Journal de Montreal and Anglos

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Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Depending on the company you keep,of course you're not literally going to be laughed out of the room. But be sure there's some internal laughing.

Still good to know.

Do you feel like Parisian French is really the same as English as spoken 400-1000 years ago, though?  Don't people in Paris speak Parisian French right now?  Sure, if someone walked up to me and said "Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move. Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love." that might seem a bit odd.  But if someone who learned English in Britain calls french fries "chips" and potato chips "crisps" I'm not going to have to bite my own cheek to stifle a laugh.  That's just so unbelievably smug.

Pondering

DaveW wrote:
 ZZZZZZ, the usual angryphone rant;

ZZZZZZZ, Typical close-minded snob. 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Depending on the company you keep,of course you're not literally going to be laughed out of the room. But be sure there's some internal laughing.

Still good to know.

Do you feel like Parisian French is really the same as English as spoken 400-1000 years ago, though?  Don't people in Paris speak Parisian French right now?  Sure, if someone walked up to me and said "Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move. Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love." that might seem a bit odd.  But if someone who learned English in Britain calls french fries "chips" and potato chips "crisps" I'm not going to have to bite my own cheek to stifle a laugh.  That's just so unbelievably smug.

The English in the UK is more complicated than just 'chips' or 'crisps' A lot of dialects. In fact an Englishman can determine what  part of England someone lives in just from the accent which to those not living in the UK would never notice. Clichés and terms would fly over the heads of North Americans. Maybe not you,but surely many others.

I'd love to hear you pronounce 'Longeuil' or 'Beloeil'. You'd be outed as an anglophone immediately.

But hey,the guy from T.O. schools the guy whose only lived the Québec experience for a half century.

THAT is smug. UNBELIEVABLY smug.

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Depending on the company you keep,of course you're not literally going to be laughed out of the room. But be sure there's some internal laughing.

Still good to know.

Do you feel like Parisian French is really the same as English as spoken 400-1000 years ago, though?  Don't people in Paris speak Parisian French right now?  Sure, if someone walked up to me and said "Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move. Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love." that might seem a bit odd.  But if someone who learned English in Britain calls french fries "chips" and potato chips "crisps" I'm not going to have to bite my own cheek to stifle a laugh.  That's just so unbelievably smug.

I've read that Quebec French is actually more pure than Parisienne because it stopped evolving as much due to isolation. On the other hand Quebec French actually varies a great deal from region to region. Lac St Jean French isn't Montreal French. Montreal French tends to be more distinctly pronounced and at a more moderate rate. People refer specifically to Parisienne French because there too it varies by region. 

The reaction to anglophones speaking Parisienne French is directly connected to the strong prejudice against Quebec French that led to French teachers being imported from France and even the US to teach French in Quebec to anglophones instead of using French teachers from Quebec in Quebec because their French wasn't good enough.

No one will laugh, inside or outside, at a genuine attempt to speak French even with a Parisenne accent unless it appears that you are choosing to speak that way because you think you are better than French Quebecers. If you are actually Parisienne or if you come from outside Quebec and you are trying to practice you will get nothing but respect and appreciation. 

The sensitivity to Parisienne French is probably limited to older generations that experienced having their French judged as wrong and low class by the anglophone community. It's not something beginner French people need concern themselves with. I guarantee if you learned French in Canada or the US it would be a miracle if your French sounded Parisienne. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I'd love to hear you pronounce 'Longeuil' or 'Beloeil'. You'd be outed as an anglophone immediately.

Ya, I get that.

Quote:

But hey,the guy from T.O. schools the guy whose only lived the Québec experience for a half century.

THAT is smug. UNBELIEVABLY smug.

If I'm "schooling" you about anything, Alan, it's about being the guy from Ontario.  Who (I understand) was taught the wrong French.

Quote:
No one will laugh, inside or outside, at a genuine attempt to speak French even with a Parisenne accent unless it appears that you are choosing to speak that way because you think you are better than French Quebecers.

Trust me, nobody from outside of Quebec, trying to speak the French they learned years ago in Grade 11, is doing so because they think they know French better than someone from Quebec.

lagatta4

Parisian French (another misnomer, there are working-class dialects in Paris, and in its suburbs, that sound nothing like the speech of the upper class). "le français" is masculine, there is no reason to say "Parisienne", the feminine form of parisien (Parisian in French). What people are referring to is the French equivalent of RP English.

Unionist

There's no reason to misspell Longueuil either.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Yáll can go fuck yourself. Except Magoo.. I think the last 2 comments prove my point. Making a grammar mistake or spelling mistake causes ridicule.

There's your French arrogance,Magoo,out there for everyone to see. And is it ant wonder that some anglophones are afraid of opening their mouths to speak the language when the slightest mistake causes them to be ridiculed.

