Thursday, November 26, 2015

What are Anglophones in Québec really like ?


Looking for a job is never easy. You can’t always be as choosy as you would like to be. I know I wanted to use French at my work, both written and spoken. However, job markets require that we all make a lot of compromises and consequently, we accept things that stray from what is better suited for us. I am certainly not an exception to this. For a few years, I worked in a large multinational in Ville-St-Laurent with colleagues that were about 80% anglophone. That bothered me, as I didn’t come to live in Québec to end up in the same environment I had in the United States.

I suppose it could be considered normal that it was so overwhelmingly anglophone, since the written documentation for the project on which we were working was to be produced in English. So I rather begrudgingly went to work, often saddened on the inside that I had to listen to all these anglophones drone on and on all around me. I would ask myself : “What am I doing? Why did I come here? I might as well have stayed in the US where I was comfortable and knew my way around, because this office environment is exactly the same as one in back home (or Ontario, or Manitoba, or Texas, or anywhere else).”

On a more mundane level, it was weird hearing things called the Champlain Bridge or Nun’s Island (instead of how I was used to calling them, le pont Champlain and Île-des-Sœurs). On a level a bit more complex, because I talked in the same language and accent, these people usually thought I was one of them. So they spoke rather freely around me regarding Quebecers : “Anne-Sophie is stupid and makes so many mistakes in her English” or “Quebecers are racist” or “Pauline Marois is cunt who should die”… At some point, one of them put up a huge Canadian flag on the office wall. I talked about putting up a Québec flag, which was greeted with a “oh, I didn’t know you were a separatist.” Something tells me that putting up a Franco-Ontarian, Catalan, Scottish or Norwegian flag would have been just fine though.

One time I got into something of a discussion with this second-generation-says-she’s-Greek colleague of mine about how little she knew about Québec popular culture (Québec media personalities/actors/singers/authors). Actually, she couldn’t name any (though she had heard of Mitsou…). Despite her complete lack of knowing anything about the cultural life of Québec and Montréal, in her own little head, she is a true Montrealer, much more so than I could ever hope to be. She also thought that Quebecers were racist.

Another person I worked with was a second generation francophone/allophone whose parents were Hungarian. She is what the media calls an enfant de la loi 101—with no allegiance to the Québec nation. Like most of the enfants, she views English and French languages as exactly the same and does whatever is the easiest while out in the world. Unfortunately, the French Language Charter, law 101 (or bill 101 as the anglophone media calls it, even though it hasn’t been a bill since 1977) hasn’t been as successful at making francophone Quebecers instead of bilingual Canadians. They can interact without any problems with their host society, to the point of getting all the societal codes and unsaid aspects, but they refuse that society’s grand ambitions. And this colonized reflex to celebrate and applaud those who despise their host society (such as Sugar Sammy), without paying any attention to the facts, makes them look down upon Quebecers as a conquered people with the confidence of the dominant, dafault party.

Then there was the anglophone Annabella of Italian origins, a huge busybody, always organizing Panini lunches and collecting money for this or that social gathering, a third of the time speaking in an English-heavy franglais, the rest of the time in English, all the while claiming to be perfectly bilingual, telling me that Montrealers say “Park Avenue” and not Avenue du parc. Another Montréal stereotype could be found in the actually-from-China Chinese dude, always purring in a sing-song accented English, not knowing a word of French and being very impressed that I could speak it. That however is less common than the self-flagellating francophone.

One francophone woman spoke with an accent in English as well as making plenty of mistakes in both written and spoken English. However, she prided herself on her English identity and considered herself anglophone, with a French side, because as a sickly child, she spent a considerable amount of time at the anglophone Montréal Children’s hospital (as opposed to the much larger francophone children’s hospital Sainte-Justine) which, in her mind, made her an anglophone. Other whipped francophones coming to mind was one who particularly crushed his French origins in a very Trudeau-esque way, which I found more heartbreaking than infuriating.

The angryphones were the funniest though. Sometimes, when the subject of Québec or the French language came up, they got so hysterical that you’d think francophones were drowning puppies and torturing kittens. At a team spirit building get together one evening, some months after the 2012 Québec elections, Mitch was spitting fire about how the province was still filled with a bunch of racists who still vote for that racist party (the PQ). When I questioned his own integration, he said he was from a generation where people didn’t do that. Okay, whatever… what about your two kids? Why don’t you send them to French school and speak English to them at home? Oh, the horror! He said they would never learn to read or write in English at the French school, never mind that our allophone second generation Hungarian immigrant colleague was able to do it, along with countless others. Besides, he had heard that the French schools were of inferior quality.

There was the banal and formulaic James, who barely can muster a sentence or two in French, but was always spouting hockey metaphors (“I want this mandate to be a puck in the net”). Can’t forget that oaf Ben, a Homer Simpson type who wanted Madame Marois to “suffer a horrible death” or that dreadful Ontarian woman, now living in NDG (it’s too much work for anglophones to say Notre-Dame-de-Grâce) with an aggressive, anti-Québec attitude, however married to another one of those self-erasing francophones.

Of all of them in that office, Natalie really took the cake. A rather dull and silly Ontarian, married to what she called a “Franco-American” (whatever that means—I could be considered a Franco-American, being that my mom’s family comes from Québec and I grew up in the United States). She took herself very seriously and was always touting her Concordia education (?) and expertise in the work we were doing. When talking about protecting French in Anglophone North America, she retorted in a tone of profound wisdom: “why can’t Francophones just be bilingual?” That way, she reasoned, they can have the best of both worlds. She didn’t have anything wise to say about herself though, when I asked about her own missing out on the best of both worlds (she didn’t speak French either).

I did have a soft spot for one of them though, a certain Dorothy, about 20 years older than me, living in Montréal-Ouest with her husband and young son. We got along really well from day one. Had we worked together outside of Québec, there really wouldn’t have been any problem between us. Nevertheless, when it came to Québec and French, she fell into the same trap as the majority of anglophones. To give her credit, she did speak it a little, with a heavy accent and hardly any vocabulary. She was sending her son to French school and hired a tutor to help him with his written and spoken French. She was more open than other people of her ilk, she just naïvely believed in the idea of “Canada”. Her husband was a nice person too, from New Brunswick. He too fell into that tired old anti-francophone trap, talking about how Acadians kept their distance and “wanted nothing to do with us”. Probably a gross exaggeration, especially when the Acadians are all bilingual and are used to working with Anglophones. He is just another unilingual soul in the anglophone mass culture. Seriously, who’s got a bad track record regarding hostility—Acadians or anglophones?

Now I must add that Montréal’s anglophones, as people, are not bad. They are ordinary working folks, trying to make ends meet and to get along in the hectic modern world. It’s true that they live in a bubble and if you remove the fact that they are contributing to the slow but sure destruction of Québec, whether they can see it or not, they are nothing more than the ordinary, run-of-the-mill populace found all over the North American continent. They could make themselves at home just about anywhere in North America. What about Quebecers? Aside from Montréal, what other important metropolis is there for the North American French speaker? Anglophones have their English language mass culture everywhere. Why do they think they are special and under attack from a nation of 7 million when they are over 300 million? Isn’t it plain as day that what deserves protection are the francophone institutions?

Why don’t anglophones take an interest in their surrounding community? Do they not realize that without French, Montréal would be just another North American anglophone city? If they valued Montréal’s difference, why don’t they help contribute to that said difference, instead of indirectly destroying it? They harp on and on about diversity and accepting everyone. Why can’t they see that North America’s French-speaking society is real diversity?


Anyone who isn’t a hysterical anglophone living in Montréal, frothing at the mouth when spoken to in French, can see that.

127 comments:

  1. bon article.
    en tant que français vivant au Québec (hors Montréal) mais ne côtoyant pas d'anglophone, je m'étais toujours demandé comment ils s'intégraient !

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    1. Ca te surprendra d'apprendre que la "majorite" des anglophones connaissent au moins assez d'anglais pour passer. C'est pas si facile de trouver un emploi sans en connaitre un peu ( impossible? non, certainement pas. Mais quand meme ). Mais demande a un francophone a Montreal d'etre bilingue, ben la c'est la fin du monde. Meme si c'est un emploi qui demande d'etre service a la clientele pour le reste du Canada, pas correct que "les anglos prennent nos jobs". Ma conjointe viens de l'Ontario. Elle est anglophone. Mais elle a appris, elle s'integre.

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    2. Dude, demande à un francophone à Montréal d'être billingues, most of them are going to answer you they already are.
      Because they don't have choice to learn english since primary school and are more opened to the outside world through the internet than the opposite.
      They may not be perfectly bilingual but they certainly are at least as much as "bilingual" anglophones.

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    3. J'ai vu les deux cas de figure. Je viens de la campagne en périphérie de Montréal et j'ai vu des francophones de Montréal incapables de comprendre la phrase la plus simple en anglais (I want a bag of ice), comme j'ai réussi à devenir bilingue en travaillant à Montréal et dans le tourisme. D'ailleurs, un sondage récent a démontré que la jeune génération anglophone se sent de plus en plus chez soi au Québec, et j'ai quelques amis anglophones de St-Lazare qui sont tout sauf des "angry anglophones". I hope this is going to change the way both groups interacts with each others. On the other hand, I can see why anglophones think the PQ is "just a bunch of racists". On a couple of occasions they weren't exactly "open" and when I compare with what I see in Europe (I'm currently living in Germany, on the border to France and yes, I speak fluent German), sometimes it scares me. Mon point de vue par rapport au PQ a complètement changé depuis que j'ai commencé à vivre à l'étranger et que j'ai des points de références externes. Mais bon, ça c'est une autre histoire.
      Happy first advent weekend!
      Josi

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    4. I never comment on these articles but fear anyone reading this article will take it seriously. This rant is pure trash of someone's unfortunate experience in a job they didn't like with desires they didn't achieve probably because they didn't speak french themselves and could achieve them. I have worked in VSL at Bombardier before and had bad experiences with francophones under the same context he describes, instead of playing the hate and blame game you should live your life with respect and an open minded; this rant is the antithesis.

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    5. I think it's a parody. Nobody is this stupid.

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    6. zzzer, it's not by reading this piece of propaganda that you'll understand how integrated anglos are. Leave your village and you'll see.

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    7. French is to hard to learn for the English speaking north americans, their brains can only learn 400 words

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  2. Ca s'appelle du Québec Bashing, le nouveau sport national au Canada (ce titre n'appartient plus au Hockey, nous n'avons que 7 équipes dans la LNH et environ autant de joueurs Canadiens). La bonne nouvelle est que une fois rendu au point ou nous aurons presque tous étés éliminés, nous n'aurons plus à payer de taxe, de frais de scolarité et d'électricité, et pourrons exiger de vivre dans un endroit protégé par le gouvernement dans lequel nous ouvrirons des casinos à volonté.

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  3. Voilà un article qui dépeint de façon très objective le ghetto Montréalais!

