Westmount: English Language Excellence

So, a resident of Westmount Elaine Dubbo Harris He suffered a great shock. Imagine her anger: For the first time in her long life, a Montreal shopkeeper refused her English service! From a baker of French origin and more, no but, no nerve! It is truly an unspeakable tragedy that in the only French province of Canada, once every 50 years, a merchant decides to assert the common language of the people of Quebec …

But it’s strange, when I think about it: During all those decades of linguistic quiet when Miss Dubbo Harris displayed her English resounding like a banner all over Montreal, for my part, my linguistic fervor caused bullying of linguistic rejection so much in Montreal than in Ottawa Or Moncton or Toronto.

Master’s language

Indeed, the English privilege of Miss Dubbo Harris is still out of reach for the French speaker I am now. In towns which nevertheless have large French-speaking minorities, I must yield to switching to a master’s language three times out of four, and in English-speaking cities, four times out of four. And over the past twenty years, even in downtown Montreal, on every one of my visits, I have encountered merchants who, at best, refuse to speak to me in French or, at worst, view it as a foreign language.

They don’t care as much as they do Tagalog, Swahili or Catalan…

In Ottawa, where 15% of French speakers and more than 22% of bilinguals reside, the hope of being served in French is the equivalent of living in the land of rainbows and rhinos. This means exposing yourself to responses like “Oh, you must be from Quebec,” from an interviewer who continues naturally to speak English, in a city and country where “Anglonormativity” triumphs. Yes, as when we assume that English is the only approved and valuable lingua franca.

In Moncton, the presence of 33% of French speakers does not prevent the desire to serve in French as an obstacle course. The waiter happened to be called racist for trying to place my order in French. As in Rhodesia in another era.

In 1995, in the residence hall of the University of Toronto, a masters student in history the size of a mirrored wardrobe was alarmed when he heard me speak French. Threatening, he approached me and shouted, “Are you my breakup?”, disgusted. As I assumed yes, he answered (I translate): “If Quebec secedes, we will burn all your houses, rape your women, and destroy everything.” Pure Putin.


Certainly, Miss Dubow Harris, speaking the great language gives you notable privileges, such as being able, like Air Canada chief Michael Rousseau, to live in English all the time, even in Sâinte-Lâmbeurt, Pi Quiou. But I’m afraid you’ll end up getting used to these perks because you live in Westmount, where the average income is 3.6 times higher than anywhere else in Quebec…

You, madam, should bless your privileges rather than complain with a full stomach: while you bathe in English monolinguals in the French-majority city of Montreal, no French-speaking Quebecer can boast that he has always been able to serve in French. Outside Quebec, it is worse: Francophones, a ubiquitous minority, voluntarily or forcibly bow to English as the lingua franca. Anglo-Quebecs, although they are a minority in Montreal and Quebec, must sometimes agree with French, but do not often. Thus, the Bell 96 will somewhat balance the dynamics from coast to coast.

What you want: In your call, we ended up learning to impose ourselves with our clogs.

Jean Francois Valleno bukateer

#Westmount #English #Language #Excellence

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