Tuesday, March 16, 2010

French vs. English Volume 9

Too many English Songs?
On Friday January 22, all the TV networks broadcast an all-star appeal for aid in Haiti. There was an American broadcast, a Canadian one as well as a separate show put on by French artists in Quebec. Writing in Tribune libre de Vigil, Pierre Schneider complains that there were too many songs sung in English during the French language show. He went on to say that the English broadcast was comprised of English only songs, but alas is misinformed, as there was a Creole tune offered by Wyclef Jean.

Sportswriter sounds Off Again?
Even Sports writer and resident Anglo basher Réjean Tremblay couldn't complain about the fact that the Montreal Canadiens dumped Francophone hockey goon Georges Laraque, who was hired to defend his team mates with his fists and turned out to be a cowardly lion. 
He did however lament that the next Francophone on the Canadiens 'hit list' is Maxime LaPierre and advised him to score a few more goals, as well as change his name to 'Max Stone' to safeguard his job.

Language buffoon sounds off again
Mario Beaulieu, president of the  Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste of Montreal is a busy guy, flitting around the province denouncing all who get in the way of his dream of an independent French-only Quebec.
He freaked out over Bell Canada's decision to name it's high-speed Internet service "FIBE" a word not found in the French language, so obviously English.

It fell to a  Bell spokesperson to inform Mr. Beaulieu that "FIBE" is not an English word either, and is a play on both the English term "FIBER-OPTIC" and the French term "FIBRE-OPTIQUE." 
No matter, Mr. Beaulieu hinted that a boycott is in order. LINK(fr)

English signs set off panic
An English safety sign placed by a contractor alongside a similar sign warning pedestrians to use the other side of the street, sent French language militants into a furious rage that resulted in a complaint to the city of Montreal. After an investigation, the offending sign was removed to the relief of panicked language purists who firmly believe that those who can't speak French should be punished by having construction crap fall on their heads.

A bilingual sign in a coffee shop asking patrons to return their trays was the target of a complaint to the Quebec language police. When the office didn't move fast enough to have the sign removed, a furious online "WOE IS ME" campaign was started.

Sleep Country boycott is on
Calling Sleep Country Canada's refusal to change it's name in the Hull area of Quebec "Predatory," (Can someone explain that to me?) the Mouvement Montréal français has officially called for a boycott of the chain.


  1. Et la guerre inter-franco sur notre accent!


  2. Kind of weird when someone with a jewish name like Schneider ends up with the FLQ.

    Could we name him a self hating jew?

  3. I would say only if the victims of the FLQ were Jewish. Funny how terrorism simply vanished in Quebec...

  4. Stirring it again? This never ends.

  5. The FLQ was simply replaced by virulent language laws and radical political parties in Quebec.

  6. Sniff, Sniff ! Vous faites vraiment pitié !:)

  7. Reply to anon at 7:08 Pm:

    Its funny how perspectives differ from one country to another. Bill 101, etc, has been called everything from 'radical' to 'racist' to 'tyranny' etc. In Switzerland where there are much tougher laws such a viewpoint would be considered absurd. If I were living in Quebec I wouldn't expect any special treatment. I would say to myself that Quebec was primarily occupied by a proud and historic Francophone community. Do I wish to participate in it? If I did I would speak French and let matters rest. If not I would just relocate outside of Quebec (a very easy option in North America for an Anglo, much easier then the reverse) and then I would just get on with my life.

  8. Here, this is an article that highlights the reluctance of Anglophones to fight for their cause.


    All in all, I do believe that Bill 101 is bad not only for Anglophones and Allophones, but also for Francophones. The fact is that we live in an English world. Anywhere in the world people are getting more and more fluent in English. In China they have people in stadia and arenas to learn English. Trying to pretend that French has the same standing in the real business world is delusional.

  9. "I would say to myself that Quebec was primarily occupied by a proud and historic Francophone community. Do I wish to participate in it? If I did I would speak French and let matters rest."

    So for immigrants and Anglophones that have been here for generations, the only solution would be for them to abandon their homes and move to another province. I didn't realize that a society based on equality can only be achieved when the group that arrived first is permitted to culturally subjugate those who came a little later, or even at the same time but in lesser numbers. By that token, an equally proud and far more historic group inhabited this province thousands of years before the French even thought of building ships. I suggest we all pack our bags and return to our countries of origin.
    So it's impossible for the so called founders to reverse history and leave these lands to those who can claim ancestry, but the history and presence of other groups within the territory is not as relevant or important. Make sure you wear a helmet on that high horse.

  10. To 11:20 AM;

    I disagree. Swiss style language laws would be best for Canada and Quebec. The problem is Canada has piously chosen to misinterpret things like "equality" etc. In Switzerland all groups would take offence to any move to create language-minority "rights". All groups feel territorial unilingualism is better. Nobody sees this as "bigotry". The problem is the Canadian government has maintained the ILLUSION that language is transitory and a personal "right". In reality it is territorial.

  11. If you hate Québec so much, if you hate speaking French so much, why don't you just LEAVE.

    No, you want to be a baby, move from Canada to Québec and then cry that no one speaks English.

  12. "The problem is the Canadian government has maintained the ILLUSION that language is transitory and a personal "right". In reality it is territorial."

    Actually, the problem is that modern Canadians cannot claim an ancestry that is tied into the territory the inhabit in the way the nationalities that inhabit Switzerland do. The language groups found in Switzerland are actually an indigenous presence in each sector they occupy. Canada is a nation built exclusively on immigration and the only indigenous peoples in this country have been downgraded into a secondary role linguistically and culturally by both founding cultures, the French and the English. If language is to be defined by this narrow mnded regionalism in Canada then every other cultural group that forms a majority within a territory should be granted a unilingual status. Ironically, when these new linguistic territories communicate with each other it will still be in English.