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    1. ahhh tas répondue comme une troue de cul de la Ghetto Quebecois

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  4. Excellent le nombre de perles dans ce texte. Bravo.

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  5. J'ai beaucoup aimé ton article. Comme tu l'as si bien montré, il y a un manque flagrant de communications entre les francophones et les anglophones. De la même façon que les anglophones ont de flagrants préjugés, les francophones tombent facilement dans ce même type de réflexions. Aucun des deux parties ne cherchent à s'intégrer à l'autre, ou du moins d'en apprendre sur leur réalité. En tant que francophone, je trouve ces jugements (des francophones envers les anglophones) complètement infondés et les préjugés qui s'accumulent chez les deux parties ne vont que continuer à nourrir l'isolement de ces communautés. Après des siècles d'histoire, le français à subsister au Québec, tout comme l'anglais à Montréal, mais aussi dans les communautés anglophones des Cantons-de-l'Est et en Gaspésie. Peut-être il serait temps de réaliser qu'on habite dans la même province. Même si ton article décrit les pires stéréotypes, ce que j'ai principalement retenu c'est qui en a au moins un qui cherche à réunir les deux parties. Merci!

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    1. Je suis un peu étonnée de ta réponse. J'ai très envie que les anglophones s'intègrent et cessent de mépriser les francophones (pour ceux qui nagent dans cette haine), mais notre histoire à clairement démontrer que de leur forcer la main ne menait clairement nulle part. Je crois que, comme tu semblais le mentionner dans ton article, il faut commencer par laisser tomber les préjugées. Les hostilités et les jugements hâtives sur l'une ou l'autre des communautés sont simplement le résultat d'un conflit qui dure depuis la colonisation anglaise. Personne ne sait qui a commencé, mais on sait que «on s'aime pas la face». On ne fait que japper l'un après l'autre sans écouter ce qu'on dit. Si on veut que les anglophones parlent français au Québec, il faudrait commencer par accepter et les accueillir aussi bien que notre réputation le stipule.

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    2. Laurie, quand les francophones du Québec ont-ils "forcé la main" aux anglophones? Je suis d'accord qu'il faut bâtir des ponts entre les communautés, et laisser tomber les préjugés, mais ayant moi-même fréquenté la communauté anglophone de Montréal pendant plusieurs années force est de constater que les efforts sont souvent malheureusement à sens unique.

      I mean, how do you even start to build a new dialogue when they persist in calling the PQ a "racist party" and that they wish the elected premier of Quebec to suffer a painful death? How does this not echo the shameful episode of our history when the anglophone community of Montreal actually burnt down the Canadian Parliament (then in Montreal) because a law had been voted to compensate the francophone farmers who had seen their properties destroyed by the British army during the Patriotes uprising?

      Je suis d'accord qu'il faut faire la paix, mais malheureusement les seules fois dans notre histoire oû les francophones ont fait des gains pour protéger leur culture, c'est lorsqu'ils se sont tenus debouts et qu'ils ont refusé le compromis. Ça ne veut pas dire qu'il faut rejeter le fait anglais à Montréal, mais ça veut peut-être dire qu'il ne faut plus tolérer le racisme et l'intolérance que bien des anglophones ont encore face à la majorité francophone.

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    3. Laurie : Personne ne sait qui a commencé ? vraiment ? quelle mauvaise foi crasse ... WASP are imperialistic bastard who love to dominate everywhere they step foot ...

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  6. I was horrified last night when I watched the news on one of the Montreal TV stations. The announcer went on and on about the Quebec that had nothing better to do than...I couldn't listen to it. I shut off my TV. I am truly disgusted at the Montreal English press. Several years ago, I even heard their views being parroted back to me by an (otherwise intelligent) American friend. The quote had transferred verbatim in the US press. I recognized the tone. He was saying that he feared being badly received in French-speaking Quebec. I live in Quebec City. I have never (in 30 plus years) ever been harassed by a francophone. It helps that I learned French soon after arriving from Ontario.

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    1. Well I live in Montreal and see it all the time. I've seen people speaking to each other in english being told to speak english, this is Quebec. We've also been seeing refusal of service to anglophones in some extreme cases. From what I've observed, this is all much worse in Montreal. Elsewhere in the province, anglophones seem to be treated with more of a fascination than anything else.

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    2. Anecdotal evidence presented anonymously on the Internet isn't very convincing.

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    3. That comment being on a blog post is hilarious.

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  7. Something was missing from my previous comment. Please add: Language Police in the second sentence after Quebec. It should read: <The announcer went on and on about the Quebec Language Police that had nothing better to do than...

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  8. tres bon texte ! j'approuve a 100% moi je demeure sur la rive sud a 30 minute de montréal et j'entend régulierement des francophones tenir les meme discours en francais a propos des anglophones ... La plupart des quebecois ne sont généralement pas raciste ... N'ont aucun problèmes a apprendre l'anglais ... Parcontres ils s'attendent a ce que ce sois réciproque ! Si nous faisons l'effort d'apprendre l'anglais pour mieux communiquer, ils devraits faire l'effort pour apprendre un minimum le français... la plupart des ethnies sont biens accepter au Québec a l'exceptions des arabes... plus tu t'éloignes de Montréal, moins ils sont acceptés et ce , même avant les récents événements de Paris ... Mais bon ... ce n'est pas comme si les médias aidaient a changer la tendance ...

    Petite anecdote en passant , j'avais une amie anglophone qui parlait bien le français et qui restait a Quebec . Un jours nous sommes allé marcher dans le vieux Quebec et nos conversations se déroulait 50/50 en français et en anglais . Un couple passant près de nous , nous entends parler en anglais et dit a sa femme
    " Tcheck ça ! c'est rendu que les anglais sont rendu jusqu'a Quebec pour nous voler nos jobs sacrament "
    Et mon amie qui n'est pas gêné de lui répondre
    "Si les gens comme moi vous volent vos jobs , c'est que nous ont a appris a parler l'anglais aussi bien que le français "
    L'homme se retourne pour dire " désolé madame je ne croyais pas que vous étiez francophone ! "

    Moral de cette histoire , les 2 camps ont encore beaucoup d'effort a faire ! Mais il y a toujours espoir que ça s'améliore avec le temps ! :)

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  9. Saying Anglophones can just go elsewhere is like telling the original french they could have just gone back to France instead of being assimilated. It's insensitive and takes no account of the roots laid down by either side of that debate. Coming here to give "your observations" shows that you are an outsider with no consideration for the history behind it all on both sides.

    I *AM* a French Canadian by the way. My mother is from the Saguenay area, we have big french reveillons every year. Half my family is french, aunts, uncles, cousins. I went to french primary and high schools. The latter of which showed me just how hateful the separatist movement is. In my french high school, you would get detention for speaking english. Putting english comedy on the student radio? That's a no-no! Speaking english in the halls? Detention. This prepared me for what to expect in the world of Loi 101. And the whole thing in effect gave me a distaste for my own culture.

    I love my french family. I see them all the time. I go to Lac St-Jean every year. ( and to be honest, they don't seem to uptight about anglos over there than in Montreal. Over there, they are more "fascinated" ). But I eschew french movies, music, comedy etc because it's been rammed down my throat. Childish? Maybe. But it seems to me, having french signs and menus is only good business in a place where a large portion of the population is english. The Quebec government is making it so no big business wants to come here because of the extra cost of translating. Or out of fear of being fined for things not being properly translated. We spend millions of dollars to make sure Italian restaurant menus are "in french" and that the french words on a sign are first.

    If you think it's there's no hatred being spewed from the french side, and it's all anglo bitterness, just look up the Society St-Jean Baptiste. They honestly make me *ashamed* of my french side. They spew such angry hatred at my "other half". You say you don't see it. *I* have seen it. I've seen tourists been badmouthed for not speaking french. I've seen people speaking to each other on a street corner in a predominantly anglo neighborhood to "Parlez Francais au Quebec tabarnak". That kind of behavior is deplorable when it comes to race and religion. But what, cause "Quebec is french" it's okay to be an outright asshole?".

    So yes, there's a lot of bitterness on both sides of this debate and just acting like it's a bunch of butthurt anglos refusing to integrate is a pretty shallow view of the whole thing.

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    1. I just think you went in wanting to speak french, found some bitter anglos and said "wow, these anglos sure are bitter". Did you even ask why? Or just go, "Dude, you really just need to speak french".

      My wife is from Ontario, her french is not strong, but she forces herself. She is integrating. Still treated like shit a lot of the time by the more "pure laine francos" who roll their eyes at her cause she's "just another anglo".

      All I'm saying is that it *is* a two sided argument of intolerance contrary to what your article portrays.


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    2. I worked in several stores where our focus is, obviously, the client. To reach said client, you have to speak AT LEAST French and English. A plus if you speak other languages, because you also get a lot of tourists or even citizens that have never felt comfortable in either of those languages. About 60% of the people I worked with were Anglophones, and all of them bilingual. I actually found it surprising that most of my co-workers were Anglophones, since I thought it would be the other way around. However, when I realized that a few of the 40% Francophones did not speak A WORD of English, I realized the reason.

      You could say it's a matter of "keeping the French language alive" by not wanting to introduce English to your work or even your daily life, but the fact of the matter is that it's most Anglophones that integrate than Francophones. And yes, the language police exists. Businesses have been fined for having their menus in English, kids have gone on detention for speaking their NATIVE LANGUAGE English while in RECESS, and many anglophones have been shouted at and made fun of and even refused service because they might have an accent, when at least they're trying to integrate.

      Anglophones are not "lazy" when they speak the two languages necessary to live in that Province, which is still, unfortunately for many, a part of Canada. They might want to speak English with their other anglophone co-workers and with their family and in their home because, you know what? It's comfortable, and it's ridiculous to want to speak a different language with someone whose native language is the same as yours, unless you want to practice. But they ARE contributing to French by learning it enough to be able to work and serve customers in French, by sending their kids to French schools, by being able to read signs in French, by getting service in French, by having to fill legal documents in French. The fact that you think that they shouldn't speak English just because is already everywhere else and it won't disappear, shows how little you know about anglophone history and culture in Quebec.

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    3. Well, one of them couldn't even say "I love you." They knew what "love" means, so maybe I was exaggerating, but no more than you are exaggerating your experience with your Anglophone co-workers working in an Anglophone project and generalizing Anglophones in Quebec.

      "All the things I brought up have been disproven"? You found those EXACT stories in Google, did you? I gave you EXAMPLES of stories. Some of them might have been disproven, and those would be the kind of stories that have been made public enough to be disproven publicly. The stores I'm talking about are things my people in my life have experienced, myself included. I highly doubt you'll be able to Google those ones.

      Schools ARE preventing anglophones from speaking English amongst themselves. Ask some of the English speaking students in French schools. Those that have been caught and reprimanded for it. Again, has happened to family members. And don't bother googling that.