I hope you now understand what I was saying. It wasn't hyperbole. Funny thing is that I wouldn't put the shoe on the other foot.Do you hear me now,Magoo?

You get piled on for simple mistakes like a typo and misusing a word as feminine insteas of masculine.

It reminds me of a bus driver that screamed at this woman because she used 'le' instead of 'la' when she committed the crime of asking a question in French inproperly. So getting laughed out of the room for making an error or talking French that's not pur laine Québécois is a reality. Welcome to it.

So there's my proof,Magoo. And that was just here. There's a lot more of it amongst Quebec Francophones in real life. I hope that opened your eyes.

It reminds me of when Yvan Lambert did a commercial for Dorion Suit. At the end of the commercial he was to say 'No hassles' but his thick French accent made it 'No assles' I used to get a kick out of it. The way it sounded like' no assholes' But that is very common in Quebec. Putting an 'H' where it doesn't belong (in front of vowels,that is)  they omit the 'H' when it is gramatically needed and they can't pronounce 'TH'

A typical French person in English would say in a sentence 'Today we ad snow wit freezing rain. Roads hare very hicey. Hit his ha day not to go hout. Stay at ome wit a ot cup a coffee'

I think that is as deserving as much ridicule as a francophone doing so with anglophones. But most people don't. Unfortunately,the 'H'and 'TH' grammar mistakes do cause some to laugh privately.Just like when the news interviews a police spokesman and he uses words that make zero sense in context of what they are talking about. Again,I've heard it,I didn't laugh.

I knew a guy who was named Jean-Guy (very stereotypical) who used to go to  McDonald's all the time for a 'Mic Mac'. I could have laughed in his face but I didn't. It still was funny,though. He couldn't pronounce 'Big Mac' It's deserving of the same ridicule you get when you have to remember what is 'feminine' or 'masculine'. In English,an object is sexless.

Here's a question and an answer. Who the fuck said I can spell in French? Oddly I have no problem reading it. (Yay English school system) But the 2 comments ahead of mine prove what I said that you'll get ridiculed if you make a mistake. That attitude makes anglophones unwilling to speak in French. If you're going to get ridiculed if you make the slightest mistake why bother making the effort to speak it.

I would change Yvan Lambert's Dorion Suit line with 'More hassles' and have him work here and say clearly for all to see and hear,'More assles' And that would hit the nail on the head about certain babblers.

Pondering

Unionist wrote:
 ​

Correct. And that hostility is a true reflection of historical reality. When I arrived in Québec, industrial workplaces which were 90% francophone Quebecers were still going through the throes of not only making French the language of work, but "allowing" unilingual francophones to get promotions and other opportunities. The Quiet Revolution, followed by Bill 101 and similar measures, represented real liberation of a nation on so many levels. It was a pleasure to see.

I never thought about it but you are right. It was great to live through. I do feel the people of Quebec were betrayed by the sovereignty movement dropping social justice which was an integral part of the Quiet Revolution. The fight was not simply to replace English overlords with French overlords. The rebellion was against the Church and government who were in collusion as well as the English business establishment. The French schools were run by the Catholic Church which is partly why immigrants chose the Protestant/non-denominational schools which were English.

Unionist wrote:
 But nothing close to the ignorant anti-Québec colonial attacks that we have to put up with, and which continue (in my humble opinion) to be the sole argument for those who advocate that Québec cannot thrive and enjoy sovereignty within a Canadian federation. 
  

The attacks are few and come mostly from comment trolls and right wingers. Since 1995 I also think that Canada isn't willing to have it held over their heads anymore so there is a bit of "if you want to go go" attitude. They aren't going to beg forever. 

It drives me nuts that politicians keep stirring the pot. Everything is going fine in terms of francophones, anglophones and allophones. French is the undisputed language of Quebec. There is no need to prevent francophones from going to English colleges. They aren't going to lose their French. You can bet all the politicians kids speak English. It's not like they are trying to poach French students. 

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/09/09/controversy-in-quebec-as-...

English junior colleges are in such a delicate position that some of them have an unwritten agreement with the Quebec government to avoid advertising their programs in francophone media or directly recruiting in French high schools unless specifically invited to do so.

During a convention this weekend, Parti Quebecois delegates will debate and possibly vote on a resolution to cut funding to English colleges, known as CEGEPs, because they are attracting too many non-anglophones....

“There are lots of practices that are just conflict avoidance,” he said. “If you get a message from the minister saying this is not what they want you to do — don’t do it. It’s not like Dawson needs more students.”

In fact, English schools like Dawson aren’t able to recruit as many students as they can because enrolment is capped, unlike in the French system, Chambers said....

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-bill-101-40th-anniversary-...

"What I find that doesn't make sense is that it's like 'Go in French, go in French, go in French,'" said Dawson College student Félicia Cà, daughter of a francophone Québecois mother and a French and Creole-speaking father from Guinea-Bissau.

