daily menu » rate the banner | guess the city | one on oneforums map | privacy policy | DMCA | news magazine | posting guidelines

Go Back   SkyscraperCity > Photo Forums > Urban Showcase

Urban Showcase Show your selfmade photos



Global Announcement

As a general reminder, please respect others and respect copyrights. Go here to familiarize yourself with our posting policy.


Reply

 
Thread Tools
Old September 6th, 2008, 09:01 PM   #41
brisavoine
BANNED
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: desconocida
Posts: 18,049
Likes (Received): 2346

Interesting comments, but again let me stress that the question asked in the census is not whether people consider themselves bilingual, but whether they consider they know the language well enough to conduct a conversation.

Personally I think the fact that only half of people in Montréal speak both French and English well enough to conduct a conversation is not something to be ashamed at all, in fact it reveals that the French language is actually quite healthy in Montréal. In a situation of language minority, which is the case for French in North America, we know that complete bilingualism is the penultimate step just before language loss. You can see that in Moncton-Dieppe for example: virtually all the francophones there are bilinguals, and the days of the French language in that metro area are counted I'm afraid. In Louisiana all the francophones were unilingual till the end of the 19th century, then they became increasingly bilingual, then by the mid-20th century virtually all of them were bilingual, and as a result French declined greatly in the second half of the 20th century, to the point that only a minority of Cajuns still speak French nowadays. So long live les Montréalais unilingues.

Anyway, end of hors sujet. Although I suppose language issues are not totally hors sujet when talking about Montréal. Lol.

Last edited by brisavoine; September 6th, 2008 at 09:17 PM.
brisavoine no está en línea   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links
Old September 6th, 2008, 09:03 PM   #42
Habfanman
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Montréal baby!!
Posts: 806
Likes (Received): 12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taller, Better View Post
Did your camera arrive yet, habfanman?

Your summation of the language situation was perfect. A lot of Canadians are very hesitant and
shy to think of themselves as "bilingual", because we tend to think of fluently bilingual people being that category. Even if we can read, comprehend and speak on a basic level, we would be hesitant to label ourselves "bilingual".
That's right Taller, there are different paramaters that people use to determine whether or not they are bilingual. To me (and to the Ministry of Education!) I won't consider myself bilingual until I can write that last post in error-free french and discuss auto mechanics with the guys at the bar. I'm not there yet. Others can be bilingual within the context of their job, working in a bank or store for example, but not outside of work. Even the Federal Government has about 4 or 5 different certificates of competancy which they issue in both languages when applying for a bilingual post.

The camera? I received a call tuesday and apparently Canon will be introducing the G 10 on 23 sept. They will extend the wide range of the lens from 35 to 28 mm and include larger sensors to clean up the noise at high ISO's. He asked me if I wanted to wait to try it out and as much as I'm dieing for a new camera.. I said yes!
Habfanman no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 6th, 2008, 10:13 PM   #43
Taller, Better
Administrator
 
Taller, Better's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 71,080
Likes (Received): 12285

hmmmm sounds interesting. Also research their collection of second hand lens, as you can get a BEAUTY at a fraction of the cost of a new lens. Especially handy for getting a good telephoto lens, which can run you up well over a grand if you get them new.
__________________
'Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood."
-architect Daniel Burnman
Taller, Better no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 7th, 2008, 08:14 AM   #44
Habfanman
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Montréal baby!!
Posts: 806
Likes (Received): 12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alibaba View Post
is this a gay precinct?

the hunky two blokes on the right with a pram - i am not suprised if they are a couple ?

groovy vibe around Montreal....



very well put there.... little details seem very crucial in both cities and also the citizens seem to embrace the city beat and its events...

I went twice in 2 weeks to Melbourne National Gallery in winter after work (Art after Dark every Wednesday) and the atmosphere was soo buzzing and full of these art goers right untill late night... so exciting... there were live music, Blockbuster art show, Ballet, and stage shows.... right in the Art precinct of Southbank


although i beg to dissagree that Melb would not bask in the internal sunshine (in Aus context - it has the notorious image/perception of having a Four Seasons in ONE day and gloomy and coldest climate) - and we do have the most full 4 Seasons (again in Aus context) - yet - no we dont have -35 C in winter....


i have not seen much photos of Montreal... so thanking you for putting this thread together


I do also admit Toronto does also remind me a bit of Melbourne (thanks to Taller & Better)

This NZ chap - Sydney has put really nice showcase of Melb from his recent trip - worth checking

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=633031
Actually Ali, that photo was taken on rue St-Laurent but the 2 blokes could very easily be gay. Montréal is beyond gay tolerant, gays are simply part of the mainstream. I have a photo somewhere of 2 guys walking hand-in-hand on some random street downtown. I've seen guys and women kissing each other goodbye on the métro in the morning countless times. It's a very sexually open city. There are numerous strip bars and swinger clubs and you see people making out everywhere, all the time. My university (UQAM) actually had a strip club on campus until about 5 years ago, a male strip club! It moved because it outgrew the location, but it is still going strong and although it caters to a mainly female audience, gay guys are welcome too.