      No, I'm not going to say the "language police pass out fines on the street." Because I'm not making stories up. So don't try to predict what I'm going to say next.

      I never said they were on equal footing. I do believe Quebec is STILL part of Canada, which SHOULD give Canadian Quebec Anglophones some footing, but I do know what the current position is. The whole point of my post was to say that most of the Anglophones I know DO try to integrate. It IS their home, and they know their home is French. I wasn't calling out Francophones out by saying they are not integrating because they are not learning English; they are in all their right to do whatever they want. I'm pointing out the amount of Anglophones that have to work twice as hard because they HAVE to be bilingual. I'm also pointing out that a lot of Francophones have to work just as hard and become bilingual if they want to get a job or a promotion.

      But mostly I'm pointing out the title and the content of your article, which generalizes Anglophones in Quebec, only because of the experiences you had with your English-speaking colleagues working in an English-speaking environment.

      I can't end this without pointing this out: "[Anglophones] could make themselves at home just about anywhere in North America. What about Quebecers?"
      Excuse me??? Do you know that a lot of these Anglophones you're talking about have been living in Quebec for GENERATIONS? Some even more than some French families? They are just as Quebecers as anyone else. They HAVE contributed to society, to their community, in more ways than one, even if in your eyes what they've done is destroy it because Quebec is not as French as you'd like. So just because someone was born into the wrong language-speaking family, they should move somewhere else? I would say this is the most ridiculous and insulting thing I've ever heard, but you'd probably come back with a retort about maybe in a parallel universe.

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    4. My god? going back to France? What a bad parallel. The anglos are in the new world and the rest of the country is english-speaking. They don't neek to go back to England. And if celebrating your culture means eating the peasoup in the kitchen with grandma on the 25th of december, well it's pathetic. And the english laid their roots here not to participate to the building of «la société canadienne» but to developp their own comunity and for centuries they didn't give a shit about the population around them. And since we got out of our ethnic minority condition to stand beyond that as a nation and civic citizenship, they're mowning like kids. Come on, you're a living cliché. And by the way, anglo-saxon societies (datas exist to support that) are the one in the developped countries that have the smallest percentage of foreign culture penetration (books, movies, etc...). So all these anglos indulging with self contempt of our so-called narrow-mindness while they have never seen anything else than anglo-american movies, anglo-american music, english langage book should go at Librairie Archambaut to discover all the foreign authors we are reading, tune on Télé-Québec to discover swedish drama or head to Ex-Centris and catch an italian movie. You've became as pathetically self-obliviously racist than the anglos themselves.

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    5. @ AnonymousNovember 27, 2015 at 3:33 PM

      Well said I too am French Canadian my Father is from Rimouski, and I agree with everything you have said. Quebec is living in the past and can't move forward ,to the point that this once beautiful and prospering province has been reduced to the laughing province of the world.

      And i been this because If I travel to China, Germany, Aruba they all can't believe how ignorant the separatists are and some say they are not far from Neo-Natiz`s

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    6. Of course ! I've been to their houses and held several civil conversations with them, as I had to work with them and couldn't be outrightly rude. Your wife is treated like shit ? I got treated like shit or, at best, cute, when I insisted on speaking French. Everybody wanted to speak English. Order coffee on la rue Ste-Catherine and when you say "Pardon?" when the server speaks in English to you, he says : "oh, I'm sure you understood".

      Anyway, I think Anglophones should be more sensitive to the situation of French in Québec, especially in Montréal and do more to help it instead of crying about having their rights taken away by the non-existant language police. There is ablsolutely no danger of English disappearing with the Anglo media and mass culture just next door. They might say : "this is my home...bla bla bla" but in reality, they really ought to be contributing to French, taking an interest in it, because English is already everywhere else. French is only here. It's our responsibility to keep it thriving, and not to be just lazy and do whatever's easiest.

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    7. « realized that a few of the 40% Francophones did not speak A WORD of English, I realized the reason. »

      Are you kidding me ? Not a word, huh ? Maybe in a parallele universe.

      And anyway, why should francophones integrate into another culture when they are in Québec ?

      All the things you bring up have been disproven. Go google it, I don't feel like spending the time digging it up for you.

      Nobody is preventing anglophones from speaking English amongst themselves. All this has been said a million times. You keep repeating the same bullshit. Next you're going to say the language police pass out fines on the street.

      No, I think they shouldn't speak English so much in public life because they should be more sensitive to French's position in North America. You'd have to be a complete idiot, blind and deaf to claim that they are on an equal footing.

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  10. An interesting piece of propaganda. While it's very well written, is was obviously done by a francophone with a fairly strong command of English. "On a level a bit more complex, because I talked in the same language and accent, these people usually thought I was one of them." For starters, RE "on a level a bit more complex," ça ne se dit pas comme ça en anglais. There are other examples too. Furthermore, someone from Minnesota speaks quite differently than an Anglo Quebecker. The accent would be obvious to an Anglo, though probably not a francophone. Nice try guys! Sorry, though, we're here to stay ;)

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    Replies
    1. I look forward to it! But why not put a quick video together, upload it and give us a quick sample of your wonderful Midwestern accent. BTW, an Anglo would have gone with "Can YOU say troll." Careful, your Quebec is showing again ;)

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    2. When conspiracy is your last resort... PS: Je suis francophone.

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    3. Les angryphones... tous les mêmes, des cracheurs de venin.

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    4. Why don't you just try, just for 5 minutes, look at your own self-oblivious, pernicious, self-indulging narrow-blindness, racism and nationalism. Just for 5 minutes; self-criticism and ivory tower-like upbringing.

      Delete
    5. Troll here. Honestly, just cause it's easiest. I'm not saying anything controversial, so I have nothing to hide from. I'd love to know who the propagandist behind this blog is though. The ideas here are so ignorant and uninformed it actually creeps me out to think I live among people who believe them.

      Delete
    6. Mr anonymous, stop feeding the troll (aka the author...)

      Delete
  11. Excellent article qui a le mérite de décrire la réalité Québécoise vue par un Américain. J'aime particulièrement votre conclusion : "Why can’t they see that North America’s French-speaking society is real diversity?". La question nous renvoie à la conquête de 1760 lorsque les anglais ont gagné la bataille des plaines d'Abraham à Québec. Pour beaucoup d'anglophones, ils sont les conquérants, les vainqueurs. Or depuis 1760 et en passant par le rapport Durham de 1840, le peuple Québécois a maintes fois démontré sa résilience voire sa résistance à toute tentative d'assimilation. C'est ce qui fait que nous parlons encore français dans ce coin de l'Amérique! vous avez entièrement raison, le Québec devrait être chéri, apprécié pour sa différence tant au niveau de la langue que de la culture. Merci pour votre lecture lucide et rafraîchissante de la réalité Québecoise!

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  12. It is really like you said. I'm a francophone and I have worked in many places all around Canada. After one week I was speaking English. If I were in Russia I would speak in Russian. How can you live in Quebec for more than 40 years without saying a word in French?

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    Replies
    1. Because when you live in Montreal, it's not necessary.

      In fact, Montreal is one of the worst places to learn French

      Delete
  13. Not from this country. Trying to learn french for obvious reasoning. This article panders to one side of the debate. Get off your high horse bud. Discrimination from both sides is reality. I had one girlfriends brother stop talking to her because she was dating an anglophone. Wtf is that. Some people are arseholes no matter which language they speak. Articles with attitudes like this are part of the problem. We are all in it together no us and them.

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    Replies
    1. I believe you missed the point. He is not talking about individual, but mass movement....

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    2. No point was missed. Pandering to perceived superiority complexes in hopes of integrating himself further. I could pen similar but switch sides and stance and it will still be a bigot with a blog.

      Delete
    3. He's giving individual examples, by mentioning specific people and their specific attitudes, and generalizing Anglophones and the whole culture. The article stinks of the same prejudice the author is writing about.

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    4. Completely FAKE !!!!!!

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  14. Merci. It's a good read. C'est sidérant de constater que les personnes décrites dans votre article soient naturellement hostile à la culture québecoise...Que pouvons nous faire???

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    Replies
    1. "Fais ce que dois" : Ne portez pas attention aux insultes et aux accusations. Soyez simplement fier(e) de votre culture et de votre langue française, Apprenez-les le mieux possible, et partagez-les avec tous ceux qui démontrent de l'ouverture d'esprit.

      Démontrez vous-même de l'intérêt envers les immigrants et les anglophones désireux de s'intégrer. Soyez patient(e) avec eux et gardez le sourire ;-)

      Delete
  15. Très beau texte, intéressant à savoir surtout lorsque l'on ne cotoye pas beaucoup d'anglophones.

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  16. As an almost bilingual anglophone (married to a french quebecer) I don't relate to this post at all. I work in French and English with anglophones and francophones. I always address francophones first in French. I actually feel uncomfortable when I have to speak to a francophone in English because someone in the conversation doesn't speak French. When I have worked in a more English environment, there was never this negative outlook on French.

    In my family - my nieces and nephews are 100% bilingual (I'm jealous because there were limited opportunities for this when I was going to school). Most of my anglophone friends send their kids to immersion or French schools (one reason English schools are closing at an accelerating pace). My parents - who grew up in Ireland - managed to learn some French in their 30s. I love living in the diversity of Montreal. Even if I did work only in English - I would miss out on too much that Montreal has to offer if I only spoke English.

    Alors - pour les francophones qui lisent toutes ces commentaires - il ne faut pas penser que tous les anglophones sont si negatives envers le français et les francophones. Beaucoup des anglophones ont décidé de rester à Québec à cause de la diversité des langues et cultures.

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    Replies
    1. Ok for the diversity of langages, so not because it's mainly french-speaking. French-speaking culture is one of the many treasures of Mtl among chinese, ukrainian, greek! Good boy, you just proved the blogger's point.

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  17. Ce que j'ai entre autres remarqué, c'est que les anglophones appuient toujours à plus de 97% le même parti depuis toujours, même s'il est reconnu comme corrompue et une source de m*rde... le PLQ. Même dans les pays totalitaires, les partis au pouvoir n'ont pas ça.

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    Replies
    1. C'est malheureusement faux. Dans la plupart des démocraties récentes du monde (disons, démocratiques depuis la fin de 2e guerre), les groupes ethniques, linguistiques et religieux ont tendance à voter en bloc. Voilà entre autre ce qui fait que la démocratie représentative ne fonctionne pas beaucoup dans le monde.

      Même dans les pays qui ont une plus longue tradition démocratique, les différences ethno-culturelles ont tendance à prendre toute la place dans les élections et la politique (catholiques en Irlande, indépendantistes en Écosse, en Catalogne ou au Québec, etc.). Et les communautés culturelles issues de l'immigration ont également tendance à voter en bloc.

      Je pense que l'utopie du citoyen-du-monde, universel, détaché, sans racines propres, est irréaliste et que de toute façon, le monde n'en veut pas. Je pense également que les différences sont une richesse.

