LAW OF AUGUST 4, 1994 RELATING TO THE USE OF THE FRENCH LANGUAGE
LexInter | October 3, 2003 | 0 Comments

LAW OF AUGUST 4, 1994 RELATING TO THE USE OF THE FRENCH LANGUAGE

Table of Contents

Art. 1st. 

Language of the Republic by virtue of the Constitution, the French language is a fundamental element of the personality and heritage of France.
It is the language of education, work, exchanges and public services.
It is the privileged link of the States constituting the community of the Francophonie.

Art. 2. –

In the designation, offer, presentation, instructions for use or use, description of the scope and warranty conditions of a good, product or service, as well as in invoices and receipts, the use of the French language is compulsory.
The same provisions apply to all written, spoken or audiovisual advertising.
The provisions of this article are not applicable to the denomination of typical products and specialties of foreign denomination known to the general public.
Trademark legislation does not preclude the application of the first and third paragraphs of this article to mentions and messages recorded with the mark.

Art. 3. –

Any inscription or advertisement affixed or made on the public highway, in a place open to the public or in a means of public transport and intended for the information of the public must be formulated in French.
If the registration drafted in violation of the above provisions is affixed by a third-party user to property belonging to a legal person governed by public law, the latter must give notice to the user to terminate, at his expense and within the time limit. fixed by it, the irregularity noted.
If the formal notice is not followed up, the use of the property may, taking into account the seriousness of the breach, be withdrawn from the offender, regardless of the stipulations of the contract or the terms of the authorization which had been granted to him.

Art. 4. –

When the inscriptions or announcements referred to in the preceding article, affixed or made by legal persons governed by public law or private persons exercising a public service mission are the subject of translations, there are at least two of these.
In all cases where the mentions, announcements and inscriptions provided for in Articles 2 and 3 of this law are supplemented by one or more translations, the presentation in French must be as legible, audible or intelligible as the presentation in foreign languages.
A Council of State decree specifies the cases and conditions in which the provisions of this article may be waived in the field of international transport.

Art. 5. –

Whatever the object and form, contracts to which a legal person governed by public law or a private person performing a public service mission are parties are drawn up in French. They may not contain any foreign expression or term when there is a French expression or term with the same meaning approved under the conditions provided for by the regulatory provisions relating to the enrichment of the French language.
These provisions are not applicable to contracts concluded by a legal person governed by public law managing activities of an industrial and commercial nature, the Banque de France or the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and to be performed entirely outside the national territory. For the application of this paragraph, loans issued under the benefit of article 131 quater of the general tax code as well as contracts relating to the provision of investment services within the meaning of article 4 of law n ° 96-597 of 2 July 1996 on the modernization of financial activities and which, for their execution, come under a foreign jurisdiction.
The contracts referred to in this article concluded with one or more foreign co-contractors may include, in addition to being written in French, one or more versions in a foreign language which may also be authentic.
A party to a contract concluded in violation of the first paragraph may not invoke a provision in a foreign language which would be prejudicial to the party to which it is opposed.

Art. 6. –

Anyone participating in an event, a conference or a congress organized in France by natural or legal persons of French nationality has the right to speak French.
Documents distributed to participants before and during the meeting to present the program must be written in French and may include translations into one or more foreign languages.
When an event, a colloquium or a congress gives rise to the distribution to the participants of preparatory documents or working documents, or to the publication of proceedings or reports of proceedings, the texts or interventions presented in a foreign language must be accompanied by at least a summary in French.
These provisions are not applicable to events, colloquiums or congresses which only concern foreigners, nor to events promoting France’s foreign trade.
When a legal person governed by public law or a legal person governed by private law entrusted with a public service mission initiates the events referred to in this article, a translation system must be set up.

Art. 7. –

The publications, reviews and communications disseminated in France and which emanate from a legal person governed by public law, a private person exercising a public service mission or a private person benefiting from a public subsidy must, when they are written in a foreign language, include at least a summary in French.

