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French bill aims to ban English

PARIS — The French, ever protective of their cultural identity, are erecting a language barrier to defend against the English invasion.

If parliament passes a bill announced by the government Wednesday, advertising in France for “le Car” or hiring staff for “un job” could lead to a fine or, possibly, prison.

The bill sets strict rules to check a rampant invasion of foreign words into the French language, banning the use of foreign words in public announcements, work contracts, ads and on radio and TV — except for foreign-language programs.

The bill, completing existing piecemeal regs, will be enforced by police if it is passed by parliament later this year. Sanctions, to be defined later, would include fines and possible prison sentences.

Although the bill does not name the offending invader language, it is clearly aimed at English.

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