Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sorry, I Don't Speak French

Title above is actually in reference to a book I'm ready. As clearly I, personally, would be polite enough to apologize about my lack of French skills in the actual language. "Désolé, je ne parle pas français."

Or, you know, I would just speak French.

The book cost a shiny tooney from Indigo, Chapter's sad cousin of uncomfort. If you have not been to an Indigo, but have been to a Chapter's, just picture a Chapter's without comfortable chairs for sitting, and no place to buy coffee. Decor is not quite as welcoming either. I had seen this book on the shelf long ago, but had forgot about it until seeing this random copy on the SVP!! ACHETEZ-MOI!! table.

I started in the middle of the book. I usually wouldn't do this, but it was late at night and I thought, "Just read a little bit, so make sure it's a bit that catches your eye."

I actually don't know what the general consensus is on bilingualism among Canadians. I think it's delightful, but I'm clearly a bit biased based on my love of randomly blurting out words in French. But, that's not really looking at what it truly means for Canada to declare itself a bilingual country. Frankly, I don't really think it's a bilingual country. This book makes the point that we are not - we are actually a country with two official languages. Frankly, it's true. Related, but did Belgium ever declare itself bilingual? Or just having multiple official languages? As with Suisse - three official languages, but I don't think it declared itself trilingual.

So I kind of wonder how far French-speaking regions should bend to serve anglophones, and how far English speaking regions should bend for francophones. In some of tourist surveys we receive at work (most surveys are translated into French) francophones are angry at the lack of French service here. I'm not sure if they had been mislead to thinking that French would be widely offered, or if they just assumed since it was part of Canada. It's true that we do have a French-speaking population (as a first language), but it is quite small. I mean, remember that time the English deported many Acadiens from the Maritimes? (Although I think PEI was effected to a lesser extent). Funny thing: the English didn't really invite any more French in, nor did any French made great efforts to immigrate to PEI.

I wouldn't expect to be served in English in a French region - with the possible exception of a major hotel chain.

I'm not really going anywhere with this. Just killing time.

Je le trouve bizarre que je ne parle pas français maintenant. L'exception c'est au travail. Des fois je travaille en français (comme ecrire les mails ou faire les petits traductions pour les sondages), mais pas beaucoup. Le français? Tu me manques :(

Aujourd`hui c'est comme un jour de mai. 7C et beaucoup de pluie. En anglais il y a une expression - April showers bring May flowers (la pluie d'avril grandi les fleurs de mai - wow... terrible translation effort :D ). ici c'est plutôt comme, les dernieres flacons de neige d'avril changeront à la pluie pour mai, et le debut de juin.

L'année passé il y avait un tempête de neige le derniére jour de mars. Je crois que c'était le derniére tempete de l'hiver. A ce point, il n'y avait pas un tempête de neige encore. C'a me stressée. Je veux que la neige vient maintenant, pas à la fin de mars et pas en avril. Au mellieu de mars je voudrais monter à vélo. C'est necessaire.

Hier j'ai lu un article a propos les accents different d'anglais. Il y a plusieurs des accents d'anglais aux États-Unis, mais pas ici au Canada. Quand on fait du "recherche" à Internet, on trouve qu'il y a cinq accents d'anglais au Canada. Je crois qu'il y a les accents differents ici. Si on voudrait les entendre, demande au canadien(ne) de dire pasta, car, tomorrow, et Calgary (comme la ville). Et peut-être Vancouver... Je trouve que les canadiens de la côté l'ouest mets un petit g dans la mot, et moins qu'un c. "Vang(c)ouver". Et Calgary - il y a les personnes des prairies qui dit Cal-gary. À l'ést on dit Cal-gry.

Et "tomorrow"? Ah, mon mot préferé des insulaires. TA-MOR-AHHHHHH. Et les mots avec 'ar', nous sommes commes les pirates. "I will drive my carrrrrrrrrrr to the barrrrrr."

La fin. Je travaille maintenant. Je vais m'amuser beaucoup. Oh, oui.


Shannon Courtney - writer, foodie, eater, cook, thinker, idealistic realist. said...

It is interesting to note, however, that INdigo owns Chapters. So technically Indigo owns those comfy chairs in Chapters'! I wish I spoke French so I could read the rest of your post instead of commenting on bookstores :)

Jen said...

Non worries, you didn't miss much, me rambling about Canadian accents, snow, and no longer speaking French :P
I did know Indigo owns Chapters, and Coles as well. I believe they no longer open new Chapters, only Indigos. Boo.