Et maintenant, a word from our Anglo friends

Vous  l’avez sans doute noté, votre blogueur favori a beaucoup écrit sur les questions linguistiques ces dernières semaines. Parmi les centaines de commentaires d’internautes recueillis, certains sont venus de lecteurs anglophones, d’autres de lecteurs apportant un autre éclairage.

Je vous en soumets trois, en version originale:

D’abord Mike, qui en a gros sur le coeur (extraits):

I was born and raised here. I’m not exactly “de souche” but I am 1/4 Quebecois. I completed almost all of my education in 100% French (albeit with other Anglos). The fact is that I speak, read and write French very well.

I was proud of my ability to speak two languages and I was proud to be from Quebec. Despite knowing from the beginning that I would never be a separatist, I bought into the whole “we’re different here” aspect of the nationalist sentiment of Quebec. Then I grew up and realized that I was not – and never had been – Quebecois. I was actually only an Anglo Quebecker, and that distinction is not one that I made, it’s one that was imposed on my by Francophones. “Chez nous” didn’t include “moi.”

It never made any sense to me that the response to feeling like an outsider in your own home was to impose that same feeling on others. I bristle every time I head a radio PSA ended with the phrase “ a message from the Gouvernement du Québec.” I can’t explain it, but nothing makes me feel quite as unwelcome in my own home as that little piece of propaganda. […]

I’ve seen some comments that native Anglo Montrealers try even less to speak in in French than newcomers. There’s a reason for that – we’re tired of being treated like pariahs in our own home, so it’s a way of taking back a little of the dignity that we once had. It’s not like I’m walking into a dep in Terrebonne and expecting to be served in English, but when I’m at Canadian Tire in Kirkland or a Metro in NDG I’ll be speaking English whether the clerk’s name is Jean-Marc or Sunil.

It’s sad, really, because I know with certainty that you could get buy-in from the remaining Anglophone community if you stopped treating us like something that needs to be scraped from the bottom of your boot. Trust me, none of us that are still here (or back here, as in my case) are trying to turn Montreal into Toronto East. We like Montreal and appreciate the francophone nature of it. You just need to start treating us with respect so we can return the favour without feeling like we’re being screwed in the process.

Puis Chris, qui en est à son deuxième essai d’apprentissage de la langue de Molière

En premiere, desole pour mon pas beau Francais. Je suis apprendre la belle langue.

I took French immersion classes in western Canada, and chose to try and learn the language. However, I felt completely embarrassed by how badly I spoke, and how I butchered simple phrases.

I was afraid of having people look at me like I was an idiot, because I couldn’t formulate a simple sentence. I still can’t (as depicted above).

However, I’ve since moved to Quebec (far away from Montreal I should mention) with my “blonde”, and I’ve begun re-learning. I’m still embarrassed to speak it, but it’s slowly going away because I’ve been thrown head-first into the proverbial “Deep-end of the French Swimming Pool”.

I just wanted to say that not everyone who chooses to speak only English in a French-dominant place do so because they’re ignorant, but because they don’t want to offend anyone.

Moi aussi. Merci bien gros.

Et pour finir, cette anecdote de Pierre Tremblay


Au boulot il y avait un nouvel employé unilingue anglophone qui devait apprendre le français en moins de 2 ans. Il comptait bien s’y mettre et faisait des efforts à chaque jours avec nous. On a fait un 5 à 7 avec d’autres employés de bureau et lui étant le seul non-francophone.
On l’a même emmener dans une boite à chanson française. Un anglais qui à mon sens fait tout en son possible pour s’intégrer et apprendre le français.

Eh bien malgré tout ses efforts il se trouvait toujours un québécois qui critiquait vertement les anglophones et qui l’envoyait promener. Selon lui tous les torts du Québec étaient dus aux anglais et il avait enfin trouvé un pour se défouler.

C’est là que le groupe en a eu marre et on a remis le québécois nationaliste intégriste séparatiste à sa place! Ensuite on s’est mis à parler anglais!