U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Great Debates
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-01-2009, 06:49 PM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
10,400 posts, read 10,013,203 times
Reputation: 9145

Advertisements

Although there was a bit of discussion about this topic in another thread, I think it might be an interesting topic in it’s own right:

Québec is a French speaking region that has a French language history and tradition hundreds of years old. Correct me if I’m wrong, but until a couple of decades ago, the French speaking populace was sort of the ‘ugly stepsister’ to the rest of Canada. There was a lot of linguistic pressure put upon the area to ‘go English.’ It didn’t work. The Québécois ‘rebelled’ and clung stubbornly to their language and heritage, which they do to this day. They basically gave English the finger.

Please let’s discuss this in concept and not get into all the little snippety political details. Suffice it to say, you have a region that is fairly uniformly speaking a language (French in this case), had pressure to ‘convert’ to another, and successfully resisted the ‘linguistic intruders.’

Okay, I think you know where I’m going with this: cut to the US. We have a large population coming into our traditionally English-speaking society and bringing their language (Spanish) with them. We (many at least) resist. We wish to retain our English language and any culture that goes along with having an English language tradition.

So here are two areas with ‘invading’ languages. Two peoples who have been (or are) fighting to retain their linguistic identity. Now, I know for a fact that many of you applaud the ‘English in the United States’ ideal, yet you scoff at the ‘French in Québec’ crowd. You find it childish and pigheaded. Why is that? I see no real ideological difference. Unless it's just that you are on a crusade for English itself, rather than retaining the 'traditional language'?

Personally, I think it’s very admirable that the Québécois have stubbornly retained their language and cultural identity--especially in the face of the English giants lurking around them. In fact, I’m listening to Radio Première Chaîne (Québec) right now... and their take on the ‘new GM.’

So if you have what I think I can justifiably call a 'double standard,' how do you justify retaining traditional English in the States and not retaining traditional French in Québec?

Just for reference, it's about 80% French and 8% English on the whole in Québec; and, 81% of US citizens speak English at home, whereas 12% speak Spanish. With those numbers, please justify why you would go with English in Québec (8% of the population), yet not go with Spanish in the US (12% of the population)???

Okay... allez, dis-le!!! Open fire!

(And again, PLEASE, don't start up with the way having two languages divides Canada! That's not the topic here. A good many Québécois were speaking French before there was a Canada--it IS a traditional language there)

Last edited by ChrisC; 06-01-2009 at 07:11 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-01-2009, 07:08 PM
 
15,619 posts, read 9,174,357 times
Reputation: 67817
Given your parameters - no politics - I'll just say that my double standard is the opposite of what you described....

I'm all for Quebec being a French speaking region in the midst of a mostly English speaking country.
I'm not in favor of officially making English the official language of the USA - it is naturally and that is good enough
I have no problem with people living and working in the USA but continuing to speak their native language - Spanish or other.
I have no problem with businesses in certain areas accommodating or even catering to foreign language speakers in the USA.
I don't think business or schools should have to go out of their way to accommodate foreign language speakers in the USA
I'm in favor of public funding to offer adult and school age English as a foreign language classes in certain areas of the USA
I'm not in favor of public funding to provide Spanish-only elementary and secondary school education in the USA

Hope that was non political enough for you
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-01-2009, 07:16 PM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
10,400 posts, read 10,013,203 times
Reputation: 9145
Quote:
Originally Posted by toosie View Post
Given your parameters - no politics - I'll just say that my double standard is the opposite of what you described....

I'm all for Quebec being a French speaking region in the midst of a mostly English speaking country.
I'm not in favor of officially making English the official language of the USA - it is naturally and that is good enough
I have no problem with people living and working in the USA but continuing to speak their native language - Spanish or other.
I have no problem with businesses in certain areas accommodating or even catering to foreign language speakers in the USA.
I don't think business or schools should have to go out of their way to accommodate foreign language speakers in the USA
I'm in favor of public funding to offer adult and school age English as a foreign language classes in certain areas of the USA
I'm not in favor of public funding to provide Spanish-only elementary and secondary school education in the USA

Hope that was non political enough for you
Yes, thank you. Very well stated. But... but... you're being way too level-headed here! (and I appreciate it )
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-01-2009, 07:16 PM
 
Location: southern california
55,237 posts, read 72,496,636 times
Reputation: 47457
i dont get it, what sort of feedback did you want?
france has the same relationship with normandy.
a limited truce as to culture and language.
any normand will set you straight pdq "i am not french".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-01-2009, 07:32 PM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
10,400 posts, read 10,013,203 times
Reputation: 9145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huckleberry3911948 View Post
i dont get it, what sort of feedback did you want?
france has the same relationship with normandy.
a limited truce as to culture and language.
any normand will set you straight pdq "i am not french".
Well, I don’t want to search for all the little comments I’ve read here on the topic, but many posters will sort of snidely call the Québécois ‘whiney,’ ‘childish’ and such for fighting to retain French. Yet WE are never whiney for wanting to retain our English. In our case it’s patriotic; in there’s it’s whiney.

