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skyservice_330
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Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Thu Aug 24, 2006 12:45 pm

Inspired by a post in 'The Black Sheep In The Geographic Family,' is the province of Quebec in Canada a 'distinct society?' And, if so, should they receive constitutional recognition for it? (a stipulation that was included in Mulroneys failed Meech Lake Accord of 1990)

Your thoughts?
 
photopilot
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:59 pm

Is Quebec a Distinct Society....... ABSOLUTELY NOT ! ! !

The egotistical Quebecois "pur laine" would have us believe that only people born in Quebec, and only those born of pure-blood historic French ancestry are valid Quebecers.

And that's a load of BS.

I was born in Quebec (5th Generation) of English descent and am just as much a Quebecer, and also a proud Canadian.

Quebec a Distinct Society.... not while I live and breathe.
 
NeilYYZ
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Thu Aug 24, 2006 2:33 pm

Not a chance. What in the name of God makes them think that they are a distinct society? Just because they speak a different language? Hardly! Now I'll admit that I avoid Quebec just because I don't speak French, but I have been there a fair bit for competitions years back, and let me tell you my impression, it's like any other place in Canada that I've been, except half of the people don't speak very good English. I don't know what makes a lot of Quebeckers think that they are different from the rest of Canada. But if they want to be considered a distinct society, they can leave Canada, get their own currency, and people will have to pass through CANADIAN customs when they want to get to the Maratimes and Ontario. Quebec is no more a distinct society within Canada than Ontario is, it's just one piece of the whole puzzle that is Canada.
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luisde8cd
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Thu Aug 24, 2006 2:58 pm

Funny that all signs in the highway that links Toronto with Montreal are in both languages starting 30min before crossing the Quebec borderline (coming from Toronto), but once you cross into Quebec everything is in French... English doesn't exist. I think Ontario should remove all signs in french unless Quebec puts some signs in english.

The only truly bilingual city in Canada is Ottawa.

Saludos desde Monterrey,
Luis
 
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Thu Aug 24, 2006 4:39 pm

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 3):
Funny that all signs in the highway that links Toronto with Montreal are in both languages starting 30min before crossing the Quebec borderline (coming from Toronto), but once you cross into Quebec everything is in French... English doesn't exist. I think Ontario should remove all signs in french unless Quebec puts some signs in english.

As an Anglophone, this fact has always been annoying to me. Whereas I've seen my fair share of Stop/Arret signs in Ontario, I've often heard that bilingual signs are not much in evidence once one crosses into Quebec. Ironically, my short stay in Montreal many years ago, prior to the Levesque era, never yielded any such impression, but I see that it's been confirmed here.

The problem of Quebec versus The Rest of Canada ("TROC") is one reason I oppose any form of bilingualism here in the United States. While multilingualism may work in Switzerland and a few other places, it has turned out to promote differences here in North America.

For the United States, the lesson of what appears to be de facto "sovereignty-association" in Canada is that separatism can arise and achieve its goals regardless of intent.

Even given all this, it is a bit difficult for me to answer the question of whether Quebec is a distinct society, however. Perhaps the best response I could give now is to say that some large portion of the Francophone society there wants to be a distinct society, and also that the desires of these Quebecois are supported by the structure of Quebec's government and many of the pro-Francophone laws that appear to protect and promote French culture in Canada.

Ever since the Canadian Supreme Court appeared to put limitations on the ability of Quebec to unilaterally separate from TROC, and, before that, the extremely close Quebec-wide referendum in the 1990's that terminated the last major effort of the formal separatist movement, some appear to believe that the most intense phase of separatism has passed. Certainly, political compromise is much to be desired compared to the crises with which some separatists were associated in the 1960's and 1970's. (As some here may recall, at one point, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau was forced to declare martial law in Quebec because of emergency conditions there -- the only time in modern history that martial law has ever been invoked in North America. (President Eisenhower's federalizing of National Guard troops in Arkansas to carry out federal civil rights laws was not such an instance.))

It remains to be seen whether Quebec will nevertheless more fully integrate into the federal polity. As I understand it, current Canadian laws appear to favor Quebec in some respects over other provinces, and I feel that it would take a significant development for such inequality to be repealed.

[Edited 2006-08-24 09:48:53]
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Kieron747
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:01 pm

I lived and worked in Sherbrooke, Quebec for a year.

I'd say they like to think of themselves as a different society, and being English (English, not English-Canadian) I feel that there was a certain amount of disdain - which I did not notice at all with the English Canadians I met.

Bearing in mind too that my ex-girlfriend was Quebecois. I think they all like rattling the fence about being independant, but I bet you a 'loonie' that if Quebec were to separate, their economy would rapidly go down the toilette.

In my experience, the Quebecois (THAT I CAME INTO CONTACT WITH) didn't much like the English Canadians, didn't much like the Americans, didn't much like the English, and hell, hated the French (who they described as snobbish deserters).

And it did bug me that Quebec bilingualism is of a different kind to others. There were no English signs in Sherbrooke (apart from the government buildings, post office etc) and the supposed bilingual services (police, medical etc) in Sherbrooke were hardly that.

OK, I know there is an A.netter around here that is from Sherbrooke, so feel free to argue the case, it's just my opinion based on experience, and before you ask, I do speak French!

 Wink

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sebolino
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:19 pm

Quoting Photopilot (Reply 1):
Is Quebec a Distinct Society....... ABSOLUTELY NOT ! ! !

