Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What's in a Name? Initialisms Galore!

July 14th is "Bastille Day."

News flash! The French don't even call it that, not to mention "Jour de la Bastille."

They call it: La Fête Nationale.

It's the perfect metaphor for working as a travailleur indépendant. The administrative documents we independents churn out on a monthly basis often fall under more than one name, which can wreak havoc on our precious filing systems.
Just being a travailleur indépendant means you are also:
A freelancer
An independent
Profession liberale (Fr)
Entreprise Individualle (Fr)

As a linguist, I am no stranger to multiple names for the same thing. Just look at the latest research on English used as an international language. In a recent talk I gave in Cardiff, I showed 18 terms for roughly the same phenomenon (English as a Lingua Franca). Juggling the jargon France is no different.

Initialisms Galore!
Don't get me started. In the English teaching field, we've got: ELT, ESL, EFL, ESP,

TEFL, TESOL, EAP, TEA, IATEFL, BESIG, CEFR....Even David Crystal's blog is an initialism! (DC Blog).

Being a freelancer means you should initially know about:
  • URSSAF: Unions de Recouvrement des Cotisations de Sécurité Sociale et d'Allocations Familiales
  • SIRET and SIREN (roughly translated as "company registration number")
  • INSEE: Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques
  • Code NAF / Code APE: (trade sectors. Language training falls under 804C, generally)
  • CIPAV: Caisse Interprofessionnelle de Prévoyance et d'Assurance Vieillesse
  • DIF: Droit Individuel à la Formation
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Get ready for more alphabet soup.