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French-Speaking Nations Open Summit Mitterrand Says Language Must Have Role in New Technology
[Home Edition]
Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Author: Meisler, Stanley
Date: Feb 18, 1986
Start Page: 6
Section: 1; Foreign Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

President Francois Mitterrand of France, warning that French identity is threatened in the modern world, Monday opened the long-delayed first summit of leaders of French-speaking countries in the Palace of Versailles, itself the product of an era when the French language dominated the civilized world.

The idea of a French-speaking conference, first proposed in 1962 by Leopold Senghor, then President of Senegal, has languished for years because of a conflict in Canada between the province of Quebec and the federal government of Canada-especially when the separatist Rene Levesque was premier of Quebec and the strongly federalist Pierre Elliott Trudeau was prime minister of Canada.

Mitterrand has made it clear that he is concerned about the use of the French language in modern technology. In a speech to the French Academy last December, Mitterrand said the French language had reached a crucial moment in its history.

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