Friday, January 21, 2011

French versus English Volume 20

Montreal Mosque project shot down
Perhaps New York City should take a page out of the Quebec government's playbook in relation to the bothersome mosque scheduled be built close to the 9/11 site in New York City.
Montreal area Muslims have been fund-raising in order to amass the $2.1 million purchase price of the last building of the historic Grey Nuns complex in downtown Montreal. The Muslims had been hoping to turn the building into a mosque and study centre, much to the chagrin of purists.  LINK fr

A panicked Quebec Ministry of Culture has stepped in to snap up the property before any such abomination could be permitted to happen and thus save the hallowed ground from certain desecration. The Ministry denies being anti-Muslim, but admits it has no plans for the building nor any ideas. In a stinging letter, renowned architect Phyllis Lambert(nee Bronfman) and Senator Serge Joyal rebuked the government for the blatant anti-Muslim gesture.

Electrolux fires 1200 in English
It's pretty shitty losing a well-paying manufacturing job and it's even shittier having it announced by way of a video. It's even worse when the announcement, made to the French speaking factory workers, is offered in heavily accented English.



Quebec's first baby of 2011
"Talasan Abdi Omar, came into the world at midnight and zero seconds on Jan. 1, 2011, weighing 3.6 kilograms, or nearly eight pounds and was thrust into the spotlight almost immediately.
Lying on her back in her bassinet, sleeping next to her resting mother in St. Mary’s maternity ward, Talasan appeared unaware of all the fuss her arrival made. She is the third daughter born to Pierrefonds residents Fatouma Ali Mogueh, 26, and Mohamed Abdi Omar, 35. LINK
I'm sure that Quebecois cultural supremacists like Raymond Labrie are shitting themselves over the fact that the first Quebec baby of 2011 is not French, not Catholic and not white.!!!
A triple-header!! Ha!ha!

What is the "Clique du Plateau"
Here's a semi-humorous take on what the "Clique du Plateau" is for those who'd like a guided tour. It's in French only. LINK 

Office québécois de la langue française
For those who think that the language police do nothing but harass Anglos over French signage, websites etc., they actually do much more.
The 'oh-feece,' as it is affectionately known, is also charged with policing the French language by making sure its lexicon remains as pure as possible by keeping Anglicisms out of daily use.
The latest offerings provided by them are these;

"Unfriend" = "Amiradier"  
definition; to remove someone from one Friend's list on Facebook

The Office has let it be known that the literal translation " conditionne physiquement"  from the English "physical training" is no longer kosher and is replaced with the more proper  "entraînement physique"

Apparently the good works of the OQLF has already made a reputation in France.
In a tongue in cheek reference to the term 'feel-good movie'  a French film critic suggests a comparable term in French;
"Si l'Office québécois de la langue française propose le terme « film pur bonheur », la traduction littérale de ce jargon hollywoodien serait : « un film qui fait se sentir bien ». " LINK
The OQLF is also frowning upon the word "PINTE" to describe a glass of beer in a pub. Although the word actually originates from the French, the English connotation of a 'pint of beer' is not French enough. Hence the word 'CHOPE' is now declared politically correct Link

Other popular English words that have found their way into common French usage are "COTTAGE" for which the OQLF recommends "CHALET" and "MAISON à DEMI-NIVEAUX" for a "SPLIT-LEVEL"
Another organization has been sanctioned by the OQLF to invent  equivalent French words for English technological terms and so, "EMPOWERMENT" is now "AUTOSOMISATION" in French.


"Allaite-In" not French enough

Perhaps the OQLF should get involved in this story, because according to Quebec's most tiresome and moronic language blowhard,  Louis Prefontaine, the name of yesterday's protest wasn't French enough.
For those not up to speed, a group of women organized a protest in front of a Montreal children's clothing store that kicked a woman out for breastfeeding her infant, two week earlier. LINK
The protesters created a Facebook page called ALLAITE-IN (nurse-in,) to which our resident language ayatollah took exception, because according to him, it was too English. He wrote over a dozen messages on the page haranguing the group for its bilingual nature and for using the clever protest name instead of the more French  (grève sur le tas)
His annoying comments did not go unnoticed with a couple of woman calling him out as a 'troll' and 'connard'  Of course, as is the case with all trolls, this only encouraged him to continue ranting.  See his rants here.
And so we'd ask the OQLF to offer a French alternative of a 'nurse-in'  and perhaps to francicize the word 'troll" as well.
Thanks to Hugo Shebbeare for highlighting the story.

PS- I think I'll start referring to Louis by that nickname-- "LE CONNARD," Click to check out the meaning of the word, it fits perfectly!!!

