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Old 08-12-2019, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
According to Statistics Canada's census, about a third of the anglos (who make up 90-95% of the town's population) in Shawville can speak French.


This is very low by Quebec standards but still significantly higher than just across the river in neighbouring regions of Ontario where probably only 5% of anglophones can speak French.
Why is Shawville such a holdout? What’s the nearest Francophone settlement?
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouldy Old Schmo View Post
Why is Shawville such a holdout? What’s the nearest Francophone settlement?
It's a pretty anglo area historically. Pontiac County of which it is a part is about 55% anglophone, and 45% francophone.


For a long time the area was also kind of under the wing of the much more populated part of Ontario across the river, known as Renfrew County and centred on the small city of Pembroke.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouldy Old Schmo View Post
Why is Shawville such a holdout? What’s the nearest Francophone settlement?
It's a pretty anglo area historically. Pontiac County of which it is a part is about 55% anglophone, and 45% francophone. It is the only geographic area of Quebec that is majority anglophone.


For a long time the area was also kind of under the wing of the much more populated part of Ontario across the river, known as Renfrew County and centred on the small city of Pembroke.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:49 AM
 
Location: New York Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maclock View Post
Don't forget the French-speaking parts of Switzerland.
You are making my point for me. None of the areas colonized by France were particularly successful. Many of the English colonies were.
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
You are making my point for me. None of the areas colonized by France were particularly successful. Many of the English colonies were.
But why does any of that matter?


When learning a second (or third) language, people don't think about the success of the long-gone colonial empire of the country where the language originated. Who actually does that?


They think of the potential practical use of the language in their lives, or perhaps the cultural possibilities that it opens up.


Millions (tens of millions?) of people learn French around the world and in most cases it's not even official in their country or any neighbouring country.


That's why I say that the reticence of many Anglo-Canadians when it comes to learning French, and the half-assed nature of a lot of the French teaching programs, is mostly related to psychological hang-ups. As opposed to some preoccupation with practical rigour. "There's just no use for it". Yeah right.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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BTW over the weekend during the tennis tournaments I heard Daniil Medvedev from Moscow Russia speaking to the crowd in Montreal is pretty darn good French.

I also heard Serena Williams from Los Angeles California USA answering questions from reporters in French in Toronto (not a francophone city, but some French language media were there).

But sure guys, French is a totally useless language for Canadians to learn. Riiiiiight.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:53 PM
 
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Learning french is more like a fussy antiquarian hobby than anything else. It is being increasingly dismissed by students all over in favor of mandarin , spanish etc so Canada is not unique in that regard.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Montreal
419 posts, read 279,177 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
BTW over the weekend during the tennis tournaments I heard Daniil Medvedev from Moscow Russia speaking to the crowd in Montreal is pretty darn good French.

I also heard Serena Williams from Los Angeles California USA answering questions from reporters in French in Toronto (not a francophone city, but some French language media were there).

But sure guys, French is a totally useless language for Canadians to learn. Riiiiiight.
French is the second most studied language in the world after English, one of six languages of the U.N, a top ten language with the most native speakers, an official language of 29 countries, and spoken on several continents.

Of course, it's easy to dismiss French when your idea of "international" is watching an American sitcom, or taking a drive to Bellingham to buy gas and groceries.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:43 PM
 
740 posts, read 860,386 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBeauchamp View Post
French is the second most studied language in the world after English, one of six languages of the U.N, a top ten language with the most native speakers, an official language of 29 countries, and spoken on several continents.

Of course, it's easy to dismiss French when your idea of "international" is watching an American sitcom, or taking a drive to Bellingham to buy gas and groceries.
Those numbers are propped up by Africa where for most it is not the language spoken at home or else in a pidgin form.

Like saying India is an English speaking country.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
22,138 posts, read 27,577,976 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBeauchamp View Post
French is the second most studied language in the world after English, one of six languages of the U.N, a top ten language with the most native speakers, an official language of 29 countries, and spoken on several continents.

Of course, it's easy to dismiss French when your idea of "international" is watching an American sitcom, or taking a drive to Bellingham to buy gas and groceries.
The idea that French is useless (for Canadians and anyone else I suppose) is a powerful Canadian meme that has taken on a life of its own.

So much so that some Canadians believe it's a truism and something they feel comfortable throwing out there in front of the "international" company. I've seen Canadians get laughed out of the room for saying this with a straight face in front of a number of nationalities, including even some of the worst second language people in the world like Australians. (They suck at languages but at least they're honest about it. )

The only people who generally agree are people like those Americans and Brits who think Jesus Christ spoke English with a British accent.
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