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    2. En 2012, certains candidats du PQ ont tenu le propos que les gens qui parlent l'anglais à la maison -- à la maison ! -- étaient une menace pour le français à Montréal. Et notre cher blogueur n'est pas bien loin de tenir pareil propos.

      Tiens, moi je suis entièrement québécois. Né ici, de parents nés ici, et ainsi de suite. Ma femme est issue d'immigrants italiens, et parle un français compétent... Mais notre langue de prédilection est l'anglais pour des raisons que je n'ai aucun besoin de partager. Pourquoi? Parce que dans une société qui se vante de sa liberté d'expression j'ai le droit absolu de parler, dans la vie privée, la langue que je préfère parler. Point final.

      Je parle le français où et quand ça fait du bon sens, mais un parti dont les candidats peuvent sérieusement tenir de tels propos m'aura perdu pour toujours. Entres autres politiques, dont le projet de charte social, qui aurait interdit des symboles religieux ostentatoires dans la vie publique...Sauf ceux issus de l'église catholique. What a joke. Ouais, je suis de ces athées qui s'opposaient à cette charte, en appui au droit à l'expression libre dont l'expression de sa religiosité.


      En plus de tout ça, je suis un Montréalais, un Québécois et un Canadien. Et un bilingue, anglais dominant. Tout ça -- TOUT. Un parti ouvertement méprisant d'une si bonne partie de qui je suis n'aura jamais, jamais mon vote.

      Alors même si je suis pour l'épanouissement de la nation québécoise, le PQ m'a déjà rejeté. Son projet ne m'intéresse pas, pantoute. Ça ne me fait pas un monstre. Simplement un fédéraliste. Et à mon grand malheur, il n'y a que le maudit PLQ qui puisse bloquer le projet ultime du PQ. Je déteste le PLQ comme plusieurs. Mais c'est quoi l'alternative? Des pelleteux de nuages qui, en fin de compte, vont appuyer ce projet dont je suis exclu? Non.

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    3. Un changement aura plus de chances de se faire si on arrête de voter pour ces 2 vieux partis qui trempent tous les 2 dans la corruption. J'étais aussi contre la charte du PQ et je trouve ça normal que les minorités religieuses aient voté contre ça. C'est aussi normal que les anglophones aient du mal à voter pour le PQ (il y en a qui le font!). Mais parfois l'exercice de la démocratie exige que l'on mette de côté certaines frustrations pour le bien commun. Voter pour le PLQ est la pire chose à faire! Personne n'en bénéficie, ni les anglos, ni les francos! Le PLQ profite de la situation linguistique et culturelle du Québec pour son propre bénéfice, pour les amis du parti. Cela suffit! Les anglos doivent trouver une alternative viable, en fait, NOUS devons trouver, ensemble, une alternative, parce que le PQ n'est pas non plus une référence. Un blogue comme celui-ci permet d'ouvrir le dialogue entre les 2 grandes solitudes de notre pays, c'est une excellente initiative, il en faudrait plus des comme ça. En gros, voter pour des criminels ça suffit, faut qu'on se parle et qu'on se sorte de ce merdier parce que, anglos ou francos, on est dans le même bateau!

      Delete
  18. Merci pour votre article, Thomas. J'ai aussi vécu la même chose, travaillant à l'université McGill. (Je suis francophone, de Montréal). Avant de travailler là, je n'étais pas consciente qu'un groupe, sûrement minoritaire de nos jours (j'ose espérer) d'anglophones entretient une attitude méprisante et teinté d'animosité envers le Québec, les francophones. En plus de ce que vous dîtes, il y a aussi le fait que pour plusieurs d'entre eux, le français de chez nous n'est pas "proper French", et donc plusieurs d'entre eux disent ouvertement n'avoir aucun intérêt à l'apprendre. Et puis, il y a le fait que sachant que je suis francophone, ils expriment ouvertement, devant moi, des propos méprisants envers le français et les francophones. C'est d'un tel manque de délicatesse et politesse. De me dire à moi, que les québécois "are very nice and everything, but not so bright, and so lazy, that's why they're poor." Et que "F*ck French, everything should be in English". Et ce, dans un milieu universitaire. Ça me déçois beaucoup. Et je ne peux me sentir à l'aise dans ce milieu.

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  19. As a born and raised montrealer, living in Ville Saint Laurent, i have a few thoughts about the article.
    I learned french as my first language, went to a french pre-K and kindergarden. I am perfectly bilingual and i love montreal as a city. Your points are valid, but Quebec has found a way to belittle english speakers and make their lives more difficult. Signs must be in french, and if there is english in the sign, the french must be in larger font. That in itself is ridiculous, why cant they be equal? Although i do agree with you to a certain extent, it would be better if the province of Quebec tried to coexist the french and english language instead of trying to drive it out. English is a major asset. You need it to do any science degree , read scholarly articles, and be able to publish research for people in Canada and US to read. On many occasions i have been verbally harassed by STM bus drivers for speaking english, to then put them in their place when i speak in french. Speaking in french should be a choice, not an obligation, and I should not be treated differently because i choose to speak in english.
    Just a thought.

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  20. I am an Anglo/French Quebecer. My father is pure laine, his father and grandfather going back several generations to immigration from S. Malo in France (although they were Catholic not Hugenot as one might conclude from the port of exit from France.

    My langue maternel came, not unusually, from my mother - a refugee from Ireland. A refugee you say? Back in 1919 in Ireland any Catholic married to a Protestant ran the risk – the very real risk – of having their home burned in the night while everyone was abed. My grandfather left for Canada with the plan of getting work so my grandmother could follow with my mother. He got a job as an engineer in the design department of CPR and my grandmother followed in a year. My mother (protestant) was six years old before she left Ireland in 1921. She went to school in Pointe St Charles / Verdun where she met my father in Verdun High of the Protestant and mostly English school system. “Why Verdun High?” you ask.
    Because my french grandfather decided his son would become a doctor during the depression, and the French Catholic school system was an embarrassment to anyone French wanting an education worth something beyond becoming a peasant or a priest. So he sold the farm and moved to Montreal, bought a partnership in a coal delivering company and enrolled his son in the Protestant English school. When threatened with ex-communication he merely walked the whole family into the nearest Protestant church and signed them all up.
    My father grew up speaking colloquial French at home and learning by immersion, English in school. Before immersion language was invented. My father became the first French Canadian to be on staff at the Royal Vic, and he also became a professor of Medicine at McGill. He spoke unaccented Westmount English, and Quebec French – street style and educated as well.
    My mother never really learned French well. My siblings speak both, and I am fluent in both. When I lived and worked in France, the natives there thought I might be from Lille, or Switzerland or perhaps Alsace, but definitely not Quebec where they talk funny. I learned French at the Universite de Montreal and the prof was an Algerian. Our language lab at the U de M also had a large contingent of young very fit but ALSO VERY STANDOFFISH English speaking guys learning Vietnamese (in 1963), and I later suspected they were green berets. But I learned a lot about detecting differences in pronunciation and grammar.
    While at university in an obscure Jesuit run college of the Universite de Montreal I had the opportunity to hear Rene Levesque speak about becoming “maitre chez nous”, I shook his hand after the talk. He made a lot of sense to me.

    I think I am qualified to speak about the experience of being an Anglo Montrealer having grown up in both NDG and in Westmount. (Mea Culpa) I also take issue with your condescending denigration of a selection Anglo loosers in your not so humble opinion.

    To whit

    “it was weird hearing things called the Champlain Bridge or Nun’s Island (instead of how I was used to calling them, le pont Champlain and Île-des-Sœurs).”

    In the context of public speech between associates, and in Montreal, one selects the language of expression according to the current language being spoken. Thus if you are speaking to me in English, I would use Champlain Bridge, not Pont Chaplain. If our mutual address was in French it would be the other way around (because I can and am willing to speak either according to the exigencies of the situation.)

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  21. continued to whit:

    “On a level a bit more complex, because I talked in the same language and accent, these people usually thought I was one of them.”
    I beg to differ.
    You fool yourself thinking that you speak perfect Montreal English after being raised in Minnesota, and your French is a genuine Montreal French? Acute ears can tell a difference and the foreign overlay is enough of a cue to polite French speakers to use your language of better understanding and switch to English. It was a real problem growing up in the fifties and sixties and walking up to a group of Francophones. Open your mouth and speak imperfect French? Everyone instantly switches to English. Hard to learn in the street that way.
    By the way I have a degree in teaching French as a second language, aswell as a degree in teaching English among other education. When I worked for a non profit in St Henri teaching English to immigrants for free, in a night course, about half the students were Francophone Quebecers trying to upgrade their shitty English learned in the French school system. What they wanted was upward mobility in business, and what the Quebec government wanted it appeared was a generation of linguistic cripples rooted to home with an elite few to guide the engines of business.

    “Despite her complete lack of knowing anything about the cultural life of Québec and Montréal, in her own little head, she is a true Montrealer, much more so than I could ever hope to be.”
    Your lack of understanding of the soul of being a Montrealer is evident here. Why is her head too small? Is yours a touch swollen?


    “Unfortunately, the French Language Charter, law 101 (or bill 101 as the anglophone media calls it, even though it hasn’t been a bill since 1977) hasn’t been as successful at making francophone Quebecers instead of bilingual Canadians.”
    I suggest that the way to make non French cultured people want to embrace becoming French, is not to beat them until moral improves. That way will never work and is only polarizing opposition. If you want converts, open the embassy and make it fun, and cool. Forget about insulting rules about what to speak, write or express in public.

    I have seen my share of bus drivers being downright rude to American tourists because they do not understand their French. The real French in France are tolerant, and mostly polite. In France the revolution is still alive Liberty, Equality, and – most important – Fraternity between people.

    “To give her credit, she did speak it a little, with a heavy accent and hardly any vocabulary. She was sending her son to French school and hired a tutor to help him with his written and spoken French. She was more open than other people of her ilk, she just naively believed in the idea of “Canada”. Her husband was a nice person too, from New Brunswick. He too fell into that tired old anti-francophone trap, talking about how Acadians kept their distance and “wanted nothing to do with us”. Probably a gross exaggeration, especially when the Acadians are all bilingual and are used to working with Anglophones.“
    I lived 25 years in New Brunswick, (Canada's only officially bilingual province) and I can assure you there are plenty of unilingual French, and a good selection of ugly anti French ass hats in the south near Saint John.
    I am sure that nice Canadian woman would love to hear opinion, it would warm the cockles of her little heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In other countries, people don't feel beaten up because they have to adapt to the langage of the place. So if people are feeling beaten up, it's because in the first place they are annoyed by the french fact and they don't recognize it. Go in Sweden or in any other country, you'll see if you have a choice. How come you don't realize we'are only 8 millions and what are you doing in the second largest french speaking city in the world? Ignore it and indulge yourself in getthoism?