Why not ?

I've never been in Canada, but Quebec sounds like a ditinct society. The simple fact that they have a different language that the rest of the Canada make them distinct, doesn't it ?

Quoting NeilYYZ (Reply 2):
Not a chance. What in the name of God makes them think that they are a distinct society? Just because they speak a different language? Hardly!

I'm not sure anymore of the meaning of "distinct" in English, because in French it means "that you can distinguish". So under this meaning, yes, Quebec is distinct from the other parts of Canada. Why is it such a problem ?
 
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:20 pm

Quoting Kieron747 (Reply 5):
In my experience, the Quebecois (THAT I CAME INTO CONTACT WITH) didn't much like the English Canadians, didn't much like the Americans, didn't much like the English, and hell, hated the French (who they described as snobbish deserters).

It's my impression, as well, that many Quebecois don't seem to care very much for Americans or our culture, which is unfortunate, I think.

Interesting post, Kieron747.
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squared
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:44 pm

Is Quebec distinct? Sure. It is the last bastion of French in North America (besides Haiti I suppose).

But Nunavut is distinct too. As an Inuit-majority polity, it has a distinct and unique culture, and language. Its government structure tries to promote equality, and its economic condition is drastically different from the rest of Canada.

New Brunswick is also distinct-- it is the only bilingual province in the country, and as such is the only province explicitly mentioned in the Constitutional Act.

In fact, all provinces are distinct in their own way. So what makes Quebec a distinct society? The fact that the majority are Francophones, and they enjoy films like Bon Cop, Bad Cop more than Anglos? I don't think that qualifies. As much as Quebec likes to think it is 'distinct', it is also inherently Canadian. To be Canadian has so many variations and permutations that being a Quebecer and a Canadian is not mutually exclusive-- and a designation of a so-called distinct society is unnecessary.

SQuared
 
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:57 pm

Quoting SQuared (Reply 8):
In fact, all provinces are distinct in their own way. So what makes Quebec a distinct society?

It seems that politics does. I cannot say for sure right now, but I suspect that if one peels away the layers of political correctness that has insulated Quebec from an examination of why it is given special treatment, one will see that the art of the possible has made it necessary to give it the status of "distinct society".

Unlike the other societies you mentioned, Quebec has had a long and turbulent history of estrangement from Anglo Canada. I think that the "distinct society" formula was more or less a way to give Quebec the sense of importance to which it believes it is entitled by virtue of its record of "otherness" unique to its history.

One could also delve a bit deeper and contemplate the question of whether it was the Parti Quebecois on the provincial level, the now-powerful Bloc Quebecois on the federal level, or the needs of compromise inherent in the years from Trudeau through Mulroney that drove this formulation, but it appears that we'd only be introduced to a morass of competing nationalisms that carefully constructed edifices exist solely to mitigate.

I have never fully understood much of the French mentality throughout the world. Although I respect French cultural achievements, I believe that there are certain issues with how their leaders -- such as De Gaulle, with his infamous Vive le Quebec libre provocation -- tend to separate themselves from the rest of the world. I hestitate to call their leadership "pathological", since that's much too strong a word, but I do believe that it exhibits a willingness, or even eagerness, to set itself against the English-speaking world, if for no other reason than that Francophones may find themselves surrounded as an island of Frenchness in an ocean of a culture they had long believed inferior. In Carolingian times, after all, England was virtually a vassal state, and little more.

On the other hand, perhaps what moves their leaders is no more than a desire for the preservation of their own culture. One can hardly say for sure.

[Edited 2006-08-24 12:11:14]
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:32 pm

After my experience living for some years in Montreal ,i find Quebec very different from the rest of Canada,in all aspects
QUEBEC ! JE M'EN SOUVIENT
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Kieron747
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:45 pm

Again, I'll qualify my comments before I speak, as in I can only act on experience from the people I met in Quebec.

Before going to Quebec, I was under the impression that as long as you made an attempt to speak French, you would be accepted. So that's what I did. I had GCSE french, and could get along.

Upon arrival however, I found that people really didn't give a rat's ass that I was trying to speak French. As soon as they hear your accent they know you're not Quebecois, indeed not even a native French speaker.

Some would then try to speak English, other's would not. In Montreal it was different, however in Sherbrooke (a very small backwater place) I felt that many just couldn't be bothered with you. 'You're not Quebecois, why waste time and breath on you' was the impression I got.

Stark contrast to the English part of Sherbrooke (Lenoxville) with an English speaking university (Bishop's). There, the Canadians were full of interest at someone from 'the old country' and were resentful of their fellow French Canadians.

The topic of the Queen would often come up, and all seemed happy to be linked to the English monarchy. Obviously, this feeling was not evident with the Quebecois. Many a time I heard jibes in French (upon discovering I was English) about Prince Charles marrying a horse etc etc.

Also, I felt a resentment among the younger Quebecois regarding social class. l admit, in Quebec, it is seen that generally the English speakers had the better jobs and were more wealthy in the past. When several young Quebecois that I met in bars and the like found out that I was working in a hospital, the old stigma of inverse snobbery reared its head.

I met a range of Quebecois, and the debate about separation from Canada was often heard. OK, in a not-so-long-ago referendum it was an extremely close call. I think that in many cases, a lack of education and understanding lead to a mentality of...

"We are French, not part of British Canada!.. We should be independant!"

