I love English

In one of my many attempts to get my kids interested in learning my second language, I bought a subscription to I love English magazine. It's a European publication made especially for young French-speakers who want to learn English. It covers stories of interest for teenagers and the articles are sparkled with explanations on words and idioms that the reader might not be familiar with. I seldom see my kids with it, but I'm thinking if I keep it laying around the house, they're bound to develop the habit of reading it.

Last night, my daughter was telling me about a report by a young Frenchman who traveled the USA and Canada. Among other things, the young man mentioned that he liked Montréal and noted how funny the Québécois speak French. A bit befuddled by that statement, my daughter candidly asked which of the Québécois or the French people have an accent. "Well... I gather this young man just discovered that the same recipe can have many flavors." I replied. "I'd say it depends where you are... a Québécois in Paris has an accent, so does a Parisian in Marseille or in Montréal."

I think I'll renew the subscription to this fine magazine.


Anonymous said...


I love French.

I'm older than bilingualism, well official bilingualism anyway. More than anything I regret not learning the French language. I had my chance when I grew up along the Ottawa River.

In fact when I was a kid I thought I was French but didn't know why I couldn't speak the language. I lived in Ontario so I spoke English. My last name ended in a vowel and sounded French so I should be French. I am Catholic (these days barely) so I must be French. When we had cross town fights I always had Lafontaine, Gervais, Langois and Gagnon on my side versus White, Smith, Hill etc.

Oh I was confused. Half my Mom's family still lives up the river on the Quebec side. My great-grandfather had some lumber rights and a big farm near Aylmer over 100 years ago. But they were Irish. Still are. But they're bilingual, primarily French though.

I vacation in parts of Quebec and in France. But I've always had a tied tongue. So here I am. I'm enjoying your blog and hoping you keep it up.

The Ottawa river doesn't seem like such a big divide as it once did. And the Habs GM is from my birthplace, Peterborough.


skdadl said...

Nice to meet you, Michel. That was fun to read.

Raman said...

In the bilingual Montreal school where I work, I meet many kids who love English and think it's "cool", while they think French is useless.

In consequence, even though there are 3 times as many French-speaking kids as there are Anglos, English is more often spoken in hallways.

I guess they all love English too.

Michel Bolduc said...

I guess you're right. You make it sound as if these young people had a problem because of it. Could it be something else? Don't you love English as well?

Raman said...


Those kids don't have a problem. They follow a trend, that's all.

The problem lays elsewhere. -You'll find it when you turn around and realize that, in all walks of life, English has become the default language : Even if you are in a majority-French society, in a majority-French situation, and not at all in any kind of international setting.

Me, just like you, I've endeavoured to learn English. Originally, I did so to get to know those of my neighbours who spoke English.
I don't love English : I only think it's useful as a lingua franca.

But English is being made into much more than that; in Quebec, of course, but increasingly everywhere in the World.
English is being made into the elite's language. And I don't mean "elite" as in "rich and world-travelling" : I mean as in "able to feed yourself".
-Want to have a career in "anything"? Gotta know English. Heck, you only want to work for a dépanneur? ...If an Anglo customers walks in, your boss sure wouldn't want to make them feel unwelcome...

I learned English to get to know people. Then I realized my English-speaking neighbours didn't really want to get to know me.
-After all, everything tells them -- and us -- that they are "the cool gang" we should all be thriving to be part of...

Everywhere you go (at least in Montreal), that's the message. English is much more than a useful communication tool. It's something kids learn to adopt and embrace : Like the proper clothing style to fit in.
Whereas I've learned to use English, they sure learn to "love" it.

Michel Bolduc said...

That almost sounds like my story. See Becoming Québécois.

Snowbird said...

As we all know , English (or rather American) is the world's lingua franca , very often in bastardized form . I don't really enjoy my mother tongue being butchered in business negociations between say a Spaniard and an Indian.

I don't see anything particularly "cool" about low-grade "international" English . It's just useful , period . Most of my European friends will tell you that they see English as the Latin of the modern world , while French occupies Greek's erstwhile place in the Roman Empire , i.e. the language of the happy few , the élite . This is true basically everywhere in the Western world except in Canada , where History gave it a lackey's image and not a master's.

