April 25, 2024

Twisted Language Police in Quebec, Canada

Twisted Language Police in Quebec, Canada

It sounds silly, but it is true. In the Canadian province of Quebec, the language police guarantee that French is spoken. The most ridiculous thing: Only recently were words like cocktail and pasta allowed on the menu. The travel book knows what other words to avoid in Quebec.

French is the first language of nearly 80 percent of Quebec’s eight million people. Of course, everyone can communicate in English, even though English is not an official language. In order to ensure the correct use of the French language in the province, a language office was established. Anyone who speaks very little French in Quebec will encounter the language police – and they have a lot to do.

Language Police are regularly deployed in Quebec

The Quebec Language Office reportedly receives 4,000 complaints annually. Citizens turn to the office when they feel they are not well versed in the French language. Linguists there, for example, check street signs Stop instead of Stop Situations. Your goal is to protect the French language He also writes Tagesspiegel.

Sometimes they go a long way. Even the pastry chef had to pay a fine because there were several other linguistic stickers on his shop window hiding the French label. You’re not even safe from the restaurant’s language police – strict rules apply here too. If the menu is multilingual, the French version should always be printed in bold rather than in other languages. After a long debate, words like pasta and cocktail can now appear without translation on the menu. In the past, it was necessary to write to the French “Cocquetel”.

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By the way, consumers in Quebec have the right to be served in French. The salutation is usually “Bonjour, Hello” – then determine the language in which you will complete it.

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It is perhaps the most stringent option of all

Quebecers have always considered their idiosyncrasies. The desire to secede from Canada has been expressed many times, but this is not considered possible. Missed opportunity: In 1995, 50.58 percent of voters in the independence referendum voted to stay with Canada. Quebec is considered today after all “a nation within a united Canada”.

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The state center, Montreal, was founded by the French but came under British rule in the 18th century. Due to the large number of immigrants pouring into the city, English was the main language again at that time. Mainly for this reason, the focus is now on making French visible.