Senator proposes Bill to bilingualize the RCMP
If Liberal Senator Maria Chaput has her way, RCMP officers who patrol the Trans-Canada highway will have to be able to speak French, all the way from St. John's Newfoundland to Vancouver, B.C.
"...Practically speaking, Bill s-220 would require the federal government to provide services in both official languages in areas around the country where there are virtually no speakers of one of those official languages..."
"....Under the bill's specifications, Mounties patrolling the Trans-Canada Highway would be required to be fluent in both official languages, even those patrolling the parts of the highway on which there are likely to be almost no French speakers..." 
And now for the cherry on top;  drum roll, pleeease.....
"Interestingly enough, the only place where this foolish attempt at mandating bilingualism would not be instituted would be in the province of Quebec. The parts of the Trans-Canada Highway that go through Quebec are patrolled by the Surete du Quebec, which are under provincial jurisdiction, and would thus not be affected by Bill s-220" Alex Woznica-theconcordian
Bilingual toddlers have cognitive edge
"Concordia's Diane Poulin-Dubois says that toddlers exposed to two languages from infancy outperformed unilingual kids on attention-related tasks."
The study also shows that the cognitive advantages of bilingualism come earlier than what had been shown in previous studies, she added  LINK

Study fears allure of English over Quebec postsecondary students

"In their quest for better jobs, a growing number of Montreal’s francophone and ethnic-community youths are attending English-language colleges, posing a threat to French as the “common language of Quebec society.”That’s the conclusion of a study commissioned by the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ), the union that represents the vast majority of the province’s teachers. The study’s researchers expressed concern over the attraction that English is having on Quebec’s francophone and ethnic-community post secondary students." LINK
FOR FURTHER READING:

47 comments:

  1. I wonder how much they spent changing the bilingual word construction to Travaux. I think they did that in early 2000s.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The closure and relocation of yet another major manufacturer in Quebec is nothing new. Electrolux, the Shell oil refinery, Merck Frosst pharmaceutical, and so forth, and so on.

    Companies will continue to leave Quebec until eventually few, if any, will remain. Montreal will no doubt descend to third or fourth largest city in Canada.

    The Bloc and PQ, in Quebec. Shaka, when the walls fell.

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  3. Montreal one be fourth, lol I got news for you, it is already 4th it is racing down for fifth, and the whole province is catching up to the bottom dwellers of the country. And the way this province acts on taxation, social policy, work rules and spending, the spiraling is not over. Add to this language laws that make running a head office here an impssibilty for a north American company, and voilà you have the PQ dream country. A backward little country. Enjoy.

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  4. Wow, I got an honourable mention :) Thanks Dude!
    We created a bilingual group to denounce our infamous Connard that attempts to push his language discrimination to repetitive psychological harassment levels.
    Actually I openly recommend to his Imperatif Français employers to ensure their employees conform to the Labour Standards Act, loi sur les normes du travail:
    http://www.cnt.gouv.qc.ca/en-cas-de/harcelement-psychologique/index.html
    http://www.cnt.gouv.qc.ca/en/in-case-of/psychological-harassment-at-work/index.html
    If he is doing the FB harassment under their pay, they are responsible for his criminal activities online. Anyone can complain to the Commission des normes du travail, as soon as the actual employer is validated, if they felt harassed by the Chump.
    We can reverse this horrible trend of extremism:
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_102938723116346
    Il est grand temp que le Québec se progresse sans ces goons...
    Il y a un autre règle bien claire - il faut parler la langue du client and not throw everybody off the bus because someone asks the time in English (STM!) - or fine them for $2000 as journalist Martin Pelletier suggested the other week. Is it that hard to imagine why? Le Québec, mon cher, ça vas faire l'Anglophobie! Il nous faut avancer ensemble de ce clanisme et rebatîr la province ensemlble. Il faut des quotas afin que les minorités linguistiques (or any visible or audible minority for that matter) puissent travailler au gouvernement, mais il faut d'abord abolir cette maudite loi 101 ! De plus, la démocratie dans le sens de choix de la langue de formation pour la majorité de la province, sera de retour pour tous, et non seulement pour l’élite.
    Veuillez accorder mes plus grands sentiments distingués.
    Merci.
    Hugo Shebbeare
    Joinez notre groupe anti-101: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=188473804513203

    ReplyDelete
  5. What an animal in the Electrolux video. He just sounds like the most obnoxious dog barking it's head off. And what a disgusting laugh he has. He should be fired on the spot for existing.

    P.S. Love that the layoffs were announced in English.

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  6. Electrolux fires 1200 in English

    That’s messed up. I can understand the Francophone employee’s indignation. Come on! Why couldn’t Electrolux afford to hire a translator? They deliver seriously bad news like that to a Francophone audience in English…that’s friggen insane. No respect man, insensitive corporate assholes! Like I constantly repeat ‘You got to show respect to get respect’. Following such a simple rule would help us all find some measure of dignity in this conflicted province.

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  7. "Love that the layoffs were announced in English"

    No need to kick somebody when they're already down. And what if those employees included some Quebecois who are proud to be Canadians? I would imagine that they feel insulted and betrayed. And even if they were all seppies it's still very disrespectful. Should have been addressed in both languages.

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  8. The highway bill would bring bilingualism where it is not needed, and force unilingualism where some bilingualism wouldn’t hurt.

    What are the Libs thinking?