Art. 8. –

The last three paragraphs of Article L. 121-1 of the Labor Code are replaced by four paragraphs worded as follows: “The employment contract recorded in writing is drawn up in French.
” When the employment which is the subject of the contract can only be designated by a foreign term without a corresponding in French, the employment contract must include an explanation in French of the foreign term.
“When the employee is a foreigner and the contract is recorded in writing, a translation of the contract is drawn up, at the employee’s request, in the latter’s language. The two texts are equally authentic in court.
In the event of discrepancy between the two texts , only the text written in the language of the foreign employee can be invoked against the latter.
“The employer will not be able to take advantage against the employee to whom they would criticize the clauses of an employment contract concluded in violation of this article.”

Art. 9. –

I. –

Article L. 122-35 of the Labor Code is supplemented by a paragraph worded as follows:
“The internal regulations are drawn up in French. They may be accompanied by translations into one or more foreign languages.”

II. –

An article L. 122-39-1 is inserted after article L. 122-39 of the labor code as follows:
“Art. L. 122-39-1. – Any document containing obligations for the employee or the provisions of which the knowledge is necessary for the latter for the performance of his work must be written in French.
It may be accompanied by translations into one or more foreign languages.
“These provisions do not apply to documents received from the ‘foreign or intended for foreigners. “

III. –

In the first and third paragraphs of article L. 122-37 of the labor code, the words:
“articles L. 122-34 and L. 122-35” are replaced by the words:
“articles L. 122-34, L. 122-35 and L. 122-39-1 “. IV. –

IV. –

An article L. 132-2-1 as follows:
“Art. L. 132-2-1. – Collective labor agreements and agreements is inserted after article L. 132-2 of the labor code. company or establishment agreements must be drawn up in French. Any provision drawn up in a foreign language is unenforceable against the employee against whom it would object. “

Art. 10. –

3 ° of Article L. 311-4 of the Labor Code reads as follows:
“3 ° A text written in a foreign language
” When the job or the work offered can only be designated by a foreign term without a corresponding in French, the French text must include a sufficiently detailed description not to mislead within the meaning of 2 ° above.
“The prescriptions of the two preceding paragraphs apply to services to be performed on French territory, regardless of the nationality of the author of the offer or of the employer, and to services to be performed outside French territory when the author of the offer or the employer is French, even though perfect knowledge of a foreign language would be one of the conditions required to hold the proposed post. foreigners may, in France, receive job offers written in that language. “

Art. 11. –

I. –

The language of teaching, exams and competitions, as well as theses and dissertations in public and private educational establishments is French, except for exceptions justified by the needs of teaching regional or foreign languages ​​and cultures or when the teachers are associate professors or foreign guests.
Foreign schools or schools specially opened to accommodate pupils of foreign nationality, as well as establishments providing international education, are not subject to this obligation.

II. –

It is inserted, after the second paragraph of article 1 of law n 89-486 of 10 July 1989 on orientation on education, a paragraph worded as follows:
“Mastery of the French language and knowledge of two others languages ​​are among the fundamental objectives of education. “

Art. 12. –

Before Chapter I of Title II of Law No. 86-1067 of September 30, 1986 relating to freedom of communication, an article 20-1 is inserted as follows:
“Art. 20-1. – The use of French is compulsory in all programs and advertising messages from sound or television broadcasting organizations and services, whatever their mode of broadcast or distribution, with the exception of cinematographic and audiovisual works in their original version.
“Subject to the provisions of the provisions. of 2 bis of article 28 of this law, the preceding paragraph does not apply to musical works whose text is, in whole or in part, written in a foreign language.
“The obligation provided for in the first paragraph does not apply to programs, parts of programs or advertisements included in the latter which are designed to be broadcast in their entirety in a foreign language or whose purpose is to learn a language, nor to retransmissions of worship ceremonies.
“When the broadcasts or advertising messages referred to in the first paragraph of this article are accompanied by translations into foreign languages, the presentation in French must be as legible, audible or intelligible as the presentation in a foreign language.”

Art. 13. –

The aforementioned law n 86-1067 of September 30, 1986 is thus amended:

I. –

After the sixth paragraph of II of article 24, a paragraph is inserted as follows:
“- respect for the French language and the influence of the Francophonie.”

II. –

In Article 28, a 4 bis is inserted after 4, as follows:
“4 bis. The specific provisions to ensure respect for the French language and the influence of the Francophonie;”.

