AngryFrenchGuy

On the Progress of Canada’s Civilizing Mission in the Colony of Nunavut

with 40 comments

nunavut-empire

Take up the White Man’s burden–
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain
To seek another’s profit,
And work another’s gain.

-Rudyard Kipling

Iqaluit, year of grace 2009

My fellow Canadians,

It is my pleasure to report that my long and perilous voyage has ended without any serious mishap and that I have now reached the desolate camp that, I am told, is the capital of our newest colony.  I write this letter from my frugal apartments overlooking a few hundred rooftops and the barren no man’s land beyond.  There is not much here in terms of civilised comfort- except for hard liquor which is plentiful – but a gentleman does not travel to a foreign country 2500 kilometers from his loving wife and family for frivolous entertainment.

Barely had I set foot on this land that I was served an effusive greeting by an Eskimo, not a word of which I understood.  Mercifully one of his fellow people, who spoke English, came to my rescue and helped me locate transportation to my offices.  For some strange reason it seems that the first chap had come to believe that my position as a senior administrator of the colony somehow meant I was required to speak their language!

On the topic of language, I am extremely pleased to report that we are making tremendous progress and  that the local people are abandoning their tongue and learning English at a faster rate than achieved anywhere else in the Empire.  In a single decade the number of Inuit who speak their own language at home has gone from 76% to 64%!  With 24 of the 25 schools in the colony giving out education in the English tongue, the adoption of our language by the local youth should only accelerate.

In the immortal words of Toronto’s Reverend James George, the “rich freightage with which this Argosy is so majestically sailing down the stream of time’ could be borne to all people, and as a means of combating the evils the Lord had brought on humans after the building of the Tower of Babel.”

It’s amusing to note that because of the great constitution of Canada and the Charter of Human Rights – that brilliant piece of law-making- we were obligated to build a French school, but not to build any for the Inuit!

What were we going to do?  Teach the children in the vernacular and treat English speaking people like a vulgar minority?   Oh my, what a dreadful thought.  No, the French school was expensive but it keeps them quiet.  In the end the French are just like the Scots:  let them play “nation” with their costumes, flags, schools, foul national dishes and bogus “resolutions” in the House of Commons and they’ll become the fiercest defenders of our country and of the English language you’ll ever find.

Today they’re the one forcing the Inuit to speak English in the restaurants an shops about town!  That good Dr. Laurin must be spinning in his grave.

Speaking of Dr. Laurin, I know there was worry back home after the Native council passed that legislation suspiciously similar to Québec’s Bill 101 that purposed to make the local tongue the language of education, administration and business.  Mercifully our great leader Stephen Harper has made it clear that the Empire is not bound by the laws of the colonies.  Since the 700 million dollar budget of Nunavut comes almost exclusively from the Federal coffers, we probably won’t have to start chewing eel fat with the elders just as yet!

The Native youth is learning English but still seems to be struggling with some of our more modern knowledge.  The drop-out rate is quite high, with but a quarter of them finishing secondary education.  My personal opinion is that it is all the better as the tasks for which they are destined do not require to be well versed in science and literature.  To paraphrase Macaulay who served on the Supreme Council of India in Calcutta in 1835:  « It is impossible for us with our limited means to attempt to educate the body of the people.  We must at present do our best to form a class who may be the interpreters between us and the thousands whom we govern – a class of persons Inuit in blood and colour, but Canadian in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect. »

The many gold, iron and diamond mine projects in the area are moving along nicely and we’ve set aside a quarter of the jobs for the locals.  Now that their English skills are improving we are able to train them to drive trucks and work for the skilled labourers who will come from the South to operate the mines.

In any case, they’ve been living a purposeless life of government handouts ever since we killed their hunting dogs and relocated them all over the territory in the 1950’s, so they are ripe and ready to begin working for the mining companies.  It’s not like there is a « traditional lifestyle » left to save.

We’ve also begun training and arming many of them to serve as Rangers and patrol the colony.  As you know, some rival countries like the United States, Denmark and Russia don’t fully recognize our sovereignty over these lands on the pretext that we never bothered to build any infrastructure whatsoever over here until the last few years!  (Some Inuit are actually suing us over this! Don’t they understand how much more urgent it was that we distribute Canadian flags all over Québec?)

Well let them try to take our land from us now that we’ve taught a few hundred natives to speak English and parade around with the Maple Leaf flag held up high!

