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Old 06-23-2013, 09:24 AM
 
34,542 posts, read 41,708,762 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I've used Spanish on numerous occasions in travelling or just seeking out interesting cultural things.

BTW, it's a lot tougher to get know people, engage them in conversation, get to know about their culture and way of life or even ordering food or asking for directions through a skill like playing the ukelele or flying model airplanes, than it is by speaking a bit of their language!
Your making the presumption that i care about other peoples cultures or that they want to waste their time telling me about their culture and i'm not about to embark on learning multiple languages just to ask for food in a restaurant or get directions my English and French can get me through most situations around the world, .. as for model airplanes its a lot more fun than learning some boring old language that one might hardly ever use .
Ask your kids what they'd prefer

MikroKopter: Le hexacopter : Un helicoptère radiocommandé de folie - YouTube

And playing a musical instrument can give much more useable enjoyment than speaking another language once or twice a year,

Songs of Appalachia: Watch Wade Darnell play his banjo - YouTube
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:24 AM
 
1,319 posts, read 2,041,773 times
Reputation: 1132
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevySpoons View Post
I do not always understand the reason behind the Quebec replies. Just as I do in France, I am making an effort to communicate in the language of the land where I find myself. But in spite of my not-always-Larousse-perfect French, I must ask: why do the French in France make an effort to understand me while Quebecers roll their eyes and speak English?

There was one time when I was talking with a merchant in Montreal. This person deduced that my native language was English (in spite of the fact that I was speaking French), and promptly ripped a strip off me in rapid-fire Quebec French. I have no idea what she said, but I caught enough to know that it wasn't polite. So, since it was obvious that my commercial transaction for a takeout cup of coffee was not going to take place, I ripped a strip off her in Russian. And I let her have it with both barrels. Loudly.

The look on her face was priceless. She simply could not comprehend that an English Canadian knew anything other than English.
Classic!
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Vancouver
12,744 posts, read 8,833,918 times
Reputation: 7350
Quote:
Originally Posted by aliss2 View Post
I lived in Vancouver 26 years. There is absolutely zero comparison. You also need to realize that the GVRD and British Columbia can be two different worlds. The demographic is completely different. You are dealing with a wealthier immigration population (many of whom are already educated in basic/intermediate English skills) and here in Quebec now you are dealing with a vast majority population of all classes who live and work in the same language for 100's of years. It is apple to oranges. The Chinese in BC have never expected the rest of the population to adopt their language and there are only a very tiny majority (usually elderly within Richmond or other high concentration areas) who do not wish to learn English.

And many (English-speaking) youth desire to learn Mandarin or Japanese in school. When I was in high school (and I'm talking 15 years ago), many of us chose Japanese/Chinese (or Punjabi in the fraser valley) as our second language rather than French, because we knew it was useful for career and practical purposes. I've taken 3 semesters of Mandarin myself.
With all due respect, a bit of wikipedia and a news article does not mean any insight into the way life in the GVRD is.
People who don't live in or who have never lived in Vancouver do get strange ideas about the Chinese population. A lot assume just because someone is of Chinese ancestry that they are from China. Vancouver has always had a large asian, especially Chinese population. It wouldn't be Vancouver without it.
As for the " taking over " fear, I agree the Chinese have NEVER expected people here to learn Cantonese or Mandarin, instead they make efforts to learn english. This is generational of course, just like it is with other immigrants.
I walked around the Dragon Boat Festival yesterday. Even though it was started by locals ( one who is of Chinese descent, but born here ) and attracts a huge asian crowd but also is very, very mixed with people of all races, since dragon boat racing is popular here, there wasn't ONE sign in Chinese. All signs etc were in english.

Last edited by Natnasci; 06-23-2013 at 12:41 PM..
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:27 AM
 
1,319 posts, read 2,041,773 times
Reputation: 1132
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdw View Post
French language has never been under threat in Quebec. There is no need to "protect" it with discriminatory language laws. There is no excuse to "protect" it with discriminatory language laws.
^^^
This.
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Vancouver
12,744 posts, read 8,833,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mumsen View Post
Where they live they do not have any tourists, and you rarely hear people speak English on the streets. Yes, they listen to some English music and watch many American shows. In Canada at least you see bilingual signs and text on products and certain other items. Why don't Canadians do the same watching French TV etc.?
The ones that know french do watch french language T.V. and listen to french language radio. It's the ones that don't speak french that don't. If someone has the will to learn a second language in B.C. the old advantage was the if it were french they could easily keep it up because of french language media. However today that advantage is pretty much gone since the internet. Anyone interested in keeping up their second language has access to that language via the internet. Of course living in Vancouver would give a cantonese, mandarin,punjabi or french speaker the advantage of being able to find people to converse with.
Just because you see french on a cereal box doesn't mean that alone will keep up your french or teach you conversational french.

