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Quebec vs all of Canada

July 19th, 2005, 06:13 PM
This is what I don't get. EVERY phone line across canada, when I call somewhere, has the option for english or french. Fine. Today I called somewhere in Quebec , and there phone line didn't mention anywhere once "press X to hear english". Luckily I speak/understand enough french to get by, but it was frusterating. Every person answered the phone with french and I had to say "parlez vous englais" over and over again! I then went to the website for the place I was calling, and there was no English version either! IN the end I *think* I left a voice mail for the right department, but who knows!

If everyone else has to make things in that are in English into French, why not vice versa??

July 19th, 2005, 06:37 PM
arent you an english speaking antion first, isnt french your 2nd language???

Rick C
July 19th, 2005, 07:11 PM
arent you an english speaking antion first, isnt french your 2nd language???

"They" are still upset about leaving all their dead on the Plains of Abraham overlooking Quebec City.

A couple hundred years is a long time to hold a grudge!!

Canada is officially bilingual, with neither language taking precedent over the other. . . . . yet somehow Quebec, in spite of the obvious illegality of the horsecrap they pull, manages to have laws that make it illegal to display English on business signs in that province and they actually have language cops.

Quebec has not signed off on the Canadian constitution of 1867 so who knows what in hell is going on half the time.

All I know is that I'm about 3000 miles away in Alberta in western Canada and I really don't give much of a crap about it.

Boy, I'm a little cranky today. Time to go play some ball. Bye. :angel: :sorry:

Rick C

July 19th, 2005, 07:26 PM
That's right. Canada is a bilingual country so all government institutions, crown corporations and courts MUST offer services in French and English. However, just like in the rest of Canada, normal companies and organizations are not obligated to offer services in both languages. Your local bank isn't required to have someone speaking both French and English out West...just like the local bank in Quebec doesn't have to have an English staffer on call.

In Quebec their official language is French. Again, only for federal government related places is there a requirement for services to take place in both languages in Quebec.

Do I believe in this law? Do I value our bilingualism? No, I don't. I feel strongly that the official bilingualism actually leads to discrimination against the thousands of other Canadians who didn't have the need or opportunity to become bilingual--thereby being excluded from gaining a number of fabulously paid, well pensioned jobs.

July 19th, 2005, 11:24 PM
I will have to be as contrarian here. I love living in a bilingual country!! New Brunswick is also an officially bilingual province. I am an Anglophone but grew up in a community that was half and half of each language.

I understand some of Quebec's concerns - tho I am not a Quebecoise. I do understand what you are saying though - there should have been someone to speak English to you!! Especially if it was a government office. A private office I would understand - unless they wish to market to a bilingual audience.

Quebec does not require many of its businesses to be bilingual - and the official language of the province is French so on a provincial level if you deal with some businesses there, you will have to do it in French.

In my community even the cats are bilingual, including my my Siamese , :)

July 20th, 2005, 01:11 AM
The official language thing goes WAYYYYYY to far in Quebec. Growing up English up north in Quebec, I know all the rules. We were so discriminated against.

If you go to a government of Quebec website, you can find English, but all the links lead to French pages. I have complained and they told me the English site is under construction. Well, how many years has there been internet? Like everything else in Quebec construction, it takes eons.

For signs here, the French has to be double the size of any other language. There are "Language Police" who go around checking up on complaints and giving out tickets. Road signs must say "Chemin Blabla" or "Avenue Blabla" or "Rue Blabla". If the sign says just "Blabla", it's in violation. Beaconsfield, a suburb of Montreal where people are in huge majority English, got slapped with a $130,000 fine for not having the Chemin and crap before the road name. Theirs are just "Elm" and "Woodland" etc. The mayor at the time said he'd pay the fines because they were cheaper than having to replace all the signs.

I just like it when you call a really pro-English place and they make the French people dial 9. You would think the messages in French would say, "For French press 1. For English press 2." They don't. They say, "For French press 1. For English press 9." I think the Gazette, and other businesses do it on purpose out of spite. :evil:

I wish English had equal rights in Quebec. I wish.

July 20th, 2005, 06:18 AM
Whats really sad about all this is. My friend just recently retured from a road trip (with her family) and just happened to be going through Quebec on Canada day.
They were proudly wearing canada day t-shirts and had a canadian flag on their car.
They could not believe the way they were treated because of this, they were booood, given the middle finger, were cursed at, told Canada sucked, and told to go back to where they came from!! :eek: (they were actually very afraid, for their safety, thats how volatile it got)
They were very shocked to say the least, and had no idea that Quebec (not all of them) felt this way about Canada. :sad:

July 20th, 2005, 08:25 AM
I was born and raised a Montrealer. I have lived through the bombings, the homes being painted blue, etc... As a city I love Montreal but as a province I despise Quebec for what it portrays to the rest of Canada. I always try to remember the saying... My Canada includes Quebec. I think everyone has the right to choose their language of preference and removing that right is a very sad state of affairs. :sad:

July 20th, 2005, 01:50 PM
I've gotten: Oh you're from Quebec? Your English is really good.

