AngryFrenchGuy

Why French is still in danger in Montreal

with 47 comments

Today we learn in La Presse that the Québec government has been sitting on another study on the decline of French in Montreal (or in google English). This time the study is about the language of work in the city. This comes about one week after the revelation that the government was holding back on another study on the demographic weight of Francophones in Montreal.

By and large, English-speaking Montreal was astonished to discover that Francophones still felt that their language and culture was threatened in the city.

Preposterous! More agitation from those darn separatist! All the signs are in French and all the immigrant kids have to go to French school thanks to that bill 101 that English-speakers had reluctantly learned to live with. Nearly everyone in Montreal is bilingual and the income gap between French and English has vanished. How could Francophones conceivably think their language and culture was in danger?

Here’s why, Tim Horton, these trends threaten not only French in Montreal, but even the bilingual character of the city:

The First Generation

In 2008 49 000 new immigrants will arrive in Québec and over 75% of them will head to Montreal.

When he gets here the new immigrant will learn that his engineering and business diplomas are not recognized in Québec and that he’s going to have to work in a factory.

At the factory he will have about a 50/50 chance of working in French (40,1%) or English (38,9%) even though the Charter of the French Language has made French the official language of the workplace 30 years ago.

At work he will quickly understand that immigrants who learn only English earn an average of 27 216$ a year while those who only learn French earn 21 233$ a year. If he is one of the growing number of immigrants who already knows French when they arrive, these numbers will tell him he also has to learn English. If he doesn’t speak French these numbers aren’t telling him he should.

Anyway, it won’t be long before he figures out that even old school Montrealers who don’t speak a word of French earn 34 097$ a year compared to 29 665$ for unilingual Francophones. (CD Howe numbers)

On his way to the better and wealthier life he left his country and family for, the new Montrealer will also learn that although over 80% of Québec’s population is French-speaking, in 1996 they counted for only 35% of the upper management in companies that had more than 1000 employees.

He will also understand that in wealthy neighborhoods like Westmount, 75% of the population is English-speaking.

The Second Generation

For that reason he will prefer that his kids attend English schools. If he can afford it, he will send them to a private school. If not, he will strongly encourage them to go to an English Language CEGEP and University. At this university his kids will develop his more durable social and professional networks.

Although able to speak French and English, this immigrant’s son will live and work in an English environment and feel he is part of Montreal’s English-speaking community. His relations with French-speakers will be cordial, but their preoccupations and culture won’t be his own.

He will not notice the absence of French language services in downtown Montreal because he will be just as likely to speak English in the shops himself. The exodus of Francophones who are increasingly frustrated not to be able to work and shop in French in Montreal will not affect him because his friends and colleagues are Anglophones.

The Third Generation

The girl he will get married is also more likely to be an Anglophone. A cute girl from Regina he will meet at McGill University, perhaps. Because she went to English schools in Canada, they will be able to sent their children to English-language public schools in Montreal.  And these children will grow up to be even less bilingual than their father.

Written by angryfrenchguy

February 7, 2008 at 1:48 pm

47 Responses

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  1. Alors pourqoui toi tu publie tout ca en anglais? T’es deja de la the third generation? :)

    Nik

    February 8, 2008 at 3:29 am

  2. L’étude a aussi démontré que la majorité des nouveaux arrivants adoptent le français comme la langue parlée à la maison.

    Même s’ils apprennent l’anglais aussi, tant mieux. Montréal n’est pas une ville strictement francophone. C’est une ville bilingue. Ça ne changera jamais.

    Le mieux que les francophones peuvent faire, c’est d’assurer que tout le monde apprend le français.

    McDonald

    February 8, 2008 at 12:23 pm

  3. Ce qui n’est malheureusement pas le cas et ne sera jamais le cas tant que le Canada nous traitera comme une simple province comme une autre.

    Guillaume Charette

    February 8, 2008 at 11:22 pm

  4. Charles Castonguay of the University of Ottawa claims that most allophones who adopt French in Montreal were already “francophonized” before they arrived, i.e. Haïtians and Morrocans who don’t claim French as a first language but are already fluent when they arrive.

    And I am of those who don’t think it’s my business what people speak at home. I am, however, quite concerned with the language of work, education and communication between different communities.

    French is still not the uncontested common language of all Montrealers that it should be.

