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A study shows that French is on more signs but the greeting of clients in French only is on the decline. Seems the ubiquitous Montreal greeting “bonjour, hi!” is Not Okay with the OQLF.
Kevin, William, Kate, and 10 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
What’s sad is if the english schools taught french properly this wouldn’t be an issue….
You could say the same about French schools.
Or we could just eliminate this useless bureaucratic department and tell the zealots to eff off and start respecting people.
Maybe if we said bonjour hi, but the bonjour part twice as loud.
@Ian – LMAO! I’m going to try that.
Let’s abolish the OQLF and give their budget to the students, maybe it could be enough to solve two problems at the same time ?
Some of these comments made me realize that indeed we may have two solitudes, even here in Quebec.
Explain, Alex L?
I guess my feeling is I’m seeing in some windows a lot of angst about the Grand Prix and bringing tourists to town this summer, and in others, folks with a determined desire to make everyone say “bonjour” and persist in communicating in French, even in parts of town where, in summertime, it simply makes good sense to say “bonjour, hi” to possible customers because they’re likely to be from outside Quebec and more comfortable with English.
If you’re running a business it pays to speak your customer’s language. I totally think anyone serving the public here ought to be able to do so in French, but I also see that it’s realistic to signal that you’re happy to speak English or French (or for that matter another language, if you’re in an ethnic business or neighbourhood) if you hope to make a sale or keep your customer happy.
@Alex L imagine a senior civil servant telling you that essentially they would be happier if your mother tongue disappeared.The frustration you hear is simply based in the fact that 800,000 people can’t and won’t disappear. Montreal is our city too, we built it and love it as do our french speaking brothers and sisters.The “Two Solitudes” metaphor was coined by a Nova Scotlan who wrote it when he taught a L.C.C., it is no longer relevant.
Weirdly, the “two solitudes” thing comes from Rilke, but he wasn’t thinking about Quebec when he wrote it.
Les droleries D’Ian! :-D
@Jack, unlike you, I think the two solitudes metaphor is still all too relevant for Canada, especially outside of Quebec and all too often within it. However I cannot argue with the rest of your comment: the strength and the contribution of the anglophone community was critical to shaping the city of today, and the legitimacy, the importance of its continued presence is indisputable.
For a list of some of the contributions of the Anglo profiteers to Montreal’s history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Livre_noir_du_Canada_anglais
qatzelok, those are hardly unbiased texts.
Several things occur to me. It’s not my business, but I’m curious about your own ethnicity – mention it if you like, but I’m not really asking. I’ve run into self-hating anglos before.
Also, what do you think Quebec’s anglos ought to do? Someone like myself, born here, am I supposed to leave? Supposed to take a vow to never speak English again? Supposed to self-immolate on the parterre of the St-Jean-Baptiste Society HQ?
I wrote an article about “Bonjour-Hi” for the uninitiated… lol http://fuckyeahquebec.com/post/15185634513/bonjour-hi-decoding-day-to-day-bilingualism
Those would all be good first steps. :)
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