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Old 12-02-2009, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Astoria, NY
29 posts, read 62,557 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyDaysCopenhagenSkoal View Post
In Miami, Spanish is taught in the public schools as a FIRST language.
Now, that's not going to assure the future quality of Spanish and cultural protection, but it's better than no protection at all. Still, we have a lot more work to do in that area. For example, we need to make sure that Spanish is accepted at all local public and governmental events.

In any case, children of immigrants don't totally assimilate into an English-only environment in Miami, they are assimilating into a *bilingual* environment.

And many Anglo/Gringos from the north cannot stand that. It explains why many of them leave town.
They vote with their feet ... just like the Anglos did in Montréal (I used to live there... Plateau Mont-Royal and Point aux Trembles)



Wow! Great racism there. And no, here in the States, we should NOT make it accepted at governmental events. I have no problem with people speaking their native tongue at home or at social events, but when you start penalizing our government because they don't speak YOUR native language, well, thats just a bit preposterous. It's funny that you only mention Spanish. The US is much more diverse than that. Why stop with just teaching Spanish as a first language? What about German, Arabic, Italian, Japanese et al.? Oh, because we're in AMERICA and sadly, we speak ENGLISH here. For those who don't like it, good riddance. Be lucky you don't live in Germany, where you MUST be able to speak in German to be admitted citizenship. I think we should follow their example.
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:22 PM
 
4,285 posts, read 10,017,558 times
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Let's keep comments restricted to Montreal/Quebec issues, please.
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:59 AM
 
9 posts, read 19,008 times
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I'm a Californian, lived in Montreal for 3 years now...overall I really like Montreal, the vibrancy and social world is top-notch, it feels very safe, the summers are like when I was a kid, and the women really are beautiful. I must confess that I have not learned to speak any French, but I can read it well enough, and I do enjoy hearing and reading it.
Quote:
Btw, I think French is one of the most beautiful languages I've learned
But what is spoken in Quebec is not really French, it's Quebecois (informatszique instead of informatique, "way" instead of oui.) I only really mind when someone is speaking with a heavy heavy Quebecer accent. In most cases it's fun for me to point out the differences in my mind in comparison to France French.

Acajack wrote:
Quote:
In Quebec, there are multiple languages at play. People who speak Language 1 (Vietnamese, Mandarin, Arabic, Urdu, etc.) move to a place that is predominantly Language 2 (French), yet seek to use a third language, Language 3 (English).
Except that if a Mexican wants to speak Spanish at gov't service centers in the U.S., there is no Federal U.S. mandate that says that Spanish is an official language. English is 1 of 2 official languages in Canada. Despite this, I've found that tons of agencies in California offer service in Spanish.

It eludes me that Canada legally puts both languages on equal playing ground, but then Quebec can just choose to ignore that mandate.

As an Anglo, I feel limited in my ability to be represented properly in Quebec. Laws on the books are conspicuously not available in English. Sante Quebec doesn't even offer brochures in English, etc. I guess that this makes sense. If I am motivated to become involved in politics, I'll learn the language, but it makes one feel powerless, even when I am speaking an official language and I am a citizen of Canada.

I do not feel resented by Quebecois for speaking English in most cases, but a few years back, Montreal city councillor Marvin Rotrand referred to West Islanders (who are generally not interested in being agglomerated with Ville de Montreal) as "ugly anglos". I found this comment particularly offensive, and it got me thinking about the topic when before I was indifferent.

It seems that Quebec shoots itself in the foot a lot over this. The subway and buses have signage only in French and hire employees who do not speak English. Great idea Montreal! Make the primary method for tourists to get around as inaccessible as possible. To finish off the job, leave Canada already, and see 20% of your population leave Quebec, and then you can act surprised when corps close Quebec branches because the market is too small, and the requirements to do business in that market are a bureaucratic mess.

Haha, and butchering movie titles when "translating" from English to French, and dubbing them over. It's funny that I'd prefer to watch a French movie in French, with English subtitles than have it bastardized by being dubbed.
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Old 12-03-2009, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
9,488 posts, read 10,107,056 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaminJ View Post
I'm a Californian, lived in Montreal for 3 years now...overall I really like Montreal, the vibrancy and social world is top-notch, it feels very safe, the summers are like when I was a kid, and the women really are beautiful. I must confess that I have not learned to speak any French, but I can read it well enough, and I do enjoy hearing and reading it.

But what is spoken in Quebec is not really French, it's Quebecois (informatszique instead of informatique, "way" instead of oui.) I only really mind when someone is speaking with a heavy heavy Quebecer accent. In most cases it's fun for me to point out the differences in my mind in comparison to France French.

