June 24, 2006

The French love their language

One noteworthy aspect of the Text Analytics Summit is the French presence. France is generally inept in the software industry, but the text mining business is a clear exception. Temis is a French company. SPSS’s text mining operation (which was Lexiquest), is part French, part English, and run by a Frenchman. Teragram was founded by French guys. For variety, clustering company Semio was founded by a French semiotics professor, and nStein’s managers are a bunch of Quebecois.

I may be missing something, but I haven’t been able to identify any predecessor companies, research institutes, universities, etc. where these Francophone text miners all came from. It seems that the explanation is simply that the French like to think about language.

It’s nice to hear something other than English spoken at a conference, even if I don’t speak the language myself.


4 Responses to “The French love their language”

  1. Glenn Fannick on July 14th, 2006 12:16 pm

    I have no brilliant insight into whyn this is but have noticed this too.

  2. Curt Monash on July 24th, 2006 5:54 am

    Olivier Jouve of SPSS sent in these observations, but had difficulty posting them. CAM


    Bonne question 😉

    Ferdinand de Saussure, the father of 20th-century linguistics was not French but a Swiss citizen… a native French speaker though (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_de_Saussure)

    Also found the interesting link below about French and their language ( http://www.understandfrance.org/France/Glossary.html)… 7 Million people watching a dictation is hilarious, no? 😉

  3. dussauge on September 4th, 2007 10:57 am

    may you could update your post after LexisNexis has acquired last December the French leader in Analytics :
    Datops. Datops was founded in 1995 by a jet pilot from the French Navy, Louis Gay in association with a
    University professor: Olivier Massiot.

    Many reasons could explain this strategic acquisition, but some of them are the world leadership of:
    – automatic sentiment analysis technology in 9 languages from open and structured sources
    – one stop-shop to mine documents from different format such as patent and scientific news
    – one of the biggest database of online media sources…
    – Pionneer in analytic dashboard to provide inferences to executives from thousands of articles…

  4. Curt Monash on September 4th, 2007 7:14 pm


    Thanks for posting!

    Surely you did not mean to say, however, that Datops was the French leader in analytics. I would think that Business Objects has that distinction.

    I imagine you meant that Datops as the French leader in TEXT analytics. But as to that, I imagine my friends at TEMIS might have some dispute.

    Anyhow, if somebody from the company wants to pitch me, I’d love to speak with them.

    Best regards,


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