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Old 07-14-2007, 07:20 PM
 
323 posts, read 1,387,038 times
Reputation: 191

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Just how bilingual do I have to be to work in Ottawa? If I have to speak French I might as well stay here in Montreal. I would prefer to live just in English so maybe I should move to Plattsburgh. I still would try out Ottawa or at least spend some time to absorb it. Maybe the West Island of Montreal could be a possible route. Maybe if I went back to school to study French I would be more at ease. I feel like I just cannot express myself other than a rudimentary conversation in French and forget writing it. I can read somewhat. I know French by ear and am really lost on grammar. I see that Ottawa is now officially a bilingual city. My Daughter will be living in Montreal after a three year stint in Toronto so I don't want to be too far. Even Ottawa seems too far in fact. How well can one visit having to two hours drive each way? I fear I will be stuck in Montreal for the rest of my life. Not easy to find a place to live it seems. I don't want to live in the Eastern Townships either. I've been there in the 1980s. Not my cup of tea.
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Old 07-14-2007, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Montréal, Canada
21 posts, read 162,535 times
Reputation: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by cazelais View Post
Just how bilingual do I have to be to work in Ottawa? If I have to speak French I might as well stay here in Montreal. I would prefer to live just in English so maybe I should move to Plattsburgh. I still would try out Ottawa or at least spend some time to absorb it. Maybe the West Island of Montreal could be a possible route. Maybe if I went back to school to study French I would be more at ease. I feel like I just cannot express myself other than a rudimentary conversation in French and forget writing it.
Ottawa has been a bilingual city since a long time. That's because all the federal ministries and government offices are there.

You don't need to be bilingual to live and work in Ottawa, except if you want to work for the federal government, you should be bilingual. English is widely spoken everywhere and more than French! Not everyone is bilingual there. But it's always an asset to be able to speak French.

I don't know what you do for a living, it might help me to tell you how much you have to be bilingual. But an advice I can give you, go take some oral communication French lessons, just to get a basic knowledge of this language. Writing in French is difficult, so start by learning how to speak.

Don't be afraid, I'm pretty sure you can easily live in Ottawa! Toronto is about 4 or 5 hours away by car or train.

Forget Plattsburgh, there is just nothing to do there.

If you have any questions, just ask me.
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Old 07-14-2007, 08:55 PM
 
323 posts, read 1,387,038 times
Reputation: 191
Lol, Plattsburgh that bad, eh? I use to go down there in the 1980s to shop, drink, walk around near the river. I loved it yet I could be really shocked landing there after growing up In L.A. and thirty years in Montreal. I love Montreal and I do speak French though not well enough. I have a terrible accent too. Ironically I am the only anglophone in my entire family past and present. They are all French. I just never assimilated.

I did apply for a credit card customer service job that was paying very well but I turned down the interview for now. I asked if I can resend the resume later on in the year. It was O.K. with them. Something came up and I will have a detour for a while but when I get back I want to try some place new. The job asked for English and English/French. I think you get extra if you speak French. One person pointed out if I improve my French I could have an edge. I do sales/customer service but would like to try something else eventually. I am also concerned at the cost of housing whether you buy or rent. I think the whole thing has really too expensive. Or you end up having to commute in the winter. Oh well, can't have it all.

I think from posts I've read before that you are thinking of moving to Ottawa as well? I guess if I don't like it I wouldn't be too far to get back to Montreal. Not like it's across the country or anything like that. I have spent time in Ottawa. I was never in love with it. I really liked the museums and the art gallery. Byward market and some of the restaurants there were really nice. I liked this Mexican restaurant too. It had a funky atmosphere. Then this really wonderful boat ride was so much fun. It was amazing. Near the center of Ottawa where some big hotels were.

I also sold "A Day In The Life Of Canada" books in the Parliament buildings on two different visits back in the 1980s. So I guess I could say I've worked in Ottawa. LOL.
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Old 07-14-2007, 09:12 PM
 
323 posts, read 1,387,038 times
Reputation: 191
P.S. Thanks for your vote of confidence, Castor!
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Old 07-15-2007, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Montréal, Canada
21 posts, read 162,535 times
Reputation: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by cazelais View Post
I think from posts I've read before that you are thinking of moving to Ottawa as well?
You are right. I'm thinking of moving to Ottawa (I work for the gov) and I'm waiting to be transferred. I like this city and we want to start a family, and for us, culture and nature are important (museums, Parc de Gatineau, etc.) Ottawa is also a very clean city. Also, income taxes are lower, which is important too because we both earn good salaries.

And it's only 2 hours away from Montréal, perfect.

We would like to move to the USA or Caribbeans some day (we hate cold and rain) but for now we prefer to stay close to our family.

I'm a francophone, English is my second language. I do have an accent too! (and hate it).

Thank you by the way for your post about Ottawa :-) And good luck for your job research.
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Old 03-23-2008, 11:00 AM
 
12 posts, read 70,170 times
Reputation: 24
Default Ottawa is officially bilingual

Quote:
Originally Posted by cazelais View Post
Just how bilingual do I have to be to work in Ottawa? If I have to speak French I might as well stay here in Montreal. I would prefer to live just in English so maybe I should move to Plattsburgh. I still would try out Ottawa or at least spend some time to absorb it. Maybe the West Island of Montreal could be a possible route. Maybe if I went back to school to study French I would be more at ease. I feel like I just cannot express myself other than a rudimentary conversation in French and forget writing it. I can read somewhat. I know French by ear and am really lost on grammar. I see that Ottawa is now officially a bilingual city. My Daughter will be living in Montreal after a three year stint in Toronto so I don't want to be too far. Even Ottawa seems too far in fact. How well can one visit having to two hours drive each way? I fear I will be stuck in Montreal for the rest of my life. Not easy to find a place to live it seems. I don't want to live in the Eastern Townships either. I've been there in the 1980s. Not my cup of tea.
You are right to say Ottawa is officially bilingual, but the main emphasis is on the higher paying and government jobs. If you work in a factory or some sort of manufacturing position then you would not have as much trouble, but there is still a preference to choose bilingual over english only workers.
In government work in Ottawa you must be able to read, write and understand or comprehend the french language.Many people have left Ottawa because of language issues, especially those who are in an age bracket where learning another language may prove to be difficult.
If you are well established in Montreal, it may be best to stay there if the commute would be too far. hope this info helps you to make a decision.lorri
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Old 03-23-2008, 11:51 AM
 
323 posts, read 1,387,038 times
Reputation: 191
Thanks, Lorri. I think another reason it would be hard to leave Montreal is that it has atmosphere and personality that I doubt Ottawa or any other place has. I still would like to look around in the future though. I think I will step up my French language skills as I am half way there anyways. The more I look around City-data the more confused I am about a place to move to. No where seems ideal except B.C. and that would be to far from family plus it is expensive. Might as well stay put for now.

Actually, learning a language as you get older is good for the brain.
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