There are 2 weeklong gay festivals: DiversCité and Fierté/Pride and the annual parade is hugely popular. The Village Gai stretches for some 20 blocks and is pedestrianised from June to September. Everybody goes there, it's just another party district. If you want to go dancing at 6 o'clock in the morning then SKY bar will probably be your destination.

I'll post some photos. I guess I should do some themed posts although I was trying to avoid that: my photo filing system is a complete disaster!
Habfanman no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 7th, 2008, 09:29 AM   #45
Habfanman
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Montréal baby!!
Posts: 806
Likes (Received): 12

From Flickr and me:

Bienvenue à Montréal!




Mile End, av. du Parc


Cité Multimédia








rue St-Denis


Place Victoria


Winter, McGill University


Roddick Gate, summer


Roddick gate, winter


Place Riopelle






Chalet, Parc Mont-Royal


Place de la Dauversière


Place d'Youville


Umbrella self-defence, rue Ste-Catherine


Lighting installation by Xavier de Richemont, UQÀM (my university!)


Habfanman no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 7th, 2008, 09:07 PM   #46
Canuck514
Registered User
 
Canuck514's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Montréal
Posts: 257
Likes (Received): 18

wow! Amazing pics! Sometimes I miss Montreal...great city!
__________________
A TRUE CANADIAN
Canuck514 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 8th, 2008, 01:55 AM   #47
Mishevy
Smelly cat...
 
Mishevy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,307
Likes (Received): 72

Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
Interesting comments, but again let me stress that the question asked in the census is not whether people consider themselves bilingual, but whether they consider they know the language well enough to conduct a conversation.

Personally I think the fact that only half of people in Montréal speak both French and English well enough to conduct a conversation is not something to be ashamed at all, in fact it reveals that the French language is actually quite healthy in Montréal. In a situation of language minority, which is the case for French in North America, we know that complete bilingualism is the penultimate step just before language loss. You can see that in Moncton-Dieppe for example: virtually all the francophones there are bilinguals, and the days of the French language in that metro area are counted I'm afraid. In Louisiana all the francophones were unilingual till the end of the 19th century, then they became increasingly bilingual, then by the mid-20th century virtually all of them were bilingual, and as a result French declined greatly in the second half of the 20th century, to the point that only a minority of Cajuns still speak French nowadays. So long live les Montréalais unilingues.

Anyway, end of hors sujet. Although I suppose language issues are not totally hors sujet when talking about Montréal. Lol.
Being bilingual doesn't mean you abandon your mother tongue. I am perfectly bilingual from an early age, I learned 3 additional languages and I still speak my mother tongue perfectly well. You can see that for yourself, I think you also speak several languages very well.
Everyone I know here speaks very good English, but that doesn't mean we're all switching to English completely in a few years. All forumers here use English in international parts of forum, but between themselves they communicate in their respective languages. English is simply a necessity today. And I think the Quebecois should at least have a basic knowledge of it, because they live in NA after all. What happened in Louisiana is another thing, Canada is de iure a bilingual nation, I just think that knowledge of French should be greatly improved in the English speaking Canada, because it is quite miserable at the moment. Anglophone Canadians should be able to converse in basic French, if you want to have a truly bilingual country.

