Language Police On Tour
Undercover inspectors from Canada's bilingualism watchdog will visit 8 major airports this fall to see if travelers are being served equally well in English and French.
Workers from Official Language Commissioner Graham Fraser's office (Fraser pictured below) will travel the country on our dime to make what is said to be over 1500 anonymous observations at airports in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Halifax, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver. Why no Calgary? Certainly there's a way to say "Howdy Pardner" in French. I guess visiting Calgary would just be asking for trouble.
Apparently audits are done regularly but this will be the first time so many are done all at once. Inspections will check for bilingual signage, and whether staff offer bilingual greetings and services. In predominantly English-speaking areas are services available in French and...English in French-speaking areas? There's the point. What are the chances they will find any offenses in the latter. Do ya think? "Sorry Quebec City, not enough English." Ya, that'll happen.
I have no problem with the French. My Canada includes Quebec and Francophones and immigrants and peace and love and understanding. Seriously, it does. I am proud of the heritage and of two official languages. It all looks good on paper.
Understand however, that this is not about bilingualism. The problem is that there is hardly anyone in this country who WANTS to be bilingual. Oh sure, people are proud of knowing 2 (or more) languages and it is certainly an advantage to be fluent in several languages, personally and career-wise. But who WANTS to be bilingual, at least in French and English? English and Mandarin, Italian, Spanish, sure, but French?
This isn't even about Anglophones vs. Francophones. French-speaking people care about learning English as much as English-speaking care about French. Nary a lick. This is exactly why (145) years later, undercover language police have to cruise the country ensuring dual signage and greetings. There's only a small percentage of Anglophone/Francophone Canadians who could survive outside of their first language.
That's not bilingualism. That's 2 official languages, and that only look's good on paper. LEAVE COMMENTS. LAISSER DES COMMENTAIRES.
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