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nyskidooerinnewhampshire

Quebec Tries to Say Au Revoir to ‘Hi,’ and Hello to ‘Bonjour’

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Interesting article. I for one am of the opinion & fully support Quebec safeguarding its primary language first & then a language of your choosing second. I wish the USA would consider the same.  I don't believe in government penalties against those who don't comply but if you migrate you should attempt to learn the language and or when raising a child the child should learn the National Language.  Not always the case here in the States. 

 

Joyeux Noël et ou joyeuses fêtes à tous.....Merry Christmas and or Happy Holidays to all.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/05/world/canada/bonjour-hi-quebec.html?emc=edit_th_20171206&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49341281&_r=0

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This article reminds me of going to the snack bar in St-David-de-Falardeau last year. When our waitress came over we politely in French asked if she spoke English. She said no and got rather cold to us. Granted we know very little French we were tying to be nice in asking a couple questions and using google translator and the waitress was clearly very annoyed with us and paid very little attention to us after that when we were the only people in there. We were being very respectful and doing our best to bridge the language barrier but when we went to pay she gave me back my change and said what my change was in English. I said you do know English and she just smiled and walked away. She must subscribe to this nationalist movement the article talked about. If she knows English and just doesn't want to speak it thats fine but I didn't see any justification in her attitude after she knew we did not speak French. I mean we were there spending money in her establishment. We didn't have to be there. In general I've found that speaking English on the western part of the province is more accepting. The farther east I've gone I've encountered similar situations to what I just mentioned. 

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I was told while in New Brunswick by our tour guide that NB had French and English as the 2 official languages, but Quebec does not....... they are only Officially English.

Not looking for a "Le Fight" but that is what I was told and I do my best to not mangle the French language.

Although my brothers and I reeeaally try to not sound like we are speaking with a Ridiculous Fren-glish Accent we have run into several places where that was the only way we were understood. Maybe they just were watching us struggle, the most likely reason.

Later

GutZ

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, JBlavl said:

She said no and got rather cold to us.

Most times it’s a matter the french speaker being intimidated and shy. Many more people than you think understand english quite well if you speak slowly. You would be surprised to know there are many who can understand what you are saying so be warned. Responding to you in English is a whole different story. Those who travel alot obviously have had more exposure to english and therefore are a bit more comfortable “practicing” their english with you. This is not the case for most here and most may know some english but are very shy to try to speak it as they very rarely do so. Being here almost 8 1/2 years now its a difficult language “french” and I do just fine but it’s surely not easy to master(i doubt I ever will). As far as the article the argument has been going on for years and I understand they want to keep their culture intact “i get it.” But for business and travel it certainly would benefit most to have more english skills. That being said it’s not gonna change anytime soon. The kids take english in school (trust me mrs Ice teaches english here) from elementary through high school. However they don’t  use it and as with any skill with no practice you will be bad at it or not be able to do it at all.

Some tips...

1 speak slowly 

2 one person speak at a time 

3 encourage the people who do speak some english and tell them thank you for trying 

Merci Bonsoir

 

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51 minutes ago, iceman said:

Most times it’s a matter the french speaker being intimidated and shy. Many more people than you think understand english quite well if you speak slowly. You would be surprised to know there are many who can understand what you are saying so be warned. Responding to you in English is a whole different story. Those who travel alot obviously have had more exposure to english and therefore are a bit more comfortable “practicing” their english with you. This is not the case for most here and most may know some english but are very shy to try to speak it as they very rarely do so. Being here almost 8 1/2 years now its a difficult language “french” and I do just fine but it’s surely not easy to master(i doubt I ever will). As far as the article the argument has been going on for years and I understand they want to keep their culture intact “i get it.” But for business and travel it certainly would benefit most to have more english skills. That being said it’s not gonna change anytime soon. The kids take english in school (trust me mrs Ice teaches english here) from elementary through high school. However they don’t  use it and as with any skill with no practice you will be bad at it or not be able to do it at all.