    And there is enough forums for us to discuss these things in French elsewhere. AGF is a place to do it in English so those who don’t speak French can understand why we are angry.

    C’est tout.

    angryfrenchguy

    February 9, 2008 at 12:04 am

  5. What language people speak at home is a private matter. There is not a single sovereignist who does not know that.

    But here are the hard facts:

    1. The census questions on 1) the first language spoken and still spoken today 2) the language most often spoken at home are the ONLY way we have to observe and attempt to quantify LANGUAGE SHIFTS.

    In Ontario, a normal society, it doesn’t matter that an immigrant speaks Arabic at home, pass it to his children who will speak mostly English and some Arabic after being schooled in English and even further down the line up to 3, 4 or 5 generations. It doesn’t matter because in the end 99% of language shifts are towards English. The only thing that keeps a given minority language community growing in Toronto is the continuous flow of immigration replacing the anglicized generation with fresh new speakers of that language. There is one common language, English, and a plethora of other languages making up a rainbow of diversity which everyone loves but a minority of xenophobic ones who wish to stop immigration altogether.

    In order for English speakers to keep their relative numbers as part of Ontario society, all that is required is to assimilate a proportion of immigrant equivalent to the size of the English-speaking group (native language, any origin). So let’s say that native English speakers in Ontario make up 75% of all Ontarians, then 75% of language shifts will make things even (because the reproduction rate of anglophone is so low). But I just wrote above that 99% of language shifts are towards English, so in fact immigration results in the increase of English speakers (compensating their low reproduction rate).

    Let’s look at Quebec.

    80% of the population speak French as their first language. They have the same low reproduction rate as anglophones in Ontario. For the francophone group not to shrink, 80% of language shifts are required. However, unlike in Ontario, there is competition between English and French in Montreal where most immigrants will settle in hope of finding a job. After 30 years of a Charter protecting French, the common language of all Quebecers, we are far from the target, this very minimal goal of 80% of language shifts towards French.

    Now you understand the mathematics of the language question in Quebec and one of the most important reason why, in 1995, 60% of people in that province who speak French at home, no matter their first language (French, Arabic, Vietnamese, Creole etc.) voted to create a new country with a new citizenship and passport for it. The reason is that they want to be Ontarians and be free to speak their language, pass it on to their children and not worry about the ethnolinguistic transformations brought by immigration, which they wish to continue happening in their country.

    By placing Quebec outside Canada, or placing Canada out of Quebec, whichever you find less offensive, it is believed by those Quebecers that immersion in French will become very difficult if not impossible to avoid, making Quebec a place like Ontario, where the language of the majority is the common language and no questions asked.

    Mathieu Gauthier-Pilote

    February 9, 2008 at 10:17 am

  6. I think your article is very in-depth. It makes a lot of sense. I agree though that Montreal can never be entirely French. Although it was founded by the French (after the Iroquois), it eventually became bilingual and that’s the way it should always be. (I’m not talking about other parts of Quebec) Montreal is very close to the US border. I understand that francophones want to preserve their language, but what cost? I hope people realize that living only French in Montreal will be difficult (vice versa for the anglos) Culture cannot be imposed I’m afraid. It won’t work. It’s nice to wish that everyone would speak at home, but it’s just not a reality. I speak three languages and I’m so glad that I do! I understand the frustration of some francophones, but immigrants are not stupid. They will want to learn French, but also English for social and economic mobility. (This is by no means an attack on your article)

    claudia

    February 11, 2008 at 11:33 am

  7. There is no such thing as a “bilingual” city, unless in segregation by neighbourhood or during a period of transition where a strong language overruns a weaker one.

    Montreal, the city, was French from its foundation to 1760. French never had any sort of competition from any other language, even though trade brought people speaking many American and European languages to it.

    From 1763, year of the cession of French Canada to Great Britain, to 1830s, the progression of English was very strong. During the 1830-1850 period, English-speaking residents, most being immigrants, became a majority. The extension of the territory of the city by the annexation of neighbouring French-speaking municipalities made Montreal in the majority French-speaking again later on.

    From the arrival of the first British merchants in the city after 1763 to the 1960s, Montreal was “an English city containing many French-speaking workers and inhabitants.” This transition occurred in utter violation of the human rights of the French speaking inhabitants of the country. Through violence, intimidation, the English language culture was imposed to a population in the majority French-speaking.

