[lg policy] Re: lgpolicy-list Digest, Vol 85, Issue 12

Kennedyper at aol.com Kennedyper at aol.com
Mon May 23 10:09:35 EDT 2016

Hi Hal,
How are you and Marilyn doing?
There is a good article in today's  NYTimes.....by Matt Richtel about 
calling car accidents; crashes, not  accidents.
Not sure if you would like it...
Have a great day.
In a message dated 5/16/2016 12:00:54 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
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Today's Topics:

1.  Canada: Dan Delmar: Here's why I speak French with an     English
accent (Harold  Schiffman)


Message:  1
Date: Mon, 16 May 2016 11:15:57 -0400
From: Harold Schiffman  <hfsclpp at gmail.com>
Subject: [lg policy] Canada: Dan Delmar: Here's  why I speak French
with an    English accent
To:  lp <lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
<CAB7VSRBYc2JBmsFz9F__v-os5xzN58gLMyBw9iuKuZiNx9gxDQ at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type:  text/plain; charset="utf-8"

Dan Delmar: Here's why I speak French with  an English accent
[image: MONTREAL, QUE.: SEPTEMBER 10, 2015 -- Dan Delmar  will be writing
some election columns for The Montreal Gazette,  photographed in Montreal,
Thursday September 10, 2015. (Vincenzo D'Alto /  Montreal Gazette)] Dan
Delmar, Special to Montreal Gazette
More from Dan  Delmar, Special to Montreal  Gazette
Published  on: May 15, 2016 | Last Updated: May 15, 2016 1:00 PM EDT
[image: MONTREAL,  QUE.: NOVEMBER 05, 2012--Alexandr Cebotari, left ,from
Moldavia is looking  at a Larousse French dictionnary during an integration
class at Ecole  primaire La Mosaique.Right is Kyong Seo Lee from Korea.The
photo op was  held during a press conference on November 5, 2012, at Ecole
primaire de la  Mosaique which reunited francophone experts.They talk about
how to  integrate non-French-speaking immigrant children when they make up
the  majority of the school population. (Marie-France Coallier /  THE

Today, children who immigrate to Quebec are obliged to  attend French
schools, but a couple of generations ago, they were often  excluded.
Coallier / The  Gazette

As  Quebec again strengthens language  laws
members  of minority communities are reminded, even subtly, that in the eyes
of  their government, they are not quite equal in standing to their
francophone  counterparts. Misguided language policies, inspired by
ethnocentrism that  flies in the face of science, have unfortunately sowed
the seeds of  cultural divide between citizens.

I am reminded by that link between  policy and people when, every so often,
I am asked variations of the same  question: Why do you, a lifelong Quebecer
raised in a francophone  neighbourhood, have an anglophone’s accent? Itâ
the equivalent of  asking, why don’t you seem like one of us; why is your
laine still  somewhat impure?

The query, most recently from an educated, apparently  tolerant francophone
entrepreneur, doesn’t offend me. It points to  relatively common 
that many francophones might have about  anglophones and other minorities;
questions about cultural integration,  exemplified by exercises like the
amusing 2013 Journal de Montréal  survey
<http://www.journaldemontreal.com/2013/10/20/who-is-marie-mai>,  which
indicated that anglophones are largely ignorant of major  Quebec
cultural influencers like Marie Mai, Guy A. Lepage and Jean-René  Dufort.

The standard answer I provide to such questions about gaps in  my 
cultural credibility is, “it’s a long story,” and here  it is.

I shouldn’t be an anglophone, but the Quebec education system  forced my
family into that linguistic camp.

English is my mother  tongue, but there’s nothing about my ethnicity 
that is
even remotely  anglo. I, and a generation of Quebec millennials born to
immigrant parents,  became anglicized as a result of the same sort of
xenophobic,  identity-based policies that Quebec’s political elite 
to tell us  is meant to strengthen the French language. They’ve had the
opposite  effect.

Both of my parents arrived to Quebec as children. Their own  parents wanted
them educated in French. In those days, immigrant children  were at the
mercy of religious school boards. The Catholic boards often  were reluctant
to admit even Catholic immigrants to their French schools,  much less Jews.
And prior to Bill 101, French Protestant schools were  almost
inexistent. Neither of my parents spoke a word of or were  particularly
receptive to the English language, but they were nonetheless  forced into
anglophone schools.

My parents and their siblings, many  of whom were raised in francophone
Morocco, continued their upbringing in  anglophone environments. Most would
go on to marry anglophones, raising  children of their own as a part of
English Quebec. Failing to assimilate  even francophone immigrants remains a
glaring failure over decades of  nationalist leadership, and I embody that

Though the  religious segregation of Quebec students has ended, linguistic
segregation  persists. Both further the cultural divide. Ultimately the goal
of Quebec  policy-makers should be to further both French and English
language  learning
within  francophone environments, for all students, to promote  cultural

Given that I was raised as an anglophone, it  was comfortable to pursue my
education in English, even in the Laurentians.  Dissatisfied with
French-language resources in English public schools, my  parents
decided before high school that I should have some  French-language
schooling in order to improve my chances of success in  largely francophone
professional environments. Most anglophones aren’t so  fortunate.

If I choose to raise a family in Quebec, my children would  likely be
educated entirely in French and have more opportunities as a  result. The
mistakes of Quebec’s nationalist leadership will have taken  two 
to undo — at least using my family’s story (not an  uncommon one) as a

The answer, then, to the question  about my accent is that it remains
because, over the decades, integration  of minorities has been less than
smooth, and leaders in both linguistic  camps ought to examine their
complicity in raising generations of  outsiders. But “it’s a long 
story” is
more  diplomatic.

*Dan Delmar is a public relations consultant at  Provocateur Communications
<http://provocateur.media/> and host of  The Exchange
<http://www.cjad.com/TheExchange.aspx>, Mondays and  Wed*
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