"But then when you go to get a job" — she says with hands on hips — "it's like 'You don't have your English?' and it's like you don't even allow me to have my English."

Protecting French as the language of work and public life is an admirable goal but there is a fine line between that and infringing on the rights of citizens to learn another language. They want only the upper classes to be able to access English education. A unilingual Quebec is a captive citizenship/workforce.

As noted the CEGEPS are not recruiting francophones and they are at capacity and capped by funding. That's still not enough to stop francophones from getting in. I think that's going way too far. It is almost ghettoizing poor and even middle class francophones because you can be sure the ones getting in are the ones with money and from the cities. 

Quebec politics is way more complex from the inside than the outside. Lots of different agendas exist within the sovereignty movement and those who support it. To see the sovereignty movement as just a grand liberation movement is simplistic. The Quiet Revolution is still buried in there but like everywhere else the politicians have their own agendas.

As a bit of an offside, I lived through the October Crisis and it feels to me like history is being rewritten. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_Crisis

The Quebec government also requested military aid to the civil power, and Canadian Forces deployed throughout Quebec; they acted in a support role to the civil authorities of Quebec.[1]

At the time, opinion polls throughout Canada, including in Quebec, showed widespread support for the use of the War Measures Act.[2] The response, however, was criticized at the time by prominent politicians such as René Lévesque and Tommy Douglas.[3]

The people of Quebec, and Canada, and the premier of the province and the mayor of the city all wanted military help. There had been bombs in mail boxes. Terrorism was rare back then. It was bizarre, surreal. I remember how shocked everyone was and the worry over what might follow. Would there be more kidnappings? More bombs? Bigger bombs? Everyone was afraid not just anglophones. 

If Trudeau had refused Quebec's request what do you think the result would have been? 

Pondering

alan smithee wrote:

I would change Yvan Lambert's Dorion Suit line with 'More hassles' and have him work here and say clearly for all to see and hear,'More assles' And that would hit the nail on the head about a lot of babblers.

LOL, well you just proved you live here. Dorion Suits. LOL

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Pondering wrote:

alan smithee wrote:

I would change Yvan Lambert's Dorion Suit line with 'More hassles' and have him work here and say clearly for all to see and hear,'More assles' And that would hit the nail on the head about a lot of babblers.

LOL, well you just proved you live here. Dorion Suits. LOL

Sizes up to 64...Incredible!

Unionist

alan smithee wrote:

Yáll can go fuck yourself. Except Magoo.. I think the last 2 comments prove my point. Making a grammar mistake or spelling mistake causes ridicule.

There's your French arrogance,Magoo,out there for everyone to see. And is it ant wonder that some anglophones are afraid of opening their mouths to speak the language when the slightest mistake causes them to be ridiculed.

LOL!!!!!

You freaked out, alan! I was joking! And lagatta was just making an innocent little point. We both love you!

As for "French arrogance" - you're accusing an Italo-Québécoise and a Canadian Anglo Jewish immigrant of "French arrogance"? You made my day!

And the funniest thing: Every since arriving in this wannabe-country province, I have not met a single Québécois worker who knows how to write or spell or use proper grammar. I've been "correcting" them since long before I was able to string two words together conversationally! And no matter how much of nuisance I made of myself, they still warmly encouraged me while I was hurting their ears and trying to learn to speak. I love this place!

Hope you're feeling more relaxed today. You are among friends. No matter how much you try to prove otherwise. We still love you!

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Well it didn't seem like it. I make typos and grammatical errors hundreds of times here. I try to re-read what I post to correct these errors but I can't catch all of them. I never hear a peep about those mistakes.

I found it strange and insulting that I was being piled on for making the same mistakes but in French. 

Sorry I lost all my marbles.

lagatta4

My only point there was that was absolutely not necessary to write Parisien or Parisienne when writing about "Parisian French" in English. My "real" point though was that joual is a subset of Quebec French.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I apologize. I guess I'm reactionary. But not reactionary in a right wing way. I'm quite easily triggered and lose my temper easily as well.

I've made a lot of enemies here which is too bad. For the most part,we're all on the same team.

pietro_bcc

I have to admit that my initial thoughts as to the motivation of these articles was wrong. It wasn't some 3 dimensional chess to turn anglophones against the Liberals. Its as simple as the Journal de Montreal being tired of slapping around the Muslim community so they went back to their old favorite punching bag.

Its just comical that they have these out of touch commentators, not a single anglophone among them talking about what the anglophone community believes. And that the most recent example they can list of an anglophone that they believe represents the views of the average anglophone is Mordecai Richler who died 17 years ago. These people should actually take the time to meet an anglo and join the rest of us in the new millenium.

