Friday, April 15, 2011

French versus English - Volume 25

Jewish Star of David 'Offensive'
Thanks to Mitchel S. for this story about a Montreal food market that was asked by head office to remove three very prominent Stars of David hanging from the ceiling, over a section of seasonal Kosher food offered before the Jewish holiday of Passover, when Jews celebrate the Exodus from Egypt by eating unleavened bread.
A customer complained that the display was overly religious and the head office immediately ordered the store to take down the offending signs.
After a barrage of counter-complaints, the company reacted quickly to repair the damage and at least one Star of Davis is up once again.
The question remains. What kind of Grinch would complain?  LINK

Dangerous Anglo invasion in Laval
Impératif français, a militant French language group has sounded the alarm over the disturbing development that too many Anglos are moving to Laval. The separatist group has discerned a booby prize to the Mayor of Laval and city councillors for doing nothing to stop this barbarian invasion.
Exactly what steps the city should take to keep the Anglos out, wasn't suggested.
Link{FR}
By the way, if you go to the original article, check out the comments!
Jean-Paul Perreault, the president of the organization, also offered another 'booby prize' to Line Beauchamp, the minister of education for her efforts to teach English starting in Grade one, another dangerous idea! LINK{FR}

Quebec's first Veiled Robbers
You just knew it would happen.
A group of seven people, five women and two men robbed a depaneur. The women were veiled, but it didn't seem to help, the robbers were apprehended a short time later. Rather than coming from Arab countries, the crooks appeared to come from Eastern Europe and were just using the veils as a disguise. Link{FR}


PQ's Marois Wants Ottawa to pay for bridge
PQ leader Pauline thinks its a peachy idea for the federal government to provide a replacement for the Champlain bridge, Canada's busiest bridge, connecting the island of Montreal to the south shore. The Champlain is crumbling and the scheduled patch-up job isn't satisfying anyone including the separatist leader.
 The replacement bridge is estimated to cost in the neighborhood of six billion dollars, too rich for the provincial government and the fact that these bridges, fall under federal jurisdiction didn't seem to bother Madame Marois........Or did it?
Her suggestion is that Ottawa build the bridge and THEN transfer it to provincial jurisdiction, a neat solution! Link{FR}

Ontario to allow vanity plates in French
"Starting Monday, Franco-Ontarians will have a chance to turn their licence plates into showy, self-referential inside jokes in their own language.
The province says it will begin accepting applications for French vanity plates on that date. The new plates will also feature an optional embossed French language provincial slogan - "Tant À Découvrir" instead of "Yours to Discover". Link
If you think about it, the the program offers a great bilingual, English/French dynamic, as in my amateur example to the right.

Quebec cancer registry delayed
 Quebec is the last province to get a provincial cancer registry where data will be collected from 70 centres to give physicians and health care planners a better tool to organize their work.
But Nathalie Rodigue a spokeswoman for the Coalition Priorite Cancer told a Montreal television interviewer that only 22 centres have the necessary software to transmit the information, even though the software is readily available elsewhere, including other Canadian provinces, the US and France. Quebec has decided to write a new home-grown Quebec version of the software, which will delay the implementation. When asked about this, Quebec's Health Minister, Yves Bolduc advised the reporter that;
"We should stop to compare with other provinces. Instead we should work together." Argh!......

Air Transat cancels French lessons.
The Montreal charter airline that flies to the south in the winter and to Europe in the summer, is taking some flak for offering some specialized Quebecois French lessons on its website for European tourists flying to Montreal,  unfamiliar with Quebec's particular version of French.
The examples that the airline provided were actually quite funny, first offering a phrase in Parisian French and then in a Quebecois version.
Of course this displeased many, who demanded that the airline cease these 'insulting lessons' and so, alas, they have disappeared from the website.
You can read the story in French HERE
 If you speak French, you can listen to an audio file of the lessons HERE.

Quebec press council cites Maclean's

On the same day that the massive ongoing corruption scandal at Montreal City Hall escalated even further, with the announcement that the city was spying on a senior politician who was then asked to step aside, the Quebec Press Council announced that it had found Maclean's magazine guilty of bad journalism for the story that called Quebec the most corrupt Canadian province.
Responding to a complaint from radical separatist Gilles Rheame, the watchdog organization claimed that Maclean's had not made its case. LINK
The magazine, fearing that the conclusion was foregone, didn't even bother to defend itself.
Incidentally, it is being reported that the ex-chief of police  of Montreal, Yvan Delorme was also under investigation for his dealing with a local security firm which has since gone bankrupt. Eyebrows were raised when Mr. Delorme resigned abruptly, shortly after signing a new deal with the city to extend his term. LINK 

Quebec the most corrupt province? ...never!

