The expression 'au détriment de' does not in this case mean 'to the detriment of', since the Old French vocabulary itself as not been harmed. The expression is better translated 'at the cost of', since it refers to the replacement of a certain amount of older vocabulary by neologisms formed directly or indirectly from classical languages.
Learn about Middle French in this 5-part series of bilingual articles about the development of French over the centuries.* Click any phrase for the English translation and related grammar lessons.
Note: Some of the tenses in this French article and its English translation don't match! In French, we use the present tense to describe historical events like this to evoke a sense of immediacy, whereas in English, we commonly use the past tense - learn more about historical French tenses.
The Development of French
- Birth of the French language
- Dialects and regional languages
- Middle French
- Classical French
- Modern French
- Dictionnaire Larousse
- Wikipedia: Moyen français
- Pierre Guiraud, Le moyen français, Presses universitaires de France, 1972.