Amusing anecdote:  A ranger I was talking to asked me why the maple leaf on the flag (which he thought was a snowflake) was red.  It turns out the closest maple tree is at least 1,500 km away!

Isn’t it just glorious?  The Inuit are giving up their native language and culture for English, a Maple Leaf and a badly translated version of a an old French-Canadian resistance song while the emblem of this once proud arctic people, the Inukshuk, now symbolises Vancouver, a city 3500 km away where a snowstorm is an aberration!

God Bless Canada!

Written by angryfrenchguy

April 14, 2009 at 3:40 pm

40 Responses

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  1. Oh, you funny guy!

    J.

    April 14, 2009 at 5:09 pm

  2. The problem with the Inuit is they refuse to accept the english fact. They insist on living in their ghetto while ignoring the culture of the vast majority of their countrymen. It’s so arrogant of them! And then they expect special treatment?? I’m sorry, but in Canada, it takes place in English.

    Am I forgetting anything?

    RoryBellows

    April 14, 2009 at 9:28 pm

  3. “The problem with the Inuit is they refuse to accept the english fact. They insist on living in their ghetto while ignoring the culture of the vast majority of their countrymen. It’s so arrogant of them! And then they expect special treatment?? I’m sorry, but in Canada, it takes place in English.

    Am I forgetting anything?”

    LOL !! Are you for real?

    kriss

    April 14, 2009 at 10:02 pm

  4. Thanks to this site I have improved my written English. Thank you!

    Sergei

    April 14, 2009 at 10:32 pm

  5. good post AFG.

    an ape

    April 14, 2009 at 10:38 pm

  6. I was actually dumbfounded when I recently read in a newspaper that Nunavut has no Inuktitut-language schools, and that all of them taught in English except one which taught in French. WTF?!?

    Acajack

    April 15, 2009 at 9:15 am

  7. Québec initiated public intruction in Inuktitut a decade before it started anywhere else in Canada, and during the decade from 1971-1981 Inuktitut as a household language registered major gains in Québec while showing major decline everywhere else in Canada. In the early 2000’s data showed Inuktitut was faring much better in Nunavik (northern Québec) than in Nunavut. Recently there was some project in Nunavut – I don’t know the latest about it – to develop a law inspired in part by Bill 101 aimed at protecting Inuktitut in the educational system and public services. Rather ironic considering the huge outcry by the Québec Inuit leadership against Bill 101 when the law was first unveiled, even though the law specifically exempted aboriginal language groups. I believe it was Dr. Laurin himself who visited Ungava en catastrophe to explain the law to the Inuit and put minds at rest. Another interesting vignette when one considers all the mileage English Canadian hypocrites try to make posing as the protectors of aboriginals in Québec. A big bamboozle if ever there was.

    James

    April 15, 2009 at 7:24 pm

  8. actually, according to La Presse, it wasn’t Laurin himself, but rather an adjoint:

    Des anglos aux Inuits, l’onde de choc
    La promulgation de la loi 101 ne s’est pas faite sans heurts.
    La Presse
    dimanche 26 août 2007

    ——————————————————————————–

    Louise Leduc – Les Inuits ont menacé de faire sécession. La compagnie d’assurances Sun Life a déménagé son siège social en 1978. Dans un reportage, le réseau anglais de Radio-Canada observait que, désormais, le simple fait de commander une tasse de café dans un restaurant devenait un geste politique. Et a-t-on idée d’exiger du delicatessen Chez Schwartz’s qu’il se prive de son « s » ?

    La promulgation de la loi 101 ne s’est pas faite sans heurts. « Pour la communauté anglophone, ç’a été tout un choc, évoque l’avocat Brent Tyler. Ç’a été l’un des facteurs qui ont provoqué le départ de plusieurs. »

    **Les anglophones en ont été très remués, les Inuits aussi. Quelques jours après la promulgation de la loi, Camille Laurin a dépêché un représentant personnel à Fort Chimo afin de faire savoir que la Charte de la langue française ne menaçait en rien la langue inuite. « Un leader des Inuits, Charlie Watt, a dit qu’il n’en croyait rien et il a de nouveau exigé le départ de Fort Chimo de tous les fonctionnaires et policiers québécois qui s’y trouvent », pouvait-on lire dans La Presse du 29 août 1977.**

    Prenant aussi le bâton de pèlerin, René Lévesque – qui n’a jamais caché combien il regrettait de devoir légiférer sur le français – s’est employé à convaincre la communauté d’affaires que la loi 101 n’entraînerait pas le Québec dans une déroute économique.