Sorry, I don't want to hijack this thread, but I find this interesting, I just had to respond .
__________________
Our idols and demons will pursue us, until we learn to let them go.
Mishevy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 8th, 2008, 12:06 PM   #48
Animo
I'm Watching You
 
Animo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,680
Likes (Received): 158

Montréal is the only Canadian city that I would like to visit actually. I saw a video about the Winter Festival and the city looks like a winter wonderland.
Animo no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 8th, 2008, 07:31 PM   #49
brisavoine
BANNED
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: desconocida
Posts: 18,049
Likes (Received): 2346

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishevy View Post
Being bilingual doesn't mean you abandon your mother tongue. I am perfectly bilingual from an early age, I learned 3 additional languages and I still speak my mother tongue perfectly well. You can see that for yourself, I think you also speak several languages very well.
I did not say that when a person becomes bilingual he/she abandons his/her mother tongue. I said that when an entire population becomes bilingual it is usually a sign that there is a language shift going on, with the former language being replaced by a new one. This process is quite obvious in the Moncton area. A few decades ago it also happened in the Sudbury area.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishevy View Post
Everyone I know here speaks very good English, but that doesn't mean we're all switching to English completely in a few years.
You're exaggerating things. 100% of people in Slovenia are not bilingual Slovenian-English, that's nonsense. When I'm saying an entire population becomes bilingual, take the Moncton-Dieppe metro area for example: at the 2006 census 88% of the native francophone speakers there declared they knew English well enough to conduct a conversation, while only 24% of the native English speakers declared they spoke French well enough to conduct a conversation. There is no place like that in Slovenia where 88% of the native Slovenians speak English well enough to conduct a conversation. 50 years from now, French in Moncton will probably be nearly dead, just like it's nearly dead in Sudbury today (in the Greater Sudbury metro area, only 17% of people still speak French at home, just like in the heartland of Louisiana's Cajun country today).
brisavoine no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 8th, 2008, 07:50 PM   #50
Taller, Better
Administrator
 
Taller, Better's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 71,080
Likes (Received): 12285

You yourself are brilliantly bilingual, Brisavoine.. to the extent that it must have required quite a bit of studying to achieve that level of perfection. I am pretty sure it has not caused you in any way to have weakened your grasp of the French language. I have confidence that bilingual people in Montreal are capable of maintaining their French as well.
__________________
'Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood."
-architect Daniel Burnman
Taller, Better no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 8th, 2008, 10:40 PM   #51
Deanb
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,267
Likes (Received): 684

what an amazing and classy city! if it wasn't for the harsh winters, i would have moved there!
__________________
Come hang out in Tel Aviv
Deanb no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 9th, 2008, 07:24 PM   #52
Mishevy
Smelly cat...
 
Mishevy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,307
Likes (Received): 72

Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
I did not say that when a person becomes bilingual he/she abandons his/her mother tongue. I said that when an entire population becomes bilingual it is usually a sign that there is a language shift going on, with the former language being replaced by a new one. This process is quite obvious in the Moncton area. A few decades ago it also happened in the Sudbury area.

You're exaggerating things. 100% of people in Slovenia are not bilingual Slovenian-English, that's nonsense. When I'm saying an entire population becomes bilingual, take the Moncton-Dieppe metro area for example: at the 2006 census 88% of the native francophone speakers there declared they knew English well enough to conduct a conversation, while only 24% of the native English speakers declared they spoke French well enough to conduct a conversation. There is no place like that in Slovenia where 88% of the native Slovenians speak English well enough to conduct a conversation. 50 years from now, French in Moncton will probably be nearly dead, just like it's nearly dead in Sudbury today (in the Greater Sudbury metro area, only 17% of people still speak French at home, just like in the heartland of Louisiana's Cajun country today).
I'm not saying this isn't true, I'm just saying that just because you have 2 cases like this doesn't mean it's always the case. You have plenty of cases where bilingualism actually worked in terms of keeping the mother tongue. For example, a large majority of Flemish people used to be (and most still are actually) bilingual with French, still most of them haven't abandoned Dutch. A nice case is also the German community in Belgium and the German-speaking community in South Tyrol.
__________________
Our idols and demons will pursue us, until we learn to let them go.
Mishevy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 9th, 2008, 08:26 PM   #53
brisavoine
BANNED
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: desconocida
Posts: 18,049
Likes (Received): 2346

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishevy View Post
I'm not saying this isn't true, I'm just saying that just because you have 2 cases like this doesn't mean it's always the case.
Not just 2 cases. There are many many cases (how Brussels became French-speaking, how Ireland became English-speaking, how Prussia became German-speaking, and so on).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishevy View Post
You have plenty of cases where bilingualism actually worked in terms of keeping the mother tongue. For example, a large majority of Flemish people used to be (and most still are actually) bilingual with French, still most of them haven't abandoned Dutch.
I doubt bilingualism in Flanders reached almost 90% of the population as is the case in the Moncton area.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishevy View Post
A nice case is also the German community in Belgium and the German-speaking community in South Tyrol.
I also doubt 90% of the German speakers in South Tyrol can speak Italian. As for the German community of Belgium, I don't know, but they have Germany just next door, so it's pretty different, it's not as if they were isolated in an ocean of 300 million French speakers.

