The French language risks becoming obsolete in the 21st century

in the Guardian, 2001:

The French language risks becoming obsolete in the 21st century, overwhelmed by a bastardised English which has itself been ruined by neologisms and barbarisms.
The warning came from the historian Alain Decaux, a member of of the elite Académie Française, during a debate at the Institut de France in Paris in which the French language and culture were deemed to be in a state of crisis.

"Is French going to find itself in the same situation as those American Indian languages whose memory Chateaubriand said was kept alive only by a few old parrots on the Orinoco river?" Mr Decaux asked.

"Anglo-American is taking hold in the economy, advertising, research, public services, the army, training, international institutions."

Mr Decaux recalled that French was once the language of diplomacy and European culture, but that had changed, thanks to President Georges Clemenceau's peace negotiations after the first world war.

"He wanted to pay homage to our British and American allies by allowing the treaty of Versailles to be written in both French and English," said Mr Decaux. "This first surrender can be regarded as being at the start of lots of others." Now, 90% of UN documents are in English.

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