...Which in my mind is unworkable. What do they want, their own curency, their own passports and immigration? At this point someone with their head screwed on needs to step in and say, listen, this just isn't workable!

Be content with your strong relationship within one of the best and well-respected countries in the world. Be proud of your heritage and political pulling power in the federal government. PUT THE HELL UP WITH THE FACT THE QUEEN IS ON THE $20 BILL.

 

Kieron747

[Edited 2006-08-24 12:46:23]
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cptkrell
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:55 pm

During visits to Ste Trieste (sp?), Quebec several times (we built Camaros and Monzas there), I got the impression that those folks acted like not only they were a distinct society but a superior society.

Now, this was years past, and things may very well be different now, but I always felt as though I was an unwelcome intruder even though I and my coworkers tried the best to be good visiting "neighbors".

After those experiences, totally negative when compared to my travels in all of free Europe for example, I have no desire to revisit that community. Regards...jack
all best; jack
 
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:34 pm

Yes, Quebec is a distinct society - Even more so that the Scots are from the English and they have their own country...I don't support soverigenty but to say that French speaking Quebecers are the same as Anglophone Ontarians or Albertans is just silly.

Quoting Kieron747 (Reply 5):
In my experience, the Quebecois (THAT I CAME INTO CONTACT WITH) didn't much like the English Canadians, didn't much like the Americans, didn't much like the English, and hell, hated the French (who they described as snobbish deserters).

That has been the complete oppositte of my experience. I haven't lived in Quebec but I used to work there quite often. Once you try to blend in with them, they are the most hospitable, hillarious hosts that I have known anywhere in the world. Maybe I'm just a weirdo, but I find that I get along with Francophone Quebecers better than Ontarians. Espescially over a few beers as long as you can take some ribbing from them (and give it back)!
But if you go there and don't even make an attempt to speak French and expect that everyone is the same as other Canadians, then I think it is you that have issues and not the natives.

Try asking for directions in French at Yonge and Dundas in Toronto and see how helpful people will be with you. When in Rome.......

[Edited 2006-08-24 13:35:52]
 
MattRB
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:42 pm

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 3):
Funny that all signs in the highway that links Toronto with Montreal are in both languages starting 30min before crossing the Quebec borderline (coming from Toronto), but once you cross into Quebec everything is in French

Indeed. I had the pleasure of enjoying this particular phenomenon this weekend, as I travelled to Ottawa with a friend and we decided to take an impromptu trip to Montreal, Saturday afternoon.

I don't see Quebec as any different from the rest of Canada, other than the majority language in the province differs from the rest of the country. Other than that, sure, the legal system in Quebec operates differently from the rest of the country as well, but, on the whole, Quebec is no different than Ontario.

I see the whole 'distinct society' as nothing more than an inferiority complex that some holdovers who still have a grudge against the French for cedeing the province to the British way back in the day.

It's funny that they expect us (English Canada) to accommodate them, but yet they don't want to accommodate us.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 4):
The problem of Quebec versus The Rest of Canada ("TROC") is one reason I oppose any form of bilingualism here in the United States. While multilingualism may work in Switzerland and a few other places, it has turned out to promote differences here in North America.

Agreed. Official Bilingualism has done nothing but to cause an internal schism in this country (not to mention the millions of extra dollars the government has to spend to produce everything in both languages). Another play to the Quebecois inferiority complex.

I would enjoy it very much if one of our leaders would have the testicular fortitude to tell the separatists in Quebec (read: whiners) to STFU already and get with the program. The province is part of Canada, has been since the begining and really needs to start acting like it.

Something along the lines of:

Dear Quebec:

Get over yourself.

Love,
The Rest of Canada


would suffice.
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squared
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:47 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 9):
Unlike the other societies you mentioned, Quebec has had a long and turbulent history of estrangement from Anglo Canada. I think that the "distinct society" formula was more or less a way to give Quebec the sense of importance to which it believes it is entitled by virtue of its record of "otherness" unique to its history.

One could also delve a bit deeper and contemplate the question of whether it was the Parti Quebecois on the provincial level, the now-powerful Bloc Quebecois on the federal level, or the needs of compromise inherent in the years from Trudeau through Mulroney that drove this formulation, but it appears that we'd only be introduced to a morass of competing nationalisms that carefully constructed edifices exist solely to mitigate.

I agree that history and politics has certainly helped to build this perception of a 'distinct society'. But while those are important, Canada has changed immensely from those times. The Two Solitiudes still exists, of course, but the cultural differences are narrowing everywhere, including Anglo Canada and Quebec.

The 'otherness' Quebec feels is already incorporated into the greater Canadian identity. For a long time, Canada viewed itself as bicultural nation (English AND French), which slowly morphed into a multicultural nation- Quebec is requisite part of that identity. It is not distinct or separate from it.

If Quebec is considered a distinct society, then the Aboriginal peoples should be considered as 'distinct societies'. Their history with Canada has been just as turbulent, if not more, and Quebec's feeling of 'otherness' would pale in comparison to the institutionalized racism the Aboriginal peoples faced. Newfoundland with its profound isolation, late entrance into Confederation, and its ardent nationalist (pro-independence) sentiment (found among some Newfoundlanders), should also be called 'distinct'. The point is, that history and cultural differences do not make Quebec 'distinct' from Canada-- It IS part of Canada-- Quebec can't be distinct from something, of which, it is a requisite part.