    Il n’a pas convaincu pas tout le monde.

    « Il est évident que l’économie québécoise prendra un certain retard par rapport au reste du Canada aussi longtemps que l’environnement restera hostile au monde des affaires », a déclaré en mars 1978 Kenneth White, alors président du conseil du Royal Trust.

    « La langue de travail au CP sera toujours l’anglais, a dit pour sa part le 6 mars 1978 Ian St. Clair, président du Canadian Pacific (…). Nous sommes une société transcontinentale et nous ne pouvons pas conduire nos affaires en français. »

    La Ligue nationale de hockey, elle, a songé un temps à déménager ses bureaux à l’extérieur du Québec. « Comme toutes les entreprises, nous avons étudié la question. (…) Pour l’instant, nous ne bougerons pas. Mais si les choses venaient à changer, politiquement, nous réétudierions la situation », confiait un gouverneur de la LNH cité sous le couvert de l’anonymat dans The Gazette, en février 1978.

    Partisane du libre choix en matière d’éducation et de langue, l’influente Joan Dougherty, qui était présidente de la Commission des écoles protestantes du Grand Montréal, déplorait aussi la promulgation de la loi 101. Elle n’en jugeait pas moins que le français devait être « la langue commune au Québec » et plaidait déjà, bien avant la loi 101, pour que les jeunes anglophones l’apprennent. « Je ne sais pas si les enfants ont compris le message, mais ils le saisissent sûrement quand ils se cherchent un job. Rares sont les emplois aujourd’hui qui n’exigent pas la maîtrise du français », disait-elle dans The Gazette, en septembre 1977.

    James

    April 15, 2009 at 7:54 pm

  9. Yippers. Of course, no one ever stops to think that francophones and aboriginals are in many ways fighting the same battle for linguistic and cultural survival, and that if they banded together in a common front they might make more progress.

    But nope, the aboriginals almost always side with the anglos and francophones stubbornly prefer to fight the battle alone and would never side with native groups, probably out of both mistrust and a bit of Eurocentrism.

    More fertile ground for a divide-and-conquer scenario you’d be hard-pressed to find.

    Acajack

    April 15, 2009 at 8:42 pm

  10. ”**Les anglophones en ont été très remués, les Inuits aussi. Quelques jours après la promulgation de la loi, Camille Laurin a dépêché un représentant personnel à Fort Chimo afin de faire savoir que la Charte de la langue française ne menaçait en rien la langue inuite. « Un leader des Inuits, Charlie Watt, a dit qu’il n’en croyait rien et il a de nouveau exigé le départ de Fort Chimo de tous les fonctionnaires et policiers québécois qui s’y trouvent », pouvait-on lire dans La Presse du 29 août 1977.**”

    And Charlie Watt was rewarded just a few years later by Pierre Elliot Trudeau, who made him a Senator at the age of 39 (which he will be until the age of 75), making Mr. Watt the youngest Senator ever and the recipient of perhaps the most lucrative patronage appointment in Canadian history.

    Acajack

    April 15, 2009 at 8:48 pm

  11. What, did I forget to cross a T or something? I’m new this whole angry nationalism thingy, so if you have any tips, please let me know.

    RoryBellows

    April 15, 2009 at 10:50 pm

  12. Acajack:
    > And Charlie Watt was rewarded just a few years later by Pierre Elliot
    > Trudeau, who made him a Senator at the age of 39 (which he will be
    > until the age of 75), making Mr. Watt the youngest Senator ever and
    > the recipient of perhaps the most lucrative patronage appointment in
    > Canadian history.

    Didn’t know this Watt fellow, but he’s now been beat as Canada’s youngest senator. (Brazeau is also a controversial character; I think I remember him being accused of sexual harassment or something similar.)

    If I remember Pierre Godin’s biography of René Lévesque correctly, the first Inuit school in Nunavik was established by Jean Lesage’s government. Lévesque was the minister responsible for this issue and had to argue both with the Inuit and with the federal government, who didn’t want to let Quebec establish Native-language schools. Interestingly enough, I think I remember reading that the federal government was actually willing to switch the language of instruction from English to French in the federal school situated, I believe, in Kuujjuaq/Fort Chimo. But not to Inuktitut. It’s worth noting that, contrary to what people may think, the Inuit at the time were generally not fluent in English.

