France ready to take on Google, Yahoo

France ready to take on Google, Yahoo

Summary: The reports that French President Jacques Chirac wants to go to war with Yahoo, Google, MSN and other US-based search engines, defending his country against the threat of "Anglo-Saxon cultural imperialism.

TOPICS: Browser

chirac.jpgThe reports that French President Jacques Chirac wants to go to war with Yahoo, Google, MSN and other US-based search engines, defending his country against the threat of "Anglo-Saxon cultural imperialism." "We're engaged in a global competition for technological supremacy. In France, in Europe, it's our power that's at stake," Chirac said in a speech in Reims this week, according to David Litterick's news story. Chirac said that he would provide forgivable loans to create a Franco-German search engine, which is currently in development in the labs at Thompson and Deutche Telekom.  Next, Chirac, a staunch opponent of the war in Iraq, is going to claim that Google and Yahoo are hiding WMD in their algorithms. Cultural imperialism is a scourge, but creating another multimedia search engine and fomenting a search technology arms race is not a solution. The Internet is a global phenomenon (The World is Flat, as Tom Friedman puts it). It's about breaking down barriers, not erecting them. If the issue is about economics, then bring on competition, and let's make better search engines. If the issue is about including content, data sources and languages in indices and pages that capture a particular part of the world or tradition, then let's break down those barriers too. We are only about 10 years into the modern Internet, and dealing with the impact of global networks. Balkanizing isn't the way to go forward...

Topic: Browser

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Message has been deleted.

    • We know he's a big lier!

      Do you still believe him? Unfortunately old europe is far far better than new europe. Look! New europe is keep begging to join old europe. It must be good to join old europe circle!
      • Who's the biggest liar: Chirac or Busch?

        After the most controversial presidential election the USA used to live some years ago, after all the hype with regard to some purported crash of a plane over the Pentagone, after all the lies about mass destruction weapons never ever found in Irak that cost thousand of lives of young American soldiers and billions of US $ to American taxpayers, I would like to know who, from Jacques Chirac and Georges W. Busch is the biggest liar?

        Just my two cents!
        Furball Tipster.
        • Who's the biggest liar

          Mr. Chirac said that he would resign as P.M. if his party could not approve the EU constitution, remember? I would say he's a bigger liar and used to dispute and distort the truth on his favor.
          The U.S. has the right to use english because of the investment and research put on the Internet and everyone accept the facto that english is language of the Internet, why can't the French accept that?
          • Where did you get that?

            As far as I know (and I?ve heard and read most of all the Pros and Cons of the last European campaign), I?ve never ever heard the French President (not PM) saying he will resign if the European Constitution wasn?t approved! Please give your sources. So, about liar (if you can give a documented evidence of your post by a date of a speech of Chirac saying he will resign), in comparison of the lies of your President with regard both to the pseudo Washington attack and to the real motives of the current Iraq war, I prefer the President French attitude Vs. the cost of hundred of lives of young innocent GIs for the sole interest of your oil makers! With McCarthy, your current nationwide administration is the worst the USA never ever had. Fortunately, your constitution doesn?t allow such bad guys to be elected more than twice, so the end of his reign is for soon!

            Are you that much narrow minded to miss the point of this thread as you do? Nor French, (nor German, nor Italian, nor any other European country) ever said they didn?t want to use English over the Net. The point is that every and each non speaking English country wants to be able to access to information (mainly cultural and historical) with search engines using their native tongue to search within original documents also stored within Electronic Libraries in their relative native tongues!

            Once again, if I am German, why could not I access to a Digital Library of the Goethe?s works in my native tongue that has for example the particularity of the joined double s that can?t be reproduced with the English language?

            Idem for French and Stendhal and our (???????????) that could completely change the meaning of a sentence such as ?ou? and ?o?? (or and where)?

            Idem for Italian and Umberto Ecco? And so on? with over 35 other languages only in Europe. So what is wrong with that?

            Now, you are right when you say ?the US has the right to use English over the Net? as long as any other non English speaking people has the right to use its own native tongue. The Net, fortunately or not, is now a worldwide phenomenon that does not belong anymore to the USA whatever he started in the labs of the DOD and was obviously paid by American taxpayers!

            Now, if you want to ?impose? your pseudo English (American English being very far from the original British) over the Net (that was also seriously paid by the CERN in Switzerland) you also will have to translate ALL the information of ALL the non English speaking countries to not be cultural imperialists! Are you ready to pay for that? I doubt about that.