      Delete
    2. You're invalidating your argument by comparing the Province of Quebec to other <>. Yes, Quebec is in a very different position compared to other Provinces in Canada, or a random state in any other country, but it's still OH SO NOT THE SAME.

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    3. That should have said "other << countries >> ."

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  22. and finally

    “I must add that Montréal’s anglophones, as people, are not bad. They are ordinary working folks, trying to make ends meet and to get along in the hectic modern world. It’s true that they live in a bubble and if you remove the fact that they are contributing to the slow but sure destruction of Québec, whether they can see it or not, they are nothing more than the ordinary, run-of-the-mill populace found all over the North American continent.”

    Let us get things clear here. Montreal has an urban population of around 3.5 million people. In the non French sector there are about a quarter million each of Jewish, Italian, Greek, and English backgrounds plus significant numbers of Asians, Russians, middle Easterners, miscellaneous Eastern Europeans, Slavs, North Africans, and a collection of French speakers from most of the former French Empire spread around the globe. The melting pot that is Montreal is not the rest of the province but does represent fifty percent of the total population of Quebec, and therein lies a problem. How are the French going about welcoming these people into their parishes, their festivals, their homes and families? How open and accessible are the French to these strangers?



    “Anglophones have their English language mass culture.”

    Anglophones are Canadians and English speaking, but their “mass culture” is not really theirs. American mass culture and American media flood Canada 24/7. Id does not penetrate well in Montreal. And whatever other Anglo culture in Canada emanates from Toronto where they still think the Leafs are Canada's hockey team.

    “Why can’t they see that North America’s French-speaking society is real diversity?”

    Because North America's multilingual cities like New York, Los Angeles and Montreal have actual diversity.

    Single language societies are doomed in the new interconnected world where people move constantly from place to place and draw entertainment from everwhere.

    I use either language for my TV, newspaper, surfing, and movie watching. Especially RDS for following the Habs. PJ Sotck? A moron. Don Cherry? A clown.

    ReplyDelete
  23. and finally

    “I must add that Montréal’s anglophones, as people, are not bad. They are ordinary working folks, trying to make ends meet and to get along in the hectic modern world. It’s true that they live in a bubble and if you remove the fact that they are contributing to the slow but sure destruction of Québec, whether they can see it or not, they are nothing more than the ordinary, run-of-the-mill populace found all over the North American continent.”

    Let us get things clear here. Montreal has an urban population of around 3.5 million people. In the non French sector there are about a quarter million each of Jewish, Italian, Greek, and English backgrounds plus significant numbers of Asians, Russians, middle Easterners, miscellaneous Eastern Europeans, Slavs, North Africans, and a collection of French speakers from most of the former French Empire spread around the globe. The melting pot that is Montreal is not the rest of the province but does represent fifty percent of the total population of Quebec, and therein lies a problem. How are the French going about welcoming these people into their parishes, their festivals, their homes and families? How open and accessible are the French to these strangers?



    “Anglophones have their English language mass culture.”

    Anglophones are Canadians and English speaking, but their “mass culture” is not really theirs. American mass culture and American media flood Canada 24/7. Id does not penetrate well in Montreal. And whatever other Anglo culture in Canada emanates from Toronto where they still think the Leafs are Canada's hockey team.

    “Why can’t they see that North America’s French-speaking society is real diversity?”

    Because North America's multilingual cities like New York, Los Angeles and Montreal have actual diversity.

    Single language societies are doomed in the new interconnected world where people move constantly from place to place and draw entertainment from everwhere.

    I use either language for my TV, newspaper, surfing, and movie watching. Especially RDS for following the Habs. PJ Sotck? A moron. Don Cherry? A clown.

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    Replies
    1. NY and LA and Paris use a common langage. Why can't you just accept the fact that the main langage is french and not english. Toronto is mainly english. I know why; like most anglo-american, you reduce all the other cultures as cute ethnicity and you think the only universalism is english. Diversity should be more than ethnic communites and folkore but national cultures with cinema, litterature, etc... You think you're cool but you stink post-imperalistic anglo-saxon arrogance!

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    2. Magnifique... tu as résumé en une courte phrase tout ce qui m’écœure de ma propre génération... et à peu près tout ce que je reproche à Vice news...

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  24. I met an arrogant American like this once. Showed up here out of the blue, stirred shit up, presumed to teach those of us whose roots go back here centuries, then returned from whence he came.

    Anyone who makes a point of spelling “Quebec” and “Montreal” with an accent aigu in English obviously has an axe to grind. And extrapolating one office in VSL to represent anglos throughout Quebec takes the cake.

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    Replies
    1. I've lived in São Paulo and discovered that strangely, it doesn't have a 300-year-old English history like Montreal and Quebec do. How do spell København?

      Delete
    2. En français tu dis Londres et pas London (sauf pour celui en Ontario, toujours London lui). Pour la capitale de la Terre-Neuve, en français tu dis Saint-Jean pas St. John's sauf si tu es fonctionne fédéral contraint à abimer la langue française en écrivant St. John's. Si tu me dirais en anglais ou en français que la capitalise de l'Italie est "Roma" et pas "Rome" je te traiterais de gros prétentieux.

      Ainsi, quand on aura compris que Montréal a une longue histoire bilingue, et que beaucoup -- en fait la grande majorité -- de ses bâtisseurs anglophones n'étaient pas des méchants riches de Westmount mais des ouvriers irlandais et écossais, et que cet accent ne se prononce pas en anglais, on finira par ne plus inclure l'accent quand on écrit en anglais. Sauf si on est un fonctionnaire fédéral ou provincial contraint à abîmer à la langue anglaise pour des raisons purement politiques.

      Delete
    3. Hmm, thought I replied but it seems to have disappeared.

      You are quoting the same federal standards that force francophones to inanely write St. John's when everything in their language makes them want to write Saint-Jean. These standards are grounded in politics, not good linguistics.

      Delete
    4. Assimilation? Pas vraiment. Ils ont fait comme toi et sont partis à Toronto ou aux États... Et non, ça ne me réjouis pas nécessairement, avant que tu demandes. Ça aurait pu se passer autrement, comme partout ailleurs dans le monde par exemple... Ils auraient pu apprendre la langue locale et s'intégrer à la culture par eux même, comme plusieurs irlandais d'ailleurs, plutôt que de croire émigrer dans une colonie de l'empire britannique en conquérants, t'sais au 19ème siècle là... Ha ! L'âge d'or ! C'était la belle époque hein? L'époque où le génie britannique parsemait ses lumière aux quatre coins du globe en ouvrant des Simons... Veux-tu qu'on parle de la situation de l'écrasante majorité des francophones (ou plutôt des «canadiens») du Bas-Canada au 19ème siècle sous l'empire britannique au lieu de parler de ces «pauvres» bourgeois écossais qui construisaient notre pays avec leur fortune en bons philanthropes? Je dis ça parce que je suis un maudit «séparatisse, racisse, xénophobe, ignorant, unilingue et consanguin si ça plaît à quelqu'un» et en conséquence, on m'accuse souvent de vivre dans le passé, je m'y connaît donc un peu en la matière moi aussi... et j'aime bien le sarcasme. C'est ce que tu faisais, right?

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    5. He boy... T'as oublié de prendre tes pilules ce matin? T'as pensé consulter pour ta mythomanie?

      Delete
    6. http://www.btb.termiumplus.gc.ca/tpv2guides/guides/wrtps/index-eng.html?lang=eng&lettr=indx_catlog_m&page=9IenJvUZtkOk.html

      put that in your pipe

      Delete
  25. Bon article. Les anglophones démontrent un réel mépris pour tout ce qui est francophone et québécois et prétendent que c'est faux quand les confrontent à ce propos.

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    Replies
    1. C'est drôle, moi je vois l'inverse... et que c'est les francophones qui répètent toujours la même rengaine.

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  26. As an American who also lived in Québec I couldn't agree more. He put into text everything I felt over there. Fantastic article. May french Québec stand forever. Vive le Québec libre.

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    Replies
    1. I personally know an Anglo from the United States that would say such things. It IS possible, wether you accept it or not.

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  27. Quebec does not belong to francophones; it belongs to all of us. It is the Canadian province with the 4th-largest number of English speakers. And just as not all francophones are Quebecers, not all Quebecers are francophones. So piss off, you shit-disturbing Yank.

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    Replies
    1. Anglo typique, conquérant, méprisant, arrogant, les épithètes me manquent...

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    2. Sépareux typique, toujours pogné dans le passé, incapable de répondre avec un seul argument… tout ce qui a été est tout à fait correct alors on voit bien c’est qui qui est méprisant.

      Borné un jours, borné toujours !

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  28. We should all strive for how things should be and not dwell on those who are narrow minded even if they can be the majority (both sides). Articles like this do nothing more than feed the infighting which has engulfed this province for decades. Québec has come a long way in terms of integration between the french and enlgish people. There is still a long way to go, but drawing a line in the sand (snow) like this does nothing to help the situation. Come on people, let's continue moving forward and not fall into this rhetoric.

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  29. Sounds like you work with assholes. They exist everywhere, even Minnesota.

    If you really want to learn French and Québec culture, go get a job in Mont-Saint-Pierre or Amos. Nobody will insist on speaking English to you.

    I have lived in Québec my entire life and am the product of one French and one English parent. My mother's family came to the province from France in the late 1600s and my father's in 1809 from New York to a section of Quebec which was largely Anglophone. When they met in 1965, neither spoke the other language. It didn't matter to them then, and it still doesn't.

    I attended French school but we spoke mostly English at home. Admittedly, pop-culture, work and love led me in a direction where I became an anglophone, and it would be an insult to francophones for me to claim to be one. My sister on the other hand uses French as her first language. We still love one another.

    But I am completely bilingual and always use French when interacting with French people here. But that doesn't mean I will insist on speaking French to the staff at the Vietnamese restaurant who struggle with the language, but are fluent in English. I want their food, they want my business. Are we diminishing Quebec culture by interacting in English? Not sure.

    To this day, my mother is offended if she speaks English to someone and they switch to French upon hearing her accent. She interprets it as her English not being good enough. Her take is, if I speak French or English to you, please do the same if you can.

    I also think it may be difficult for an outsider to parachute into your position and assume to have a firm handle on the situation. Much of the animosity is deeply rooted and may take generations to pass for some.

    Another source of the problem is that the English language is singled out. Sure it may be the biggest threat (at least for now), but is that justified? While the law applies to all languages, it is a known fact that the civil servants tasked with enforcing the rules typically only target English signage, and pay little attention to storefronts in China town.

    The same bias is applied to schools. In the late 1970s, I was spanked by the principal of my French school in front of all of my peers for speaking English after class while waiting for the bus. OK, that was almost 40 years ago. But just last week, my daughter was threatened with a detention for speaking English in the hall between classes, yet her friends speaking Serbian and Mandarin received no such warning. Rules need to be applied evenly to avoid ill feelings.