Yes, I’m generalizing. But I’ve seen this attitude expressed over and over here and elsewhere. If you don’t feel this way, then good! But if you do, I’d just like to see how you go about justifying both trains of thought and not see it as a bit conflicting, illogical, or hypocritical.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-01-2009, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Maryland about 20 miles NW of DC
6,111 posts, read 4,872,417 times
Reputation: 2419
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
Well, I don’t want to search for all the little comments I’ve read here on the topic, but many posters will sort of snidely call the Québécois ‘whiney,’ ‘childish’ and such for fighting to retain French. Yet WE are never whiney for wanting to retain our English. In our case it’s patriotic; in there’s it’s whiney.

Yes, I’m generalizing. But I’ve seen this attitude expressed over and over here and elsewhere. If you don’t feel this way, then good! But if you do, I’d just like to see how you go about justifying both trains of thought and not see it as a bit conflicting, illogical, or hypocritical.

Some insight into this issue can be gotten from a quote by Rene Levesque a founder of the Parti Quebecois in the 1970s. Rene said to a english speaking Canadian journalist "It's really simple, We Frogs want our own pond".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-01-2009, 09:59 PM
 
6,307 posts, read 7,146,401 times
Reputation: 8048
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
The Québécois ‘rebelled’ and clung stubbornly to their language and heritage, which they do to this day. They basically gave English the finger.
So sorry, but I can't avoid getting into the "little snippity political detail" of the perception that English isn't the only thing they give the finger to...

When you're in a dual language system, and those who speak one of those languages are expected to follow the rules that the others aren't....well, it's no wonder to me why the term "whiner" may come into the conversation.

Personally, I don't care what language people choose to speak. Go ahead, celebrate your heritage. No problems. However, when you are part of a bigger society, shouldn't there be some expectation that you will respect the whole, at least a little bit? If you're getting the benefits of being in this society, I would think that you should be expected to follow the rules that everyone else does.

I honestly cannot count how many Canadians I have heard complain about this to one extent or another. And, these are certainly not "conservatives", in any sense of the word.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2009, 12:56 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,671,678 times
Reputation: 35885
The issue is more problematic in New Brunswick, the east coast of which is predominantly French speaking, without most of the language guarantees enjoyed in Quebec. About a third of New Brunwickers speak French, and are viewed by English New Brunswickers in much the same way as Americans regard Spanish speakers. However, the French of NB is very firmly entrenched and the one-third minority there have a very strong mostly rural Francophone culture, indistinguishable from Quebec. There are very few, though, that cannot also speak English, as virtually everyone with a city job works in a place where English is the business language.

In 2002, Moncton NB (pop. 100,000) became the first officially bilingual city in Canada---abut a third of the city's population speaks French, and there is a French language university there with over 5,000 students.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2009, 03:32 PM
 
365 posts, read 1,024,945 times
Reputation: 173
"So if you have what I think I can justifiably call a 'double standard,' how do you justify retaining traditional English in the States and not retaining traditional French in Québec?"

NEWSFLASH! 99.9% of Americans who support "English-only" in the good ol'USA don't give a flying fig about Canada or Quebec!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2009, 03:41 PM
 
11,316 posts, read 16,837,170 times
Reputation: 5537
"So if you have what I think I can justifiably call a 'double standard,' how do you justify retaining traditional English in the States and not retaining traditional French in Québec?"

Different and ultimately opposite situations.

Quebec (fka New France) was an established polity with a government, borders, currency, system of laws, etc. Then the British took over and swallowed it, so to speak. It became an island in a British North American sea. As the British did not destroy the fabric, the "nation" survives. It has many immigrants, but they tend to be French speaking.

The proper analogy is Puetro Rico. Established Spanish-speaking polity swallowed by the US in 1898. As we have not destroyed the fabric, its uniqueness remains.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Great Debates
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top