Franglais leaving a nasty smell in Parisian bathrooms

'Phrases such as le shopping, le weekend and le jogging are frowned on'
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The Independent Online
Sacre bleu! The worldwide purveyors of sweet-smelling, rustic bathroom accessories, The Body Shop, is in court accused of not using enough French labelling on products sold in its Paris stores.

The case has been brought by Avenir de la Langue Francaise and Defense de la Langue Francaise, two groups keen to defend the French language against such unwelcome English additions as "le shopping", "le weekend" and "le jogging".

A judge at the Tribunal de Police in Paris was given the facts about items including hair brushes, shower caps and sponges which are being sold in The Body Shop France's stores without a full explanation in French of their purpose. The company has failed to use French labelling on 14 out of 400 products for sale in the French stores.

The court hearing was under the 1994 Law Toubon which requires the French language to given first place on products sold in France and not merely relegated to the translation of selected words. The Body Shop France will have to wait until 9 June to learn the outcome of the case.

Last night a spokeswoman for the company, which operates the French franchise for Body Shop, said the process of changing the labels was almost complete. "The fact is that out of over 400 products and a similar number of accessories available in the outlets of The Body Shop in France, the language association cites just 14 which failed to comply with the language regulations," she said.

"The Body Shop has always celebrated cultural diversity and in fact trades in 47 countries and 24 languages. We are delighted that we are now in a position where The Body Shop in France is moving towards full compliance with the legislation, in a spirit of co-operation with the French authorities."