    The Quebec government did establish its Inuit school, and most Inuit chose to send their children there. However, the following Union nationale government lost a lot of goodwill among the Inuit and I think it was because they wanted to switch the language of instruction to French. But as far as I’m aware, the current language of instruction in far northern Quebec is Inuktitut. Or so I’ve heard when former hockey player Joé Juneau was on the news about his hockey program for youngsters in Nunavik; apparently there is no French school to which he can send his daughters over there (and I believe no English school either).

    But now why isn’t this the case in Nunavut? The whole point of creating this territory was so Inuit could have their own home, so to speak. I see that the problem is that the federal government isn’t willing to unlock the necessary funds. This is really bad, because if there is no Inuit school in Nunavut, the whole existence of Nunavut is pointless and only a public relations stunt.

    Marc

    April 17, 2009 at 1:49 am

  13. ‘Nunavut’s Inuit language – Inuktitut – is thriving, spoken by 83% of Inuit homes and 70% of the overall population. In fact, 15% of the Inuit living there have no other language, which prevents them from being able to fill many of the available jobs.

    ‘The 2006 Berger Report, called “The Nunavut Project”, recognized this gap and recommended bilingual education, which was implemented, but in a format that did not provide the expected results. With the first 4 grades dedicated exclusively to Inuktitut and the next years devoted to English, students were not proficient enough in reading and writing either language, became frustrated and dropped out of school. ‘

    texte intégral :

    http://monglendon.yorku.ca/monglendon.nsf/GLNewsE/C95F67EB5BAAA9278525758D0046E945?OpenDocument

    James

    April 17, 2009 at 2:56 am

  14. From my personal experiences and knowledge of language planning and revival in both Quebec and the ROC’s minority francophone communities, Nunavut should probably go to all-Inuit elementary and secondary schooling, with intensive second-language English classes in all years focused on language skills only. In the 21st century, the English language is present enough in popular culture, the Internet and in the public sphere in general – even in Nunavut – for kids to supplement and strengthen what they learn of it in school.

    This should be supported by broader measures along the lines of the language law passed last fall in support of Inuktitut, so that kids actually have opportunities in real life to use the language skills in Inuktitut they will be learning in school.

    Of course, there are a bunch of barriers to this, including the fact that the federal government must at least tacitly agree, as Nunavut is a territory subject to federal authority rather than a province. There is also the issue of finding enough trained teachers who are fluent in Inuktitut in order to support an entire education system in that language. Places like Louisiana that have attempted to (modestly) revive French have had to import teachers from Quebec, New Brunswick and France because of a lack of qualified people in their own backyard, so imagine what a challenge it would be for Inuktitut.

    Anyway, just my two cents. Ultimately, it’s up to the Inuit to decide what’s best for them, and not up to non-Inuit people like me to tell them what to do.

    Acajack

    April 17, 2009 at 8:51 am

  15. Learn the local language. Should be a given. I understand that not everyone will learn it perfectly. Fine. As long as school (this is why public education exists) gives the population to learn the necessary skills (like language or maths), people should have no gripe about being unemployed when they’re unqualified. That would be French in QC, French and English in certain Federal Government jobs and maybe soon Inuktitut in Nunavut.

    My hope is that not inuit Nunavummiut learn Inuktitut as well.

    Fon

    April 19, 2009 at 3:25 am

  16. Of course, but there is no consensus about what the “local language” is in many areas of Canada. I am not sure that most non-Inuit living in Nunavut would agree that Inuktitut is the “local language”. Or at least, they don’t view it as the “local language” strongly enough to feel compelled to learn it, and their acknowledgement of its place in Nunavut society is usually limited to lip service (pardon the pun!).

    Heck, there are even quite a few people who would argue that French is not the “local language” in Quebec, and I am not just talking about the western part of Montreal island here!

    Acajack

    April 20, 2009 at 8:46 am

  17. They have Fords in Nunavut :-)

    I never went to Montreal and kind of wish I did

    April 20, 2009 at 11:05 am

  18. Well, maybe that can be decided at the polls. I think an acceptable compromise might be that the majority decides it is really attached to their definition of the “local language” (ie French in QC, Inuktitut in Nunavut) and then linguistic minorities are given extra resources to participate in the local language while still having a space where they can opt out. This could be something along the lines of Bill 101 with better FSL education in English language schools, better standards etc and then maybe provincial funding for English language community activities etc. The feds fund this now and it makes a show of bad faith on both sides that the Anglo minority feels it cannot rely on the provincial government to look after its needs and many Francos feel the feds are meddling in a Quebec matter.