Acajack wrote:

Except that if a Mexican wants to speak Spanish at gov't service centers in the U.S., there is no Federal U.S. mandate that says that Spanish is an official language. English is 1 of 2 official languages in Canada. Despite this, I've found that tons of agencies in California offer service in Spanish.

It eludes me that Canada legally puts both languages on equal playing ground, but then Quebec can just choose to ignore that mandate.

As an Anglo, I feel limited in my ability to be represented properly in Quebec. Laws on the books are conspicuously not available in English. Sante Quebec doesn't even offer brochures in English, etc. I guess that this makes sense. If I am motivated to become involved in politics, I'll learn the language, but it makes one feel powerless, even when I am speaking an official language and I am a citizen of Canada.

I do not feel resented by Quebecois for speaking English in most cases, but a few years back, Montreal city councillor Marvin Rotrand referred to West Islanders (who are generally not interested in being agglomerated with Ville de Montreal) as "ugly anglos". I found this comment particularly offensive, and it got me thinking about the topic when before I was indifferent.

It seems that Quebec shoots itself in the foot a lot over this. The subway and buses have signage only in French and hire employees who do not speak English. Great idea Montreal! Make the primary method for tourists to get around as inaccessible as possible. To finish off the job, leave Canada already, and see 20% of your population leave Quebec, and then you can act surprised when corps close Quebec branches because the market is too small, and the requirements to do business in that market are a bureaucratic mess.

Haha, and butchering movie titles when "translating" from English to French, and dubbing them over. It's funny that I'd prefer to watch a French movie in French, with English subtitles than have it bastardized by being dubbed.
Thanks VitaminJ. Glad to have you in our "home"!

Ever been to the rest of Canada and seen how French truly fares there?

BTW, Marvin Rotrand is an anglo.

Also, most corporations have offices in Slovenia, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, etc., all of which are smaller than Quebec.

I am not a separatist but I do have this nasty tick that prevents me from suffering fools gladly.

A bon entendeur, salut!
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:30 AM
 
9 posts, read 19,008 times
Reputation: 11
Default From the stupid guy

Perhaps I shouldn't have spoken, but an opinion is an opinion, take at face value.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Ever been to the rest of Canada and seen how French truly fares there?
Yes, and I am disappointed about it. I've traveled a bit, I have an open mind, and part of the appeal of Canada is the two cultures. I'd like to see signs in Ontario and the rest of Canada in both official languages, and French as a required language in schools. Fair is fair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
BTW, Marvin Rotrand is an anglo.
You're right. After further research it appears he represents Snowdon and NDG, which is an anglo area, and perhaps the quote was taken out of context, and was intended as humor, poking at ones' self.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Also, most corporations have offices in Slovenia, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, etc., all of which are smaller than Quebec.
I suppose, but this doesn't take into account other complexities involved in running a sovereign nation essentially in the middle of Canada. In my experience with Quebec, lumbering bureaucracy and high administrative costs are par for the course, I'd imagine that very quickly Quebec would start collecting import taxes and otherwise tampering with trade, further distancing Quebec from Canada and the world. It would be a tough time going it alone, and I'm sure you'd agree.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
9,488 posts, read 10,107,056 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaminJ View Post
Perhaps I shouldn't have spoken, but an opinion is an opinion, take at face value.

Yes, and I am disappointed about it. I've traveled a bit, I have an open mind, and part of the appeal of Canada is the two cultures. I'd like to see signs in Ontario and the rest of Canada in both official languages, and French as a required language in schools. Fair is fair. .
Well, there are some French signs and French schools outside Quebec, but for the most part someone who speaks French or tries to use the language is often treated like an alien from outer space. Even in Ottawa.

Bottom line is that Canada has already tried the coast-to-coast bilingualism thing, and it hasn't really worked. Most of the country outside Quebec is getting more and more English (or at least multicultural with everyone having English as a common language). The question is what to do with Quebec. For a time it looked as though it would be left alone to become more and more French (as the rest of the country became more English), but now it looks as though English may be making a comeback. I guess eventually we will see where that leads us all politically... if anywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaminJ View Post
You're right. After further research it appears he represents Snowdon and NDG, which is an anglo area, and perhaps the quote was taken out of context, and was intended as humor, poking at ones' self..
I actually don't think it was self-deprecating humour. Pretty sure he was playing politics, and portraying himself and people like him as the "good anglos" who wanted to be part of the big city (and therefore play ball with the francophone majority) as opposed to the "bad anglos" from the demerged cities who wanted nothing to do with the francophones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaminJ View Post
I suppose, but this doesn't take into account other complexities involved in running a sovereign nation essentially in the middle of Canada. In my experience with Quebec, lumbering bureaucracy and high administrative costs are par for the course, I'd imagine that very quickly Quebec would start collecting import taxes and otherwise tampering with trade, further distancing Quebec from Canada and the world. It would be a tough time going it alone, and I'm sure you'd agree.
I don't think it would be as shangri-la as the PQ says (there would certainly be some bumps in the road), but I don't think it would be as hellish as some people say either.
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Old 12-04-2009, 08:24 AM
 