    The French language, although spoken widely, had no influence on the speakers of other languages and Quebec francophones did not have the liberty to speak their language to everyone in town like native English speakers did.

    Nobody spoke of bilingualism but French speakers during the whole period going from 1840 to 1960.

    When French speakers, in the 1960s, owing to competent scientific analysis of the language demographic question and the political movement for decolonization of that era, became conscious that bilingualism, as practised by non-anglophones alone, was the PROBLEM to resolve and not the solution, then they started to demand a coherent global policy to improve the situation of the French language and have French play the role English was playing in the relations between groups. That is when elites of English Montreal started to talk about the bilingual character of the city as something positive, something to preserve.

    Quebecers have succeeded at improving the situation of French, at making French needed by non-francophones, but they did not yet succeed at making French the common public language of Quebecer (and therefore Montrealers) in replacement of English. That is because the policy Quebec gave itself in 1977 was supposed to be followed by a winning referendum in 1980.

    A necessary read on this topic is:

    The Reconquest of Montreal. Language Policy and Social Change in a Bilingual City by Marc V. Levine. It is possible to get a preview of the book here:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=1CwhnBqgSpwC

    Mathieu Gauthier-Pilote

    February 12, 2008 at 2:34 pm

  8. mathieu,

    “This transition occurred in utter violation of the human rights of the French speaking inhabitants of the country. Through violence, intimidation, the English language culture was imposed to a population in the majority French-speaking.”

    your version of history is tortured, your understanding of human rights is twisted and your knowledge of economics is non-existent.

    i wish you luck on the “everybody must speak the one true language” project. i think it has as much chance of success as the proverbial balle d’neige endans l’enfer.

    wanna make more money? try investment banking. maybe in beijing – they like central planners there too. and they gave up on communism. it’s the ghostly invisible hand of adam smith at work everywhere on this planet.

    your entire premise is unreasonable – adapt! it is what humans do best. regardez-moi… je suis un vieux chien mais
    je parle la grande langue des poètes juste comme il faut. vive le québec libre dans ce grand pays canada.

    and i say it because i mean it. not like m. de gaulle who would not recognise algeria or even take half notice of the independence movement at home chez-il in bretange. hypocrite.

    johnnyonline

    February 13, 2008 at 2:53 am

  9. Mathieu:

    If English was so terribly imposed upon the poor, downtrodden French of Montreal, why is it that — contrary to myth — French on commercial signs in Montreal approached 85% in 1970?

    One of the reasons for Bill 101’s sign provisions was that English on commercial signs predominated in Montreal. Well that, of course, is bullshit and a myth perpetrated by those that like to impose their language on others (language supremacists).

    You cite Marc Levine’s book “The Reconquest of Montreal”. Well, on page 200, this is what it says:

    “A 1970 survey by Guy Labelle estimated that 35 percent of the commercial signs in metropolitain Montreal were in French only and 11.8 percent in English only.”

    Okay, that means that 53.2 percent of signs were neither English-only or French-only and were, in all likelihood, practically all bilingual (English and French) although there were probably a few in other languages in ethnic areas (such as Chinese or Italian).

    That means that almost 85% of commercial signs in Montreal in 1970 had French on them! Hardly an indication of oppression when less than 85% of the population of Montreal at the time was French!Indeed, the population of the entire province at the time was less than 85% French.

    So, if anything, French was present on commercial signs far out of the proportion that it should be (to use the logic of Mathieu).

    You can see it yourself here: http://tinyurl.com/223vrq

    Tony Kondaks

    February 16, 2008 at 12:24 am

  10. Mathieu writes: “Through violence, intimidation, the English language culture was imposed to a population in the majority French-speaking.”

    Where did you get your information on this, Mathieu? Care to provide us with citations?

    Who committed the violence and intimidation that you refer to? And when did it occur?

    Tony Kondaks

    February 16, 2008 at 12:25 am

  11. Have we all failed to realize that this is 2008… not 1700, or 1960-something??!!!

    We are now living in a very GLOBALIZED world. The internet, the media, business relations, etc… all rely on our ability to understand one another around the world!! Not just our French speaking neighbour, or our English speaking co-worker.

    To be successful in our fast-paced, multi-lingual world, you need to know how to speak many languages.

    Why are we so focused on the French/English debate in Quebec? It’s ridiculous to spend so much $, time and energy fighting over some ancient idea of imposing a single language on the great people of this Province (or country… depending on who you are). Yes, I said it… PROVINCE. Quebec is still a PROVINCE within the country of Canada.