    Anyway, I have a right to not “feel” that Inuktitut is the local language, but if the people of Nunavut decide it may well become the primary official language. I think the majority Inuktitut-speaking population of Nunavut should make sure that this is done in a spirit of building bridges and as such the language should be open to all to ensure inclusion and reach out to other linguistic groups while helping the these linguistic groups also keep their identity.

    IT IS NOT A ZERO SUM GAME. Too many idiots here all over the world have a tendency to reduce linguistic or ethnic identities to winner-takes-all game of high-stakes poker. Fuck. Grow up. Let’s build together. Nelson Mandela motherfuckers. pce.

    Fon

    April 20, 2009 at 2:49 pm

  19. “Nelson Mandela motherfuckers.”

    Wasn’t that the ANC slogan in 1997?

    angryfrenchguy

    April 20, 2009 at 2:58 pm

  20. “IT IS NOT A ZERO SUM GAME. Too many idiots here all over the world have a tendency to reduce linguistic or ethnic identities to winner-takes-all game of high-stakes poker. Fuck. Grow up. Let’s build together. Nelson Mandela motherfuckers. pce.”

    Sounds like you are confusing Nelson Mandela with someone like Mahatma Gandhi. Though his cause was undoubtedly just, a “peace and love”, non-violent resistance Gandhi-type figure Mandela was certainly not.

    Anonymous

    April 20, 2009 at 8:37 pm

  21. i believe the anc (with their communist-inspired leanings) had a slogan that went something like – “a vote for the anc is a vote for freedom and prosperity – vote for change.”

    the fine print said – so i can ride around in an air-conditioned mercedes-benz.

    this is the same anc who shut off electricity and water to the poorest townships when they found out that utilities actually can be measured with real money.

    can you imagine some elected leader in nunavut telling residents that they will be required to purchase their own gasoline for their own snowmobiles and purchase their own bullets to go hunting?

    what will they think of next?

    [paraphrased]
    “the principal feature of the left is sanctimoniousness. by loudly denouncing all bad things — war and hunger and date rape — they testify to their own terrific goodness. more important, they promote themselves to membership in a self-selecting elite of those who care deeply about such things…. it’s a kind of natural aristocracy, and the wonderful thing about THIS aristocracy is that you don’t have to be brave, smart, strong or even lucky to join it, you just have to be in favour of some vague social justice that finds malaise when the sun rises in the east.”

    with the weight of the world on your shoulders agf, how do you sleep at night?

    johnnyonline

    April 20, 2009 at 10:50 pm

  22. “Sounds like you are confusing Nelson Mandela with someone like Mahatma Gandhi. Though his cause was undoubtedly just, a “peace and love”, non-violent resistance Gandhi-type figure Mandela was certainly not.”

    “To give millions a knowledge of English is to enslave them.” -Mahatma Gandhi. 1908.

    It’s off topic. And I happen to disagree. Still felt I shouldn’t miss this opportunity to throw that in.

    angryfrenchguy

    April 20, 2009 at 10:56 pm

  23. Wait a minute. It isn’t off topic at all.

    angryfrenchguy

    April 20, 2009 at 10:57 pm

  24. I don’t know how you came to picture me as this left wing bourgeois hypocrite who spends his sunday evenings reading Che Guevara’s motorcycle diaries in arabic, but it’s inacurate.

    I’m a capitalist. I believe in the free market. Somehow a weird alliance of morons who think Jesus speaks english and retards who think the wealth of nations is created in hedge funds cost me a hell of a lot of my capital in the last few months so I’m not in the mood to be lectured by anyone with a National Post subscription.

    Inuits lost their ability to sustain themselves because we played them like pawns so we could stake a claim to the North’s natural ressources. If freedom and private property actually were values enforced by the Canadian system, that never would’ve happenned.

    angryfrenchguy

    April 20, 2009 at 11:21 pm

  25. I don’t think that Mandela was so bad, but the clowns that have attempted to govern in his wake are pretty dire, and they’re not improving. Crime, AIDS, and violent riots against immigrants seem to be the order of the day in South Africa, and responsible people so called in the government tell AIDS sufferers to eat garlic and beetroot or take showers by way of treating or preventing the disease. These people are not an improvement on the apartheid government as far as I can see, except perhaps to the extent that they say they are not “racist.”

