In any Language, The Cloud is on Everyone’s Tongue

How does one say “cloud computing” in French? If you’re not French and you don’t already know the answer, it’s “informatique en nuage,” literally: computing in the cloud.

I am not French, but how do I know this? I came across a story in the Wall Street Journal, on Oct. 14th, which highlighted the difficulty that France’s guardian’s of the French language, a group of professors, linguists, scientists and others are having coming to, well, terms, with new Anglicized phrases – often spawned by Internet development, for example, the World Wide Web (in French: “toile d-araignée mondiale.”

Apparently, the proposed term, “information en nuage,” was too vague for the group and they turned it down. Other proposals: Capacité Informatique en Ligne (which means online computing). Shortened, it’s CIEL, which means “sky” in French.

One member of the oversight group even wanted to stick his head in the sand and not invent a French term at all. “I think we can survive without the term “cloud computing,” the WSJ quoted him as saying.

Ah well, at least everybody’s speaking about the cloud – even if they can’t come up with a name for it.

At this posting, the term “cloud computing” is still awaiting translation in French.