    Don't get me wrong. Québec needed to take action to preserve its culture. Before the Parti Québecois, there was a lot of discrimination against francophones, and it has helped the province and the country tremendously.

    While studying in Ontario, I became friends with a fellow from Bangladesh. One evening over beers the topic of Quebec separation came up. After outlining the situation to him he laughed and said "You people have it so good here you need to create problems. Were I grew up you worried about your village flooding with the next typhoon and if there would be any food the next day". Hard to argue with that.

    Though you likely won't find many who agree with me on this list, I think most people just want to get on with life and get along with their neighbours regardless of the language they speak or the colour of their skin. And we didn't broach the issue of indigenous people either. Another day...

    As for you, I think you have bigger problems to tackle back home with that Trump fellow, gun control and the growing divide. Bonne chance!

    P.S: Why a photo of Jay Baruchel as your profile pic? Does he epitomize the type of anglo-québecois you had the misfortune of working with?

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    1. BRAVO! Finalement/Finally.

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    2. Just a quick reply in answer to your suggestion of Amos. Abitibi, you're absolutely right. Nobody will try to speak English to you, as I know from 20+ years of living in Abitibi.

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    3. I guess the person who linked the article on Facebook chose to include the pic of Baruchel. Ask Google who he is.

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  30. BRAVO! Finalement/Finally.

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  31. The whole premise of this article and the article itself, is fraudulent. Someone who is obviously a Francophone, likely European, trying to earn credibility towards their own negative opinions on English speaking Quebecers by posing as an American. What a coward.

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  32. Crazy. Crazy how you accurately depicted how so many anglophones think and act towards our society. I've read your article like five times and each time I'm amazed by the fact that I've encountered someone just like each person you've talked about in your article. The comments here are also incredible, as there are so many anglos that come here and try and get you wrong and tell you how miserable the french people have made them feel throughout their lives. Yet somehow they only manage to prove your point and perpetuate the same stereotypes they say they're victims of.

    Just look at this Shawn Elbaz who claims to be perfectly billingual, having been to french schools when he was younger: "Your points are valid, but Quebec has found a way to belittle english speakers and make their lives more difficult. Signs must be in french, and if there is english in the sign, the french must be in larger font. That in itself is ridiculous, why cant they be equal? Although i do agree with you to a certain extent, it would be better if the province of Quebec tried to coexist the french and english language instead of trying to drive it out. English is a major asset. You need it to do any science degree , read scholarly articles, and be able to publish research for people in Canada and US to read."

    I've heard these words so many times. As if we were just a bunch of imbeciles who wants nothing more than to live and breed in french-only, entirelly isolated in our own little french island.

    I'm 25 years old. I'm a francophone who grew up on the north shore of Montreal, were it's 97% franco. I've had english courses since I was 8 and went through an "immersion" program when I was in sixth grade. I went to a french high school were I continued to learn and perfect my english through advanced english classes. This isn't a special curriculum, it was the norm for me and all my friends. But still, there are people like Shawn who still think we want nothing to do with the english language, yet alone learn it. By the way Shawn, did you know that french is still one of the five "research languages" used throughout the world? This guy is so lost in is english narrow mindedness, he probably thinks all scholars papers must be written in english.

    Also, the fact that Shawn doesn't understand why french signs must be predominants over the english ones is ludicrious. And you say you have a grasp over our culture? And you lived here all your life? Why then is it so complicated for you to understand? From my point view, it should be really simple. We're 8 millions in a sea of over 350 millions anglophones. French is losing ground in New-Brunswick and Ontario every freaking year. Yet the poor little anglos of Montreal are threatened so both languages should be equals. Montreal should be more like Toronto I guess...

    There isn't one minority in the world whom rights are better protected, expect maybe for the afrikaans in south africa. English people in Quebec live in the only french speaking province in North America yet they still have their own school boards, their own universities and their own hospitals. But it's not enough, I guess...

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  33. Ça fait tellement du bien de lire ce texte. Je ne pense pas qu'il soit important de s'exprimer dans une langue seconde comme dans notre langue maternelle, mais rien n'empêche de bien lire et de bien comprendre à l'oral. Je suis en train de lire «Cath 22», cela me ravit et je viens de terminer les essais d'Orwell aussi (dont le fameux Politics and the english language). Vous me voyez venir? Combien d'Anglos, instruits, dans ceux que vous avez décrits, qui sont capables de lire de Thoreau, Joyce ou Burroughs, peuvent apprécier (dans le sens de comprendre) les vers de Miron ou La Constellation du Lynx (Prix des libraires, important roman sur la crise d'Octobre) de Louis Hamelin.

    Justement j'ai tellement aimé votre texte, j'aurais envie de vous offrir un café et de voir si je peux pas vous faire découvrir des oeuvres québécoises qui vous sont encore inconnues. On sent cette curiosité qui échappe justement à la faune que vous décrivez...

    Petit article sur la langue si le coeur vous en dit
    http://vigile.net/La-lutte

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    1. les oeuvres québécoises il les connait aussi bien que vous

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    2. Il les connait parcequ'il est québécois

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  34. Hey there! Je suis une francophone qui a ete eleve dans le fin fond de l'Ontario par des parents quebecois "pure laine".. Je n'ai pas d'accent en francais ni en anglais... Du a ma situation particuliere, j'ai des amis et de la famille purement franco et des amis et de la famille purement anglo.. je vois donc les deux cotes de la medaille. Je dirait qu'en general les anglos ont beaucoup plus de haine envers les francos que l'inverse. Les francos veulent etre reconnus et veulent se sentir a l'aise dans leur pays (au Quebec et/ou au Canada). Oui, il y a un ton bizzare de la part du PQ qui identifie l'immigrant comme "l'autre" ce qui n'est pas utile mais assurez-vous de savoir que plusieurs anglos (ma belle-mere unilingue anglophone inclu) qui ont ce meme point de vu par rapport aux communautes ethniques se retrouvants dans les banlieus de Toronto... Il y a des gens fermes et racistes partout... Par contre, si on parle seulement des relations franco-anglo au Canada, j'ai une petite annectode si m'est arrive il y a quelques semaines.. deux de mes collegues m'ont fait part de leur ideologie sur le bilinguisme au Canada en m'informant "We won the war"... Le pire, c'est que c'etait au travail et que je travaille.... pour les Affaires autochtones a Ottawa!! ...We won the war, estie!!! J'en revenait pas! En general, c'est des gens hyper ambiteux qui veulent se rendent au top mais qui ne veulent pas apprendre le francais et ca les fachent d'avoir a faire un effort (les cadres au gouvernemen federal a Ottawa doivent etre bilingues). Heureusement, ces gens-la ne sont pas dans la majorite. I think anglophones in Quebec should at least learn enough French to get by - my parents and all their friends had to adjust and learn English when they moved to Ontario so why shouldn't the reverse be true? There is nothing to lose and everything to gain by learning another language anyway. In any case, I, and many others I know, would love to avoid getting into the us vs them dialogue but sometimes, you just have to confront (or at least internet shame) the assholes.

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    1. "I think anglophones in Quebec should at least learn enough French to get by"

      Huh? who ever said that they don't? Perhaps you should acquaint yourself with the actual situation and all it's history before you make such assumptions.

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  35. Wow! C'est super intéressant de lire tous ces commentaires.
    Tout comme Mag je suis né en Ontario, soit à Ottawa et j'ai fais mes études en français; primaire, secondaire et même universitaire à l'Université d'Ottawa qui est une de deux universités bilingue au Canada. J'ai appris l'anglais à partir de la 3ieme année et je me considère très privilégié de me considérer parfaitement bilingue.
    When i arrived in Montréal in 84 i got a job at Félix & Norton cookies on Queen Mary and i was shocked to work with anglophones who could hardly speak french and they were younger than me. I must admit that it pissed me off. Ok bon that's the way it is and that was over 30 years ago. The worse though, last year i worked with this 20 yr old guy, who grew up in La petite Bourgogne and didn't speak à word of french. Again i was shocked but more i was sad for even his pack of interest in the french culture.
    Je côtoie autant de francophones que d'anglophones à tous les jours et j'admets que la plupart des anglos que je rencontre me disent souvent qu'ils ne connaissent même pas Gilles Vigneault ou Robert Charlebois, encore moins Louis José House ou peu importe l'artiste québécois mais les vedettes américaine they know them all. They never listen to radio-canada or watch TVA but know Fox, HBO et tout le reste.
    When i grew up in Ontario as a franco ontarien public french high schools were just opening, otherwise i would have had to go to à private french high school or public english school. Lets not Forget that french was even banned in Ontario until the 60's from Bill 17 which prohibited french.
    Le plus ironique dans toute cette histoire c'est que c'est un américain d'origine qui écrit ce blogue en français et en anglais. La plupart des américains que je connais vivant à Montréal ce sont souvent beaucoup plus intégré rapidement à la culture francophone que les canadiens anglais avec qui nous avons une longue histoire.
    Don't get me wrong i have lots of english friends and absolutely nothing against them. Just saying.
    There is enough émotions around that issue, lets not make it worse because of rights or dues.
    Montréal is not Québec, it has its particularities and that's what makes this beautiful city so spécial. I've travelled across Canada, the USA and around the World and believe me we are extremely lucky here , except maybe for our Winters but that's another debate. Amour et Amitié to All

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  36. Sur l'utilisation de la langue minoritaire (l'anglais au Québec versus le français dans le reste du Canada): http://www.statcan.gc.ca/about-apercu/video/polmc-spmloc06-fra.html Éclairant pour savoir si l'anglais est menacé au Québec.

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  37. You are criticizing a small number of people for stereotyping other people, presenting them in as negative manner as you can which coincidentally happens to conform to the stereotypes of anglos some Quebecois have and then present them as representative of a whole community. How does this make you any different than they are? In fact, you are exactly the same as them you just prefer the other side of the conflict. I personally doubt the accuracy of your portrayal of the people of your workplace. However, I have met anglos similar to the stereotypes you describe just as I have also met francophones who are similar to the closed minded intolerant stereotypes your "co-workers" allegedly described. However, these people are the minority in both communities and most Quebecois anglo or franco get along and respect each other. That is why I both doubt you worked in an office as full of these people as you describe and question what your motives are for writing an article like this that does nothing to help anyone get along. You are demonizing one group of people for stereotyping and generalizing about another group of people by stereotyping and generalizing about that group of people. And the anglos who stereotype and bitch about francos and francos who stereotype and bitch about anglos are basically the exact same type of people but just on opposite sides and the extremists of their respective communities. And instead of identifying with the vast majority of Quebecois of all heritages who get along and respect each other, you are siding with and writing divisive rhetoric designed to appeal to the extreme group of one side. You really should look in the mirror before criticizing others.