    In its attempt to appease Quebec, the politicans in this country are surpassing the limits of common sense.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yeah, disrespectful true, but it was translated at the same time tho?
    Management at times seems to think that it can just skip vital steps, as if they can do not wrong. Last year Nancy Wood found this out publicly: https://www.sqlservercentral.com/blogs/hugo/archive/2010/03/24/getting-stubborn-chief-executive-officers-to-listen-speak-their-language.aspx

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  10. Huh? As much as I'd like to see Montreal 10th place for largest city in Canada (it deserves to be dropped lower!), last I checked it's still 2nd largest. I'm sure Vancouver or Edmonton will take it's number two spot soon enough....other cities GROW, Montreal stagnants while people and companies LEAVE.

    For airport passenger traffic, Montreal already dropped to 4th place.

    Point is Montreal was at the #1 SPOT for just about everything only a generation ago. The PQ and PLQ have destroyed that and still not done pushing it continually down the shit hole, lower and lower.

    ps - The people crudely yelling in that Electrolux represent the grace of all true Quebecois. Hillbillies.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The layoffs were announced in both languages. There was a translator. Watch the video before just assuming... (Assume: To make an ASS of U and ME.)

    I just loved that it was delivered in English as well. That shouldn't be considered a "kick." English is not a freaking "kick!" We live in North America! Those layoffs were delivered how it should be - in BOTH French and English!!!

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  12. Its sad nevertheless to see another Canadian manufacturing and assembly plant close down (despite it effecting mostly pur laine that are seppie for the most part).

    Montreal itself use to have a huge textiles industry where many allos use to find jobs working in English and where in the 1980s and 1990s it was generally easier to work in those industries, many of the owners were Jewish, Greek, Italian and other ethnics. It was alot harder to back then to find jobs in most manufacturing plants outside of the west island and west end of Montreal in English.

    Despite most manufacturing being exported to China the customer hasn't really got much of a rebate in terms of the prices that they pay and for the most part Quality of the products have gone way down. We are left with mostly low wage service jobs, bigger government bureaucracy and higher taxes to pay for that bureaucracy.

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  13. I would also like to add that the guy delivering the layoffs from Electrolux mentions that he only moved his family to Quebec recently. He was just as shocked about the layoffs. At least he had the courtesy to deliver the news himself WITH A FRENCH TRANSLATOR. He could have passed the responsibility to one of the Francophone bosses. Maybe he should have. I am sure he was even more shocked by the audience acting like heathens. He was hardly disrespectful. It is not disrespectful to speak English.

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  14. "...Point is Montreal was at the #1 SPOT for just about everything only a generation ago. The PQ and PLQ have destroyed that and still not done pushing it continually down the shit hole, lower and lower..."

    Et c'est surement la faute des Péquistes si les américains sont devenus un pays du tiers monde.L'économie des amarricains appartient maintenant aux Chinois...Faut évoluer mon vieux!

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  15. @ anonymous 5:08 PM

    est quere lesrque pourquit des peite et encoure je fait des titti putouerine est quest il ya des signes de nordes. Non, parcque leurs fleurs des paquein cette bein.

    Oh, I'm sorry, you can't understand what I wrote? THAT is what all your replies look like to anyone reading this blog. If you're going to hang around here, have the courtesy to reply in the UNIVERSALLY RECOGNIZED English language so we can all understand. Merci.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "Et c'est surement la faute des Péquistes si les américains sont devenus un pays du tiers monde.L'économie des amarricains appartient maintenant aux Chinois...Faut évoluer mon vieux!"
    No, but it's their fault that all the companies that were stationed in Montreal are now in Toronto. It's also their fault that Montreal is no longer the #1 city in Canada. It's their fault that 250 000 Anglophones, many of whom were rich and owned powerful businesses, left the despotic province of Quebec.

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  17. "Et c'est surement la faute des Péquistes si les américains sont devenus un pays du tiers monde."

    Maybe not, but the PQ is responsible for huge numbers of companies leaving Quebec and setting up shop elsewhere in Canada or in other countries. Hopefully many more companies will abandon Quebec and the seppies will get what they deserve: abject poverty.

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  18. @Rene LaRedNeck

    Retournez a l'école et vous serez moins idiot ou demandez a quelqu'un de plus cultivé de traduire.

    ReplyDelete
  19. "No, but it's their fault that all the companies that were stationed in Montreal are now in Toronto.."

    Parlez-en aux administrateurs de la sun life.Ce déménagement vers toronto n'a vraiment pas été leur meilleur coup.L'industrielle-Alliance a récupéré tous leur clients du Québec.

    Actuellement,ils sont en négociations pour financer une partie du nouvel aréna de...Québec.Je remercie les milliers d'anglos qui ont quitté le navire Québécois.Nous espérions qu'il y en aurait+, mais bon.

    Bon débarras!

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  20. @Anglobusters,

    You're an idiot. Just because 2 or 3 businesses are based in Montreal doesn't make it a powerful one. All the businesses are in Toronto, ever single Canadian business, thanks to the PQ. Torontonians must be laughing their asses off and hoping that a new PQ govt will be elected so that Toronto will become even more economically prosperous. If you want to be the king of your garbage, be my guest.