July 20th, 2005, 02:06 PM
I get that too Prin and I am a native of northern NB!! I sometimes think (In spite of my love of bilingualism) the English in northern NB have it worse than those in Quebec - at least YOU qualify as a minority. Not in northern NB. We have no language police - thankfully - but I have run into clerks in stores who speak no English. I can understand that at Provigo across the river in Quebec but this is NB and if you obtain a job because you are bilingual, then you should actally be. With that type of person - if they are rude - I deliberately say I do not speak French. Or vice versa if the rude clerk is a unilingual Angophone. No language group has a monopoly on rudeness, sadly.

I do love both languages tho!! And I understand the reason for bilingualism - there WAS oppression in so many ways. (Here in NB as well - if you were French before the 60's, there were many places who would not hire you, your textbooks were in another language, etc. etc.) I just don't think harassing other people makes it any better.

I have to say I have never been ill treated in Quebec EVER - even if I spoke English.

July 22nd, 2005, 04:23 PM
LOL- I hate to say it but I actually met a little girl, about 9 years old, who was jealous of my dogs because they understood English and French. :o

July 22nd, 2005, 04:33 PM
We've been to Quebec a few times and I love it,we were never met with any hostility,of course hubby is from France and speaks"proper"french,but most people we met were very happy to practise there English on me.
In Montreal,we always stay in this neat little Hotel on St Denis(sp)close to the latin quarters...wonderful restaurants and neat little shops,hubby bought about 20 french books..which he still has to start reading :D
I could never understand peoples unwillingness to learn French...when I went to school in Sweden,I loved learning,English,French and German,it was mandatory,but I loved it...Swedish would not have gotten me very far in the world :D

July 22nd, 2005, 04:48 PM
Well, when you consider that overall, Montreal is about 50/50 French and English. It's when you venture east or North that French predominates. In Ahuntsic, which is in the middle of the island at the top, there were 67 000 French people and 2 000 English. Those are the areas where you stay casual on Canada day. :D :cool:

July 22nd, 2005, 04:56 PM
here it's mandatory it's not a matter of choice! I feel people who have many languages are just more educated. That being said, I think French should also be able to speak at least a little English!
You have to have a Certificate of Eligibility to go to English schools here. Most of the English schools have French from kindergarten to CEGEP (college). I took an hour of French a day in K. On top of that, there are French immersion programs where half or more of the classes are given in French, and you can also graduate high school with a bilingual diploma, rather than an English one. I don't know of any French schools that have adopted the program for bilingual diplomas. Most of them start English classes at greade 3 or 4, but parents are trying to get the classes started earlier.

Still with that much French, many English people have a really hard time finding a job. My cousin is one of them. She left Quebec because she could not find a job because she wasn't bilingual. She went out to Calgary where she got a job within a week because she was bilingual.

The amount of French an English person needs here to be considered completely bilingual is enormous- you basically have to have no accent at all. But the other way, French people who have just enough English to barely work with are considered bilingual. It's sad for so many reasons.

doggy lover
July 22nd, 2005, 05:14 PM
My husband is an english speaking Quebecer, when we go to visit his family on the east coast of Quebec we have a hard time with the language thing. All the road signs, menus and everything else in french is awful. Mind you I noticed that when we went there last year I noticed that people in the stores and so on are really trying to help, its kind of funny my little french and their little english but we muddle through. I had found in past years people not being as friendly about helping out, I think tourism is making a big difference.

July 22nd, 2005, 05:35 PM
We had the same situation in my home time re: education and this was NB, not Quebec. The French high school frowned on its students speaking English or God forbid, listening to English music. I was a school trustee, elected to an English Board and we hired people regardless of what their mother tongue was but the French board hired only French applicants. The English Board also has many immersion programs but there is no such entity as English immersion. Like Quebec, French students start to learn English in grade 4.
(My parents enrolled my sisters and I in a French elementart school (NOT immersion) My mom who IS Angophone but grew up in a French community, was principal of a bilingual school BEFORE they divided the district on language lines).

The results show. I have many English young patients who sare fluently bilingual but I see many many French kids who cannot speak hardly any English. Don;t these parents realize their children will need English???

I am also disturbed to some extent that if you an Anglophone, your bilingualism is judged by a more difficult criteria than if you are Francophone. In other words, an Anglophone applying for a govt job had better be qualified at level 6/6 on the scale that is used while a Francophone can get away with as little as 2. A hospital I have done clinics at has a psyhologist for example that can barey speak English but he was counselling English children. I insisted my patients see someone with better language skills and a few noses were out of joint - they claimed it would be more costly to send them to someoone who was English. I recommended they bring in a psychologist from the English school board so a truce arrived. But that is what I put up with.

Still, I do enjoy bilingualim and am thrilled that my YY is bilingual, lol No-one judges her meows - all she has to do is respond to people talking to her, lucky girl, heheh

July 22nd, 2005, 05:48 PM
I'm sorry CK, but this typo made me laugh out loud for real--
(My parents enrolled my sisters and I in a French elementart school (NOT immersion) My mom who IS Angophone but grew up in a French community, was principal of a bilingual school BEFORE they divided the district on language lines).
Is that where those tweens wearing belly shirts and ultra lo-rise jeans come from?

doggy lover
July 22nd, 2005, 06:49 PM
You guys crack me up, a school for tarts. lol

July 22nd, 2005, 07:11 PM
HaHa Prin! I should have changed that typo - I dled the program I posted but have not yet installed it, lol But we have schools for tartettes now - they must, with all the mini mini skirts and navals I see.