Forbid in French
Verb interdire: to forbid

Widely used, the French verb interdire means "forbid" as do other synonyms such as défendre and bannir (from which "to ban" is derived in English) in specific contexts. See below how to use these verbs.

In France, you'll usually find the French verb interdire on boards/signs like:

  • Baignade interdite = No bathing.
  • Accès interdit = No access.
  • Interdiction de fumer = Smoking is forbidden.
The verb défendre meaning "to forbid" is also frequently used on boards (actually in this context, it's the noun that is used) but belongs to more formal speech:
  • Défense d'entrer = No entry.

This verb appears in the following idiom too:

  • Le fruit défendu = the forbidden fruit
Défendre can be used to give an order as well:
  • Sa mère lui avait pourtant défendu de dire des gros mots!
    His mother forbade/prohibited him to say swear words though!
The verb bannir translated by "to ban"; its first meaning could be the equivalent of the English "to exile" or "to banish". Nowadays, it adopted a modern dimension and can be used in the context below:
  • Depuis le 1er janvier 2008, la cigarette a également été bannie des boîtes de nuits et restaurants.
    Since January 1st 2008, the cigarettes have been banished from nightclubs and restaurants as well. (Figurative: can be replaced by "prohibited in").

The French verb interdire in context:

14 mai 2008. La secrétaire d'Etat française à la famille, Nadine Morano, va interdire l'accès aux sites pédophiles. Elle affirme qu'un million d'images pédophiles sont accessible sur Internet à l'heure actuelle. D'après la Ministre, plus de la moitié des parents en sont préoccupés et plus d'un tiers des adolescents français ont déjà visionné ces photos ou vidéos marquantes.

Elle a fait une comparaison entre Internet et une voiture puissante en affirmant que si l'on n'a pas le permis et que l'on se retrouve dans une courbe, notre compte est bon. D'après elle, cela revient au même avec le web et qu'étant donné que leur accès devient de plus en plus facile pour les enfants, les parents devraient y faire plus attention.

Il semblerait que la plupart d'entre eux ne se servent pas assez des instruments de contrôle (parental). Elle rencontrera dans un proche avenir les fournisseurs Internet et leur demandera leur coopération afin d'interdire les sites répertoriés par le Ministère de l'Intérieur.

Les Anglais, les Suédois et les Norvégiens ont déjà eu recours à ce stratagème. Elle souhaite former les enseignants pour qu'ils apprennent à leurs élèves comment utiliser Internet en toute sécurité.

English translation

May 14th 2008. The French Minister for Family Matters, Nadine Morano, intends to forbid access to paedophile websites. She said that 1 million paedophile images are currently on line. According to her more than than half of parents worry about it and more than the third of French teenagers have already viewed those shocking pictures or videos.

She has compared the web with a powerful car saying that if you do not have the licence and if you cend up on a curb, you're dead.According to her, this is exactly the same problem with new information technologies and as access is becoming easier for children, parents should pay more attention to it.

It seems that most of them still underuse parental control software. She is about to meet Internet providers and ask their help in order to forbid the access of paedopornographic sites that have been classified by the Home Office.

This practice already exists in countries such as England, Sweden and Norway. She wishes to train teachers so they'll be able to show their pupils how to use the Internet safely.

Written and compiled by Charlotte Chateau.

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French verb to forbid is interdire

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