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Old 06-23-2013, 06:15 PM
pdw
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
1,473 posts, read 1,966,523 times
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Obviously, people are misinterpretting what I said. I'm not trying to dismiss bilingualism, I'm trying to say that Chinese shouldn't replace French as BC's second language.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,959 posts, read 27,383,424 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.
Finally a voice of reason on here!

It's incredible how far people will go to justify their dogged determination not to learn the language of ''those French guys'' in Quebec. It's almost like ''I'll be damned if I'll give those guys an inch - even if I have to portray myself as a navel-gazing cultural rube who doesn't care about the outside world. At least I won't have given in to the Pepsi and Jos Louis crowd!"

Here is where I come from on this: I can't imagine being culturally limited the production of a single language, even if that language is the world's most prolific in this respect. Although I was born into a francophone family, I grew up in English Canada and knew very little about French Canadian or Québécois culture until I was into my 20s.

25 years ago a guy like Jambo was probably more knowledgeable about francophone Québécois culture than I was. I had mostly grown up with mainstream (North) American anglo culture.

There was lot of good stuff in that culture, but after a while I got curious for something else. Plus I found that for all its global dominance and ubiquity, it was also a very inward-looking culture. Almost impenetrable to stuff from other origins unless it was completely repackaged and redone in order to make it seem homegrown.

Anyway, it was easy for me to get in touch with an entirely new culture (the francophone one) since I already spoke pretty good French and it was right there for the taking - even though I had pretty much ignored it for all of my life until that point.

Then after a while I was ready for something else and the next logical place to turn was the Spanish-speaking world.

And the rest is history.

So yeah, I can't imagine having my cultural diet and, consequently, my world-view, limited by the perspective of one single language.
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,959 posts, read 27,383,424 times
Reputation: 8612
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdw View Post
Obviously, people are misinterpretting what I said. I'm not trying to dismiss bilingualism, I'm trying to say that Chinese shouldn't replace French as BC's second language.
I am also highly suspicious of all this "we're all learning Mandarin instead of French out here in BC!" talk...

The number of British Columbians who are not of Chinese ethnic origin who can speak any Mandarin or Cantonese beyond stuff like ni hao or mgoy is infinitesimal. I've travelled across the country on business regularly, including to Vancouver, and I've also met and known quite a few BCers in my time. I've never actually met a non-Chinese BCer who could actually carry a conversation in Mandarin (or Cantonese). I suppose there are some, but there is no way they are more than a tiny fraction of the population. The origins are so alien and the writing system so different for someone accustomed to European languages that the investment you need to make is huge if you want to make any headway.

So all this Mandarin learning taking place in Vancouver - I'm not buying it.
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Jesusland
235 posts, read 268,610 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdw View Post
Obviously, people are misinterpretting what I said. I'm not trying to dismiss bilingualism, I'm trying to say that Chinese shouldn't replace French as BC's second language.
Well there is nothing anybody could do about it.
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:50 PM
 
Location: Alberta, Canada
2,179 posts, read 1,756,364 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I am also highly suspicious of all this "we're all learning Mandarin instead of French out here in BC!" talk...

The number of British Columbians who are not of Chinese ethnic origin who can speak any Mandarin or Cantonese beyond stuff like ni hao or mgoy is infinitesimal. I've travelled across the country on business regularly, including to Vancouver, and I've also met and known quite a few BCers in my time. I've never actually met a non-Chinese BCer who could actually carry a conversation in Mandarin (or Cantonese). I suppose there are some, but there is no way they are more than a tiny fractio of the population. The origins are so alien and the writing system so different for someone accustomed to European languages that the investment you need to make is huge if you want to make any headway.

So all this Mandarin learning taking place in Vancouver - I'm not buying it.
Neither am I.

I've been to Vancouver many times on business, and English is the language of business in Vancouver. Mandarin or Cantonese or whatever may be the language people use between themselves, but when it comes to business in Vancouver, English is the language of negotiation.
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:56 AM
 
34,421 posts, read 41,527,053 times
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[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Finally a voice of reason on here!

It's incredible how far people will go to justify their dogged determination not to learn the language of ''those French guys'' in Quebec. It's almost like ''I'll be damned if I'll give those guys an inch - even if I have to portray myself as a navel-gazing cultural rube who doesn't care about the outside world. At least I won't have given in to the Pepsi and Jos Louis crowd!"

