In Montreal, We Speak Franglish

More blogging en français in Montreal is when I started writing des textes en French.

I have been enjoying writing in French. I’ve also been enjoying the interaction that comes out of it. There’s a few posts I wrote in French and the comments are mixed up in two languages which I find very cool. A true testimony of a great cultural side of Montreal. Sure, there are a few exceptions where all the comments turn out to be in English even though the post is in French. The one thing that hasn’t happened yet is an English post getting French comments… or maybe I just missed it when it happened.

That’s the online world. Out in the streets, it’s pretty much the same thing. I was at a restaurant last week. We were speaking English to each other, the waitress came and everybody was suddenly speaking French. I was actually observing that and it was… wow. It’s incredible to speak two languages and switch from one to the other as if they were one.

The same thing happens at the office. We’re all bilingual here with a lady that speaks Spanish on the phone all the time. There’s one guy who always speaks French no matter what other people say. The others keep switching languages back and forth. That’s cool.

Et voilà Montréal. Comprendre est plus important que le choix de langue. Personally, I have no preference when talking, mais je préfère tapper en anglais. All the accents in French (é, è, à, ç, ë, ô) are just a pain in the ass to type. Alors pourquoi est-ce que je tappe en français sur Metroblogging Montreal? Le bilinguisme est une caractéristique culturelle importante de Montréal. You take that out and you’ve got no Montreal.

The drawback of this is that these things can get confusing. The graphic design of that sign is so bad that it’s horrible.

6 Comments so far

  1. brem (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 11:46 am

    Montreal is mostly bilingual in the eastern part of the island…

    And I find nothing wrong with the sign, except that they could have better placed everything, from a graphical design point of view. :)


  2. RS (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 1:16 pm

    I’m with Long…that sign is a disaster.


  3. jknotzke (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 1:23 pm

    That sign is bilingual because it’s on federal land.. But cool sighting. I ride by that everyday and never noticed that.

    J


  4. aj (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 2:23 pm

    It is a bit easy to stay within Anglophone cultural circles though, especially around certain institutions like Concordia, McGill, the Gazette, etc. The Anglo indie pop scene doesn’t tend to cross over with the French one except in certain genre categories, I’ve noticed. When it comes to the workplace there are plenty of anglo ‘family businesses’ where one can end up never speaking a word of French all day long except maybe to customers or suppliers…

    even if you were brought up here, if you spent your formative years in the Anglosphere it’s hard to break into even “common knowledge” French or Quebecois culture without just kinda diving in…


  5. Zelaurent (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 9:39 am

    Je suis fier d’inaugurer le premier commentaire en français de cet article.

    Tu décris précisément ce que j’aime à Montréal : cette double culture, qui se traduit le plus souvent dans des échanges bilingues, qui ne sanctionnent pas à la première faute de grammaire.

    Dans une mondialisation de l’économie et des cultures, c’est un avantage pour Montréal d’avoir cette ouverture d’esprit. Merci de garder ça intact ;)


  6. john (unregistered) on August 9th, 2007 @ 4:17 am

    Sur un Macintosh, c’est très facile de faire tous les accents, même avec un clavier anglophone. Il ne faut qu’appuyer sur option+e to drop an accent aiqu over the next vowel you tappe, option+` pour l’accent grave, et option+i pour l’accent circonflexe. Et voilà. Easy as pie.



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