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  38. Je suis un Franco-Ontarien, donc bilingue, demeurant au Québec, par choix, depuis 1976, J'ai choisi d'apprendre le langage technique de ma profession, je suis avocat, dans ma langue maternelle, even though I could plead en anglais...Les Anglos du Québec sont la minorité la mieux traitée au Canada...lls ont leurs propres institutions, ce que les francophones de ma province d'origine n'ont presque pas...des miettes! Et ce que le ROC n'a pas du tout...So if they don't like ''la belle province, they can leave...Qui sont les racistes?

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    1. Les racistes sont ceux qui continuent à agir comme si les anglos veulent nous assimiler.

      Les racistes sont ceux qui nient la contribution extraordinaire que les anglos ont fait au développement du Québec malgré les trois siècles qu’ils font partie intégrale de la société québécoise, et donc selon les nationalistes, ne peuvent plus y participer .

      Les racistes sont ceux qui continuent à agir comme si les anglos sont méprisants, quand on voit très bien que ce sont les francos qui sont les plus méprisants.

      Les racistes sont ceux qui continuent à penser comme si les anglos agissent en colonialistes, quand on voit très bien que ce sont les francos qui agissent en néo-colonialistes.

      Les racistes sont ceux qui pensent que seulement les francophones qui par hasard habitent au Québec, sont une nation et qui par conséquent, se foutent complètement de l’autre million de francophones qui par hasard habitent ailleurs au Canada.

      Les racistes sont ceux qui sont se sont fait avoir par les paroles de Camille Laurin, qui pensait que toute inégalité avec les anglophones est un attentat contre les francophones.

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    2. Hey Jay, va donc te crosser osti de criss de malade mental ...

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  39. A lot of judgement based on 1 experience in one company here. As an Anglophone Quebecer I can provide my experiences which are far from negative, with Francophones and Anglophones as friends. One of my 9-yr old daughter's best friends is Francophone and I'm friends with her mother, we use French most times, very little English and get along quite well, as has been my experience throughout the course of my life living here in Quebec.
    Perhaps seek out a new company to work for to practice your French? Is great that we can learn and speak two languages actually and this is passed on through our schools starting in Kindergarten through Cegep :) Quebec Anglophones and Francophones really aren't that bad at all. Sorry to hear your experience at your company is awful. My experiences have been rather good and most companies I've worked for have conducted themselves in French save for some where we had contact with International companies.
    I hope you find yourself a company that will allow you to practice your French written/spoken as your current employ sounds horrible. I think I would have moved on by now.

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    1. Don't waste your time he's a troll.

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  40. "Someone having grown up in the United States" sounds better in French - "ayant grandi aux États-Unis". You should write "who grew up in the United States" - you'll sound more like a native anglophone. Though you should write "English-speaker" if you want to sound like you're actually an American.

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    1. A video would be much simpler and more accessible.

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    2. Because that wouldn't show your supposed command of American English, which you certainly don't show in your writing.

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  41. I just like English-speaking Americans who sound like English-speaking Americans, and not like Journal de Montreal-reading francophones pretending to be Americans.

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  42. Your opinions are certainly valid, but there's more at play here than just language. Geographically, Montreal is one of the biggest cities for American tourism and one of the cheapest cities to get a University education in all of North America. Those two facts alone mean that there are going to be plenty of other languages being spoken within the city. Montreal is something special. I speak 3 languages but prefer to converse in English. I watch movies in English, my keyboard is English and my video games are in English. That doesn't mean I have anything against the French language at all. When you look at the big picture, English is a worldwide language. To be relevant in more than just the province you live in, English is pretty important. In a perfect world Montreal would be strong bilingual city. I strongly opposed the Pauline era of politics in this city, not because of language, but because of obvious economics and growing tension. I worked in retail for 5 years and have had many language driven issues with customers who basically had their stick up their bums. I worked in a popular toy store in the west island (i know, pretty English area). I would converse with clients in English and French with no issue. On more than one occasion, a customer that I was not actively helping would come up to me and say "On parle en francais au Quebec". A good way to have mutual respect for each other would be to avoid coming off as a total fucking asshole. That happened 3 times in 5 years. I once went to Canadian Tire to return a vacuum that they sold to me used and the manager was making fun of me in french to a fellow coworkers right in front of my face. I guess he figured I didn't know french. I complained to the owner of the store and he didn't reprimand the manager at all. In fact, I didn't get any help at all. Probably because I spoke English. Culture and language isn't necessarily the same thing. The reality is that a small vocal minority of french speakers make everyone look like fools. I'm tired of going to a store and being treated like a lesser human being because I walked in speaking a language that they aren't comfortable with. Quebec is notorious for having the rudest population in Canada and in my 25 years, I can see why. For such a tourist-centric city, you'd think everyone would try to make a good impression; especially when our dollar is at .70$. Moral of the story, don't be a dick.

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    1. "I wish the anglos in the West Island would just understand this. The whole continent is English. Isn't that enough ?"

      Written like a typical Quebecois. Why does it seem nearly impossible for those like you to differentiate between a very specific "Quebec-Anglophone" culture and some vague and uniform "Mass English culture" that you love to generalize. I was born and raised in Quebec and still like the place(at least a bit) but it absolutely boggles my mind how it's impossible for certain Quebecois to realize that just like them, Quebec-Anglophone culture is a minority culture that is just as worthy of preserving as any other.

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    2. That's just your anecdotal experience if anything.most cultural differences in north America would be subtle, but even in my experiences, the Quebec-Anglophone community is much different then some generalized north-American culture.whats the point of making a blog post without any positive payoff, banking on your own generalizations and providing your single experiences as some absolute facts of a sizable and diverse group of people?

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    3. Quebec anglos are specific but not to the point of not being part of the greater continental anglosphere. A bilingual Quebec would be in one century an English Quebec, and this is what he meant by "Isn't that enough ?" French is what makes Quebec interesting. Not French as a dead folklorical culture for tourists but as a living culture. The problem is that for anglos it is often quite difficult to make the difference, because for many it's hard to imagine something can really be THIS MUCH alien from themselves, to the point it cannot be reduced to the clichés that emanate from that culture. A language is not a mean of communication, it's a whole other way of thinking about the world.

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  43. This article was very interesting to read!

    I am also an American who is in love with French and with Québec and France (also Belgium and Switzerland). I used to come here to Québec for vacations to Montréal so I could speak French and now I go to school here in Trois-Rivières and I love it.

    I've had québécois friends for years before moving here and I consumed a lot of its pop culture before coming here for a long time (thank you YouTube and social media!) and I don't see why the English hate it so much. I've never felt discriminated against seriously. Okay I'm Black and gay which some guys can be weird about but nothing to write home about. The people are mostly friendly and have a sense of humor! I came here with the desire to be a part of this culture and do things how people do things here so to me, I like learning about the society firsthand as opposed to behind s computer screen or through iMessage (I could text my friends here for free if they had iPhones).

    I learned French when I was in high school and really kept up with it and also at my first colleges in the United States. I wanted to read everything in French and always chose the French options for everything. So it wasn't hard to socialize or live. The accent in Trois-Rivières is kinda hard to understand but that's normal. Here when my parents visit, I get to translate more! When we're in Montréal they talk to my parents in English because mostly everyone there is bilingual.

    I enjoy Montréal because it is a French speaking city, but other than that I don't find it to be very "Québécoise." TR is much more the typical experience I was looking for. The university is somewhat disappointing but that's mostly because of the clique mentality that's just like in American universities. But it is a francophone institution which helps. I also enjoy Québec City and the Saguenay/Lac-Saint-Jean area where some of my friends live. I'm hoping to visit Rimouski and Gaspésie before I'm done with my bac (degree for any Americans reading).

    I work part time as a cashier at Rona l'entrepôt and love my job! International students can now work up to 20 hours a week during the semesters (session universitaire) and my coworkers and bosses are awesome! My customers are great and some of them teach me new québécois expressions.

    All of my friends here are born and raised québécois with last names like Laurin, Léveillée, Trottier, Larocque, Lafrenière, Pelletier, Desrochers (actually she's French Ontarian but lives here too) except two really good friends here who are from France.

    I don't personally know any anglophones or any who don't speak French but I think they're lucky to have French so close by and poutine, Éric Lapointe, MARIE-MAI, cabane à sucre and all these other cultural aspects of Québec. I really don't see what's to hate! I'd live here if I could (but I admit these taxes suck). I personally think Québec should be it's own country but very few of my friends here actually care about that. Most of them don't care.

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  44. Wow that blog is so old haha oui tu peux m'ajouter au groupe si tu veux ce serait intéressant !

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  45. Jesus christ dude what are you so pissed off about? Everybody calls it "NDG", do people give you shit for pronouncing New Mexico with an x instead of me-hi-co? You come from such an uncultured american shithole that you can't understand that there are bigots among the french/english, and tolerance among the french/english just as much as there is anywhere else in the world where there's active fighting for language dominance? Francophones born in ontario get beat up when they come to school in quebec. Anglophones from montreal get beat up when they go to school in ontario. Hungarians and romanians beat each other up in transylvania and the surrounding. Every culture has dickheads and turncoats and normal people just trying to get by. I'm sorry your sheltered, uncultured, monolingual inbred american upbringing has led you to believe otherwise. Get real and lose the bitterness + holier than thou attitude. You're uncultured and 80% of your genetics come from the small pool of slavers that genocided the people of "your" country first. Fucking grow up.

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  46. The last time I checked my history, the French were destroyed by the British on the Plains of Abraham. The British were dumb enough to let you keep speaking French. Every wonder why Quebec is an over-taxed shit hole? It's because all the wealth and talent left and turned backwater, Toronto, into the jewel of Canada. The language Nazis have destroyed Quebec! Speak English and become part of North America.

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    1. Oh my goodness can we please move on?? The British were dumb enough to let the French keep speaking French?! Talk about adding insult to injury: We beat you up, and to make matters worse, we're going to annihilate your culture to boot.

      That would be inhumane. Do you see how incredibly bigoted you sound trying to force a culture on others? We're not better than them because our native language is English. The Québécois have fought hard to keep their culture and heritage alive for the last four centuries and I'm glad they did so I can have the opportunity to live in French without being too far from home. It's kinda boring speaking French with yourself and Facebook, Twitter, and Skype. No one in my family speaks French obviously. I only ever got to practice with travelers or immigrants or other Americans who knew enough to hold a conversation. Being in Québec is culturally enriching.

      Besides for the language, the Québécois aren't that different. They talk, laugh, fight, cry, shop, study, get arrested, watch movies, eat, sleep, flirt, wanna have fun, wanna pay their rent, wanna be happy. They just do it in French and I think it's so cool to experience these same things in another language and with another perspective. They're still North Americans so speaking with the French from Europe is more shocking and more "different," (I've met a lot of people from France here).