SQuared
 
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:54 pm

For 30+ years Gov. of Canada propaganda would have everyone believe that Canadians swap between English and French in every other sentence. In the 6 years I was in AB and BC, I met more people that spoke Urdu or Chinese than French. In AB, Francophones make up 2% of the population and around 20% nationally so I cannot see how two official languages can be justified. Neither can I see how it can be legal in QC to have road signs and shop names only in French. Enforced bilingualism has polarised the country and does nothing to unite Canada. Having a sign saying "Stop/Arret" outside an airport just because its a federal bldg then 2 yards later outside the perimeter fence it just says "Stop" is just loony (and I don't mean the coin!!). Handing out government jobs to people who's only tallent is being able to speak the 2 languages is in itself outrageous.

For the record, those octagonal 8 sided signs in red, in France, Spain and Portugal all say "STOP" in English. It's an English word, that got adopted, that's all.
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Kieron747
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:07 pm

Quoting BHXFAOTIPYYC (Reply 16):
For the record, those octagonal 8 sided signs in red, in France, Spain and Portugal all say "STOP" in English. It's an English word, that got adopted, that's all

 checkmark 

Same as the French use 'le week-end',
Quebecois say 'le fin de samaine',

Daft!
 Wink

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LY744
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:39 pm

Well they sure do try, a little too hard perhaps, to be a "distinct society". Whatever that means. I'm sure you could take some neighbourhood in a large metropolitan city like Toronto, and argue that it is also a distinct society.


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A332
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:15 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 7):
It's my impression, as well, that many Quebecois don't seem to care very much for Americans or our culture, which is unfortunate, I think.

Ever been to Florida....? Definitely the highest concentration of French-Canadians outside of Quebec...

At any rate, Canada is an example of the very negative side of bilingualism. All we have done as a nation is bend over backwards and kiss ass to these folk who are typically very intolerant and disrespectful of English Canada. We are ordered to label everything in English & French but they really do not do the same in return.

The French have learned to threaten separation if they do not get their way, and we continue to bend over for them.

Forget it... if they want to go, I am sure France has open arms. Quebec and Canada are one in the same, just like Alberta and Canada are one in the same... if you don't like it, there's the door.

My .02
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kmh1956
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:42 am

Quoting NeilYYZ (Reply 2):
except half of the people don't speak very good English

If you talk to a real Frenchman (ie: from France), Quebecois don't speak very good French, either!!
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MattRB
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:17 am

Quoting A332 (Reply 19):
Forget it... if they want to go, I am sure France has open arms.

Good luck. I get the perception that most Quebecers feel they're more pureblood French than the French are.
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A346Dude
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:38 am

After reading this thread, it's no wonder to me, someone who has lived in Ontario his whole life, that Quebeckers sometimes feel alienated from the rest of Canada.

Is Quebec a distinct society? We can argue semantics all day, but there is no doubt it is different, to a lesser or greater extent, from the rest of Canada.

A lot of English-speaking Canadians seem annoyed that Quebec forces them to use a second language. The reality is that most people in Quebec speak significantly better English than the average English-speaking guy's French. You could practically live your entire life in Quebec without speaking a word of the language, and if you take the time to learn that est means east and ouest means west, you can navigate across the entire province with little difficulty. But try using French to order a coffee in Toronto and be prepared for a lot of blank stares and weird looks.

To me, it seems unfortunate that there is such a barrier between Quebec and the rest of Canada. I think a lot of people miss out on an entire province because they are afraid they won't be able to communicate with its citizens, or that they will be poorly received when they try. It seems to me that the tension between Quebec and the rest of Canada could be greatly eased by just a small effort, on both sides, to actually interact with each other.
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:59 am

I have had the pleasure to work and/or live in every province and territory in Canada. And yes to a point Quebec is different, but as previously stated no more distinct than say Nunavut or the NWT. If you want distinct how about Newfoundland and Labrador probably the most distinct and culturally diverse province in Canada.
One thing I have found is that the most rabid xenophobic quebecois are the ones who have never been outside their little box let alone the province. The many francos I have worked with in the military are so anti seperatist, they would not want to be part of a seperate Quebec.
BTW the cost to translate an A/C Maint Manual is around $1 Million a book, even though the majority of the techs using it only use the english side of the page.

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HiFi
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Fri Aug 25, 2006 3:00 am

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 3):
The only truly bilingual city in Canada is Ottawa.

Someone here already mentioned that New Brunswick is the only bilingual province in Canada. Unfortunately, the only one. It works quite well, although it is still more common to see francophones that are able to speak english than the contrary. Still, the integration is OK. I've seen, more than once, kids from anglophone and francophone schools hanging out together. Not to mention chiac.. quite charming in fact.

As to the 'distinct' society, yes, quebec is a distinct society. Montréal is very different if compared to Toronto, Ottawa or Vancouver. The fear to lose your cultural identity is very understandable, but it's no excuse to being an idiot. I've never experienced any hostility from Quebecois, but I do know that it exists and the ones to blame are the Québécois themselves. Apart from that, both english and french Canadians should pay more attention to the bilingual ideals of Canada. Don't wait for the other one to make the first move, just f*ckin do it!

What exactly is the problem with learning a second language when still a kid, at least enough for basic communication? Bilingualism is a good bonus on CVs everywhere in the world, why in Canada can't it be more than "just" law?
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A332
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Fri Aug 25, 2006 3:29 am

Quoting A346Dude (Reply 22):
You could practically live your entire life in Quebec without speaking a word of the language, and if you take the time to learn that est means east and ouest means west, you can navigate across the entire province with little difficulty.