The only valid comparison I can think of is this: just imagine if Slovenia was part of a Greater Germany, a perfectly democratic Greater Germany where the federal state would be officially billingual German-Slovenian. Slovenia would be one province of this Greater Germany. Within Slovenia there would be living 20% German speakers, and the remaining 80% Slovenian speakers would be nearly all of them billingual. What do you think would be the prospects for the survival of the Slovenian language in the long term? Especially if just south of this Greater Germany there was another country of 300 million German speakers which happened to be the largest economic, cultural and political power on Earth. What do you think would be the prospects for the survival of Slovenian? Wouldn't you be more confident about the future of Slovenian if only a minority of Slovenian speakers in that Province of Slovenia were billingual instead of nearly all of them?

Last edited by brisavoine; September 9th, 2008 at 08:31 PM.
brisavoine no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 10th, 2008, 01:56 AM   #54
Mishevy
Smelly cat...
 
Mishevy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,307
Likes (Received): 72

Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
Not just 2 cases. There are many many cases (how Brussels became French-speaking, how Ireland became English-speaking, how Prussia became German-speaking, and so on).

I doubt bilingualism in Flanders reached almost 90% of the population as is the case in the Moncton area.

I also doubt 90% of the German speakers in South Tyrol can speak Italian. As for the German community of Belgium, I don't know, but they have Germany just next door, so it's pretty different, it's not as if they were isolated in an ocean of 300 million French speakers.

The only valid comparison I can think of is this: just imagine if Slovenia was part of a Greater Germany, a perfectly democratic Greater Germany where the federal state would be officially billingual German-Slovenian. Slovenia would be one province of this Greater Germany. Within Slovenia there would be living 20% German speakers, and the remaining 80% Slovenian speakers would be nearly all of them billingual. What do you think would be the prospects for the survival of the Slovenian language in the long term? Especially if just south of this Greater Germany there was another country of 300 million German speakers which happened to be the largest economic, cultural and political power on Earth. What do you think would be the prospects for the survival of Slovenian? Wouldn't you be more confident about the future of Slovenian if only a minority of Slovenian speakers in that Province of Slovenia were billingual instead of nearly all of them?
South Tyrol is in Italy so I'm pretty sure all of its inhabitants have to be able to speak Italian and I'm sure pretty much all of them do.

I understand the Canadian situation quite well, I have many good friends in Montreal. But it seems that sometimes even minority languages survive (Basque, Catalan, etc.), whereas in some other cases they just don't (regional languages of France). If Quebeckers decide on their own they want to be bilingual or even in the most extreme case to abandon French and become fully Anglophone, it will just be their choice, though I really doubt that will happen. But you can't change some simple reality facts and that is that knowledge of English in a continent that is North America is simply indispensable.
__________________
Our idols and demons will pursue us, until we learn to let them go.
Mishevy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 10th, 2008, 03:01 AM   #55
Quall
Registered User
 
Quall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 3,992
Likes (Received): 462

Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
...just like it's nearly dead in Sudbury today (in the Greater Sudbury metro area, only 17% of people still speak French at home, just like in the heartland of Louisiana's Cajun country today).
Actually, 28% of Sudbury's population speaks French as a primary language. That doesn't include those who are fluent in French and speak it frequently, but speak English as a first language.
Quall no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 10th, 2008, 04:30 AM   #56
brisavoine
BANNED
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: desconocida
Posts: 18,049
Likes (Received): 2346

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishevy View Post
I understand the Canadian situation quite well, I have many good friends in Montreal. But it seems that sometimes even minority languages survive (Basque, Catalan, etc.)
In the Spanish Basque Country, only 465,000 people still spoke Basque at home at the 2001 census, which is only 21% of the total population. If only 21% of the population in Québec spoke French at home, that would be considered a worst case scenario. Honestly, I'm extremely pessimistic about the survival of Basque in the future, despite all the efforts of the Basque government. When a language is spoken by no more than a fifth of the population, its doom is near.

As for Catalonian, it was the habitual language of only 55% of the population of Catalonia in 2003 according to official figures (source). Here again, a province of Québec with only 55% of its population using French as its habitual language would be considered a worst case scenario.

