This great article from Wall Street Journal online describes the way of neologisms through French institutions and expert groups before they become approved new terms.
PARIS — The word on the table that morning was “cloud computing.”
To translate the English term for computing resources that can be accessed on demand on the Internet, a group of French experts had spent 18 months coming up with “informatique en nuage,” which literally means “computing in cloud.”
France’s General Commission of Terminology and Neology — a 17-member group of professors, linguists, scientists and a former ambassador — was gathered in a building overlooking the Louvre to approve the term.
“What? This means nothing to me. I put a ‘cloud’ of milk in my tea!” exclaimed Jean Saint-Geours, a French writer and member of the Terminology Commission. “Send it back and start again”…
Read the full article on Wall Street Journal online.