    How can the francophone community “lose it’s identity”? Our identity is who we are!! No one can ever take that away from us. It is our responsibility to teach our children our histories, our culture, our religions, our customs, etc… Not the teachers in schools, not the media, nor the sign on the front of “Reno-Depot” and “Tim Horton’s”.

    We need to take responsibility for ourselves. Stop all the fighting/blaming, stop living in the past. Keep the doors open to our children by giving them the very best opportunities in life… by learning as much as they can, in all languages that they chose to learn.

    Born in Ottawa, raised in Montreal (Go HABS Go!).

    Lisa Labelle

    February 16, 2008 at 6:13 pm

  12. lisa,

    despite this being a tired old debate – it’s refreshing to see someone post with a modern perspective as in “2008”.

    when you said:
    “We need to take responsibility for ourselves.”

    i was again impressed. it is so important that individuals recognise the face of self-interested self-serving political aspirants that walk on the concept of liberty in the name of “a better society”.

    liberté – fraternité – égalité

    napoleon the miserable war-mongering tyrant is still dead

    johnnyonline

    February 16, 2008 at 9:50 pm

  13. A Just Society.

    Pierre Elliot “Send in the army and arrest all the lefties without a warrant” Trudeau is still dead.

    Hey, this is kind of fun J.

    angryfrenchguy

    February 17, 2008 at 12:56 am

  14. It is very curious to find this blog in Quebec. I am from Russian community and want to say something about Quebec. We live here for 15 years and still don’t understand exactly what is going on in this province. Every year my friends and me are keeping in our mind to move to Ontario or another part of Canada because we are tired to see these strange political and language battles in Quebec. But we are staying because we are still hoping that everything will be changed.
    1. We came to Quebec in 1992. Started to learn French. And we did know that time about Bill 101 thinking that French and English were equal in this province.
    2. My car was stacked in the snow in CDN area and I asked the man standing in front of his house for a shovel. He asked: “Parles vous france? I said: “No” The answer was: “No shovel for you”
    3. I should to make some printouts for my business and found the copy centre in Rosemont Blvd. The owner refused to do the job because I did not speak French.
    4. My friend wanted to buy condominium. She called to listing agent to make an appointment to visit the property. The answer was “NO” because she spoke just English.
    5. We stopped to learn French when realised that we were to force to do so. Nobody force us to study English but we do it.
    6. English is more useful for the future career.
    7. We are forced to send our children to French schools. We are obeying to do so but after secondary school we send them to English CEGEP and English university. You know why? Because we want our children to work in Canada, USA and all over the world. Not just in Quebec.
    8. I see many young Quebecois around me not speaking a word in English. You know this story about Quebec people in Alberta who were fired for lack of English and incapability to read English instructions.
    9. See how booming English Universities in Montreal and how declining UQAM (this university is almost under bankruptcy)
    10. I administrate three revenue buildings in South Shore. Altogether 80 apartments.70 tenants on welfare. From 19 to 60 years old. Everybody complaining: there is no job. Beer and pot 24 hours a day. No money to pay rent. Everybody has 3-8 cases in the Rental Board for non-payments to previous landlords.
    11. 10 tenants are working – they are immigrants.
    12. The group of young people came to us from Gaspe to rent an apartment. They told there were absolutely no jobs in that area. Some small towns there according to their words are completely on welfare.
    13. My opinion that Bill 101 is directed not just to preserve French and accommodate us. But it directs against Quebecois people trying to block them within the Quebec borders. The children of Bill 101 cannot even go to BC or Alberta to find a good job.
    14. Why the kids of the prominent Quebec leaders studying in the private schools with heavy English preparation? The answer is – for the future career.

    serge

    February 17, 2008 at 1:30 pm

  15. Imagined I moved to Omsk and never learned to speak Russian. Imagine 15 years after moving there I still couldn’t ask for a shovel or rent an apartment in Russian and went around speaking English to everybody.

    Imagine I went around saying that Russians were lazy alcoholics who drank vodka all day and that my children were gonna go to school in English so they could get out of a dead-end country like Russia that sucked.

    Then imagine I told the Russians they had to pay for my kids English-education with their taxes.

    How do you think people would like me over there?

    Don’t bullshit me, Sergei, I’ve been to Russia. Couldn’t even get directions in the subway because I didn’t speak Russian.