26,262 posts, read 21,391,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Well, there are some French signs and French schools outside Quebec, but for the most part someone who speaks French or tries to use the language is often treated like an alien from outer space. Even in Ottawa.

Bottom line is that Canada has already tried the coast-to-coast bilingualism thing, and it hasn't really worked. Most of the country outside Quebec is getting more and more English (or at least multicultural with everyone having English as a common language). The question is what to do with Quebec. For a time it looked as though it would be left alone to become more and more French (as the rest of the country became more English), but now it looks as though English may be making a comeback. I guess eventually we will see where that leads us all politically... if anywhere.



I actually don't think it was self-deprecating humour. Pretty sure he was playing politics, and portraying himself and people like him as the "good anglos" who wanted to be part of the big city (and therefore play ball with the francophone majority) as opposed to the "bad anglos" from the demerged cities who wanted nothing to do with the francophones.



I don't think it would be as shangri-la as the PQ says (there would certainly be some bumps in the road), but I don't think it would be as hellish as some people say either.
What do you think will happen as far as Quebec is concerned? You mentioned that bilingualism isn't working out as well, with the rest of Canada becoming more English as far as using a common language among all cultures while Quebec was becoming more French for a while. You mention English is making a comeback. What do you think will happen with Quebec? What are your views on it?
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, BC
1,040 posts, read 3,877,270 times
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There are many parts of Canada where the French language was never there in the first place. British Columbia, for example, has always been English speaking. The French language has never been a part of BC's history. French doesn't even register. BC's pioneers, if they didn't speak English, spoke Cantonese, Japanese, Punjabi, and Mandarin.

An American analogy would be like... what would happen if Texas, New Mexico and Arizona had always allowed the locals to continue speaking Spanish there... and that Spanish became the first language of choice in those states? Just picture it. No seriously, try to imagine these states as being states where Spanish is actually used when doing business, what people born and raised there grow up speaking.

Well now imagine that it's the 1970's and the USA decides to officially adopt a bilingual policy - recognizing English and Spanish as "official languages" even though outside of those 3 states, English is really the only language used on a daily basis.

So the USA adopts English and Spanish bilingualism (which makes Arizona, New Mexico and Texas really happy)... and because both languages are officially recognized by the US government, signs in federal offices must now be in both English and Spanish and every product in the USA has both English and Spanish on the labels. In spite of the appearance of Spanish on labels and signs, states like Maine, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, etc. - will still remain almost entirely English speaking. And they're not going to all of a sudden start speaking Spanish because there were never any Spanish speaking communities there to begin with. And by communities, I mean entire towns where everyone only speaks Spanish. (Of course, there will always be Spanish speakers and people who speak other languages who move to said areas, but they're really the minority and don't really influence the local languages.)

That's sort of how Canada adopted bilingualism. It's a fallacy to call Canada a bilingual nation. It's a predominantly English speaking country with pockets of French. Depending on where you go, you'll either be spoken to in only English, or only French, but rarely both together (the exceptions being New Brunswick or Montreal, but I digress).

It was the Quiet Revolution that really propelled people in Quebec to become fiercely passionate about protecting the French language as a means to protecting their culture and heritage. It wasn't until then where language became a political tool. Before then? Not so much. There has been an English-speaking population in Quebec for hundreds of years, but it wasn't until the 60's where you start to see a backlash against the English language and an actual political movement to get rid of it from Quebec all together. So that's probably what Acajack means with "Quebec becoming more French". But that's a can of worms I won't go into. All I know is that the politics there have settled down somewhat and English speakers aren't fleeing Quebec as much as they used to, say, 10, 20, 30 years ago. But even then, the English speaking population in Quebec predominantly exists in Montreal. Montreal's quite bilingual all things considered.

For what it's worth, if it helps, Statistics Canada has a great series of maps that illustrates the distribution of French speakers and English speakers across the country. It really helps to visualize it.