Part of this History is the sneaky suspicion that Quebec French is not really French . It is . Quebec French is much closer to standard French than Newcastle English is to Brooklyn English (basically not mutually intelligible) . The lasting success of Quebec singers in France voer time (Aglaé , Félix Leclerc , Gilles Vigneault , Charlebois , Céline Dion ....) is part of the evidence . Of course , the accents are different : I learned my French in France , where I spent several years and I fidn it kind of funny when people in Montreal tell me "Vous avez un accent" , meaning French and not Anglo. BTW , if you go to parts of Normandy (particularly the département de l'Orne , around Alençon and Argentan) you will hear French nationals speaking with an accent very close to Quebec's.

As far as English being "cool" in Montreal , I'm OK with that , except that there will be no Canada (if there truly is to be one Canadian nation someday)until English is scaled back to the same status it enjoys as the international lingua franca in unilingual places like say Paris , Sao Paolo , Rome or Tokyo . Switzerland is one nation , with four languages plus English for international business , but each of the four national languages has its own well-defined territory where it reigns supreme.No one should take office in Ottawa without first spending a month in Switzerland understanding what cements this very unique but largely replicable country-nation.

Do pardon me for ranting so long tonight . Must be the cold weather in Florida , where I'm writing from.

adski said...

"The problem lays elsewhere. -You'll find it when you turn around and realize that, in all walks of life, English has become the default language : "

It's just the way it is. Gotta roll with it. For as long as the US is the dominant force in the world, the English language will have the status it has, in Quebec and everyehre else.

On the other hand, Spanish has almost as many speakers as English on both American continents (over 300 million - US, Mexico, Central and South America). So it is Spanish, not French, that will likely become the counter weight to English in the future.

I, for one, am taking Spanish lessons as we speak. Who knows when it might come in handy.

"Even if you are in a majority-French society"

Note that while Quebec is 80% French, Montreal is only 50% French. Most immigrants settle in Montreal, not in the regions. So although the dominance of French is written into the law, it might not appear as obvious in Montreal as it is in Trois-Rivieres or Sept-Iles.

Raman said...

«It's just the way it is. Gotta roll with it.»

I don't believe we do.

When I see someone who automatically switches to English, every so often I will engage them in a discussion about it. You know what? When confronted with their attitude, most people recognize that it doesn't make much sense.

At the moment, if Francophones automatically switch to English whenever someone with a slight accent walks into the room, it is a matter of cultural attitude. And it has nothing to do with some fatalistic law of the Universe.

Attitudes and cultures change.
Just compare the pre and post Quiet Revolution situations.

At this moment, Francophones unconsciously seem to accept that English should prevail, even in situations where it is (locally) the minority's language. But nothing dictates that it should remain so.
If the people choose to take pride again, they may collectively decide to change their attitude. And they may even express their will through stricter language laws (targeting education and immigrants); or even through independence. Then, we may yet see more progress, as happened in the 60's-70's.

adski said...

“When confronted with their attitude, most people recognize that it doesn't make much sense. “

I agree that the dominance of English is not the best thing, so I am happy that there are so many Spanish speakers to the south of us. I would like one day for Spanish to become our second language, so that all Americans and Canadians would know Spanish as the Swedes know English.

“And they may even express their will through stricter language laws (targeting education and immigrants);”

This is not the way to go. These laws do not promote French. They are artificial and reek of desperation. The survival of French rests with the French people. It is an organic, grass roots process and it is up to the Francophones, and only the Francophones, to save it amongst themselves. I come from a country (Poland) that resisted both russification and germanization for centuries. And it was a more of an aggressive and forceful process of linguistic conversion than anglicisation of Quebec (which is a more passive process). The Polish language survived, because my people cultivated it and saved it. And there was never any language law to uphold it.

“or even through independence”

Independence will not change the demographic structure of Quebec and its surroundings. Quebec will always be drowning in the sea of English, and its only metropolis will always be full of English if it wants to keep its business status. Furthermore, the citizenship and currency will still be Canadian, the economic partnerships will still be there with the US and Canada, the flow of goods and people will continue, the only thing that will change is that Quebec’s flag will wave in front of the UN.

Independence is not a constructive process. It is rather a cry for help, a call for attention.