The two Spanish examples you chose would give nightmares to most francophone Québecois attached to the survival of a francophone society in Québec.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishevy View Post
If Quebeckers decide on their own they want to be bilingual or even in the most extreme case to abandon French and become fully Anglophone, it will just be their choice
It's rarely something people choose consciously. It's more something that is imposed by a socio-economic/cultural context. It's beyond people's individual will.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishevy View Post
But you can't change some simple reality facts and that is that knowledge of English in a continent that is North America is simply indispensable.
Nothing is "indispensable" in life. It's all a question of what you want to do with your life. Some people living in the Saguenay area may be perfectly happy being unilingual French all their life long. I speak several languages, as you pointed out, and I find myself enriched by that, but I perfectly understand if some people prefer to remain unilingual.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TRMD View Post
Actually, 28% of Sudbury's population speaks French as a primary language. That doesn't include those who are fluent in French and speak it frequently, but speak English as a first language.
28% of people in Greater Sudbury have French as their mother tongue, but only 17% of people in Greater Sudbury still speak French at home according to the 2006 census, which is the figure I was referring too. That's because many native francophones have stopped speaking French at home, which is a further proof that the French language in Sudbury is dying.

I hope the person who opened this thread doesn't mind we're discussing these things here. But then it keeps the thread up in the list, maximizing the number of viewers for your Montréal pics.
brisavoine no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 10th, 2008, 05:13 AM   #57
Mishevy
Smelly cat...
 
Mishevy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,307
Likes (Received): 72

Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
It's rarely something people choose consciously. It's more something that is imposed by a socio-economic/cultural context. It's beyond people's individual will.
I know, this has a little ironic tone to it. Of course the Quebecois are way to proud to ever give up their French heritage. However I agree with you that outside of Quebec in NA, French doesn't have a bright future.
__________________
Our idols and demons will pursue us, until we learn to let them go.
Mishevy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 10th, 2008, 06:24 AM   #58
Quall
Registered User
 
Quall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 3,992
Likes (Received): 462

Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
28% of people in Greater Sudbury have French as their mother tongue, but only 17% of people in Greater Sudbury still speak French at home according to the 2006 census, which is the figure I was referring too. That's because many native francophones have stopped speaking French at home, which is a further proof that the French language in Sudbury is dying.
Very interesting. It's strange because it's hard to find new parents who speak to their children in English. French is also very popular among the elderly. It actually feels as if the Anglophone population is a minority, and that, to the contrary, the French language is thriving. There also seems to be a demand for more French facilities in the region.

Last edited by Quall; September 10th, 2008 at 07:03 AM.
Quall no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 10th, 2008, 07:22 PM   #59
Habfanman
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Montréal baby!!
Posts: 806
Likes (Received): 12

Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post

I hope the person who opened this thread doesn't mind we're discussing these things here. But then it keeps the thread up in the list, maximizing the number of viewers for your Montréal pics.
I don't mind at all brisavoine, it is interesting to get a world perspective on the issue. Reasonable people in Québec can talk about language whatever their perspective, but online discussions are difficult as they are usually hijacked by people with an axe to grind. Regardless, we need to talk to each other. I hope that this thread is sufficiently buried in the international section that the 'usual suspects' will never find it!

Montréal is in a unique position both within Canada as well as within Québec. It is often thought of as 'too french' by English Canada and it is often thought of as 'too english' by the Rest of Québec. Policies developed to protect the french language in Québec as a whole can sometimes seem punishing to Montréal with it's need, as the engine of the Québec economy, to attract North American and International talent in science, business, education, the arts etc. The question is: how do we ensure that french remains predominant in Montréal while still making it possible to attract that leading medical specialist from Boston, engineer from Germany or scientist from India (and their families)? To someone relocating to or within North America, it is sometimes easier to simply choose one of the 50 U.S. states or 9 other Canadian provinces rather than have to learn what amounts to a second or third language. But by circumventing the language laws in Montréal we would be turning back the clock to the days when anglophones ran the shop and francophones worked on the floor and would lead to the eventual U.S. cultural domination that we see in the rest of Canada. It's an interesting conundrum!