That's not true at all... there's much more to Quebec outside of Montreal. Please do not base your argument off of what you see happening in one city.. it certainly does not show the whole story.

To be without French in the rural areas of Quebec is a punishment indeed... most of the rural folk do not at all tolerate English speaking people on their turf.

And anyways, look at our history: the French lost the war with the British... English is the dominant language in North America and Canada is no exception. We should not have to be officially bilingual... it should be integrate or suffer the consequences... and that goes for immigration as well.
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AerospaceFan
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Fri Aug 25, 2006 9:38 am

Quoting HiFi (Reply 24):
Don't wait for the other one to make the first move, just f*ckin do it!

The problem is that it is incredibly difficult to speak two languages equally in ordinary life. For one thing, it's confusing. Communication is difficult enough without, say, alternating between English and French in ordinary conversations.

Joe: "How are you?"
Marie :"Tres bien!"
Joe: "I'm sorry, Tray Who?"

Or,

Simone: "You're going out today, right?"
Andrew: "Oui."
Simone: "So, we're going out today?"

It just complicate things.

Further, I'm not sure that we can think equally well in more than one language. It seems that one language will dominate in our thoughts and gradually take over, or that the original dominant language will assert itself when a second language is learned.

[Edited 2006-08-25 02:41:23]
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cedars747
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RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:31 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 26):
The problem is that it is incredibly difficult to speak two languages equally in ordinary life. For one thing, it's confusing. Communication is difficult enough without, say, alternating between English and French in ordinary conversations.

Pas vrais,bellieve moi !  Wink
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ReidYYZ
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 4:00 am

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Sun Aug 27, 2006 3:07 pm

Quoting Cptkrell (Reply 12):
Ste Trieste (sp?),

You're thinking Ste. Therese, the GM plant was torn down and now a Home Depot sits there.

Quoting BHXFAOTIPYYC (Reply 16):
Neither can I see how it can be legal in QC to have road signs and shop names only in French.

It was, for a while:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/bill101/
As of 1993 bill 86 allows english, only if it is half the size of the french name/words.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 26):
it is incredibly difficult to speak two languages equally in ordinary life



Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 26):
I'm not sure that we can think equally well in more than one language

It is surprisingly very possible. I have several co-workers in P.Q. that do just that. Their ability to swing from one to another in the same breath absolutely astounds me. After over 13 years of seeing this in action, I still stand in awe of this ability be it French and Hinglish (English w/ a Fr-Canadian accent-those who know, understand) English and German etc.
 
AerospaceFan
Posts: 6990
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:43 am

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Sun Aug 27, 2006 8:14 pm

Quite intriguing, ReidYYZ; it does indeed seem very difficult to think in two languages nearly simultaneously, but your citation of those co-workers seems worthy of attention. I think it would be an interesting research project to see if cognitive function is interefered with when there are two languages in which one is equally competent. There would be issues as to whether one is indeed equally competent in both, or whether there are patterns of thought that indicate that one language prevails in the minds of those with such facility.
What's fair is fair.
 
Stealthz
Posts: 5558
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:43 am

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:25 pm

Quoting A332 (Reply 19):
Forget it... if they want to go, I am sure France has open arms. Quebec and Canada are one in the same, just like Alberta and Canada are one in the same... if you don't like it, there's the door.

Doubt it..

Quoting Kieron747 (Reply 5):
In my experience, the Quebecois (THAT I CAME INTO CONTACT WITH) didn't much like the English Canadians, didn't much like the Americans, didn't much like the English, and hell, hated the French (who they described as snobbish deserters).

Some years ago I travelled a bit in France, the French are a little diifident of other natiionalities, they are known to not like the Americans, the British, the Australians all that much, pretty much in that order..(there are other countries in that list!) but the redeeming feature of all those folks is that they know they are not French.. the Quebecois. le horror!! think they are French!!
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!....well that might have changed!!!
 
don81603
Posts: 1105
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 12:07 am

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Sun Aug 27, 2006 10:16 pm

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 3):
Quebec borderline (coming from Toronto), but once you cross into Quebec everything is in French... English doesn't exist.

Due to provincial law, English in forbidden on signs for businesses.


I have been to Quebec (Communist Canada, as I call it) many times for work, and the residents are more than happy to make every non Quebecer feel like a lower class citizen. If you can't speak their language (which is different than the French spoken in France), then they just look down their nose at you. Distinct society? In a way, yes. They have their own way of doing things, some different holidays, customs and such, but in my opinion, you are Canadian first. The federal government made a MAJOR blunder when they allowed Quebec to force bilingualism down the country's throat, then turned around and banned English in Quebec. They should have put a stop to that right away, but now it's a bit late.

Since Quebec has twice held referendums trying to separate, I think the rest of Canada should have a vote to kick them out. If we succeed, my vote is to load 'em all up in a few C-130's, and drop them on Baffin Island.

I've had far too many run ins with those arrogant (edited for broadcast) to ever want to visit the place again. I love going to the Maritimes, but hate having to go through Quebec to get there. If I EVER see that God forsaken place again it'll be too soon. After the battle on the Plains of Abraham, the English should have said "You're defeated. Live by our rules, or get the **** out!", but they were nice, and gave them a place to call their own. Now we have to deal with the arrogance, snottiness, and self proclaimed "disinct society" that is Communist Canada.