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  21. Electrolux is laying off in the US as well; white goods (as in white appliances: microwaves, fridges, etc ...) are a tough market these days and it's no secret the company is moving its production to low-cost countries. But so are many others! It's really not about Quebec or Montreal. Now about the English announcement: the whole thing was translated, and besides the loud redneck, the workers took it fairly well.

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  22. "Retournez a l'école et vous serez moins idiot ou demandez a quelqu'un de plus cultivé de traduire."

    Translate! Translate! Translateeeeee! (spoken in the same animalistic grunts and squeals as the Quebecois at the Electrolux plant haha).

    Seriously, make the effort to reply in English. I barely have the time to read even the English posts here, replying in French means I automatically skip over it (I don't have the time to translate). I'm sure the same is true for others here. Just think, all those inflammatory comments I'm missing out on! All going to waste!

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  23. You know what's hilarious? All those Quebecois factory workers at Electrolux had NO idea what the assembly was about.

    All they did was was grunt and scream "FRANCAIS!!!" - "FRANCAIS!!!" as soon as the poor guy spoke "Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen". God forbid anyone should speak English in the holy land of Quebec.

    I just find it fitting they all are losing their jobs. Persons so rude, racist and xenophobic to start shouting crap like that don't deserve to have work. What comes around, goes around.

    They can all scream FRANCAIS when they're standing in line to collect their welfare checks.

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  24. It is a recession slightly still, and everyone everywhere is getting screwed by it. The Econonmic Tsunami has no targetted ethnicity built into that type of huge wave.

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  25. "All they did was was grunt and scream "FRANCAIS!!!" - "FRANCAIS!!!" as soon as the poor guy spoke "Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen". God forbid anyone should speak English in the holy land of Quebec."

    An apt comparison - because the quiet revolution has replaced Catholicism as the religion of French Quebec, addressing a crowd of French Quebecers in English is tantamount to blasphemy. I'm surprised they didn't start throwing their shoes at him like a crowd of Muslims reacting to someone desecrating a Koran.

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  26. Just to put the record straight.

    The Montreal urban area remains the second largest UA in Canada after Toronto. It is worth noted that Toronto surpassed Montreal in population in the late 70s and early 80s, coincided with the legislation of Bill 101. Montreal had been the largest and most important city in Canada since its incorporation in 1832.

    It is rather fortunate for Montreal that Vancouver is surrounded by the mountains, the ocean and The United States. Otherwise, Vancouver would have surpassed Montreal shortly after 1997.

    One thing that I do not understand about separatist mentality is that it is better for them for a business to just leave the province if that business is not compatible with "Quebec culture". It is very much counter intuitive since jurisdictions elsewhere are ready to jump through hoops to have investors in.

    The best coup of all? Not Sun Life. It is BMO. Where does the Board of Directors of the Bank of Montreal sit?

    And as for Electrolux, I really think it is Quebec's fault that they leave. They do not leave to some lower income countries in Asia or South America. They move to some place in the Southern United States.

    ReplyDelete
  27. @ Troy : Yes it's somewhat ironic BMO's now based in Toronto, however keep in mind TSX (or its ancestors rather) had surpassed the Montreal stock exchange since the ...1930's!

    ReplyDelete
  28. > For those who think that the language police do nothing but harass Anglos over French signage, websites etc., they actually do much more. The 'oh-feece,' as it is affectionately known, is also charged with policing the French language by making sure its lexicon remains as pure as possible by keeping Anglicisms out of daily use.

    It might be subtle to some, but there is a wide chasm between forcing people to speak French and showing pride in the language by empowering them to speak French well. The former is reprehensible, does nothing to reconcile the two solitudes, and instead exacerbates an already unnecessary conflict. The latter is a crucial and in my view constitutes a non-negotiable precondition to ensure that our language continues to evolve along the principles that have guided it for hundreds of years.

    Tongue troopers running around measuring the size of English (read: foreign) lettering are a tragic blemish on Quebec’s ability to proudly, confidently and maturely affirm its distinctiveness. They are perhaps simultaneously also the ultimate caricature of our self-appointed insecurity industry whose job is to regularly traumatize us on the precariousness of our continued survival.

    I’ll be the first to vociferously criticize the Office and the Charter for their part in limiting freedom of expression on things like signage, business management, and in education. But when it comes to terminology I must respectfully disagree with you.

    English is one of the few languages that have survived without a language academy or regulatory body. This is perhaps a byproduct of the English language’s history, its remarkable propensity to accept foreign words more quickly than most other languages, and its current ubiquity and preeminence as the world’s language of business. However, many other languages (and quite a few of them European ones) are much more conservative and have one or more regulatory bodies. In many cases, such organizations are hundreds of years old and pre-date the English language’s current status and situation. Add to that the fact that ours has always been a notoriously fussy language; why else would we say “pardon my French”?