    You’re problem is your number 1: “And we did know that time about Bill 101 thinking that French and English were equal in this province.”

    You were lied to by Immigration Canada. Don’t blame the Québécois.

    And stick around the AndryFrenchGuy’s house. You’ll learn a few more things they’re not telling you in the Gazette and on Global TV.

    angryfrenchguy

    February 17, 2008 at 7:44 pm

  16. Hi, my dear French angry guy! Your answers are too primitive to a man who declares himself as a Quebec writer. Your blog is quite interesting and I tried to touch the most sensitive questions in this Province. Your answer is – everything is OK in the Belle Province. Check your own country. Is it all?

    serge

    February 17, 2008 at 11:17 pm

  17. Wow.

    serge’s 14 point post should be printed out and stuck to the front door of the National Assembly.

    Tony Kondaks

    February 18, 2008 at 2:44 am

  18. AngryFrenchGuy:

    Regarding Pierre Elliot Trudeau and the invocation of the War Measures Act in October of 1970, you wrote:

    “Pierre Elliot ‘Send in the army and arrest all the lefties without a warrant’ ”

    AngryFrenchGuy, why do you make it sound as if Trudeau was solely responsible for sending in troops to Quebec?

    You are aware, are you not, that the Act required a province to request the fedearl government to send in the troops? Because that is exactly what happened. From Wikipedia under “War Measures Act”:

    “At the request of the Mayor of Montreal, Jean Drapeau, and the government of the Province of Quebec, and in response to general threats and demands made by the FLQ, the federal Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau invoked the act.”

    AngryFrenchGuy, please correct yourself for the wrong impression that you gave.

    Tony Kondaks

    February 18, 2008 at 2:50 am

  19. Imagined I moved to Quebec from France in the 16th century and never learned to speak Huron or any of the other majority languages that were spoken whereever my Habitant boat landed. Imagine 15 years after moving there I still couldn’t ask for wood to hew or water to draw in Huron and went around speaking French to everybody.

    Imagine I went around saying that Indians were lazy alcoholics who drank vodka all day and that my children were gonna go to school in French so they could get out of a dead-end country like the Indians created that sucked.

    UH, GEE, ANGRYFRENCHGUY, THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT YOUR ANCESTORS DID!

    Tony Kondaks

    February 18, 2008 at 2:53 am

  20. Wow I really enjoyed reading your post Serge. Thanks for your perspective. I think you’re absolutely right.

    Anonymous

    February 18, 2008 at 7:30 pm

  21. Serge says: “Your answer is – everything is OK in the Belle Province. Check your own country. Is it all?”

    I never said that. I never said everything is OK in Québec and I never said anything was wrong with Russia.

    If learn only one language, at least learn it properly.

    What I said was that you were prejudiced and maybe a little bit of a bigot. I also said that you are very lucky to live in a country that has a long tradition of tolerance for the intolerant.

    We’ve been living for two hundred and fifty years with people who found us and our language retarded and inconvenient.

    For two hundred and fifty years these people have been waiting for us to just die or go away or at least, leave them the fuck alone with our French.

    Well get comfortable, Sergei, ’cause we ain’t going just yet.

    Every day for the rest of your life you will have a Frenchman in your face expecting you to speak French when you are in his country.

    Everyday. Every time you go buy a pack of cigarettes, every time you ask a neighbor for a shovel, every time you go to the bank for a withdrawal, every time you fill your car with gas, every time you rent that porn at Videotron, every time you call Hydro-Québec about your power bill, every time you step out of your house, one of us will be in your way.

    Everyday until the last Gaspésien, Haïtien, Jeannois, Abitibien, Libanais and Acadien is buried on Mont-Royal.

    It doesn’t take much French to say hi to somebody and to to explain that you were not born here and that learning a language as an adult is hard.

    It doesn’t take a lot of French to say thank you. It doesn’t take a lot of French to say I respect you. Most Anglophones and Allophones do.

    You’re not a tourist anymore, so every time you speak to your neighbor in English, you are saying Fuck You, I don’t respect you.

    Keep doing it if it’s you’re choice. But understand what you are saying to your neighbor.

    And if he seems a little unfriendly, maybe you will understand why a little better.

    angryfrenchguy

    February 18, 2008 at 11:31 pm

  22. AngryFrenchGury writes (and, boy, is he angry today):

    “What I said was that you were prejudiced and maybe a little bit of a bigot. I also said that you are very lucky to live in a country that has a long tradition of tolerance for the intolerant.