When I hear of the garbage they pull off, I'm almost ashamed to admit to being Canadian
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
 
duke
Posts: 1177
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 1999 9:52 pm

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:36 pm

I have worked in Quebec City for two summers, and my experiences were on the whole positive. My colleagues were more than friendly, as were many people I met. I met all of two people who declared themselves French nationalists. One of them declared his views in a civilized manner, the other spoke about how Toronto had been stupid when he visited it some 15-20 years before, how English Canadians let French Canadians die in wars while they protected themselves, how he hates the Queen and would like to kill her and other such things. But that guy was a stranger psychological case in general and he was in no way representative of most people I met. Also, in the city, the standard of French language spoken is relatively high. There is a European flavor to it. Maybe it's different in some areas.

To cut to the chase and focus on the main issue, I think it's a good point that Quebec is a "distinct society" in the same sense that Inuit and Dene Indian Nunavut is. The place is VERY French, partly because many Anglophones have moved out of the province, often taking with them businesses and thus jobs (Bombardier, which makes among other technology some of the planes we discuss here, a major company, is now in Toronto. The Bank of Montreal has also moved to Toronto). But of course there are other people there. I think the language law is ridiculous. As if someone were stopping them from speaking French.
 
Pyrex
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Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:24 am

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:30 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 26):
The problem is that it is incredibly difficult to speak two languages equally in ordinary life.

Yet the rest of the world (i.e. alll those people for whom English is not a first language - Germans, Dutch, Swedes, etc.) seem to be able to do it...
Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
 
AerospaceFan
Posts: 6990
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:43 am

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:00 am

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 33):
Yet the rest of the world (i.e. alll those people for whom English is not a first language - Germans, Dutch, Swedes, etc.) seem to be able to do it...

I would doubt that. I think that there is a predominant language for a particular region even in most bilingual societies. Why? Because I think that most children are taught primarily in one language, and then only subsequently in another.

There are, I believe, predominantly French-speaking and German-speaking areas, respectively, of even as multilingual a country as Switzerland, if I'm not mistaken. And each have different cultural inclinations, up to a point.

(Excerpt)

Quote:
Contrary to the Italian and French speaking Swiss, the German speaking Swiss do not feel very close to their German neighbours in the north, even though the Alemannic dialects on both sides of the Rhine are similar. The reasons for this are mainly historical, as the German part of Switzerland has factually been separated from the rest of the German speaking areas since the late Middle Ages and officially since the peace of Westphalia. Another factor is the status of the dialect. High German is the official language and is used in writing and to a great part by the media, but the spoken language in Switzerland in all social classes is almost exclusively Swiss German (more precisely one of the Swiss German dialects) - in Germany, people with higher education seldom speak a marked dialect.

Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_speaking_part_of_Switzerland

There are cultural and therefore political ramifications to language, as alluded to in messages above. The article excerpted above appears to note a lack of uniform culture in German-speaking Switzerland, which is worrisome for a country like the United States or, perhaps, Canada, where culture, and not race or historical tradition, is the primary glue holding citizens together. One can argue that there is diversity in the United States and Canada as much as within the German-speaking areas of Switzerland; nevertheless, the main thing that unites each of our respective nations is indistinguishable from the English-speaking tradition. Further, by way of example, in this country, there is no theoretical politico-historical parity between the English-speaking tradition of the United States, and any other linguistic tradition, including, but not limited, to Spanish. In the United States, only the English-speaking tradition represents modern liberal democracy; sadly, in some surrounding regions, autocracy, followed by instability, appears to have been the rule.

[Edited 2006-08-27 20:15:00]
What's fair is fair.
 
Pyrex
Posts: 4821
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:24 am

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:48 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 34):
I would doubt that.

You missed my point, I am not referring to Switzerland or Belgium. Simply put, almost every educated person under 30 in other parts of the world seems to be able to talk and think in English besides their native tongue - so what is the difficulty with it?
Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
 
peterpuck
Posts: 249
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2004 2:59 am

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:36 am

I think Quebec is distinct since the most racist group of people in the country live there.
 
AerospaceFan
Posts: 6990
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:43 am

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:02 am

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 35):
You missed my point, I am not referring to Switzerland or Belgium. Simply put, almost every educated person under 30 in other parts of the world seems to be able to talk and think in English besides their native tongue - so what is the difficulty with it?

I'm not sure I would agree. There are plenty of educated people who do not speak English at all, and there is no guarantee that merely because they speak in English, their thoughts are in English except possibly while reading, writing or conversing in that language.

The cultural component of language, moreover, is far more important than the bare ability to understand or communicate in it. For example, despite the fact that everyone who writes in this Forum knows English, most Europeans who post here seem to consider Americans more conservative than they. And while the history of the United States and Britain have diverged sufficiently so that British people are more "internationalist" than many Americans, it is no coincidence that Prime Minister Blair literally speaks the language of Anglo-style liberal democracy with an assertiveness regarding certain political matters more decisively than any other leader on the world stage today, except for the President. We share a common history, heritage, and way of reacting that is consistently reinforced through assimilation of English-language cultural artifacts -- books, debates, and public opinions.

The language and culture connection is quite intimate, whatever the cause may be.