Some tips...

1 speak slowly 

2 one person speak at a time 

3 encourage the people who do speak some english and tell them thank you for trying 

Merci Bonsoir

 

For sure iceman I have run into this situation before as well. A couple of times in fact. Last year we were sitting on the ice near shore of Lac St. Jean when we were all talking in English a man we had passed sitting on a snow bank overheard us and came over to say hi. He said it was very rare for him to hear people speaking in English and wanted to practice with us. He was relatively good for never speaking and not being of the newer generation and we enjoyed chatting with a local. Had a similar situation when we were lost around St. michelle des saints 10 years ago. Ran across a man walking down a trail hunting when we stopped for directions. We gathered quickly that he had a hard time with English but we worked through it with him and got the information we needed and thanked him and went on our way. I can come up with a few more scenarios but my point being I know where you are coming from and I at least find that is part of the appeal of going to Quebec. Learning about the language and culture but understanding I am in the minority end of the language barrier and more often than not feel like the fool in the conversation than the french speaking person, and that's ok. It's part of the experience to me. I wish I was better at French so I could practice my French with them. But the experience I mentioned above was very different. The waitress had an attitude anyone could pick up on. More or less laughed at us when we were trying to use google translate. After finding out later she knew at least some English and picking up and thinking about her body language more after the fact made me realize she had done it on purpose. It was deception at it's finest. 

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I have been going to the Saguenay for 35 years.  I speak no french.  I have only had one instance that I have had someone get nasty with me.  That was in 2000, my first year of spending the winter in Quebec.  I was sitting in the bar of the Delta, Holiday Inn, with one of the train engineers, who spoke both French and English.  The guy to his right started ragging on me about coming to Quebec for 16 years and not being able to speak French.  He said it 3 times, the 3 time the train engineer turned and spoke French to him, the guy ot up and left.  I asked him what did you say to him.  His reply was " If you don't shut your mouth I'll know you right of this f*** bar stool.  Never saw the guy again.  I have eaten in the reataurant in Faladeau several times and not encountered any problem.  When I started going here in  1984 probably 1  in 20 people spoke english, now it's probably  1 in 5.

Edited by Saguenay Bill

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My story is similar to Bills.  I have been going to Quebec snowmobiling since 1999 and only once did I run into someone that wasn't very nice.  My motto is smile, laugh, and wave your hands a bit, they will smile, laugh, wave their hands a bit and then get your money and you will get what you want.  Always say Bonjour, or Bonsoir to start, the effort to try will make the whole thing go easier.

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You never know exactly what is going on in other people's heads.  

You have no idea what that persons problem could have been that day - doesn't excuse it just could be any thing other than you.

The first time we traveled to Quebec I asked who ever would listen if they preferred we try to speak their language poorly or just be polite in english.  Universally they said they preferred that we try to speak French. I am not fluent but I learned a lot of French solely for traveling to Quebec for snowmobiling (it helps in France and Martinique too).  When a language is not your native lang, speed is a killer and although I know a lot of French I do not speak it everyday and its hard for me to have a full on conversation.  Speaking some French opens some doors.  Some times it doesn't matter.  I would say I've never been to Quebec without feeling the cold shoulder at least once, I didnt say Nasty just not welcoming.  BUT largely, by far, the people are kind and helpful especially in situations where you need help.  I blew a trailer tire on my first ride up and I walked into Canada tire in Chicoutimi and asked a young guy if he spoke English - his response was Fuckin-A whadaya need man? 

I have also seen a lot of times that locals will want to practice their English with us.  

The language barrier can be frustrating at times for both sides but to me its part of the fun and appeal of going to Quebec, until it isn't.  

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On December 6, 2017 at 4:55 PM, JBlavl said:

After finding out later she knew at least some English and picking up and thinking about her body language more after the fact made me realize she had done it on purpose.

Sounds like she wanted to wear you like a sombrero and ride you like a rental sled! 