Quebec reducing French Arab immigration
"The new policy of immigration to Quebec will lead to a decrease in the number Africans - especially the citizens of North Africa - admitted in the province.
By 2015, Quebec says it wants to re-balance gradually the proportion that each of the (four) major  geographical basins of immigrant origin.
basins
 Thus, the proportion will be limited to a maximum of 30% for each basin.
In 2010, the proportion of Africans was 36.8% for the total number of immigrants admitted to Quebec. The new government target will therefore reduce the de facto number and proportion.
Moroccans and Algerians formed the two largest contingents of immigrants to Quebec last year."
Link{FR}

Word Cloud highlights differences
 A word cloud representing the most frequently used words in the leaders debates highlights the differences in the English and French debate (translated

English
French


Further reading  French versus English -Volume 24

24 comments:

  1. Gee, did Air Transat print brochures? Were those word clouds printed on posters? Tsk tsk tsk! All that paper waste. I hope they'll at least send all this paper to a recycling facility and telephone 1-800-Call in the Bin to take it all there!

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  2. French vanity plates in Ontario? Well!...Quebec will have to start with vanity plates (I'm shocked they don't already for all the extra money--they cost over $200 in fees!). Of course, the English plates (improbably allowed should they adopt such a program) would have to have the footing "I Remember" (...but what the hell is it we're supposed to be remembering?)

    Actually, that vanity plate thing in Ontario has become a fiasco in its own right. The MTO (Ministry of Transportation of Ontario) has volumes of dictionaries and they had to compile of forbidden words on plates, and some had to scrap their plates. One guy's plate, a Jewish fellow yet, had a plate "THE ZOG" banned because "Zog" is an anti-Zionist slur. His name was Hertzog, but it was too controversial.

    A couple of examples banned plates were DRECK (Yiddish for s--t) and MSTRB8R (for obvious reasons). Cute acceptable ones are H82BL8, I FX BAX (a chiropractor, no less) and 6FT 6IN (his height, I guess).

    As for English in mah ol' Laval home, I dunno...I left, my girlfriend & her daughter now live with me (and absolutely love life in Ontario), her son and ex moved to Ottawa and most of my old neighbours either moved into the city, moved out of Quebec altogether, or died. What is Mayor Vaillancourt to do? Dilemmas, dilemmas, dilemmas!

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  3. Mississauga,

    I heard rumor that the Quebec government does not allow vanity plates exactly because they do not want people writing all sort of English words on the plate.

    As such, do you know that covering "Je me souviens" on the license plate is illegal and carries fines? Also, Quebec is one of very few jurisdictions (New Hampshire is the only other one IIRC) putting official motto on the plate.

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  4. Jewish Star of David 'Offensive'

    The jews did the same thing in Laval. The asked the mayor to withdraw the Christmas trees in front of the City House because it was religious...

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  5. "I heard rumor that the Quebec government does not allow vanity plates exactly because they do not want people writing all sort of English words on the plate."

    Or maybe, just maybe, it's because it's more trouble than it's worth and there is little demand for it. Not everything has to be a big shadowy language conspiraty by those damnable frenchies, you know.

    "Jewish Star of David 'Offensive'"

    People would certainly complain if there was a big display of the Christian cross in a public supermarket!

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  6. "Jewish Star of David 'Offensive'

    The jews did the same thing in Laval. The asked the mayor to withdraw the Christmas trees in front of the City House because it was religious..."

    Both casses are equally ridiculous, and one certainly doesn't justify the other.

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  7. "Not everything has to be a big shadowy language conspiraty by those damnable frenchies, you know."

    I'd hardly call it shadowy. New ways to diminish the use of the English language in public spaces is constantly talked about quite publicly in the mainstream media. So even though we have no evidence of a vanity plate conspiracy, it wouldn't be very shocking if it were proven true.

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  8. Anonymous at 13:40:

    How would you know that there is little demand for vanity plates if such thing is never offered?

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  9. "How would you know that there is little demand for vanity plates if such thing is never offered?"

    The fact that I have never heard that it was the case in Québec until today, and I've never heard of anybody here wanting vanity plates at all.

    If you want to make it into a language thing, I could guess that francophones aren't aware that this custom exists, and that french probably does not lend itself as well as english to that sort of thing anyway, reducing the potential demand by 80% and making it nonviable financially for the SAAQ.

    @ Jason

    "So even though we have no evidence of a vanity plate conspiracy, it wouldn't be very shocking if it were proven true."

    You need to get out more. Enjoy the sun and leave your tinfoil in the kitchen where it belongs.

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  10. Anonymous at 15:07:

    Just because you never heard it does not mean that the market does not exist. Just because nobody (that you know of) states his willing to own one does not mean nobody will get one once the option is available. Example, nobody heard the name iPad before it was launched. Turned out that there was a market for that, was it not?

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  11. "You need to get out more. Enjoy the sun and leave your tinfoil in the kitchen where it belongs."

    You need to stop assuming and quoting out of context. I stated the common knowledge of nationalists always seeking new ways to remove English from public spaces, which you simply cannot contest no matter what faction you're rooting for. I then litterally follow up by saying that there is no evidence of a conspiracy and yet you try to make me out to be a conspiracy nut. Nationalist information spinning at its best.