III . –

In Article 33, a 2 bis is inserted after 2, as follows:
“2 bis. The specific provisions to ensure respect for the French language and the influence of the Francophonie;”.

Art. 14. –

I. –

The use of a trademark, trade or service made up of a foreign expression or term is prohibited for legal persons governed by public law when there is an approved French expression or term with the same meaning. under the conditions provided for by the regulatory provisions relating to the enrichment of the French language.
This prohibition applies to legal persons governed by private law entrusted with a public service mission, in the execution of that mission.

II. –

The provisions of this article are not applicable to trademarks used for the first time before the entry into force of this law.

Art. 15. –

The granting, by communities and public establishments, of subsidies of any kind is subject to the respect by the beneficiaries of the provisions of this law.
Any failure to observe this respect may, after the interested party has been given the opportunity to present their observations, result in the total or partial repayment of the grant.

Art. 16. –

In addition to the officers and agents of the judicial police acting in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the agents listed in 1, 3 and 4 of Article L. 215-1 of the Consumer Code are empowered to investigate and record violations of provisions of the texts adopted for the application of article 2 of this law.
To this end, agents may enter the places and vehicles listed in the first paragraph of article L. 213-4 of the same code and those where the activities mentioned in article L. 216-1 are carried out during the day. , with the exception of places which are also for residential use.
They can ask to consult the documents necessary for the accomplishment of their mission, take a copy of them and collect on convocation or on the spot the information and justifications specific to the accomplishment of their mission.
They may also take a copy of the goods or products in question under the conditions provided for by decree of the Council of State.

Art. 17. –

Anyone who directly or indirectly hinders the accomplishment of the missions of the agents mentioned in the first paragraph of Article 16 or does not provide them with all the means necessary for this purpose is liable to the penalties provided for in the second paragraph of Article 433. -5 of the penal code.

Art. 18. –

Infringements of the provisions of the texts adopted for the application of this law are recorded by reports, which are authentic until proven otherwise.
The minutes must, under penalty of nullity, be sent within five days of their closing to the public prosecutor. A copy is also given, within the same time limit, to the interested party.

Art. 19. –

After article 2-13 of the code of criminal procedure, an article 2-14 is inserted as follows:
“Art. 2-14. – Any regularly declared association proposing by its statutes the defense of the French language and approved in the conditions fixed by decree in the Council of State can exercise the rights recognized to the civil party with regard to the infringements of the provisions of the texts adopted for the application of articles 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 10 of the law n 94-665 of August 4, 1994 relating to the use of the French language. “

Art. 20. –

This law is of public order.
It applies to contracts concluded after its entry into force.

Art. 21. –

The provisions of this law apply without prejudice to the legislation and regulations relating to the regional languages ​​of France and do not preclude their use.

Art. 22. –

Each year, the Government communicates to the assemblies, before September 15, a report on the application of this law and the provisions of international conventions or treaties relating to the status of the French language in international institutions.

Art. 23. –

The provisions of article 2 shall come into force on the date of publication of the decree in the Council of State defining the infringements of the provisions of this article, and at the latest twelve months after the publication of this law in the Official Journal.
The provisions of Articles 3 and 4 of this Law shall enter into force six months after the entry into force of Article 2.

Art. 24. –

Law no.75-1349 of December 31, 1975 relating to the use of the French language is repealed, with the exception of its articles 1 to 3 which will be repealed from the entry into force of article 2 of the this law and its article 6 which will be repealed on the date of entry into force of article 3 of this law.
This law will be executed as state law.

Done in Paris, August 4, 1994.

François MITTERRAND
By the President of the Republic:
The Prime Minister, Édouard BALLADUR
The Minister of State, Minister of the Interior and Regional Planning, Charles PASQUA
The Minister of State, Keeper of the Seals, Minister of justice, Pierre Méhaignerie
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alain JUPPÉ
The Minister of National Education, François BAYROU
The Minister of the Economy, Edmond ALPHANDÉRY
The Minister of Equipment, Transport and Tourism Bernard BOSSON
The Minister of Labor, of employment and vocational training, Michel GIRAUD
The Minister of Culture and Francophonie, Jacques TOUBON
The Minister of the Budget, Government spokesperson, Nicolas SARKOZY
The Minister of Higher Education and Research, François FILLON

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