As a practical matter, even if other reasons aren't considered, the fact that each linguistically related region (e.g., the English-speaking or French-speaking countries of the world, considered as two of these regions) has a pantheon of great philosophical, literary, artistic, and political figures whose language is almost exclusively that of its own means that those who understand that language the most tend to be most exposed to the cultural memes of that particular linguistic group. Most Frenchmen are more familiar with Moliere than with Samuel Johnson. Few educated Americans have seen the works of Georges Feydeau, but most have at least a passing familiarity with Gilbert & Sullivan. It is a rare breed whose thoughts are truly international, although they do exist.

In a very real sense, language is culture; thus, one's dominant language determines the dominant culture that animates one's thoughts.

Suggested readings:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_Anthropology (general overview; language may have a determinative effect on perception and behavior)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_and_thought (general overview; language may have an effect on cultural norms and self-evaluation)

http://anthro.palomar.edu/language/language_5.htm (language influences culture, though does not determine reality)

[Edited 2006-08-28 03:35:42]
What's fair is fair.
 
A332
Posts: 1421
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:58 am

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:21 pm

Quoting PeterPuck (Reply 36):
I think Quebec is distinct since the most racist group of people in the country live there.

You've obviously never been to Alberta... the racism capital of Canada.

There are a lot of things that frustrate me in regards to Quebec, but being packed with racists certainly is not true.
Bad spellers of the world... UNTIE!
 
WrenchBender
Posts: 1662
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 5:59 am

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:50 pm

Quoting PeterPuck (Reply 36):
I think Quebec is distinct since the most racist group of people in the country live there.

Xenophobic....possibly, Racist......hardly or at least no worse than anywhere else in the country.

Quoting A332 (Reply 38):
You've obviously never been to Alberta... the racism capital of Canada.

Redneck.....yes, A whole lot of conservative christian fundies (that are homophobic).....yes, that doesn't make them racist.

The racism word is thrown around just a little to easily and way out of context these days.

WrenchBender
Silly Pilot, Tricks are for kids.......
 
A332
Posts: 1421
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:58 am

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:45 am

Racism is alive and well right here in Calgary... I live it each and every day. It's always a comment about those "brown terrorists" in the North East or those "chinks" are at it again whenever there's some kind of violent altercation or shooting...

Hell, the whole NE quadrant of Calgary is constantly labeled and discussed as dirty/poverty-stricten/crime ridden even though most of the neighborhoods are on par or better than other areas of the city. You look at the demographic make up and it's clear why it's said... minorities outnumber the caucasian folk.

The smaller towns/cities are even worse... I spend a lot of time in SE Alberta (Brooks/Bassano/Medicine Hat) and the vast majority are simple minded Christian hillbillies with a whole lot of anger at the "dark folk"... (large amounts of Sudanese immigrants in the area).
Bad spellers of the world... UNTIE!
 
WrenchBender
Posts: 1662
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 5:59 am

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Tue Aug 29, 2006 4:12 am

A332 I find that funny considering that some of the oldest inhabitants in Calgary are the residents of Chinatown. That the tremendous growth over the last few years has brought a huge influx of 'easterners' with their attitudes and viewpoints. Bigotted and uninformed I will give you (especially in smalltown southern AB), but racist just doesn't fit. I live downtown and it is way worse than the NE for all crime statistics.
Immigration opened up the west and this province in particular, and is being driven by the current oil boom. We have the jobs and not enough workers, I welcome all who are willing to work. To label all Albertans as racist just drives me crazy. (For info, I am a western immigrant conservative who is Pro Gay Marriage, Pro Choice, hate religion in politics, and am totally offended by bigotry and racism.)

WrenchBender
Silly Pilot, Tricks are for kids.......
 
peterpuck
Posts: 249
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2004 2:59 am

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Tue Aug 29, 2006 6:11 am

The separatists are racists. If you do not speak french, specifically their brand of french, they have no use for you. Worse still, even those who speak the same, but are from a different colour, culture etc. are disliked. Remember Parizeau's "money and the ethnic vote" comment. I travel all over this country, it's my job, and I've never seen an attitude like this anywhere else.
 
A332
Posts: 1421
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:58 am

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Tue Aug 29, 2006 6:31 am

Quoting WrenchBender (Reply 41):
I live downtown

It's different living downtown... it's far more liberal than say, the NW. I spent a few years downtown and the attitude towards minorities is way different out in the 'burbs, which is where the majority of Calgary resides.

You are correct though, the downtown is much more unsafe than the NE, yet the media constantly demonizes the NE quadrant as some kind of squalid hellhole.

As well, did you see the news special on Global a couple weeks back where they sent a couple of black men undercover to try and access local nightclubs... you can't tell me that wasn't an extremely obvious example of local racism.
Bad spellers of the world... UNTIE!
 
VonRichtofen
Posts: 4296
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2000 3:10 am

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Tue Aug 29, 2006 6:57 am

Well I've never been to Quebec but if they truly are a distinct society then I say that is a good thing. We need a distinct society that doesn't let itself become "America jr." like the rest of Canada.

Kris
 
Qb001
Posts: 1923
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2000 12:42 am

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Tue Aug 29, 2006 7:24 am

Quoting A346Dude (Reply 22):
After reading this thread, it's no wonder to me, someone who has lived in Ontario his whole life, that Quebeckers sometimes feel alienated from the rest of Canada.

If I may paraphrase : after reading this thread, it's no wonder to me that 60%+ of francophone Quebeckers want to separate from the ROC.

