Thursday, May 30, 2024

The real enemy of the French language

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Tony Vaughn
Tony Vaughn
"Total creator. Evil zombie fan. Food evangelist. Alcohol practitioner. Web aficionado. Passionate beer advocate."

The catastrophic decline of French in Quebec and Canada has provoked various reactions that generally avoid pointing to the real culprit of this accelerated English: the United States.

Many English Canadians note with satisfaction the gradual disappearance of the French language in Quebec and Canada and, in general, rejoice at anything that weakens Quebec.

But these people are missing the heart of the matter: Canada is becoming Americanized. The alarm was sounded decades ago by authors such as George Grant, in his bestselling book lament a nation.

Alberta, this Canadian Texas, has also become a stronghold of Trumpism.

The invasion of Canadian institutions is a pure product of American cultural imperialism.

Quebec, which long ago prevented Canada with its French culture from fully Americanizing America, is now itself increasingly close to the United States.

Some examples show this well.

Americanization of Quebec

The musical world of young Quebecers is made up of more American singers than it was in the 1970s or 1980s.

Cultural references for hosts and columnists, especially on radio, are mostly American, in sports, culture or politics.

The books and scholarly articles used in French-speaking universities are mostly in English.

Streaming platforms such as Netflix or Disney Plus offer programs that are often culturally American and rarely dubbed in French.

American retreat

However, ironically, American power is on the decline.

Moreover, French-speaking universities have never before obtained such a number of degrees. Excellent foreign writers adopted Quebec as their homeland and write in French. International influences from all continents are more present than before, in gastronomy, sports, music, etc.

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But we continue to prefer English.

English friendly policies

In Montreal and elsewhere, the massive immigration that Quebec is going through has dumped young Quebecers into the ranks of students with poor French proficiency. So much so that the general teaching of French is more like teaching a second language than teaching a mother tongue.

The Quebec government continues to speak English only to Quebecers who request it.

English-speaking institutions get more money per capita than francophone institutions.

take over

Some will rightly point out that France’s loss of power and the English spirit of some French elites sets a very bad example for the rest of the world.

They are right.

However, it is possible to regain control of our language, despite the limitations of powers imposed by the Canadian Constitution.

Provided we realize that the danger ahead is not the English language per se, but cultural Americanization.

Provided that our elites set an example.

Provided that we better understand the huge advantage that French culture provides, among other things when it unites with other international cultures.

Unfortunately, this French culture that many envy us, we are replacing it with a superficial and cheap American culture.

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