This article about how Quebec plans on reforming Montreal so that people speak more French than English is slightly disconcerting, especially when you read this:
The Minister responsible for the French Language Charter, Diane De Courcy says: “It is quite disconcerting to see that a great number of French-speaking immigrants have to take English courses to get a job.
That isn’t in the (census) statistics but it is a concern that we have,” Ms. De Courcy said. “One thing is certain is that the federal statistics reveal unequivocally, without any ambiguity that we must act.”
Let’s get something clear: I’m an Anglophone who only knows English perfectly, and can converse in French somewhat imperfectly (sometimes my verb conjugation and the le/la stuff attributed to things, manages to trip me up when I speak.)
I had to learn French to be able to work and make more money than just speaking English.
I spent time learning French, and I find it rather enjoyable, so I have nothing against the language.
What I have, is a problem with government officials in Quebec saying that it’s all the rest of English Canada’s fault for luring away Montrealers, and for people having to speak English in addition to French.
In fact, many French-only folk I know, tell me that without English, they can’t get good jobs or raises in their current jobs.
It’s SO ridiculous, I can’t stand it. I just tell them to effing learn the language so they can make more money, the way I did.
ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT QUEBECOIS OR FRENCH?
But what is it that they’re really upset about?
They stated that Montrealers are moving away from Quebec in greater numbers, but immigrants are increasingly learning French.
That French is not being spoken as much in companies, or at home, or that Montrealers are moving away from Quebec, and therefore it isn’t the Quebecois who are speaking Quebecois French, but the others who are not Quebecois?
Anyway, what are you going to do?
Force everyone to only speak in French at work and at home?
Refuse to do business with English provinces?
Money speaks louder and drives actions. Perhaps Montrealers are leaving Quebec because they realized that they NEED to speak English to survive.
SO WHY DOES ANYONE NEED TO LEARN ENGLISH?
It’s not only because English is the second official language of Canada and the most dominant (only Quebec has French as its only official language).
It’s because to be able to work with people who live outside of Quebec, you have to speak English.
To work in a company that has offices and branches all over the world, you have to speak English.
Otherwise, the jobs that are available just in French, are jobs in French-only neighbourhoods where learning English is not really that necessary, but those jobs are few and far between.
Just as how I noticed that older Chinese retirees may not even speak English at all in Toronto, because they live without needing to — Toronto’s Chinatown has banks, shops and almost anything you need to live who speak in Chinese, and even have automated banking available in Chinese.
THE WAR ON ENGLISH AS THE LANGUAGE OF BUSINESS
English is the language of business. It’s a common language used among people in other countries so they can try and communicate to each other.
For instance, I saw on TV5 Monde (a French-from-France channel) where a Swiss police officer pulled over a Spaniard for driving without the highway permit.
Guess what language they used? Yes, 500 points to you for guessing ENGLISH!
The other day, I was in Macau when I saw a bunch of Chinese people sitting together.
I expected to hear Chinese, but they spoke English.
Upon further observation, it was because some only spoke Cantonese or some only spoke Mandarin. They didn’t understand each other.
But guess what COMMON language they used to communicate? Yes, ENGLISH!
FRENCH USED TO BE THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF BUSINESS
French (way back when) used to be the accepted language of business, which is why a lot of countries like Portugal, taught French as the second language in schools, not English.
As English became more and more common, Portugal has changed with the times and switched its secondary language taught in schools from French to English.
If French was STILL the official language of business, I’d have learned it a long time ago.
Statistics Canada figures showed that the number of people speaking only French in Montreal households dropped from 46-per cent in 2001 to 39-per cent in 2011. There was a similar trend with respect the use of English in the rest of Canada.
Note the following: the number of people speaking only French
It means that they aren’t necessarily giving up French (how can they, they’re probably Quebecois), they’re learning English or other languages too!
They’re becoming MULTI-lingual households.
Even English households are becoming MULTI-lingual.
What’s so wrong with that?
In some places of Quebec, they ONLY speak French, but I watched a documentary that states those places in Quebec are becoming concerned they will not be able to survive without learning English, as the world is increasingly getting smaller and requiring the use of English.
So as a result of this fear, some parents and families REFUSE to let their kids learn English.
Because they are so strongly against learning the language, that they ONLY want to live and work in French, which they think will help keep the culture alive by forcing language restrictions on their kids.
GET OVER IT. It’s just a language! Learn it if you have to like the rest of us.
Or else, move to a country that only speaks French!!!
OTHER COUNTRIES DON’T COMPLAIN
It’s the way business goes.
If there was more and more business being done only in French, people would learn the language.
I saw plenty of white people in Hong Kong speaking Cantonese or Mandarin, mostly because it’s the way they are able to do more business without needing a translator.
In Macau the official languages of the country are Chinese and Portuguese, but will you find many Chinese folk speaking Portuguese? Not likely.
You’ll find more Chinese folk speaking broken English than you will find them knowing anything in Portuguese.
So what’s the real big deal here?
People speak French all over Europe, in Africa, and even in some parts of the United States.
French is not a dying language, but perhaps Quebecois French is slowly disappearing as interracial relationships develop and the world changes.
What I see, is a sheer stubborn refusal to change with the times, and waging a war on it in the name of culture and language, when in fact it’s a thinly veiled language-ism of sorts.
UPDATE: Then you read shizz like this where an STM (Montreal metro system) employee assaults a woman because she spoke English, not French, and told her to go back to her own country.