Monday, March 11, 2013

French Headaches

Hi everyone!  Yes, it is a strange title for my post!  I decided to entitle my post in this manner because I have a headache right now and part of the reason is most likely due to the language issues here in Quebec.

Firstly, I am not intending to "badmouth" anyone or anything, let me assure you this.  I just need to talk about this because it seems that practically every single night I hear SOMETHING about the language issues on the local news here in Montreal.  Fine, you could say "Why do you watch the news, then?"  Well, I live here and it affects me for one thing...but even if I don't hear it on the news I will see something about it on the web, hear people talking about it on the bus, whatever!  

As I write this post I am sipping a nice cup of tea (Sultan 1936 "After Meals".)  I just finished my supper and this tea is just wonderful after a meal.  It contains caraway, rosemary and peppermint...and is delicious and has a calming effect after a meal, which I especially need right now.  

Getting back to the language issues here in Quebec.  French is the first language here...they want it to be the only language.  I myself am fluent in French (although my mother tongue is English).  I speak it, understand it and write it pretty well according to many francophones who have seen my fluency in the language.  So why do the language issues bother me, you may ask, if I am fluent in French?  Because I want to live in peace, be happy and enjoy things the way they have been!  I was born in Montreal and have been here all my life.  Some may say, "Well, Linda, why don't you just move?"  Easier said than done.  Firstly, if I had the funds to do so I most likely would have done this a long time ago.  Still, I am not so sure that running away will help to solve anything...and wherever I decide to run away to will have its own set of issues, as everywhere in the world has!  

Let me just say that it is not only the anglophones who want peace and harmony here...many French do as well!  It isn't that we mind having to speak French, but nobody wants it shoved down their throats and made to feel like second class citizens, as it were, should we decide to communicate in English.  

The video I have chosen for this post "Relaxing Island Music".  



Thank you all so much for visiting me here, and thank you for "listening."  I really enjoy and appreciate reading your kind thoughts, which you are always welcome to share by clicking on the 'comments' link at the end of my post.

33 comments:

  1. Hasn't this French vs. English issue been a problem for years? Enjoy your tea & & think calming thoughts...It's likely to go on for several more years. If that's not the case, you are fortunate to know & speak fluent French. I wouldn't let it keep me from speaking my native tongue whenever & wherever I wanted...just for the heck of it!

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    1. LOL Kim! Right on! :)

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  2. Oh goodness, I guess there are many dialects, plus the French, very confusing.

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    1. The Quebec French has its own dialect, this is for sure!

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  3. I'm sorry to hear about your headache, and especially the reason for your headache. I will say, however, that the tea should make you feel much better.

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    1. The tea was great, George. :)

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  4. I'll be labelled a trouble-maker, but the French are better known for their egos and their bistros than their common-sense (and I'm part French)!

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    1. For some reason they seem to think that the French language needs protection...from what? Nobody is attacking it. However, the more they push the French issue the more the English are feeling attacked, sadly.

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  5. My friend who grew up in a Swiss boarding school and speaks french perfectly just rolls her eyes and says "Oh, those Frenchies!"

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    1. LOL Joanne! Thanks for sharing that, you made my day. :)

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  6. I'm sorry for your headache, and I'm sorry there's such controversy over the language. I can understand how it could be upsetting. How wonderful that you are fluent in a second language. I wish I was. I hope the tea helps you feel better!

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    1. Tina, bless your heart. The tea and this video is helping a lot...and being able to talk about it and having your responses is also very beneficial. :)

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  7. I am always in favor of inclusion, rather than exclusion. Montreal is your home, why should you move? And why should anyone be made to feel their language is less-than? I live right across the river from Ontario, and all the sings and things are in both languages. What's wrong with that? I've always thought it was lovely. When I was little, sometimes my father or older brother would turn on a hockey game when the Red Wings played at Montreal, and I always loved the announcer in the background saying everything twice, once in each language. maybe they only use French now?

    That music is so relaxing!

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    1. Hi Shay, thanks so much for your support. You are absolutely right. I have always enjoyed both French and English and being able to communicate with everyone in the language of my choice...be that French or English. I am so glad you liked the music on the video!

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  8. Je viens seulement ajouter un petit mot en toute simplicité... Gros bisous

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    1. Bonjour Martine! Merci beaucoup! Gros bisous!

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  9. In America I can see a lot of similarities with (mostly southerners) people being very against the spanish language. Can't we all get along?

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  10. The French have always found it hard to stomach that English is becoming the world language or lingua franca ???? However it is spelt. You are lucky to be fluent in both languages.

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  11. Okay. Sit back and listen to the music and remember there is no point in getting upset about things over which you have no control. Yeah, I know, "easier said than done." Still, we can try.

    I get upset reading just about any "news" these days. One problem is that it is so pervasive. When we didn't have the Internet and email, we didn't know a lot of the terrible stuff that goes on every day.

    Back to French: I've been reading about this battle for years. A very good friend visited Montreal with his family back in the 1980s and told me that various people (in restaurants, etc.) were extremely rude to them because they couldn't speak French. I thought the issue had been resolved by now.

    It is hard to understand why people so often want to force others to do what they do or think like they think or believe what they believe. It seems some folks have a terrible need to hold power over others.

    Oui?

    Keep smiling. And keep speaking English (or any other language) when you feel like it. Are "the authorities" going to put you in jail? Non!

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    1. LOL Lowell! Unfortunately it seems that your good friend ran into a few of the "hardliners" as we call them here. Fortunately, though, they are in the minority. Most people here are very nice, friendly and helpful, and many French people speak English quite well...and enjoy it. It is the hardliners that are making things difficult here. Thanks so much for your comment, my friend, I will keep smiling. :)

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  12. After the recent elections I suppose the language issue was bound to be brought to the fore...but, as you say, most people are quite content with the way things have been, it's just the politicians making noise.

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    1. You're right, Helen. It is the Parti Quebecois and their "language police" that are causing the ruckus.

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  13. A difficult one, Linda !
    Lie(f)s.

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    1. It sure is, Lies. :)

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  14. I've never been to Canada, but the one time we went to Paris, I found the people there a bit rude that we couldn't speak French. I grew up in New Orleans where English, French, Spanish, etc. is all spoken... and I don't recall anyone caring what language you spoke. (I'm sure some did, but I didn't see it)

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    1. Hi Rian, I am sorry that people were rude to you! I would like to think that most people are not this way, but whenever we run into the ones that are it certainly gives any city or area a bad reputation. Thankfully, for the most part, people in Quebec are friendly and helpful.

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  15. I know what you mean. You have the language issues; in my country the awful economic situation we are living now is on the news every single hour and it's really depressing, but one can't just ignore it and stop watching it.

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    1. Hi JM, I can empathize. Thank you so much for your comment.

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  16. C'est peut-être, aussi, parce qu'une fois que l'anglais arrive ou est arrivé, le français commence à changer, voire disparaître. Nous avons les mêmes débats ici et l'anglais s'immisce partout, même dans des réunions de travail. On dit slides au lieu de transparents, on dit TBD pour "à faire" ou "à définir". The really funny thing for a trilingual person like me is that the people who use those anglicised words are usually very, very bad at speaking English...

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  17. Wonderful peaceful relaxing music to lilt you to sleep & drive away all worries & head aches.

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  18. Hi, thanks for visiting Roses to Rainbows. In our area, we have a number of Hispanic folks, so even though we are a predominately English speaking country, we are hearing more and more Spanish, and seeing Spanish signs in the stores.

    That was some nice music. I've been having issues with my computer playing videos so I had to wait until I rebooted to listen to it.

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