    When it is not enforcing the parts of the Charter that moronically restrict individuals’ rights and freedoms, the Office’s mandate to fix and promote correct, consistent, and official terminology is indeed VERY helpful, and *does* go a long way to positively enrich, strengthen, and reinforce the French language. English and French have been frequenting and influencing one another for centuries here, and the two languages can continue to coexist without their official forms eventually degenerating into officialized patois.

    The importance of careful and articulate communication is constant in every language. I personally cringe when I hear French speakers refer to things as “un power bar” (une multiprise), “un smartphone” (un ordiphone/téléphone intelligent), “des wipers” (des essuie-glace), or, “un driveway” (entrée de garage/voie d’accès). Pedestrian examples, perhaps, but equally important whether the speaker be an old retired relative or the president of a multinational corporation.

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  29. > And as for Electrolux, I really think it is Quebec's fault that they leave. They do not leave to some lower income countries in Asia or South America. They move to some place in the Southern United States.

    At what cost to Memphis? Looks like some back room sweetheart deal more than anything else [http://www.memphisdailynews.com/editorial/Article.aspx?id=55736]. Seems if one area’s taxpayers won’t be suckered, another one will.


    > Et c'est surement la faute des Péquistes si les américains sont devenus un pays du tiers monde.
    > […] somewhat ironic BMO's now based in Toronto, however keep in mind TSX (or its ancestors rather)
    had surpassed the Montreal stock exchange since the ...1930's!

    There are factors we have power over and others that we don’t. At the same time, we haven’t done much to help ourselves either. The fact that successive governments have complacently stood idly by or actively worsened the situation stands as proof that the people deserve the government they elect.

    Toronto’s growth has outpaced Montreal’s since WWII [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto-Montreal_rivalry#By_population]. The opening of the St Lawrence Seaway in 1959 didn’t help. The language quibbles of the 60’s and 70’s didn’t help. The political volatility of the 70’s and 80’s didn’t help. Doing nothing to reinvent our manufacturing sector in the wake of the collapse/outsource of old labor-intensive industries like textiles didn’t help. An interesting study by Statistics Canada can be found here [http://dsp-psd.communication.gc.ca/Collection/CS11-0019-177E.pdf].

    C’est en partie en raison des politiques mal foutues de bon nombre d’administrations - dont quatre gouvernements péquistes fort marquants sur l’histoire récente du Québec - que notre déclin n’a pas été freiné. Nos politiques économiques et linguistiques ont certes contribué au déclin de Montréal. Même à ce jour, les séparatistes et leurs acolytes franco-suprémacistes se contenteraient de voir au Québec une république bananière francophone plutôt qu’une province au cœur francophone mais qui fait affaires dans les deux langues et l’affiche fièrement.

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  30. > I just find it fitting they all are losing their jobs. Persons so rude, racist and xenophobic to start shouting crap like that don't deserve to have work. What comes around, goes around.

    Then there’s that old reviled stereotype of “the man” representing “English money” which dies hard in their psyche; that’s probably part of why they shout “Français!”. At the same time, upon carefully re-watching the clip, it seems their demand is equally driven by a genuine communication problem. They’re factory workers who don’t understand a word of English (the plant is in L’Assomption, after all). Proof of this is that few of them barely react when the actual message is later delivered in English, but become very angry once they get the translation.


    > […] the quiet revolution has replaced Catholicism as the religion of French Quebec, addressing a crowd of French Quebecers in English is tantamount to blasphemy […]

    This needs to change. At the same time, you can hear the seething resentment in the background chatter of the people who resent that their jobs are being relocated while their performance wasn’t to blame. One fellow gets it so very right when he mutters ‘you guys can clear out, but we’re stuck here without jobs’. Money and back room deals might talk, but our language laws also play a role in creating a captive Quebec work force.


    > L'économie des amarricains appartient maintenant aux Chinois...Faut évoluer mon vieux!

    Tout comme la dynamique qui lie toxicomane et trafiquant de drogue, ces deux pays ont d’ores et déjà besoin l’un de l’autre. Pour citer le vénérable Jon Stewart : «When a country owes you a billion dollars -- they've got a problem. When a country owes you a trillion dollars – YOU’VE got a problem. »

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  31. Yep, of the "big 5 banks" in Canada, ALL OF THEM now have their head offices in Toronto.

    Royal Bank and Bank of Montreal used to be headquartered in Montreal...no more. No one wants their head office in a third world unstable shit hole (aka Quebec).

    More and more head offices and companies are pulling out of Quebec each year. When the PQ is re-elected in 2012-13 the flood gate will really open. This time it will be the final nail in the coffin for Quebec.

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  32. > Yep, of the "big 5 banks" in Canada, ALL OF THEM now have their head offices in Toronto.

    Regrettable that this should be the case. But Bay Street is in Toronto too. That ship sailed a while ago. Where do we go from here?


    > No one wants their head office in a third world unstable shit hole (aka Quebec).

    It’s sad we can’t get more head offices (back). But we’re still in second place [http://www.montrealgazette.com/Head+offices+Canada+Montreal+second+place/1248444/story.html].