      But apparently in your mind these people are subhuman because English isn't their native language. That is prejudice, and it is disgusting. Why don't you actually get to know them. You speak French so what is the problem? You're bound to like someone. I live around the Québécois, work with them, go to school with them, text them, call them, hang out with them, but from them, sell to them, the whole nine. And I can assure you that they don't live their lives plotting how to piss of an anglophone all day. Like you think they're all in their houses right now plotting their attack on us. THEY DON'T INTERACT WITH ENOUGH OF US OFTEN ENOUGH TO CARE!! If you're in Montréal that's different because there are a lot of anglophones there and a lot of English. But here in Trois-Rivières, no one cares.

      They can't change the fact that their native language isn't English and they shouldn't be hated for that. That is cold and nasty and petty.

      One thing that is tricky with languages, even when two languages cohabit a same region, is that they color your worldview. My perception of things can be based on what I've learned about those things which happens though language (reading, hearing) if I haven't experienced them personally. I put forth a lot of effort into understanding the Québécois view of things by letting them express themselves, consuming their media, listening to their music, reading them in forums or through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It really helps me understand this society and also myself.

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  47. I'm a French Canadian, even though if you looked at my computer it wouldn't show. I read everything in English (except French authors, obviously), I listen to everything in English (except French VO of course) and I play through everything in English. I'm 26, so when I went to (French) school in Bumfuck, QC I started learning English only in grade 4. I think younger people start in grade 1 nowadays. Since I resided and still reside in Bumfuck, QC, the calibre of English teaching wasn't very high. I'm mostly self-taught.

    English is a convenient language. If I need any information on any subject on the Internet I will find more of it in English than in French, quality and quantity-wise. If I need entertainment, it's the same thing. North American Anglo culture is so widespread that I can understand most of the jokes and references used in American shows while the same in French-from-France shows go completely over my head.

    I don't consider myself racist, or "language-ist". I think being bilingual is a blessing in many ways. I use English every day for a variety of purposes and I don't feel my Francophone identity threatened because of it. To me, English is a hammer, but French is my childhood "doudou". One is a tool that I use and discard, the other is "something" composed of memories, culture, tradition. It defines me as an individual, it is a part of me, but I don't see why it should stop me from using the hammer. And I do, much more often than I have a need for childhood relics, and yet I always have that doudou close by. Maybe I'll switch hammers someday. Maybe I'll have to learn Mandarin. You'll never make me part with my comforter, though.

    And yet, nothing pisses me off more quickly, to the point of bellicosity, than Quebec Anglos as described in the original post. I may live in 99.5% white-franco-Catholic land but I've still had the misfortune of crossing paths with a few of these types. They're not that hard to find while spending even a single weekend in Montreal. I have often tried to open my mind on the subject, so much that I was scared my brain might fall out. I excused it as mere ignorance, I rationalized it as victor's complex. I can't do that anymore. I just can't, and the older I get, the more I find I can't.

    But actually, what pisses me off most of all is Montreal as a whole. I hate the place. It looks, sounds and smells completely foreign to me. Coming from one of the innumerable podunk little Quebec parishes, the "métropole" exemplifies the fear of every francophone, the fear of becoming "just another" culture in our own home, embroiled in a clash of mini-civilizations where almost nothing positive is gained, save perhaps the occasional, superficial cross-pollination, like food items or the odd loan word or two. I can't even blame the anglos anymore for being resistant to assimilation beyond simply using French like I use English, as a tool. I can't blame the other sundry minorities either for not doing so. Why would you assimilate to "just another" culture?

    Where separation anxiety was at its highest, you would often hear anglophones threaten to partition Quebec in the event of a YES vote. A favourite, of course, was removing English-speaking areas of Montreal from an independent Quebec. I say don't content yourself with some of it. Take all of it.

    The more I age, the more I find it unpalatable. I'm sick and tired of the constant pushing and pulling, the omnipresent friction for minimal gains. Whenever I travel to the US I give the cities a pass. I prefer visiting podunk towns like my birth parish. I find the people there refreshingly genuine and quite unashamed of being American.

    To each his own sandbox, in the end, is probably the solution that would benefit everyone. If you wish for diversity, buy yourself a plane ticket and seek it.

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    1. I have. Groulx's writings have greatly aided my thinking on the subject. Too bad the man was tarred as an antisemite and is gradually becoming unpalatable even to the people who are most in need of his ideas.

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    2. Je ne déteste pas Montréal car pour moi, c'est encore une ville francophone et exotique. Lors de mes premières visites au Québec, on ne visitait que Montréal parce qu'on venait en avion et n'avait pas de voiture :)

      But I could never live there! I came to Québec to experience Québec and Montréal to me is not a very Québécois city! It does have great shopping though and good food. I love La Ronde and the Carrefour Laval up in Laval <3 and the people are pretty nice for big city dwellers!

      Mais pour moi, je suis très bien à Trois-Rivières (je fais mon bac en communications ici) et elle est très québécoise, culturelle, assez grande pour tout avoir de nécessaire et les gens sont cool aussi <3 ayant grandi en Pennsylvanie le dépaysement était pratiquement inexistant ! Oh et les anglophones ici, il n'y en a pas beaucoup mais ils parlent tous français et n'ont aucun problème avec ça d'après ce que j'aie vu.

      I love going to Montréal but the anti-tout-ce-qui-est-québécois mindset is disheartening!!

      Je suis ton contraire, moi je fais tout et lis tout en français il n'y a pas de manque de matériel. J'aime les pop-culture française et québécoise et juste lire, parler et écouter le français :)

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  48. I've lived in Québec for 20 years, having moved here from abroad. I agree with a lot of what the author says. I work in an anglophone environment and I hear the same sorts of things from some of my colleagues. The kinds of things one would never hear said about any other group. One need only replace the word 'French' or 'Québécois' with 'Black' to realise how discriminatory some of this rhetoric is... How many times have I heard things like "I would never live in that neighbourhood, it's too French"? On the other hand, I know lots of anglophones who are proud to be bilingual and speak French readily. I currently live in an historically bilingual community and I now understand that it is equally important to respect the English-speaking minority. Anglophone Quebecers aren't just like other North Americans. There is a unique Anglo-Québec culture. In my community, for example, the anglophone families have been in Québec for generations. This is their home too. Luckily, folks in my community seem happy to speak either language. How this affects the greater question of preserving the French-language in North America, I do not know. But it works for us.

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  49. C'est un très beau commentaire qui présente les deux côtés de l'affaire et qui est très nuancé.

    I think Anglophones who love French and the Québécoise culture don't want to get involved in the debate. Since they do have French friends and acquaintances (and maybe even members of their families now), they don't feel discriminated against or singled out as they get along with both groups. On the other hand, they probably don't want to start trouble by feeling militant Anglophones that perhaps they're exaggerating. If they did, they risk being called sell outs and blind by said militant Anglophones.

    I try to be careful not to judge others' experiences but hate when people judge mine and act like it doesn't count. All I know is I like being in Québec and want to make the most of this opportunity.

    Encore une fois, merci de ta contribution à la discussion :)

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  50. I don't even know where to begin critiquing this article. Obviously, it is poorly written, with name-calling and generalized statements that I would expect from a 5 year-old, but that is besides the point. Horribly un-nuanced, and written by someone who is either too ignorant or willfully blinded to the political realities of Quebec. Specifically, two things jumped out at me. Shockingly, the threshold here for oppression is the drowning of kittens and torturing puppies. Nice. Good to know that any government falling below this criteria should not be critiqued, well done, really. The outlawing of a language, unparalleled in Western democratic countries, should not be scrutinized according to you. Also, maybe the author should look into Quebec history for a start. He claims that Anglophones in Montreal don't care about their community. Last I checked, Montreal was the commercial hub of Canada before the Charter of the French language. Message to the author: try critical thinking, even for a few minutes, next time you write a poor, antagonistic, and distasteful article, that unfortunately will fuel the fire for people who take this garbage at face value. (FYI, I speak French fluently, so please don't bother trying to attack me on that).

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    1. Tu ne peux pas le critiquer pour son expérience. Le gouvernement du Québec n'est pas au dessus de la critique mais il ne faut pas banaliser la tentative du Québec de sauver sa langue. Je déteste quand on met tous les Québécois dans le même panier. Pour moi, insulter les Québécois c'est insulter les amis que je me suis fait ici à l'université ou au travail ou ailleurs. Il y en a qui parlent anglais même et d'autres me demandent de leur apprendre. Le mois dernier au travail, un couple est passé à ma caisse qui lors d'une autre visite était vraiment intrigué par mon apprentissage du français et de mon amour pour le Québec. Cette visite-ci ils m'ont demandé de passer leur transaction en anglais histoire de pratiquer un peu ! Les clients qui attendaient derrière eux n'ont pas fait tout un cas et quand c'était leur tour, je suis retourné au français comme d'habitude. Pas de problème.

      Comme j'ai dit c'est différent à Trois-Rivières. Il n'y a pas de complot anti-anglais car c'est juste français ici. Pourtant, je comprends qu'à Montréal ils prennent des mesures préventives. C'est ça qu'il faut sinon le français disparaîtrai et personne ne veut ça. Même la majorité des Anglophones veulent que le français reste la langue du Québec. Je souhaite juste qu'ils le parlent un peu plus entre eux. Aux États-Unis, je parle français avec mes amis qui étaient dans mes cours de français etc. C'est l'fun de parler cette langue ! Difficile oui... mais c'est une belle langue et l'accent ici est cute :p

      La seule chose qui était probablement exagérée dans ce billet est que la majorité des Anglophones sont comme ses anciens collègues. À lire en ligne, j'aurais été d'accord car il y en a une bonne gang qui sont haineux et râleurs... mais quand je vais à Montréal, tout le monde semble bien vivre ensemble. J'ai déjà parlé français avec une barista anglo dans un café et nous étions tous les deux anglo. Ici, les Anglophones parlent tous français sans accent. Au contraire, je dirais que les gens s'intéressent à l'anglais. Ma gérante me dit tout le temps de lui apprendre mdr. Et la cerise sur le sundae, plusieurs fois à des McDo dans le coin ici les caissières m'ont demandé si je parlais anglais parce que j'avais du mal à formuler ma phrase mdr et elles avaient l'air contentes de me l'offrir. J'ai refusé mais leur ai dit que j'appréciais le geste.

      Les Québécois ne détestent pas les Anglos (certains uns, si... j'ai lu des histoires c'était dégueu) et je suis certain que beaucoup d'Anglos sont très bilingues et intégrés et vivent bien en français. Ma famille adore venir ici me rendre visite et aucun d'eux ne parle français.

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  51. Um. Are people supposed to be buying this? The Quebec World View is so different from the rest of North America, dude .... like you can't pull this nonsense off. This is not how an American would write. The word "anglophone" is never been uttered ONCE in America. Not once. This is not believable, frenchoid. You can't pass a frenchoid off as a normal American person. It's not possible ... they are TOO DIFFERENT. This blog is complete trash written by a fony frenchoid in-bred jerk off.

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