1. Clockman89
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    Clockman89 New Member

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    French Crime question

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Clockman89, Aug 30, 2010.

    I've tried researching this on my own, but a severe lack of knowledge in the French language hampers me. I'm hoping some kind person will either have the knowledge on hand or know where to find it.

    I'm looking for the French equivalent for "Mafia." Mafia is an Italian term/word, akin to how Mob is an American term/word. I assume the French have their own.

    I attempted to use a translator in desperation, but Mafia did not translate into French or German. It simply told me it meant Mafia in both those languages. I don't know if that is because it simply does not translate to anything in those languages or if the same word is used in both.

    I appreciate any help that can be provided.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The etymology of the word mafia is rather murky, but it doesn't appear to have started outr meaning anything like its current meaning of a Sicilian network of organized crime. Even now, it isn't truly a generic word, although it has been incorporated into names for analagous crime networks, e.g. the Irish Mafia, the Japanese Mafia, etc.

    If the French refer to the Sicilian organized crime network referred to in the United States as the Mafia, they would use the same word.'

    There may not be an analagous organization with comparable global influences with roots in France, although Patricia Cornwell's novels feature a (totally fictional?) French family crime syndicate, the Chandonnes.
     
  3. Clockman89
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    Clockman89 New Member

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    Many thanks, Cog.
     
  4. ManOfSteel
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    ManOfSteel Member

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    Criminal organizations can be called by their names, for example "la Camorra" or "la Cosa Nostra" or "les Triades chinoises".
    The word "mafia" can also be used, for example "la mafia albanaise" or "la mafia russe".
    If you are talking about the French organized crime you may use "le milieu", for example "le milieu parisien" or "le milieu marseillais" or "le milieu corse", for the "Parisian organized crime", etc.

    France had a vast network of criminal organizations. In the South, it had close ties with the Corsican organized crime.
    You may know the French Connection from the eponymous movie. It used to move heroin from the Near/Middle East (Turkey, Syria, Lebanon) and Southeast Asia (the Golden Triangle) to Marseilles, then from France to the rest of the West (especially North America).
    It may have been founded and financed by members of the "Carlingue" (the French Gestapo). Some of these financiers were already petty criminals and pimps back in the twenties.
    In the fifties, it acted as a strikebreaker in the Marseilles port for the French intelligence and the CIA.
    The French Connection was replaced by the Pizza Connection, which used Italian-American mob-owned pizzerias as covers for their business.
     
  5. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    As ManofSteel says, the closest the French have to the Sicilian Mafia is the Corsican Mafia, or Unione Corse. These are a mix of crime families and "gangs" - search wikipedia for "le gang de la brise de mer" (the sea breeze gang).
     

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