    > When the PQ is re-elected in 2012-13 the flood gate will really open. This time it will be the final nail in the coffin for Quebec.

    I think that despite the constant political and media-induced “decanadianization” attempt to craft a mainstream Quebec identity that is entirely Canada-free, Quebecers realize that there are more important challenges ahead. The recent Association for Canadian Studies finding might suggest that an increasing number of young Quebecers are more ambivalent than ever about their relationship with Canada.

    Separatist commentators like Jean-François Lisée might point to this and say it’s only a matter of time before more people feel more Québécois than Canadian. This is nothing more than wishful thinking. What he fails to recall is the very real trend that as people age, they are less likely to support separatism. There are also no numbers for an identical study taken previously in time and over an age-based cross-section of Quebecers to compare with. No serious conclusion that today’s Quebec youth feels less connected to Canada without numbers from the 90’s, 80’s, 70’s, 60’s, and 50’s can be drawn without such numbers.

    And even supposing a “drift” were indeed occurring, the recent upward social and professional mobility of many francophones has also caused us to put into question the narrative that drove our nationalism in the aftermath of the Quiet Revolution. There is an equally growing appreciation that the early separatists’ mantra is just as irrelevant to our reality. We’re no longer (that) afraid of assimilation. Many more of us realize that, separate or not, we need a healthy integration of both business and culture.

    It’s just a matter of time before these growth pangs give way to a generalized receptiveness to integration to the continent that we belong to. When that happens, a huge number of Quebecers will realize that we DESERVE to belong to Canada, DESERVE to have our legitimate grievances heard, and DESERVE to have our say in governing this country.

    When that happens, we’ll finally drop the false advocates of the Bloc Québécois and elect representatives that can actually do more for us than whine.

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  33. Did anybody manage to make a link with this weeks past events in Quebec?

    The beginning of the week we have the Sikh story breaking out. All media attention on that event. The group was invited to voice their point of view. But was turned away. Quebec government could have requested a waiver for them for a day! While everybody is looking that way, the Norbourg/AMF deal is announced, and the Basterache report is also released. Now, doesn't that look like a deflection of attention and using the lazy media to divert attention away from what the Norbourg/AMF deal was really trying to do, and what the Basterache report was trying not to say.

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  34. Anonymous on 21 Jan. 17:08 said:

    "Et c'est surement la faute des Péquistes si les américains sont devenus un pays du tiers monde.L'économie des amarricains appartient maintenant aux Chinois...Faut évoluer mon vieux!"

    You really do not know what you are talking about, do you not?

    The United States remain the biggest economy in the world. Their 2010 GDP at purchasing power parity per capita stood at $ 47 132, number 6 in the world. Canada was in number 11 with $ 39 033.

    Among 10 provinces and 3 territories, Quebec stands in number 10 in GDP per capita. NB, NS and PEI have lower numbers than Quebec.

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  35. "Come on! Why couldn’t Electrolux afford to hire a translator? They deliver seriously bad news like that to a Francophone audience in English"

    I ask myself the same question whenever I go anywhere in this province. From the unilingual cops and firemen, to the hillbilly bumpkin legislation that limits the voice of whole cultures in the province - bad news one and all, and nobody thought to send us the English memo about how we've been pushed down a few rungs on the later.

    Fuck 'em. The whole time they had the jobs they voted in restricting the rights of those who brought them the opportunity for employment. Even if Quebec born and raised, I hope for massive lay offs and the relocation of all Anglo and foreign business. Whatever brings this house of cards down to the ground, tabarnac.

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  36. @ethnic 12:53:

    I agree with bilingualism being the solution and not the problem, but the remainder of your sentiments are both mean and vindictive.

    The idea of completely destroying Quebec through some kind of vengeful and faux-cathartic 'cleaning of house' instead than attacking what is specifically wrong with the current situation does nothing to foster the communication that is so badly needed in this province and country, now more than ever.

    How do you think we'll ever achieve the normal and healthy integration we so desperately need if both you and the people whose attitude you presumably oppose are both arguing for an anti-foreign and Quebec-only business class?

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  37. @ Apparatchik,

    "I agree with bilingualism being the solution and not the problem, but the remainder of your sentiments are both mean and vindictive."

    And Quebec's language laws are not mean and vindictive? I agree with 'Ethnic' and I cheer whenever a business in Quebec closes down and Quebecois employees lose their jobs. In fact, I have taken a proactive approach and have contacted companies in Canada and the U.S., urging them not to do business with the officially racist province of Quebec.

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  38. Lack of personal rigor combined with a populist movement that capitalizes on old grudges that refuse to give up the ghost are what is killing this province’s ability to do much better.

    I believe Quebec's language law, much like the underlying spirit of separatism that lies beneath it, is a deeply flawed means toward a deeply flawed end. But two wrongs don’t make a right, and you both need to learn this just as much as any rabid separatist does.

