Saturday, September 03, 2011

Quebec's Keystone cops

The office de la langue franchise has really turned into the agency for comic relief. Now it wants American companies to turn their names French. Even separatist hardliners are complaint there aren't enough complaints against English signs. This embarrassment to the people of Quebec should be defunded and the money used to teach English and French to all Quebec students or better yet used to decrease Quebec's massive debt

Graeme Hamilton: The times are against French-language hardliners

Graeme Hamilton Sep 3, 2011 – 8:30 AM ET | Last Updated: Sep 2, 2011 10:12 PM ET

Walking along downtown Ste. Catherine Street, it is hard not to conclude that the battle to preserve Montreal’s “French face” is a losing one. Between Foot Locker and Winners, New Look and Banana Republic, Gap and Future Shop, the store names are overwhelmingly English. One business adds a token “Le” to its name but another cannot bring itself to translate “since 1851” into French.

With globally recognizable brands increasingly the norm, on the streets of Berlin and Rome as much as Montreal and New York, a law designed to keep Quebec storefronts predominantly French seems out of step with the times.
But that does not mean the provincial government agency in charge of enforcing Quebec’s Language Charter is ready to throw in the towel. This week, the Office québécois de la langue française — unaffectionately known as the language police — said that it would launch a campaign in the fall aimed at reversing the tide of anglicization.

“Because of globalization, because of social networks, because of freedom, there are no more linguistic or cultural borders. And that is good,” Louise Marchand, president of the Office, said in an interview this week.

“Except, we have to be more vigilant, because we are more permeable to all sorts of influences.”


maryT said...

What if all those CEOs of those companies got together and told the language police, leave us alone or we will leave Quebec.
Or if they threatened to lay off 50% of their staff if forced to change.
Time to fight back big time.

Pissedoff said...

Except when you read the reast of that report these companies are caving in.

"Home Depot, a chain that is often cited as an example by French-language activists, said it took the step of dropping “The” from its logo when it entered the Quebec market more than 10 years ago — something it did not do in its other non-English markets. Company spokeswoman Tiziana Baccega said Home Depot is monitoring news about the Office’s latest crackdown but has not been contacted directly.

Christopher Bennett, a spokesman for Best Buy Canada and Future Shop, said the companies are in discussions with the Office to add French to the signage at the 44 stores operating under the two brands in Quebec. The exact wording has not been determined."

Rick Thomson said...

So, how does one say, "Suck it up and drive on." en Francais?

Time they were told that imo.

maryT said...

And now some idiot in Que is filling a human rights complaint against the PM for hiring a communication guy that doesn't speak french. Just as stupid as the guy that conned 12,000 from air canada.

maryT said...

oops, filing, not filling

Roy Eappen said...

yes its Gilles Rheaume of course

maryT said...

Article re this complaint at NNW sure has a lot of negative comments.
He is not getting much support from Canadians.
This might be the straw that breaks the camel's back, after the air canada case.
Cut off funding to HRC, fed and provincial, and make anyone filing a complaint responsible for all costs regardless of winning or losing.
I am sure Ezra will take this on.

Gerald said...

Signs on most of the buildings in Dalian,and Beijing China has English below the Chinese names.I didn't notice whether these were businesses or Govt. buildings.Gerald

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