    I have brushed against this issue here before, but one of the other achievements of the ANC in its fifteen years of rule is to have marginalized Afrikaans in favor of English. It is true that Afrikaans was identified with the apartheid government, but one of the effects of the ANC’s policy has been to weaken politically not only the minority of Afrikaans speakers who are white, but the majority of them who are not. At any rate, the policy seems outwardly to be a deliberate attempt to crush a language in favor of English (done by black people in this instance, rather than whites), and on that account I thought I would mention it here.

    littlerob

    April 21, 2009 at 7:11 am

  26. It’s not just Afrikaans that’s been maginalized in South Africa in favour of english, the language of choice of the ANC leadership. It’s all of South Africa’s official languages.

    Today most South Africans demand and get “straight to Engligh” schools flled with teachers who do not have the tools or the qualifications to teach in English. The result is the students don’t learn English or anything else.

    Meanwhile those lucky enough to go to the former white schools that have decent english-language education, are forbidden, just like in the good old days of Native or Franco-American schools – to speak Zulu or any other language.

    Some people say English has become the class marker that race once was.

    As a South African judge once said: “All language rights in South Africa are rights against English.”

    angryfrenchguy

    April 21, 2009 at 8:17 am

  27. If command of English winds up determining class in SA, that will bring SA in line with most of the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, where the elites use the old colonial languages (English, French, Portuguese) in government and business. If you happen only to speak one (or more) of the local languages in these countries, you’re on the outside.

    The current ANC candidate for President, Jacob Zuma—he is likely to win the upcoming election—makes a good bit of political capital by stressing his ethnicity to his fellow amaZulu and by delivering speeches entirely in isiZulu. If he is elected, his presidency will effectively represent a takeover of the top of the ANC by amaZulu from the mix of speakers of isiXhosa, South Asians (often Indo-Muslims) and Anglos (many of whom are Jews) who have been in the forefront of the ANC up to now. It will be interesting to see if Mr. Zuma promotes isiZulu along with English after he is elected, and how nonspeakers of isiZulu will react if he does.

    littlerob

    April 21, 2009 at 2:04 pm

  28. I definitely mean Mandela. He really made a lot of amazing symbolic gestures that were quite conciliatory. Symbolism is terribly important. He learned Afrikaans while in prison. He got the mainly white, mainly Afrikaaner Springboks to sing Nkosi Sikelele iAfrika. He really tried to build a South Africa for all.

    Fon

    April 21, 2009 at 3:32 pm

  29. Funny you mention this, I was thinking the other day that an island in the Arctic Archipelago – Banks Island looks promising – might make a good new frontier to get as far, far away from you freaks as I can get. A blue-eyed anglo-only colony banning homosexuality and feminism. As long as we have a port to trade and our anglo genius (and punctuality, natch), we’re good, we don’t even need natural resources. We’ll pay you a flat $2000 a head per annum in lieu of tax to fuck off and leave us alone.

    We’d probably have the world’s highest GDP in no time, no crime, proper music, no dancing or terrorism, it would be fucking sweet. A hybrid Juche idea/small f fascist/dhammocracy is what we’re thinking. Feminine, bountiful women with unpainted hair, virile, buff men, heroic in achievement and resplendent in plaid. Yeah.

    Rosbif

    April 21, 2009 at 8:09 pm

  30. “It’s not just Afrikaans that’s been maginalized in South Africa in favour of english…. It’s all of South Africa’s official languages [that have been marginalized].”

    This is inaccurate. Afrikaans has certainly lost much of its status because of the officialization of other languages. The other languages, however, have not been marginalized. If a cup is on my right and I move it only slightly to the centre, it has not been moved to the right. It may remain on the right, but it has actually been moved to the left. The other languages of South Africa were extremely marginalized and are now, less so. I know that’s not an acceptable situation either, but it’s very different from stating that they have been marginalized along with Afrikaans.

    Certainly English has been the largest beneficiary of the attempted de-prvileging of Afrikaans in relation to other SA languages. Instead of de-privileging English and Afrikaans, for the sake of Xhosa, Zulu etc, Afrikaans alone has been de-privileged.

    All this is ridiculously irrelevant to the point I was trying to make about Mandela being magnanimous toward Afrikaans speakers. During his presidency, it was even said that he spoke too much Afrikaans and not enough Xhosa.

    Fon

    April 21, 2009 at 9:46 pm


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