    I’m disheartened by the hateful anti-Quebecois rants I read here and elsewhere just as much as the equal and opposite hatred I read about Canada, federalists, and national unity on other blogs and sites.

    How about proactively telling those outside companies to play hardball with our government and some of its idiotic restrictions instead of denying (robbing?) all Quebecers the benefit and advantage of possible opportunities?

    Laws are made by humans to govern other humans. Everything is negotiable, from tax incentives, right down to the color of the walls. Operations and logistics can be too, with the right kind of persuasion.

    Exacerbating the disconnect between francophones and anglophones, or between Quebecers and (what some bigots won’t even call) newcomers will do little to bring us together. Wishing to bring all Quebecers to their knees, rather than wipe out the virulent virus that has been distracting us from our real challenges, is not the solution.

    Seriously people, this isn’t the Bible. Hoping for an exodus of federalists or an economic plague on nationalists isn’t the solution and everybody knows it.

    Any other (serious) ideas?

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  39. "And Quebec's language laws are not mean and vindictive? I agree with 'Ethnic' and I cheer whenever a business in Quebec closes down and Quebecois employees lose their jobs."

    Make that two of us, I also can't help but smirk and grin whenever another Quebec-based company moves its head office out west, or relocates the entire business to another province or the States. I also was happy to see the Quebec Nordiques and Montreal Expos leave--forever.

    It's a form of tough-love. The Quebecois don't understand what their doing or see anything wrong with their loathing hate of English-persons and ethnics. The only thing that may wake them up is where it hurts most...money, jobs and employment.

    I also don't think Quebec deserves national sport teams, or head offices or big businesses in general. If it wants to cut itself off from the rest of the world, then the WORLD SHOULD CUT ITSELF OFF FROM QUEBEC. Especially when it acts oppressive and takes away basic human rights and freedoms.

    Excuse my French, but FUCK QUEBEC! (at least so long as it continues the way it has since 1976)

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  40. With an attitude like that, I’m willing to bet you aren’t from around here.

    I fail to see how this thing you call “tough love” is going to fare better than the critical self-examination that is much more urgently needed. At the end of WWI, the Allies thought it would be a good idea to blame and punish Germany. Read the 1919 Treaty of Versailles for yourself, then come tell me WWII was a complete surprise…

    And truth be told, this discussion is really starting to get a little old.

    The problem was (and to an extent continues to be) about our communities not being sufficiently integrated with one another. Our province’s political culture already runs more on passion and persona than is good for us. If we knew each other better, the pseudo-intellectual hate- and fearmongers who have been hailed as leaders of this inglorious revolution wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. The stale product they continue to peddle wouldn’t have any market at all. If they were a computer company, they would have been long abandoned, admonished for pushing vaporware.

    The true enemy of Quebecers is the legislation that sanctions our continued (self) segregation. Couched in a culture that deliberately de-emphasizes its negative side effects, the “protection” of our language seems like a no-brainer to many Quebecers who have had little or no reason to integrate better within the dominant language and culture around them. Similarly, anglos who arrogantly believe it isn’t necessary or even worth it for them to integrate with the local community around them commit the same grievous mistake.

    Montreal has paid the heaviest price for the nationalists’ many caprices over the last decades. Our once-great and still-bilingual metropolis has suffered an important decline under the burden of such emotional flashpoints as linguistic supremacist pride. Yes, a decline might certainly have been underway by the time the nationalist lunatics took control of the provincial asylum. Their lunacy did nothing to stop the bleeding; rather, it slit the other wrist.

    You celebrate the departure of businesses and institutions, but you obviously don’t understand that all this does is cause the lunatics to celebrate even more. They don’t care about running a multicultural and bilingual Montreal to the ground because these are the very “problems” - antithetical to their cause - that they seek to eliminate. The very understandable “reconquest” of downtown boardrooms that was achieved in the 1970’s remains something that many francophones are ever mindful of seeing reversed. From that perspective, “linguistic security” trumps everything else.

    So yeah, pull out, one company at a time, until we’re left with a handful of Quebec-based multinationals employing a few thousand of us, and a bunch of abandoned buildings and historic high unemployment for the rest.

    Some of us will rejoice. The rest of us – francophones, anglophones, allophones, and “rootless cosmopolitans” who didn’t sign up for any of this - will be stuck picking up the pieces or running for our lives. I hope you’ll be just as cavalier and energetic about absorbing us as economic refugees with open arms.

    If you aren’t, I say be careful what you wish for.

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  41. Believe it or not, I live in Montreal.

    You talk about what's really needed is to turn things around. Sorry, but the damage here is far too great at this point and it never will heal (certainly not in my lifetime, or that of anyone else reading this blog).

    I've come to realize even if by some overnight miracle: the PQ and BQ disbanded, an official declaration no-more-referendums-eve-again made. The language laws abolished. Quebec made officially bilingual, etc, etc. You still would have generations of people's minds who were poisoned and corrupted to hate "Les Autres". Business still wouldn't come running back in here, not for many, many years any way.

