest for secondary school and college students, a slam nights tour and ten words contest in many parts of France, a “word truck” that will test school children’s knowledge of French, and a dictation for engineering students.