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On December 6, 2017 at 8:18 PM, actionjack said:

BUT largely, by far, the people are kind and helpful especially in situations where you need help...The language barrier can be...part of the fun and appeal

Si! Bueno!

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On ‎06‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 12:37 PM, MrGutz said:

I was told while in New Brunswick by our tour guide that NB had French and English as the 2 official languages, but Quebec does not....... they are only Officially English.

Not looking for a "Le Fight" but that is what I was told and I do my best to not mangle the French language.

Although my brothers and I reeeaally try to not sound like we are speaking with a Ridiculous Fren-glish Accent we have run into several places where that was the only way we were understood. Maybe they just were watching us struggle, the most likely reason.

Later

GutZ

 

 

 

Actually, although Québec is officially unilingual, the official language is French.  Constitutionally, the proceedings of the legislature (known as the National Assembly) are required by law to be translated into English, as are court proceedings.  However, government departments are under no such obligation.  As to be expected, when they're looking for money, whether it be Revenue Québec, or the automobile licencing people, they're more than happy to provide English documentation.  Health care ... not so much.  Anyway, I'm a fifth generation English speaking Quebecer and, in 61 years, have never had a language problem.  My bride of three years, having moved to Mayo from Ottawa, Ontario, is also pleasantly surprised at how her being a unilingual Anglophone does not present a problem whatsoever.  It should be noted, however, that West Québec was initially settled by the Irish, Scots, and a smattering of Germans.  Still, I've never encountered a problem no where I travelled in the Province, though many of my buddies, and myself, have a reasonable command of spoken French (you don't want to read my written stuff, though, ... Yikes!).

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In 25 years have not run into a language problem we could not get past. Last time we had a waitress who didnt speak english she walked away from our table, and came back with the cook who spoke perfect english. All smiles, all good. Most of the time, like Iceman says, speak slowly, be patient and it will work. Remember you are a guest in there country, act like a good guest and they will treat you well.

Edited by 800steve

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6 minutes ago, 800steve said:

In 25 years have not run into a language problem we could not get past. Last time we had a waitress who didnt speak english she walked away from our table, and came back with the cook who spoke perfect english. All smiles, all good. Most of the time, like Iceman says, speak slowly, be patient and it will work. Remember you are a guest in there country, act like a good guest and they will treat well.

Exactly.  Most of the time we get the waitress or waiter apologizing for not speaking  better english.  Which I think is funny because we are guests in their country!  99.99% of the people of Quebec have been wonderful to us.  Thanks!

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meeting members on the trails or at the  clubhouse can make memorable meetings !!

when everyone make a little effort ..french or english ....can be very funny ...with great laughs !!!

like iceman said....i don t have the chance to speak too often ....mostly winter time....i don t travel  at all !!!

so, at the beginning of winter , the first members i meet....always rusty a bit ...and add the stress and im shy ...so ,it take little while to get '' in gear ''

but if i compare with 10 years ago...i think im way  better...ahahhaha

as long both sides respect each others !!!

only one little bad luck for me...guy at the gas station was looking for info..i started to talk to him...he had that funny smile that i did nt like....i just made a very short conversation !!!

 

friend of mine posted that yesterday !!!

translation...

the english professor has an inspection...

so , the inspector goes at the back of the class next to toto !!!

so,the professor ( she ) propose to the students sentences to translate.

 

on the chalk board..she write....my dog is black .....

who can translate this ???

me -me  say toto !!! pointing his finger upward !!!

professor..im listening...

toto : what a nice a$$ !!!

prof :omg !!! get out of the class right now...impolite !!!

so, toto take his stuff while grumbling...

before leaving ....he said to the inspector.....

when you don t know....you don t whisper !!!!

 

jean-guy

prof.jpg

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On 12/10/2017 at 7:37 AM, PLAYHARD said:

Sounds like she wanted to wear you like a sombrero and ride you like a rental sled! 

Hey I would have gone along for a ride. She wasn't too bad on the eyes. 

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