    This isn't a Disney fair tale however, NONE of that stuff is going to happen anyway. Sure, call me a pessimist, but there is no happy ending coming for Quebec...it's all downhill from here. So what else is there to do? Just take joy is seeing what's left of Quebec die, celebrate companies, businesses and sport franchises leaving. It's an entertaining show. It's kind of like Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Only instead of watching the universe end, I'm watching Quebec end. :)

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  42. I don't think the problem with your vision is pessimism. I think that it embodies the very kind of irresponsible defeatist attitude that's partly to blame for the mess we're in.

    Peoples' attitudes can and will change over time. People want to be free. And people want to be prosperous. The more we grant leave of our senses, duties, responsibilities, and control, the more others (extremists) will be glad to dominate us. Fight for your limitations and they'll be yours... or something like that.

    In the end, we'll have a place that is neither completely in the image of staunch separatists nor die-hard federalists.

    But the more things change, the more they stay the same. Half a century of tumult, and we're still a fundamentally bilingual city with polarized pockets of arrogant crazies.

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  43. As I said, it's very doubtful we will see Quebec healed in our life time. But wait a minute, there is NO HEALING going on, the province is still injuring and hurting itself with NO END IN SIGHT.

    It's only defeatist and irresponsible if you plan to stay and make it your home. Most anyone with common sense will LEAVE. I know I am.

    There is no hope for this province.

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  44. Apparatchik,

    I need to call you out. Reading your posts, I have the impression that you think that Toronto's surpassing Montreal in economy, population and social importance is just an inevitability. The separatist movement and Bill 101 have nothing to do with this situation. Please confirm that that is what you are saying.

    If that is the case, I need you to explain to me. Why Toronto population finally surpassed Montreal's right in early 1980s? Why did BMO, RBC and Sun Life move to T.O. right about the time after the implementation of Bill 101? Are you willing to concede that all are just coincidence?

    Now regarding Electrolux plan in Memphis. While there is indeed a sweet deal for them to relocate, we do not know the value. Besides, governments everywhere do it every time. If the loss from the deal can be offset by gain in employment (direct or indirect), then it is a success. Reading that article, these lines caught my attention:

    "If wages, taxes and regulatory costs were more competitive and the workforce was more productive, this wouldn’t be happening."

    "Quebec should be the kind of place that attracts employers because we have a relatively well-schooled and well-trained workforce. But we wind up shooting ourselves in the foot, with social policies that cost too much and with a tax system that’s uncompetitive."

    Those comments were not originally made by Memphis Daily News, but by The Gazette.

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  45. In theory, I agree with Apparatchik (unity, cohesion, integration, getting to know one another). In reality, being only human, I must admit I share the sentiments of the English Dude. Any time a business leaves Quebec, I’m happy. Anytime Quebec economy goes down the shitter, I’m happy. Anytime a star NHL player opts to stay of out Montreal, I’m happy. Any time a major company relocates its headquarters out of Quebec, I’m happy. If Quebec ever has its national hockey team – I’ll be happy, for there will be a team I can jeer, heckle, taunt, and goad. Conversely, when Quebec has recently managed to finalise the energy deal with Vermont, I was depressed for a couple of days. I hoped for the deal to fall through, but it didn’t.

    This is the way it goes. The State of Quebec has acted in a certain way for 5 decades now. It is very hard for a non-Francophone to take this place seriously, to muster up enough will to reach out, to feel part of the greater collective. Even if acts of kindness are met, and even if someone with a straight head posts something on some blog (or even in the newspaper), 10 other posts appear to drown out the lone voice of reason.

    One thing I must disagree with Apparatchik – it’s not only the politicians that are to blame. Yes, politicians do pray on people’s credulity and create conditions that let them get elected (and fear, fear of anything – an Anglo, an Ethnic, a terrorist, a loss of language and identity – is the most powerful motivator). But society consists of people, and in Quebec we have a couple of generations now raised on hate and mistrust. Yes, some people break through it, but majority of them haven’t, as of yet.

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  46. And I challenge Apparatchik to take a walk in Montreal Est, along the streets lined with “Le Quebec – un nouveau pays ” signs. I urge him to go up to the people who live there, and not necessarily the old “farts” who remember the times of the old, Anglo-ruled Montreal, but also their children. And I urge him to talk to them about unity.

    I wonder what they’ll say.

    And no, these aren’t just uneducated, backwards, welfare-collecting lowlifes. Because you then can go to UQAM and talk to the poli sci students, and they will sound exactly like the same.

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  47. "The idea of completely destroying Quebec through some kind of vengeful and faux-cathartic 'cleaning of house'"

    Unfortunately, I personally do not have the power to be politically vindictive or to bring the house down. But after watching successive generations of Quebeckers thrive on the institutionalized hate that passes for a social program in this province, I'm happy to see the rotten hens come home to roost.

    Polite, quiet demonstrations in the back of a defunct English school are not going to change anything. It's time to fight this, not coddle it. I would encourage all the anger and vindictiveness that I can nurture - it's the only appropriate reaction to being culturally segregated and politically stifled and unrepresented, in my opinion.

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