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Old 09-11-2017, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machjo View Post
12,680 is difficult for me to believe too, but I won't say it's impossible though. For example, if many of them work from home online or are housewives, etc., then they may be mostly invisible to the general public for example.
I suspect most of them would be people whose "French only" status was developed outside Ottawa. Like a widowed older person from St-Félicien, QC who came to live with their adult daughter who lives in Orleans. Or a recently arrived immigrant from a francophonie country in the developing world (Haiti, Congo, Senegal, etc.) who only speaks French plus their native language.
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Originally Posted by Machjo View Post
There are probably more than enough French-speaking bilinguals in Ottawa to cater to them. .
I am sure you can find enough people to get by in almost every situation, but it would be very limiting, and also an exercise in frustration.
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Originally Posted by Machjo View Post
Heck, a person could almost live in Chinese in Ottawa, but not quite. A person could easily live in Chinese in Toronto or Vancouver or especially Richmond BC though with little need for English except when dealing with the government or buying a more specialized product that no Chinese person sells, but that would be on rare occasions.
Same as above. If you stick to certain areas only, and especially certain businesses, sure. And time your visits to places like the bank or the pharmacy for when the Chinese speaking person you know is there.
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Originally Posted by Machjo View Post
Oh, so you've never needed to deal with Chinese in Markham Ontario then. There, it would be quite easy to not need to worry about timing and such. Entire malls are devoted to them covering everything from banking to real estate to smart phones and everything else.

From what I've been reading, English-speakers in parts of Richmond BC sometimes face the problems you're describing.
I've been to both these places. While it's not impossible, I find the alleged inability to get served in English there to be greatly overstated.


Markham in particular I know quite well, as in-law relatives of one of my siblings live there.


I know there are entire malls that cater to the Chinese community, but if you want to go to a Blue Jays game on public transit from Markham, you'll be confronted with English. If you want to get a prescription at a pharmacy, the instructions will be written in English on the bottle as per the Ontario College of Pharmacists' regulations. (It'll be in English in Hawkesbury too, and not in French.)
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Originally Posted by Machjo View Post
True, the private sector cannot avoid government (such as public transit) and regulations (such as those pertaining to prescriptions, etc.). due to our relatively one-tiered health-care system, I imagine they may face problems with health care too. Same with police if they must report a crime, etc.
In these cases you'd likely fare a lot better with French in Ottawa than with Chinese in Markham or Richmond.
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Old 09-12-2017, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Originally Posted by Machjo View Post
Absolutely correct. In fact, your comment just made me wonder about something. Could Constitutional and Federal language policy actually make a minority unilingual French Canadian's life more difficult? After all, the private sector cannot compete easily with Federal institutions in hiring French speakers. consequently, this could greatly reduce the availability of French-language services in the private sector, essentially causing the public and private sectors to function as two separate worlds. I remember noticing the racial composition at a local passport office in Ottawa. It was wall-to-wall white except for one staff member. I speak French too, and though I do technically work in the private sector, I work on a federal contract and so our department's client base is exclusively Government of Canada employees. The names are overwhelmingly English or French, and same in my own department in the private sector that serves the government only. I myself am a white French Canadian along with many of my colleagues.

Yet if I step out into the public, the non-Government-contract private sector seems to be far more diverse than my workplace which requires French-language staff. In many respects, stepping out of my Federal bubble into the local private markets really is like stepping into two separate worlds from a linguistic and ethnic standpoint. The contrast might not be quite as extreme in Ottawa, though there still is a contrast. But once we head to Toronto, it's unrecognizable. I speak Chinese and Esperanto too and use especially Chinese in my private life even when shopping, sometimes in Ottawa but especially when I visit Toronto that we've visited and to where we are planning to move in the next year.

It makes me wonder whether without Federal bilingualism, Ottawa's private markets would be far more French-speaking than they presently are.
Yes, I've heard this one before: that Ottawa retail businesses just can't find bilingual people because they've all been scooped up by the feds who offer them higher paying jobs. And that explains why it's so hard to get served in French in Ottawa shops and restaurants.


I think that's a bit of a cop-out excuse. In lots of places in the world (including some other places in Canada) businesses seem to have less of a problem finding bilingual or multilingual staff.


Don't forget that in much of Ottawa there is a bit of a defiant attitude towards bilingualism and French. A bitterness over the (relative) bilingualization of the federal public service. So I wouldn't be surprised if some businesses actually make a point of not having French signage and service. Listen to CFRA and you'll hear what I mean.
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:17 AM
 
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Despite what the stats say, Ottawa has felt more of a bilingual city to me than Montreal. Montreal felt prodomintely french (like 70%) and Ottawa felt closer to 50/50. This was just by my experience of hearing people speak French on the streets in Ottawa and the entire vibe.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Montreal > Quebec > Canada
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Originally Posted by GM10 View Post
Despite what the stats say, Ottawa has felt more of a bilingual city to me than Montreal. Montreal felt prodomintely french (like 70%) and Ottawa felt closer to 50/50. This was just by my experience of hearing people speak French on the streets in Ottawa and the entire vibe.
I would say that Montreal is generally much, much more "anglo-friendly" than Ottawa can be "franco-friendly".

As a francophone, you can't really expect to get service in French in stores, hotels or restaurants in Ottawa. If it happens (rarely in my experience), it's usually because you have stumbled upon a Franco-Ontarian.

I've actually had much better luck being served in French with my unilingual French-speaking kids while in Toronto (we didn't ask for it, people just switched to French when they heard our kids speaking French). There are plenty of young people in Toronto who have been to French immersion and seemed quite willing and happy to use their French with us when they had the occasion. For some reason, they don't show the same enthousiasm in Ottawa.

In Montreal, your chances of being served in English are quite higher than being served in French in Ottawa, even in overwhelmingly French-speaking areas. People will make the effort to speak to you in your language if they realise you are an English-speaker. Even in places like Repentigny, Boucherville or Blainville.
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Originally Posted by Machjo View Post
Of course it could vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood both in Ottawa and Montreal. But from my personal experiences at least in the central business district of each city, I'd say it's easier to function in English in Montreal than in French in Ottawa, ignoring Gatineau of course.
So you guys are saying the same thing.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Machjo View Post
Of course it could vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood both in Ottawa and Montreal. But from my personal experiences at least in the central business district of each city, I'd say it's easier to function in English in Montreal than in French in Ottawa, ignoring Gatineau of course.
I agree with that. I think the reason why it felt more bilingual to me is because most of the signs were both in English and French. In Montreal all of the signs are in French only and in other cities they are in English only. That's why it felt unique in Ottawa showing a construction sign having both languages on it.
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