Outside of Montréal and along the border regions there are very few bilingual Québécois. The very fact that the majority of 6 million francophones can live on a continent of over 300 million anglophones: right next to the cultural Borg that is the U.S., without having to learn english, should be celebrated as a near miracle. As much as I would encourage francophones to become bilingual (in any language) I would also hope that they will never feel that they have to learn english in order to live in Montréal. That cannot be allowed to happen. Francophones who live in the rest of Canada have to learn english in order to survive and that is why their numbers are slowly dissipating. Successive generations will increasingly succumb to the influence of the dominant language, we've seen that happen with every linguistic group. First generation immigrants retain strong linguistic ties, 2nd generation weakens and so on until such time as the great grandchildren can utter only a few phrases. We can speak whatever we like in our home but it is the language of the environment which surrounds us outside of the home that will ultimately decide which language our children and our children's children will speak.

It has been and will continue to be interesting to see how Québec and Montréal cope with the seemingly contradictory goals of maintaining their unique identity(ies) while sharing space on an increasingly monocultural continent. The challenge of remaining french-speaking while at the same time absorbing immigrants and being fair to the sometimes beleaugured, sometimes spoiled 'minority within a majority within a minority': anglophone Québécois, is quite daunting, but after making it through the massive social and economic of upheavals of recent decades I think it is entirely possible. I've only lived here for 2 years but the vast majority of people that I've met: francophones, anglophones and allophones, seem to really want it to work, and that is encouraging.

On a bit of a side note. A couple of years ago, I read an article in The Economist (I think) which stated to the effect that "If you want to discuss language with anyone in Montréal, be prepared to set aside at least 2 hours." How true!

Last edited by Habfanman; September 10th, 2008 at 07:28 PM.
Habfanman no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 10th, 2008, 09:03 PM   #60
brisavoine
BANNED
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: desconocida
Posts: 18,049
Likes (Received): 2346

The points you're raising here are exactly those that I have in mind too. The challenges and conundrum, as you call it, are pretty tough for Québec. In my bad days, I feel like French in Québec is doomed in the long term, I feel like French there will eventually fade to become a sort of cultural tourist thing like in Louisiana. I wonder whether the only way to save French is not to cut themselves off completely from North America and join the EU. That would run contrary to geography of course, but that would at least save their unique culture.

At any rate, I think, and I firmly believe it, that in the long term they can save a functioning French society only if they secede from Canada and become independent. That's the one big reason why I support Québec's independence. Being part of a country where English is the majority language, I don't see how they can save French in the long term. Of course we can argue that the French Canadians managed to keep their language despite 200 years of English domination, but those were different days: the Church was very strong, and helped preserve French (contrary to Louisiana where the Irish Catholic clergy anglicized the Cajuns), and the birth rate of French Canadians was extremely high. Today the Church plays little role in Québec, and above all the birth rate has fallen to a dramatically low level.

This means that in the long run, they can only keep their population and economy afloat by taking in large numbers of immigrants. And this is where I see the big problem: of course French is the only official language in Québec, and of course Québec has authority over immigration policies, but honestly, if you're an immigrant allowed to enter Québec, even if you know the official language there is French, you also know that by entering Québec you're in fact entering Canada, where English is the majority language, so if you have to learn a language, why would you learn French when learning English will allow you to move to Toronto, Alberta, or Vancouver later on? Even the immigrants from francophone countries learn English and then leave to the rest of Canada (not all of them, but many do). I have some Lebanese friends who were allowed as immigrants in Québec, they lived in Montréal for a few years, and now they are in Toronto. I asked them, why did you leave Montréal? Isn't Toronto duller than Montréal (or so I've often heard)? They told me, you know, it's true Montréal is much more fun than Toronto, and we would have loved to stay there, but there are just more jobs in Toronto, more opportunities. Conundrum, conundrum...

If Québec was an independent country, any immigrant moving there would know that if they move to Québec, they can legally stay only in Québec and that's it, so they would have more incentives to learn French, and they wouldn't leave Québec after a while to go to Toronto or elsewhere in Canada because it would be legally impossible. When immigrants are allowed to migrate to Norway, they learn Norwegian, even though it's a very minor language, but it's the only official language of Norway. If Norway was part of the UK, do you think the immigrants allowed to enter Norway would make so many efforts to learn Norwegian, knowing that they could soon move to London?

The battle for the survival of a functioning French society in Québec will be won or lost on immigration, let's make no mistake (nobody expects the Québecois birth rate to significantly recover), and I think it would be easier to win that battle if Québec was a fully independent country.
brisavoine no está en línea   Reply With Quote


Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Related topics on SkyscraperCity


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 06:32 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

SkyscraperCity ☆ In Urbanity We trust ☆ about us | privacy policy | DMCA policy

tech management by Sysprosium