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Old 11-06-2007, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Ohio
6 posts, read 31,682 times
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What are some attitudes that the Quebecois have towards immigrants, especially outside Montreal, specifically towards Americans? I mean Americans who are dissatisfied with their own nation and actually seek integration into their society and fluency in French...aka me lol. I don't mean the narrow minded and rude tourist-type Americans who refuse to even try to speak French and demand people speak English in a francophone society. I respect the culture and language, so much that I want to be a part of it one day. I'm worried that I'd get there and just be treated like trash because I'm not only a native English speaker, but also an American. Most of the world doesn't like us very much, but i dont want to take the blame abroad for what my government does. Is dumb for me to think I can integrate or is it dumb that I'm afraid of non-acceptance?
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Old 11-07-2007, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
9,019 posts, read 13,245,689 times
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I wouldn't worry about it. The Quebecois don't like anything other than Quebecois. Oh and Federal tax money. They like that too.
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Old 11-07-2007, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, BC
1,049 posts, read 6,269,383 times
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I highly recommend the book "Sacré Blues: An Unsentimental Journey through Québec" by Taras Grescoe. You'll find the answers to your questions (and many more) there.

Here's a really good review:

Sacre Blues: An Unsentimental Journey Through Quebec, By Taras Grescoe (http://www.aelaq.org/mrb/article.php?issue=2&article=39&cat=4 - broken link)
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:39 PM
 
41 posts, read 230,815 times
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Default Quebec and its diversity

Actually, Quebec is the province with the most diversity in terms of population. Quebecers are very open minded and probably the most liberals of all of Canada. If I was you I would not worry about being excluded. My experience has always been more than positive in Quebec and according to many of the minority people that I have met, Quebecers are very welcoming.
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:40 PM
 
41 posts, read 230,815 times
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Default Stats Canada

I forgot: according to Stats Canada, Quebec has the most diversity.
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:45 PM
 
Location: southern california
61,284 posts, read 83,529,646 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye1125 View Post
What are some attitudes that the Quebecois have towards immigrants, especially outside Montreal, specifically towards Americans? I mean Americans who are dissatisfied with their own nation and actually seek integration into their society and fluency in French...aka me lol. I don't mean the narrow minded and rude tourist-type Americans who refuse to even try to speak French and demand people speak English in a francophone society. I respect the culture and language, so much that I want to be a part of it one day. I'm worried that I'd get there and just be treated like trash because I'm not only a native English speaker, but also an American. Most of the world doesn't like us very much, but i dont want to take the blame abroad for what my government does. Is dumb for me to think I can integrate or is it dumb that I'm afraid of non-acceptance?
if you really wana get kicked around dont go 2nd class, quebec are easy on americans go to paris. wear some extra padding b4 you go, your guna need it. bonne voyage
you got rep and you got guts.
a former ex patriote
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Old 11-11-2007, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Ohio
6 posts, read 31,682 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunky39 View Post
if you really wana get kicked around dont go 2nd class, quebec are easy on americans go to paris. wear some extra padding b4 you go, your guna need it. bonne voyage
you got rep and you got guts.
a former ex patriote
Completely unnecessary.


Thanks to everyone else who gave helpful and decent responses.
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:31 AM
 
983 posts, read 3,477,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye1125 View Post
What are some attitudes that the Quebecois have towards immigrants, especially outside Montreal, specifically towards Americans? I mean Americans who are dissatisfied with their own nation and actually seek integration into their society and fluency in French...aka me lol. I don't mean the narrow minded and rude tourist-type Americans who refuse to even try to speak French and demand people speak English in a francophone society. I respect the culture and language, so much that I want to be a part of it one day. I'm worried that I'd get there and just be treated like trash because I'm not only a native English speaker, but also an American. Most of the world doesn't like us very much, but i dont want to take the blame abroad for what my government does. Is dumb for me to think I can integrate or is it dumb that I'm afraid of non-acceptance?
Quebecois were for centuries not particularly assimilative towards various newcomers. Not really because these were not welcome, but because of the strong association Quebecois had with (New) France and Catholicism which created a gap difficult to bridge (see quote). But things seem to have been changing for a couple of decades now starting in the 1970's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neutre View Post
A short but very informative thread.

Now I understand why it was hard to get immigrants to speak French. The French Quebecois by its nature were not very assimilative because of the strong association they had and maintained to Catholicism and (New) France. So the only ones who managed to assimilate were Irish and a few Scots. Even the Italians who were traditionally Catholic ended up "going English".

This reminds me of the situation in Malaysia where a lot of non-Malays still have a relatively poor knowledge of Malay despite its being the national language.
Malay language in Malaysia is very strongly associated with Islam and "Malayness" which are almost synonymical there. I.e. even if you're of Chinese or Indian descent, you become a Malay once you convert to Islam.

This contrasts with Indonesia where the Indonesian language (which is basically Malay) is seen as a language without any association with a certain religion or ethnicity.
Most people growing up in Indonesia regardless of their religious, ethnic or even linguistic background end up speaking Indonesian.