Here's the distribution of people who are bilingual in French and English (note, it's primarily around Quebec and New Brunswick):

The Atlas of Canada - Bilingualism, 2006

Here's a map showing the distribution of people whose mother tongue is English (note that the pink/red means 80%+ of the population there's first language is English. It's most of Canada). You'll then have to click on that little radio button on the right to see whose mother tongue is French. Note that the dark green only really exists in and around Quebec:

The Atlas of Canada - Mother Tongue, 2006

Last edited by Robynator; 12-04-2009 at 10:33 AM..
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
9,488 posts, read 10,107,056 times
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I would also point out the prime political motivation behind Canada’s national bilingualism policies was to counter separatism in Quebec, which had a big upsurge in the 60s and 70s. The main separatist argument was that francophones could only really feel at home in Quebec, and the federal government countered this with bilingualism as if to say: “It’s not true you guys can only feel at home in Quebec. Look! French is present all across the country!”

Another political subtext is the fact that, although what I just described really was the stated goal, in the early years of bilingualism most of the push from the feds was actually to solidify the presence of English in Quebec. The reason for this was that the Canadian government was afraid that the anglo community in Quebec was about to take a hit from the Quebec government, which was subject to the electoral whims of that province’s French-speaking majority, a group which was in a foul mood at the time. So the idea was to protect Quebec’s anglos (seen by many as a bastion of Canadian-ness in hostile territory) as much as possible with a federally-sponsored bilingualism buffer.


Eventually, francophone groups in the English provinces (some of them very tiny such as in BC) noticed the discrepancy between what was promised to them in the late 60s when bilingualism was hailed as the greatest thing since sliced bread, and their actual situation on the ground.


The federal government couldn’t really say no to them, and so starting in the late 70s it began a modest expansion of French across the country, from coast to coast.

With the situation in Quebec for anglos largely stabilized (though not to the satisfaction of all anglos there), since the mid-1980s most of the Government of Canada’s focus on official languages has shifted predominantly towards promoting French outside of Quebec. Often, as Robynator said, in areas where the local French-speaking communities can be something like the 15th largest language group, behind many others.

Though the situation is slightly different in Quebec because of English's national, continental and global dominance, there are also places in Quebec that have English schools, for example, but where anglos are actually behind Italians or Portuguese or other groups in sheer numbers of speakers living in the community.

For example, in the area in which I live, there are way more Arabic speakers than English speakers.
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:00 AM
 
26,262 posts, read 21,391,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I would also point out the prime political motivation behind Canada’s national bilingualism policies was to counter separatism in Quebec, which had a big upsurge in the 60s and 70s. The main separatist argument was that francophones could only really feel at home in Quebec, and the federal government countered this with bilingualism as if to say: “It’s not true you guys can only feel at home in Quebec. Look! French is present all across the country!”

Another political subtext is the fact that, although what I just described really was the stated goal, in the early years of bilingualism most of the push from the feds was actually to solidify the presence of English in Quebec. The reason for this was that the Canadian government was afraid that the anglo community in Quebec was about to take a hit from the Quebec government, which was subject to the electoral whims of that province’s French-speaking majority, a group which was in a foul mood at the time. So the idea was to protect Quebec’s anglos (seen by many as a bastion of Canadian-ness in hostile territory) as much as possible with a federally-sponsored bilingualism buffer.


Eventually, francophone groups in the English provinces (some of them very tiny such as in BC) noticed the discrepancy between what was promised to them in the late 60s when bilingualism was hailed as the greatest thing since sliced bread, and their actual situation on the ground.


The federal government couldn’t really say no to them, and so starting in the late 70s it began a modest expansion of French across the country, from coast to coast.

With the situation in Quebec for anglos largely stabilized (though not to the satisfaction of all anglos there), since the mid-1980s most of the Government of Canada’s focus on official languages has shifted predominantly towards promoting French outside of Quebec. Often, as Robynator said, in areas where the local French-speaking communities can be something like the 15th largest language group, behind many others.

Though the situation is slightly different in Quebec because of English's national, continental and global dominance, there are also places in Quebec that have English schools, for example, but where anglos are actually behind Italians or Portuguese or other groups in sheer numbers of speakers living in the community.

For example, in the area in which I live, there are way more Arabic speakers than English speakers.
Interesting you mention that. I am thinking you are aware of my endeavors involving National Geographic. Well, this is from April 1977. A French-Canadian was being interviewed. According to him, he thought of Quebec as a nation, rather than just a province. The person being interviewed was cynical towards bilingualism. He also said that in Ontario, if a police stopped him, the cop would respond in English and the person must respond in English, and that the cop MIGHT speak to him in French. He added that in Quebec, he must be addressed in French, and for that reason, he thought of bilingualism as a defeat, rather than a victory.
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