Twitter terminology (Linguistic recommendation from the Translation Bureau)

Warning

The same content is available in French in the article Twitter (terminologie) (Recommandation linguistique du Bureau de la traduction).

Background

Many departments use Twitter to communicate with Canadians in both official languages. Through the Twitter microblogging platform, departments can promote events, news or initiatives in messages of up to 280 characters.

Without any clearly defined French terminology, usage shows that English terms derived from tweet are being adapted to French—or even simply adopted. It is therefore important that correct French terminology be proposed and standardized before the current usage becomes entrenched.

French equivalent of tweet

The Translation Bureau recommends using the term gazouillis as the French equivalent of the word tweet.

This equivalent has been adopted by organizations such as La Presse, Parks Canada, Canada Economic Development and the Canadian International Development Agency. What is more, it evokes the Twitter brand image: a bird.

Derived terms

The Translation Bureau recommends using the derived terms shown in the table below.

Derived terms recommended by the Translation Bureau
English Terms French Terms Definitions
tweet (n.) gazouillis (masc. n.) A message of up to 280 characters posted on Twitter.
tweet (v.) gazouiller (v.) Post a message, called a tweet, on Twitter.
tweeter (n.) twitterer (n.) gazouilleur (masc. n.) gazouilleuse (fem. n.) A Twitter account holder who reads and posts tweets.
retweet (n.) gazouillis partagé (masc. n.) A tweet that a user passes on to followers to share news or useful information on Twitter.
retweet (v.) partager un gazouillis (v.) Share a tweet posted by another user with your followers on Twitter.

Additional information

For more information, see the article Twitter fait gazouiller! by Marjorie Beauchamp in Language Update 8, no. 3 (2011): 13 (reprinted in Chroniques de langue).

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