Last edited by Natnasci; 06-23-2013 at 11:59 AM..
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:45 AM
pdw
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
1,473 posts, read 1,974,404 times
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I'm not joking. Oriental languages are of much lesser use here in Canada than French is. Even in BC. When immigrants come to Canada, their children learn English, French or both. Why is Mandarin more important than French, when, as others have pointed out, Cantonese is the most spoken language in the Sino-Canadian community, and on top of that, even in British Columbia, learning French opens numerous job opportunities? Surely since you live in Quebec now, you must understand that our French Canadian friends are as important a part of our population as we anglos are. I'm not saying it's a bad idea to teach Chinese in school, but teaching it instead of French is not a good idea.
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Mexico-Ajijic
45 posts, read 61,739 times
Reputation: 89
One of the reasons to learn other languages is to use and exercise your brain and keep it healthy for as long as possible. The main reason is to learn about other cultures. You cannot know a culture truly without knowing the language, and even then you would have to live in the environment to understand it. But you can read its literature. Not one of you people has mentioned the rich literatures in other languages. If you knew something about translation theory as well you'd realize that reading in translation is to lose a lot. We can't know every language but why can't all people at least speak and understand at least one other language well enough to be acquainted with its literature? Mandarin has a particularly ancient and rich literary history, and European languages have younger but also tremendous literatures. For that matter, Quebec has a rich literature and I don't understand how anyone would rather play with model airplanes or watch TV. Why make a dichotomy out of Chinese languages vs French? There are enough courses available for people to make their own decisions. And there is a large difference between Cantonese and Mandarin so you might start there.

If you don't want to learn another language, that's your problem, but all your arguments against learning one are feeble and futile and of importance only to yourselves.
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
12,744 posts, read 8,833,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell236 View Post
One of the reasons to learn other languages is to use and exercise your brain and keep it healthy for as long as possible. The main reason is to learn about other cultures. You cannot know a culture truly without knowing the language, and even then you would have to live in the environment to understand it. But you can read its literature. Not one of you people has mentioned the rich literatures in other languages. If you knew something about translation theory as well you'd realize that reading in translation is to lose a lot. We can't know every language but why can't all people at least speak and understand at least one other language well enough to be acquainted with its literature? Mandarin has a particularly ancient and rich literary history, and European languages have younger but also tremendous literatures. For that matter, Quebec has a rich literature and I don't understand how anyone would rather play with model airplanes or watch TV. Why make a dichotomy out of Chinese languages vs French? There are enough courses available for people to make their own decisions. And there is a large difference between Cantonese and Mandarin so you might start there.

If you don't want to learn another language, that's your problem, but all your arguments against learning one are feeble and futile and of importance only to yourselves.

Preaching to the choir. The reason Chinese language vs French was being discussed is because this is a Canadian Forum. French is an official language and Canada has received and is receiving thousands of new Chinese speaking immigrants, especially in Vancouver which is in english speaking Canada where people do make the choice of learning a Chinese language over French for various reasons.
People in Vancouver at least, know there is a huge difference in Mandarin and Cantonese and even though don't speak can tell which one is being spoken.
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Mexico-Ajijic
45 posts, read 61,739 times
Reputation: 89
No, it's you who are preaching to the choir. I'm reading a lot of people on this forum saying they don't see a point in learning a second language, but if they had to learn it, let it be the official language of the country, French; let it not be "Chinese" whatever it is they mean by that. I'm saying learn whatever language, but learn one.

Any educated person will know that there is a difference between Mandarin and Cantonese, certainly Torontonians also know, but many forum posters above don't seem to.
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
12,744 posts, read 8,833,918 times
Reputation: 7350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell236 View Post
No, it's you who are preaching to the choir. I'm reading a lot of people on this forum saying they don't see a point in learning a second language, but if they had to learn it, let it be the official language of the country, French; let it not be "Chinese" whatever it is they mean by that. I'm saying learn whatever language, but learn one.

Any educated person will know that there is a difference between Mandarin and Cantonese, certainly Torontonians also know, but many forum posters above don't seem to.
Whoa! A little sensitve aren't we? The comment I made about preaching to the choir, was meant to convey that I agreed with you about the benefits of learning a second language in regards to literature.
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