    “We’ve been living for two hundred and fifty years with people who found us and our language retarded and inconvenient.

    “For two hundred and fifty years these people have been waiting for us to just die or go away or at least, leave them the fuck alone with our French.”

    1) The French of Quebec have a long tradition of INtolerance. In addition to disrespecting the majority language that prevailed when the first French habitants arrived on the shores of New France, these racists and bigots shoved their minority language down the throats of the aboriginals as well as their “superior” Christian religion. Now their descendents, such as AngryFrenchGuy, expects today’s minority to respect the current majority. Such hypocrisy.

    2) Up until about 35 years ago, French schools would not accept many immigrants into their schools, fearing that they would negatively influence their culture, religion and language. Thus, these immigrants went to the English school systems where they were welcomed with open arms. That is why, prior to Bill 22 in 1974, about 90% of all immigrants chose to go to English schools in Quebec and not French schools.

    3) The hate law/race law that is Bill 101 is currently the law in Quebec. Such intolerance.

    4) The future of Quebec — whether it becomes independent or stays within Canada — is one that will be increasingly English…and increasingly unilingual English.

    5) The right to disrespect someone else should be a constitutionally guaranteed right; it is in most free and democratic countries. It is called free speech.

    Tony Kondaks

    February 19, 2008 at 12:10 am

  23. Wow ! This angryfrenchguy is a monk ! I admire the patience you have. Your blog is full of closed-minded people and angry anglos who complain “this is not like home”. hahaha

    First off, you guys should stop with the Natives argument. English ancestors did pretty much as bad as the French guys did. So to me, this a closed case. They both contributed to the genocide.

    Now welcome to 2008. I am still amazed that some anglophones think that Bill 101 is a “race-based” law. English is a “race” now ? Wow… In Miami, FL, the State is trying to push for a language law similar to Bill 101 because Spanish is taking a predominant figure in the city. I guess you guys wanna learn Spanish next time you visit your auntie in Fort Lauderdale ?

    Angrfrenchman, your analysis of the immigrants’ relationship to French is right on. My experience as a born and raised French-speaking Montrealer is that most of my allophone friends speak French but have little if no knowledge of Quebec culture. Their culture is globalized… ahem… consumerist-american shall I say.

    I think it is very paradoxal that some anglophones are telling francophones that they should learn a second language to be part of our modern, globalized world when most of them don’t have and don’t even want to learn a second one.

    Finally, Montreal’s status is not, and never was, a bilingual city. Montreal has always been French, although it always had, historically, a strong English-spakeing minority. This can be explained by the fact that Montreal is the economical center of Quebec and that, as you rightly stated, even today, francophones count “for only 35% of the upper management in companies that [have] more than 1000 employees.”

    Mathieu

    February 20, 2008 at 8:23 pm

  24. identity politics are divisive and close-minded.
    they are often precursors to terrible mischief.

    and serge – i agree – “tired to see these strange political and language battles in Quebec”. bienvenue au canada. i think you are a strong person and have much courage. thank you for choosing quebec.

    and mathieu – 35% is the level of bilingualism for francophones in quebec. that sounds about right for a company with international/interprovincial dealings. and even if this figure that you threw out so casually – like it’s some kind of evidence for oppression or injustice – go jump in a lake. the cold water might wake you up. corporations speak one language and it’s $$$$$. not french not english – individuals (just like serge) get to positions of responsibility based on merit and a lot of hard work. he can borrow my shovel any day.

    karl marx can’t figure that one out because he’s still dead.

    johnnyonline

    February 20, 2008 at 10:06 pm

  25. I really think that French shouldn’t just be a language immigrants and anglos learn to be able to do their groceries in french, it has to be a vivid language and people have to be able to work in french and learn about the french-speaking culture. I think that all the efforts of nationalists – cultural and political – have failed when it comes to integrating the anglos and a part of the new-comers. Unless Québec becomes a country which will be widely known as french-speaking (although bilingualism for the english minority must be kept), I don’t think that the situation will change.
    and to sergei
    ты наверно никогда не попробавал научиться серезно французскому. Ты ленив, и поэтому тебе казалось, что так легче жить с английским меньшинством, и французский не изучать. Ты как русскоязычные которые живут в балтийских странах: они всю жизнь там жили, но ни слова не умеют по-эстонский, на пример. Смешно что сейчас русские желаются что есть слишком много китацев у них в Сибире и что они не говорят по-русски итд! Русские только привыкли к тому, что они колонизаторы… а там на первый раз, они жерты колонизации… может быть что тебе надо представить себе секунду, что такое положение колонизуемых, и может быть что ты будешь передумать…
    п.с. я только изучаю русский полтора года (в Монреале)… а ты, сколько лет изучал (если ты изучал) французский ???