            BTW, I truly wonder about any idea that advocates any ?unique? stuff for the rest of the world! For me, this looks too much like the not so far National-Socialism ideology: Tall, White, Blonds with Blue Eyes... perhaps because they only have water in the brain (the last part of this sentence with regard to the relation of the color of the eyes and the water is a joke, of course)!

            Just my two cents.
            Furball Tipster.
    • Cheese

      Nice one. But there is really a truth, France is great in producing cheese, whine and l'amour - they should concentrate on these key competencies.
      • Perhaps you meant wine?

        The British are European champions at whining (jammern auf Deutsch).

        We have to win something some time.
  • You fail to understand the point

    What France is trying to do is not become slave of english language system. lets imagine the contrary, internet worldwide language is french, and if you want to do business you would have to translate everything in french or your buisiness would not appear in international search engines. Or if you are looking for suppliers or clients and you cant because your searches are in english, and top searches are french language, not because pages are better, but because they are in french.

    Would you not be pissed and say lets create our own american search engine? would that sound so strange? Imagine you do and french start critisizing saying america should not create their own and adapt to the existing french one. doesnt that sound stupid? well all i did was exchange the 2 country names.
    • Le Francais - C'est finis

      Put a fork in it .. It's done. French is no longer the International language it one was. The Lingua Franca of the Internet, ironically, is English.

      France can do whatever the hell they want (and they will, and more power to them) but I can bet you the Norwegians, Swedes,Latin Americans, Most Chinese, etc. are not going to run out and start learning French in order to search on "Le Google".

      French has always been too hard, any way. Who needs six different ways to say "you". What make a distinction between passe' simple and passe' composee' when the listener GETS the fact it's already happened from the context.

      And you might notice my keyboard does not have the proper accent marks to type in French (not do any keyboard except FRENCH keyboards. And why do they need freakin' TWO kinds of directions for each accent??

      Well, that about wraps it up for French !! Bonjour, mon ami !!!
      • Perhaps you shouldn't blame the French

        If you are intellectually incapable of learning a foreign language.
        • OOOO .. That stings ......

          Actually, I have an MBA in International Business, and am proficient in several languages, including French. As someonewho makes negative statements in public forums about total strangers, I'm not sure you are in a position to question anyone's intellectual capacity.
          • Learn French instead of claiming to be proficient.

            I guess you wanted to write ?That stinks ? or even ?That reeks? and not ?That stings? that is not very appropriate for the situation isn?t it?

            By the way, ?c?est fini? ne prend pas de ?s? ? la fin (does not end with an ?s?). Too bad for a purported MBA owner who claims to be proficient in French!

            Just my two cents!
            Furball Tipster.
          • Vestigial language eccentricities.

            See ?? That's what I mean about French having so many useless rules, it makes it impractical for engineering or business.

            How can the suffix "aient" ALL be silent ("ils mangeant", for example)? What's the function of the genders (and yes, German has three, but that's TWO too many.) La barbe (beard is feminine) and le menton (the chin) is masculine. Add to that all the tenses and moods,

            If I want to look up an old buddy I have to try "st. Cyr, Sainte Cyr, Ste. Cyr etc. etc. and that is without the hyphens.

            I think French is a beautiful language for Existential poetry, or menus, but for Internet searches, it is just plain inefficient.

            By the way, your English is far from perfect, and we have a saying the "people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."
          • Out of the ring

            Glad we have poetry and also a lot of ancient culture too.

            The point with the European Search engine is to store and deliver to over 25 different countries with 25 different languages that you (USA) ignore, archives of books, novels, newspapers and a lot of other information that will be accessible to the people of these countries in their native language and that the American Search engines can?t work with by the simple lack of knowledge of these language! What is wrong with that?

            So, French is perfect to search in French database (useful for Frenchs, Swiss, Belgians, Luxembourgers, Franco-Canadians and a large part of Africans) like is German for Germans or Swedish for Swede!

            By the way, I never ever said not even thought one second that I had a good English practice. I must just admit that I only learned your derivate English language from your wonderful and so multiple cultural TV sessions when I used to live for over 10 years in the US. When I compare the ratio of uneducated people overseas (USA) and in Europe, I?m glad to be born in France. Furthermore, I don?t have any MBA.

            We also have a wonderful saying: ? la culture, c?est comme la confiture, moins on en a, plus on l??tale?! (Culture is like jam, less you have it, more you spread it) or if you prefer your own idiom for a better understanding (People who don?t have much culture have to make the most of it). That refers to your MBA that nobody doubts about but that nobody gives a damn too!