Pondering

pietro_bcc wrote:

I have to admit that my initial thoughts as to the motivation of these articles was wrong. It wasn't some 3 dimensional chess to turn anglophones against the Liberals. Its as simple as the Journal de Montreal being tired of slapping around the Muslim community so they went back to their old favorite punching bag.

Its just comical that they have these out of touch commentators, not a single anglophone among them talking about what the anglophone community believes. And that the most recent example they can list of an anglophone that they believe represents the views of the average anglophone is Mordecai Richler who died 17 years ago. These people should actually take the time to meet an anglo and join the rest of us in the new millenium.

But they do represent a segment of the population that thinks the way they do. 

lagatta4

Actually, nobody (except perhaps Vigile, a blueshirt site) got upset about renaming the Mile-End branch library for Richler, and there is also a mural to Richler and some of his characters at the corner of Laurier and Clark in the same neighbourhood. I guess the Plateau is waiting for Michel Tremblay to pass on to rename their other library across from métro Mont-Royal (where there is also a mosaic of a poem by Gérald Godin about immigrant workers).

There are already TWO murals to Leonard Cohen, but as far as I know, no buildings or parks named for him yet. He could get a station on the Pink Line, but that is a long way off if it ever gets built.

By the way, I spend all day correcting and rewriting spelling and syntax; my own and others'. I really didn't intend to slight anyone there. But there is no point in saying Parisien (or Parisienne) French when speaking or writing in English. And vice-versa. L'anglais de Londres n'est pas celui de New York.

Most Londoners don't speak RP; most Parisians don't speak the language of the posh arrondissements.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

From what I have heard, the French spoken in the Hexagon is called Metropolitan French. 

The vast majority of people in Montreal have been welcoming to me. I'll continue on in French until they say something I cannot fathom. Then I give them a very American "Huh?" and immediately they switch to English. When that little piece of business is done with, we revert to French. 
 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Language is a funny thing for some of us. I have absolutely no ear for language and even in English I routinely mispronounce words despite having a large vocabulary. I flunked high school French when I was a teenager, the only course I ever failed in all my years of school. As an adult despite trying to learn both French and then many years later Mandarin I have never been able to even say polite phrases in either that were not grating on the ear of someone who speaks the language.  My experience in Quebec is that I am damned if I do and mostly damned if I don't. My French is so bad I suspect people think I am being deliberately insulting or if I spoke English without trying French I routinely got ignored for long periods of time. That is not in the tourist areas like Montreal or Quebec City but in smaller centres stopping for cofee and breakfast and lunch, that type of thing.  My brother lived in Quebec for many years and he had good language skills and he had the same experience as Unionist. My cousins though did tell me that growing up in Montreal they experienced a subtle but prevalent discrimination for being Acadian and that was partly based on their French being different. My Acadian cousins from NB are all fluently bilingual and mostly well educated but they do not necessarily sound like they are Quebecois.  I suspect the formal French they speak would be distinct in many ways to Ottawa and not France or even Montreal. 

I read Richler when I was a teenager but I always preferred the glimpses of Quebec culture that I got from reading Gabriel Roy. At about the same time I also read Pierre Vallières book with the name I won't repeat. I suspect they will not be naming anything after him anytime soon.

Pondering

Honouring a couple of non-francophone Quebec stars does not negate the following:

In recounting the history of Quebec and Canada, the new course promotes a narrow nationalist perspective and homogenized view of Quebec, largely ignoring the contributions and hardships of cultural groups and indigenous peoples. The English community, for its part, is mostly referenced in the context of conflict with francophones, and appears largely monolithic....

In response to an outcry after details about the course became public last year, some tweaks have been made, mostly to improve the quality and quantity of the content related to indigenous people. Almost nothing was done to address other serious omissions. The contributions made to this province by members of the Jewish, Italian, Greek, Haitian and other minority cultural communities are made invisible. A student who does not know any better might be left with the impression that the many Quebecers whose ancestry is neither indigenous, French nor English all arrived yesterday afternoon. And this misimpression stands to play a part in forming future attitudes about who is, and is not, really a Quebecer.

This is a genuine threat. This is what francophone students are being taught. Do be afraid of La Meute because they are being taught  that outsiders are a threat to Quebec's cultural existence not just language. This did not just begin with this curriculum. The English have been portrayed as nothing but enemies for decades. It's a wonder there isn't more animosity. CAQ is feeding on that brand of nationalism. 

Alan is not wrong to be afraid of a CAQ win. CAQ will stir the pot of linquistic and racial divide. They have already been trying to. They are pledging to reduce immigration, prevent francophone students from going to English CEGEPs, proposed the bonjour/hi motion specifically to force Couillard to either defend or alienate the anglophone community. The closer we get to the election the more fights he will pick to create division between communities and rile up animosity against the English and immigrants. 

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