[/quote
AJ Its commendable that you have an interest in learning other languages and other cultures but you seem to be really down on people who dont share that interest particularly Anglos outside Quebec,,basically people who arent immersed in another language or culture have little need or motivation to learn another language,, In your case i sense an underlying loathing for all things Anglo/English and you seem to take it as a personal insult that most Canadians dont have any interest in learning a language they'll never use,obviously French in this case..
Certainly doesnt appear that your learning the English language and being immersed in its culture has left a positive impact.
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:11 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,959 posts, read 27,383,424 times
Reputation: 8612
[quote=jambo101;30161611]
Quote:
AJ Its commendable that you have an interest in learning other languages and other cultures but you seem to be really down on people who dont share that interest particularly Anglos outside Quebec,,basically people who arent immersed in another language or culture have little need or motivation to learn another language,, In your case i sense an underlying loathing for all things Anglo/English and you seem to take it as a personal insult that most Canadians dont have any interest in learning a language they'll never use,obviously French in this case..
Certainly doesnt appear that your learning the English language and being immersed in its culture has left a positive impact.
I don't have anything against anglos and their culture but I would be more generous and understanding if these types of discussions weren't always so filled with judgemental, self-righteous and holier than thou attitudes.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:10 AM
 
3,072 posts, read 4,282,985 times
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I think I'm being misunderstood.

I never meant to imply that Mandarin and English bilingualism will ever really take off there, it's just that is more useful in daily life there (yes, even for English native speakers) than French. That doesn't mean Mandarin is popular amongst anglos, it means French is just an afterthought in practical life.

French is not used for practical purposes in British Columbia. It is sometimes required (in theory) for certain federal positions.

I'm not here to diss French. But I lived in British Columbia for 26 years, I spent 10 years as a 911 dispatcher there, and I trained as an ESL teacher in Vancouver, and spent years doing research about second language issues in British Columbia, so I'd like to think I'm not talking about of my bum. With all due respect, visiting or reading about British Columbia does not mean you understand practical life in British Columbia.

Not a single person who is actually from British Columbia can look me in the face and tell me that French is more important or useful in that province than Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Punjabi, or to a lesser extent, Japanese. The whole French/English debate which seems to consume life here in Quebec is pretty much non-existent in BC, and is more of an annoying laughable topic that comes up on occasion when watching CBC national news rather than being any real life issue. It simply does not matter or register on the mind of people there.

The only time I *ever* encountered French in my 10 years of dealing wtih emergency services (which tends to encompass the whole population rather than segments) was a French tourist who lost her purse about 8 years ago, and she could still speak at an intermediate level. The amount of Mandarin speakers was several on a daily basis (and yes, that's outside Vancouver - Koreans mostly in the Fraser Valley along with Punjabi).

I'm thinking sometimes people from central/eastern Canada forget that the west simply doesn't give a rat's bum about the language debate. It's really not a topic that is given much thought there. That's "back east" problems.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:36 AM
 
735 posts, read 854,646 times
Reputation: 1563
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post

It's incredible how far people will go to justify their dogged determination not to learn the language of ''those French guys'' in Quebec. It's almost like ''I'll be damned if I'll give those guys an inch - even if I have to portray myself as a navel-gazing cultural rube who doesn't care about the outside world. At least I won't have given in to the Pepsi and Jos Louis crowd!"
Here it is , Acajack's St-Jean baptist day moment

From this I gather the artists have once again whipped those crowds into a nationalistic frenzy last night

Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
AJ Its commendable that you have an interest in learning other languages and other cultures but you seem to be really down on people who dont share that interest particularly Anglos outside Quebec,,basically people who arent immersed in another language or culture have little need or motivation to learn another language,, In your case i sense an underlying loathing for all things Anglo/English and you seem to take it as a personal insult that most Canadians dont have any interest in learning a language they'll never use,obviously French in this case..
Certainly doesnt appear that your learning the English language and being immersed in its culture has left a positive impact.
Like I dont get how city folks dont share my interest in agriculture, farm machinery, seeds and such. They dont care, dont want to hear about it and often look down on us rural cowpies

Living in town for a bit has only served to reinforce this belief. But then you learn to shrug it off, its not like I expect to row crop downtown TO and no one should expect to turn Drumheller into some cosmopolitan multilingual hub either.



Quote:
Originally Posted by aliss2 View Post

I'm thinking sometimes people from central/eastern Canada forget that the west simply doesn't give a rat's bum about the language debate. It's really not a topic that is given much thought there. That's "back east" problems.
Exactly and its also almost surreal how it appears so central and mind consuming to some on here
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:55 AM
pdw
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
1,473 posts, read 1,966,523 times
Reputation: 857
French is not a foreign language in BC like Oriental languages are. Read up on the Franco-Columbian community, and you will be surprised on how much they contributed to building BC. There are even communities in BC founded by francophones, such as Maillardville in the Fraser Valley.
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