            Just my two cents!
            Furball Tipster
          • Several languages?

            Don't your friends get a bit bored with your complaints?

            Damn Germans with their stupid umlauts, dumb Czechs with those circumflexes.

            And as for the Greeks having the temperity to have different alphabet from the proper roman one! What a bunch of losers. But come to think of it the Romans weren't so great either. Latin, what a pathetic inefficient mess, three genders, six cases and putting the words in any damn order you like, no wonder their empire only lasted a little longer than 500 years.

            You do give the impression that you believe the whole world should be remodelled for your convenience.
          • Who?s complaining but you, arrogant!

            I wonder about people like you who spit over any other culture and use words such as ?damn? or ?dumb? for an entire nation! Isn?t that called racism? Shame on you! Aren?t you a member of the KKK? Don?t be surprised if most of the rest of the world is truly suspicious about your pseudo intellectual imperialism. Your ?empire? is less than 250 year old and was constructed by eliminating most of the Natives of this wonderful country. With both the way you still treat Native-American, Afro-American, Spanish-American, Italian-American, German-American as well as most of the non English speaking people, and the next wake-up of China associated to both your worldwide renowned inability to learn foreign language and your arrogance, I bet that your ?imperial? experience will be even shorter than the Roman! Your post stinks, man, especially in a so called IT thread that is available all over the world!

            Take a grip! Europeans are over 350 millions and our Euro drops dead your Dollar every day. Airbus is far stronger than Boeing and Ariane kicks the butt of your Shuttle every fly. And we still have over 35 real cultures! You don?t! Even a true one but hamburger and soda! I used to live in the US for over 10 years in eight different states and I still cherish this time and all the wonderful people I met over there. However, I thanks God for never ever having any racist neighbor like you!

            Just my two cents.
            Furball Tipster.
          • It was parody

            of Jack Pastor's attitude. Sorry I didn't make that clearer.

            Furball, I think I am on your side on this one.
          • It's "Get a grip"

            For your information, the phrase is "Get a grip". One can "take a nap", "take a shot", take a crap", but never "take a grip". What a HORRIBLE LANGUAGE ERROR !!!!!

            The only culture you have left is in your cheeese. What have the Franch contibuted to IT (and don;t tell me PASCAL,because Americans wrote the language and named it after a Frenchman.

            Do you think I belong to the KKK ?? How do you know I am not an African American ?? Perhaps I should ask the Haitians about how they were tortured in uspeakable ways by the French during your own "Imperialist" perid which lasted far longer than any America had.

            It's too bad you cannot find it within yourself to than America for all it's given you. You choose to spit in the face of a nation that gave you liberty from the Nazis which you could not achieve on your own.

            BTW, I'll bet I speak better Mandarin than you ...
          • Not a bad idea

            It's not for me personally, but from a purely logical standpoint, would it not make worldwide communications easier if we were to excise useless vestiges from ALL languages? Tradition aside, (and English has it's share of obsolete tradition as well) it seems to me Spanish is probably one of the more phonetic, reasonable languages to learn.

            Many of us are familiar with the Biblical reference to the "Tower of Babel." The inability of disparate tribes to communicate with one another is a BAD thing.

            Why do you suppose Latin is no longer a spoken language ??

            What I propose is in the interests of the Universal Brotherhood of Mankind. If we were to free ourselves from the egostistical and nationalistic thinking that ensures we consider OUR language and OUR culture superior to all others, we might just all get along better.

            Esperanto anyone ???
          • You are more reasonable, but:

            Why do you want absolutely impose one (any) language to communicate?

            Currently if it is obviously ?quite? an English language (South Africa, Australia, Belize, Great Britain, Canada, Caribbean, Eire, Jamaica, New Zealand, Philippines, Trinidad, United States of America, Zimbabwe, that are all the spellers of MSWord) that is used over the net by English speaking people, why do you want all the rest of the world being converted to a unique language?

            If I am German, why could not I access to a Digital Library of the Goethe?s works in my native tongue?

            Idem for French and Stendhal?

            Idem for Italian and Umberto Ecco?

            And so on?

            What bothers you with that idea?

            I still wonder about your ideas that prone a ?unique? stuff for the rest of the planet! For me, this looks too much like the Neo-Socialism ideology! The Aryan Race!!!

            Just my two cents.
            Furball Tipster.