    Adrien

    February 23, 2008 at 2:49 pm

  26. adrien,

    Вы считает принятие языка в английский или вы планы на жизнь в москвы?

    some people just cherish the idea that they can make choices – that would include me. does that include you?

    or do i understand you to be saying that: having choice is a good thing but only when you make the right choice – or else you are lazy.

    what if i don’t like locass? what if jean-pierre ferland has no resonance with me? so what if i find deconstructionist thinking vividly self destructive. what does that make me?

    Kim Jong-il does not speak english.

    johnnyonline

    February 23, 2008 at 4:56 pm

  27. Oui oui, c’est toujours la faute d’Ottawa.
    It’s pretty evident “Angry” that not only are you angry, but pretty much full of hate too ! A comment like this……..”so every time you speak to your neighbor in English, you are saying Fuck You, I don’t respect you.” Wow, I didn’t realize I was being disrespectful. I shall remedy that right away.
    Perhaps the Ontario government should incorporate the same laws as Quebec has vis-a-vis the French in Ontario. What with all the other languages popping up in Canada, then if I understand what you’re saying here, the English language MUST then be protected there.
    Let’s do it then. Let’s impose the exact same restrictions on the francophone communities in Ontario. Do you think they’ll mind ? Do you think they’ll feel unimportant ? They’re only taxpayers, so what the hell, let’s do it. Aren’t they being disrespectful when they talk in french to their neighbors ? You see it works both ways.
    Enough with this verbal diahrea.
    Stop looking back and look forward. Instead of building a fence, try a bridge. Do you realize just how many people want to learn to speak french?
    Evidently not, you’re the type that will never let go of the”fat english lady” at Eaton’s. That era is gone now. ( So is your Duplessis regime) so move on damn it!
    If you want to bring up the past, bring up September 13, 1759. ( I’m sure you know the significance) but hey……you’re still here !
    Vivre le Canada !

    Guy Gadbois

    February 23, 2008 at 5:58 pm

  28. It is funny that the discussion has been converted to Russian language.
    Maybe it’s much better to create another website under the name Angryrussianguy.com or Angrywhateverguy.com…?
    No, live Russian alone and let speak to one ore another official language of Canada.
    The conquers were conquered by the conquers. That describes exactly what happened in this country. The French King was short of money and power 400 years ago and decided to sell the New France territories with new immigrants to more successful English competitors. That happened exactly to Russians in Alaska 100 years ago.
    Take a look at the former English colonies. They are mostly prospering. Take a look at the former French colonies. They are not prospering. One conquer is more successful than another one.
    Quebec wants to separate from Canada. We do not want (I mean ethnics and money)
    In the case of separation we are going to move to Ontario. So what is the reason to study French if we have to move to English province? I see no reason and my kid sees no reason (he graduated from French school)
    Or you don’t want to separate? Just bla bla to get more respect? Anybody can answer me this question?
    I came here 15 years and spoke to one lady who lived here for 15 years before me. She told me that Quebec was instable. I did not believe her. Now I am saying the same. Quebec is instable.

    sergei

    February 24, 2008 at 12:56 pm

  29. sergei:

    Great posting. You said it better than I could ever try to.

    My favourite line:

    “Or you don’t want to separate? Just bla bla to get more respect? Anybody can answer me this question?”

    No one has to answer it because you got it: It is, indeed, just bla bla to get more respect.

    Two referendums since 1980 and not the courage to ask the “hard question”. Georges, Mathieu et al don’t want an independent Quebec because if they actually got their own country they wouldn’t be able to complain about their alleged English oppressors anymore.

    Tony Kondaks

    February 25, 2008 at 2:27 pm

  30. I like the post that said something along the lines of building a bridge and not a fence. That makes the most sense.

    Jane

    February 26, 2008 at 2:36 pm


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