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French was a Human language spoken in Earth's European nation-state of France and parts of North America, South America and Africa and associated islands that were contacted by the French during Earth's colonial eras. French was one of the Romance languages, having developed from the earlier Latin language.
In 2268, on Platonius, Parmen told his wife Philana that Dr. McCoy was content to wait for Kirk and Spock's "pièce de résistance." Possibly, he had learned of the phrase through his previous, psychokinetic grip on the Enterprise-off its library computer. Or, the former Sahndarans had also visited ancient Gaul, (one of the many European countries affected by Greco-Roman influence) and acquired an archaic form of the language. (TOS episode: "Plato's Stepchildren")
In 2270, Commander Spock, unable to convey a near translation in Vulcan, asked the old rhetoric, "Tout comprendre c'est tout pardonner?" ("To understand, is to forgive?") While attempting to make logic of the actions Doctor Georges Mordreaux took. (TOS novel: The Entropy Effect)
In 2285, Admiral Kirk tells humiliated Bird-of-Prey Commander Kruge, "C'est la vie," after the death of his armed landing party-aboard the destroyed Enterprise. This old Earth phrase means, "That's life!" Or also, "Such is life," after facing misfortune. (TOS movie: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)
The USS Enterprise-D holodeck program "The Low Note" featured a Cajun character named Minuet. She accessed the lingual database and carried a brief conversation with Jean-Luc Picard in French. (TNG episode: "11001001")
For hundreds of years, the French language played a major role in the development of Western civilization-including the Renaissance Period. By the mid-24th century, some in the Federation considered French to be somewhat obsolete, much to the annoyance of people from France. Lieutenant Commander Data once remarked that the language was obsolete, and was prepared to argue the point with an irritated Captain Jean-Luc Picard, before Commander William Riker suggested that he drop the subject. (TNG episode: "Code of Honor")
When Data traveled back in time to the late 19th century, he claimed that he was from France to the natives of that time period to explain his appearance. When Frederick La Rouque spoke to Data in French, Data was easily able to answer all of La Rouque's questions, prompting the man to allow Data into a poker game. (TNG episode: "Time's Arrow")
Benjamin Sisko was of African, Spanish and Creole-French descent. His ancestors used a variant of it, when the European French colonized Louisiana and parts of Haiti. (DS9 novelization: Far Beyond the Stars)
The word "déjà vu", translated into the English language, literally means, "Did/done before." Or, "Have (already) seen." (TNG episode: "Cause and Effect", VOY episode: "Favorite Son", ENT episode: "Future Tense")
When considering the topic of the Federation-Tarn War, Jean-Luc Picard tried to represent the actions of both sides using the French term la gloire, literally "glory", to refer to the honor and self-sacrifice of both sides of the conflict. (TNG novel: The Forgotten War)
- French language article at Memory Alpha, the wiki for canon Star Trek.
- French language article at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.