Fortunately, I know that the toxic views expressed in this thread do not represent the views of a majority of English-Canadians, who, in their overwhelming majority, have respect and genuine affection for Quebec. Only the anonymity of this forum allows a poor individual like PeterPuck to say that Quebec is full of racists (probably a simple case of projection on his part).

I was in Ontario for two weeks this summer (annual family vacation) and I met only nice and charming people, who sometimes made a real effort to speak in French to us, although, as you have probably guessed already, was not really necessary. I will be in YYZ this fall and I'm only looking forward to it, because I know that I'll have a good time with my Canadian colleagues (who make all sort of excuses during the rest of the year to come to YUL because they know it's the bestest city in North America).

Is Quebec a perfect place ? No. Are all Quebeckers perfect ? No. Do we have our fair share of a**holes, like everywhere else in the world ? Yes. I wonder why, then, Quebec is supposed to have higher standards of niceness...

And to say that Quebec is not different from, say, Alberta, is so ludicrous that those who make that claim have a serious case of delusion. Different does not mean better or worst, it only means, well, different, as not being the same.

Signed : un vrai de vrai Québecois pure laine et fier de l'être.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
 
Derico
Posts: 4467
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 1999 9:14 am

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Tue Aug 29, 2006 7:32 am

Quoting BHXFAOTIPYYC (Reply 16):
For the record, those octagonal 8 sided signs in red, in France, Spain and Portugal all say "STOP" in English. It's an English word, that got adopted, that's all.

I really didn't notice to take a look in Spain or France at the stop signs, but if they say 'stop' then that is rather idiotic, isn't it?

I have a hard time believing that, I mean I could see that in Scandinavia but southern Europe? Interesting. Reading this made me take a picture the other day, even in the rain of a cold front going through:



Well good to know the official language of Argentina is still Spanish! (even in the Stop signs)  Wink

I honestly think it would look moronic if they said 'stop'.
My internet was not shut down, the internet has shut me down
 
csavel
Posts: 1407
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 9:38 pm

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:05 pm

Quoting BHXFAOTIPYYC (Reply 16):
For the record, those octagonal 8 sided signs in red, in France, Spain and Portugal all say "STOP" in English. It's an English word, that got adopted, that's all.

In Mexico and Puerto Rico the signs say Pare, yes even in the US Territory of Puerto RIco (although they may say stop in San Juan, I don't remember.)

Quoting A332 (Reply 38):
You've obviously never been to Alberta... the racism capital of Canada.

Whoa, tell me about it, outisde the smart part of Calgary, it was like being in freakin' Oklahoma, only with different accents.

Long time visitor to Canada, Quebec to me does feel like a distinct society, and I can sort of understand how they are a bit sensitive about the language problem, since before Quebec nationalism, the place French was *least likely* to be spoken were in the boardrooms and offices of Montreal.

I think it probably went too far, but now that French Quebec is secure, you *can* speak English in Montreal, Softimage can hire anglophone programmers, (that was the case even before Avid bought them out) nobody much cares anymore. I think you'll get the rudde treatment if you rae rude in turn and expect everyone to really speak English. But honestly, never had a problem in Montreal or any part of Quebec even at a dep in some rural paris where they couldn't speak a word of English, but I can get by in French, and can even make out joual if I try and they speak lentement.

SO if Quebec wants sout so what?

I ask this question of *every* person from a contry where a minority wants to secede.
SO effing what, if they want to go let them.
Same can be said for Iraq/Turkey and Kurdistan
China and Tibet
Russia and Chechnya
Canada and QUebec

THe minorities of every on of those countries don't share the same language or culture as the majorities, inmost of them they don't share the same religion,so why stay together. Who cares? Wouldn't it make China *more* Chinese if Tibet was on its own? Same for Canada with Quebec, TUrkey with Kurdistan, etc., etc.

Yes I am from the US, and Yes and if Texas wanted to secede to preserve their essential Texasness, well it couldn't happen soon enough! As I am from New York I have entertained the fantasy of seceding from Christian Talibania since we in New York are distinct from the rest of the country.
I may be ugly. I may be an American. But don't call me an ugly American.
 
User avatar
sebolino
Posts: 3590
Joined: Tue May 29, 2001 11:26 pm

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:35 pm

Quoting BHXFAOTIPYYC (Reply 16):
For the record, those octagonal 8 sided signs in red, in France, Spain and Portugal all say "STOP" in English. It's an English word, that got adopted, that's all.

Not really.

In France the panels say "STOP" in FRENCH, as it is an adopted word like you say, and there exists the verb "stopper".
These words coming from different languages are numerous in every living language.
 
HiFi
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 5:36 am

RE: Is Quebec A 'Distinct Society?'

Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:14 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 26):
Further, I'm not sure that we can think equally well in more than one language. It seems that one language will dominate in our thoughts and gradually take over, or that the original dominant language will assert itself when a second language is learned.

Sh*t, I didn't mean everyone should be able to alternate between french and english like you exemplified..

just learn both languages... Canada is predominantly english, yes, but its origin is also french. and remember that at a time neither ontario nor quebec were members of the confederation, which ultimately became Canada.

i speak portuguese, french, english and spanish. The only one I use frequently is portuguese, maybe english. Occasionally french. I'm still able to speak all of them. Sure, you forget lots of things and you lose practice, but it's not too hard to keep it at a minimum for reading and basic conversation.
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