It's interesting to see this parallel between Quebec and Malaysia. Many a Malaysian actually prefers speaking English to a fellow Malaysian because of the certain neutrality the English language possesses.
Btw, if you want to learn French in Quebec, you'd probably learn it faster outside of Montreal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by darcuin View Post
I just moved to Montreal and I'm having a little trouble learning french and I feel its actually a direct result of the language debate. To learn a language one has to practice speaking it in everyday situations. It doesn't matter how much theory or practice one does on their own, they HAVE to speak it in everyday situations. Unfortunately whenever I try to practice around Montreal people will almost always automatically switch to English, which makes it hard for me to practice. Also if I happen to meet someone who speaks only french, a lot of the time they don't have the patience to help me out, and I can't help but notice a little resentment in situations like that. I really want to be able to communicate in french but I haven't been presented with the most welcoming reception to the francophone world. The very fact that the debate exists closes the door to the many benefits of being a bilingual city and can make it hard for even an enthusiatic anglophone newcomer to learn french and become a fully functioning member of society.
If only people would realize the rich cultural learning opportunity that lies before them.
If Quebec truly embraced its bilingualism and became more receptive to new anglophones than the french language would not die out, but in fact only propagate further.
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:21 PM
 
Location: California
99 posts, read 362,748 times
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Question Immigration to Quebec

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye1125 View Post
What are some attitudes that the Quebecois have towards immigrants, especially outside Montreal, specifically towards Americans? I mean Americans who are dissatisfied with their own nation and actually seek integration into their society and fluency in French...aka me lol. I don't mean the narrow minded and rude tourist-type Americans who refuse to even try to speak French and demand people speak English in a francophone society. I respect the culture and language, so much that I want to be a part of it one day. I'm worried that I'd get there and just be treated like trash because I'm not only a native English speaker, but also an American. Most of the world doesn't like us very much, but i dont want to take the blame abroad for what my government does. Is dumb for me to think I can integrate or is it dumb that I'm afraid of non-acceptance?

I've never been to Quebec, but I'm planning on visiting there in July and taking some intensive French language classes at UQAM.

In the meantime, I've been watching French news programs on the internet and reading French-language websites and message boards in an attempt to improve my understanding of French.

I found a website where French ex-pats talk about their experiences in trying to move to Quebec, and many of the posters seem to feel that the Quebecois are discriminatory against French immigrants, and some of the French folks have posted huge anti-Quebecois rants.

I just thought it was a interesting phenomena (especially the rants by former French expats where Quebecois are called "too wild west" and the place is described as operating under the "law of the jungle").

I have no idea if any of that is even remotely true or not (having never been to either country), but I expect that there may be some big exaggerations and hyperbole involved... possibly fueled by wildly differing cultural expectations between the French and the Quebecois.

I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post the site's address here, but does anyone more familiar with the area know what I'm talking, or maybe be able to shed some light on that whole ex-pat French vs. Quebecois phenomena?
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, BC
1,049 posts, read 6,269,383 times
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Kristan, I've heard that too, but not being French or Quebecois, I can't speak from my own personal experience, other than the issue has been known to exist. My significant other's an anglo Montrealer, and he has expressed something similar. Based on my observations and readings and research, I think a lot of it does come down to unrealistic expectations and/or the different history and culture between France and Quebec. Perhaps some French are coming to Quebec expecting France, and are shocked to discover it's North America? Who's to say.

Saying that, I do have some really close French friends living here in Vancouver, and they themselves say that the French in general are a very difficult people to please, and that everything is compared to an unachievable perfection to how one would expect it to be in France. So anything different - different French accent, different preparation of food, etc. wouldn't be recognized as different, but it would be recognized as being sub-par, a lower standard. So some French people end up exuding a snobby/superior behaviour, and the Quebecois feel bitter/resentment towards it. Of course, everyone's different, and this is just one of my friend's experiences. He himself says he's changed a whole lot since he's been in Vancouver, and he just points back to it being a cultural difference between France and Canada. He said the real eye-opener happened around Christmas time at Whistler. He was having a gourmet dinner at a restaurant and he was sitting next to a French family who were picking at their food and making understated comments, saying things like, "Hmmm... it's... okay." - when in fact, it was some of the most extraordinary food on the continent from one of the world's top restaurants. But because it's not French, you can't openly celebrate it or even suggest it's good. He said he used to be like that, and he's happily no longer like that.

I'm sure the whole "French is best, everything else is subpar" is a common sentiment on ex-pats sites, and perhaps that's all it is. Again, it's likely based on cultural differences and different expectations. Heck, I read a British ex-pats forum where British ex-pats (living all over Canada) continue to whine about how much better everything is in the UK compared to drab backwards Canada. So perhaps it's just, again, the cultural differences and expectations between Europeans and North Americans. I'd simply take it with a grain of salt.

One last thing I want to mention is that there are stories about how the Quebecois accent is looked down upon in France as being very "peasant" or "backwards", and that if Quebecois people are speaking French with a Quebecois accent, the French people will actually respond back to them in English. I wonder if this is coming into play at all?

Last edited by Robynator; 03-29-2010 at 09:02 PM..
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