    And way to use an empty childish insult to top it all off. You cut off all potential forms of dialogue when you toss in stupidity like that. Did I insult you? No. So quit acting like a damn 11-year-old youtube hater and start discussing things diplomatically without putting words in other people's mouths.

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  12. ...to Jason: How do you know it was Jews who asked for the removal of Xmas trees at Laval City Hall? Is this hearsay or something you can actually substantiate? I lived in Laval for many, many years and never heard of such a thing.

    I worked at the Pascal hardware store in Carrefour Laval in its heyday (before that moronic third generation spoiled brat Sydney Pascal destroyed the empire his father, uncles and grandfather built (and founded)), and they made this private Jewish hardware empire was as Christmassy as anything, and so was another private Jewish empire, Steinberg's, the successful grocery chain until the third generation of spoiled morons of that empire destroyed it.

    Sam Steinberg, the second generation owner and builder of that empire (founded by his mother) not only promoted Christmas, he changed the name to Steinberg (no 's, thank you) to appease the plenitude of Francophone customers he cultivated. At one point, many francophones referred to grocery shopping as "doing their Steinberg". Sam Steinberg insisted his employes be bilingual. Now THAT was a Jewish entrepreneur catering to the big market!

    A little corollery: 50% of family businesses go bankrupt by the second generation, and 90% by the third. The Southams managed to keep their media empire for six generations, until Conrad Black finally bought them out. There was no heir apparent after Generation Six!

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    Replies
    1. Hey Mississauga Guy!
      I worked at Pascal's Fairview store in Pointe-Claire from 1970 to 1974 while going to school. I could not have asked for a better place to work and learn stuff like cutting glass and mirror, and everything there is to know about every fastner ever invented. I was always treated right, paid well as a student, and I still have fond memories of the place. I remember the old Sydney Pascal pacing the aisles some Saturday afternoons with his hand behind his back, while "inspecting".
      -Michel Defays

      Delete
  13. "...to Jason: How do you know it was Jews who asked for the removal of Xmas trees at Laval City Hall? Is this hearsay or something you can actually substantiate? I lived in Laval for many, many years and never heard of such a thing."

    I never said it was Jews. Someone else wrote that and I quoted and commented on it.

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  14. Mississauga Guy apologeticallyFriday, April 15, 2011 at 5:20:00 PM EDT

    ...to Jason: Please accept my sincerest apologies. I was so surprised to see the Xmas tree in Laval remark under your name, I thought it was way out of character for you to phrase such a thing instead of quote. I'm glad it was just a judgment error! End of a long week!

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  15. @ Jason

    "I stated the common knowledge of nationalists always seeking new ways to remove English from public spaces, which you simply cannot contest no matter what faction you're rooting for."

    The above statement is quite enought to cut off all logical dialogue, especially on the all-important topic of vanity licence plates.

    Perhaps it should occur to you that the vast majority of "nationalists" don't give a damn about finding new ways to remove english. You only imply such a thing to diminish and ridicule 99% of nationalists, especially since we are on the subject of VANITY LICENCE PLATES.

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  16. An interesting movie about Pierre Falardeau through the eyes of an old anglophone lady. A must to see !

    http://vimeo.com/21365668

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  17. "Perhaps it should occur to you that the vast majority of "nationalists" don't give a damn about finding new ways to remove english."

    Yeah, right. The Parti Quebecois is considering applying Bill 101 to English cegeps at the PQ convention this weekend. The Bloc Quebecois wants Bill 101 applied to jobs falling under federal jurisdiction within Quebec.

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  18. More nonsense from Quebec politicians.

    "À l'unanimité, les délégués péquistes réunis dans un atelier sur la langue ont voté en faveur de l'interdiction de l'anglais dans l'affichage commercial. "

    http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/politique-quebecoise/201104/16/01-4390586-le-pq-flirte-avec-laffichage-unilingue.php?utm_categorieinterne=trafficdrivers&utm_contenuinterne=cyberpresse_BO2_quebec_canada_178_accueil_POS4

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  19. @adski

    Vous devriez utiliser tinyurl.com

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  20. "You only imply such a thing to diminish and ridicule 99% of nationalists"

    The fact that they're nationalists is enough ridicule and diminishment in itself. I don't think any more can possibly be heaped on them - but I'll keep trying. In a province like Quebec there will be no shortage of the ridiculous topping itself year after year and reaching deeper and smellier lows.

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  21. "The question remains. What kind of Grinch would complain?" (David cross)

    Perhaps the same type of grinch who complain about the christian crosses in public places?

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  22. Ok I have only one question:

    Why so many complaints from anglos about frenchies, since we all know that french is clearly disappearing from the continent (they're 2% in North America, against 75$ anglos and 23% other languages, mostly spanish)? Shouldn't you have more serious concerns?

    If English was endangered I would understand that behavior, but since French IS disappearing, why do you care? How can one take one take your complaints seriously?

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