The change in attitude towards the English language (as in the kids you teach who think that English is “cool”) is not in Quebec’s hands. Quebec can’t do anything about it. Bill 101 will not reduce the appeal of English. It is rather the decline of American power (both at home and abroad) and the emergence of other economic powerhouses (China, Russia), and the numeric prevalence of other languages (Spanish) that will make people reflect on it and maybe finally conclude that English is not the “shit” it is groomed to be, and maybe there are other languages worth learning.

It will take years before it happens (maybe not in our lifetime), but it will happen. After all, there was a time when Latin was the world’s lingua franca, then it was French, now it is English. These things change through evolution, not through legal regulation.

Michel Bolduc said...


Independence is not a constructive process? What about the USA's independence in 1776?... or Canada's independence in 1867? Were those a cry for help, a call for attention?... hardly, I would say.

The Charter of the French language wasn't devised to reduce the appeal of English. The intent is to ensure proper exposure of a minority language facing the overwhelming domination of another.

Québec is in an odd situation where it is possible to comfortably live without knowing the language of the majority. Not many states are in that situation.

The Charter of the French language doesn't prevent anyone from learning any other languages. English is taught in every school of the province. The Québécois are more bilingual than other Canadians. Compare the number of Francophones contributing to English forums with the number of Anglophones contributing to French forums.

French Canadian culture is worthwhile. It's an asset to the country, but without the proper framework it will disappear. It's going nowhere outside the reach of Québec's Charter of the French language. Artists like Véronique Dicaire, Damien Robitaille et Les deux pieds dans la marge (all from Ontario) have moved to Québec to blossom.

Linguistic legislation in the current context is justified. And it won't prevent me from keeping in touch with the rest of the world or trying to get my kids interested in learning other languages.

adski said...

“Independence is not a constructive process?”

It is in the examples you cited. The American colonies, like Ireland and India, cast the shackles of British oppression. As did Algeria in the 60’s when it kicked out the French oppressors. As did South American countries when they sent the conquistadors home. As did my country when it sent the Germans back to their Mutterland in 1945, and then sent the Russians packing in 1989 (actually, the entire post-communist block did that).

In the context of Quebec, it is misleading to talk of “independence”. Quebec is NOT a colonized or oppressed country, contrary to the propaganda that runs in this province. Quebec is a part of a federation that in most surveys on the best country to live in always ranks in the top 5, no matter what criteria are used (just google “best countries to live in” and you’ll see). It is a federation that allows separatists to sit in the parliament (imagine Texas separatists sitting in Congress spewing out their bs...the US would never let that happen). It is a country to which many people in the world immigrate, or dream of immigrating.

Quebec’s separation (yes, separation, not “independence”) from Canada is destructive for all parties involved. It condemns the Maritimes to becoming American states. It condemns Quebec to becoming an American state (which in turns condemns the French language to extinction within 2 generations - think Louisianna or New England - the Americans don't show that much tolerance to diversity). It puts in jeopardy the existence of a country that has always been an alternative to the corporation-run United States, a country that believes in social programs and sharing of wealth.

Canada needs Quebec, and Quebec needs Canada. We need each other to survive. You want to destroy this, and ironically put your language at an even greater risk.

I hope it will never happen.

Michel Bolduc said...

You make sound as if Québec were the only thing keeping this country together.

adski said...


Unfortunately, it is. Fragmented Canada will not be able to exist. Sooner or later, the fragments will be swallowed up by the States. With 35 million people and a stable economy, we can exist next to a 300 million giant that consumes everything around the world. If we were to break up into smaller, less stable units of 7-10 million, that would be it.

The pro-Canada rally in 1995 was staged to show that Canada loves Quebec. It was pure bs. Canada does not love Quebec, it needs Quebec to survive. Quebec needs Canada too.

I can't believe Quebec separatists don't see it. They are shooting themselves in the foot.

Michel Bolduc said...

Yes, Québec needs Canada. Lévesque acknowledged it with his souveraineté-association formula. Duceppe has been repeating relentlessly that an independent Québec would need a strong Canadian partner. Even Parizeau amassed huge amounts of liquidities in 1995 to sustain the Canadian dollar and he mentions in his last book that great economical ensembles are key to the survival of smaller states such as those in the EU.

Unfortunately for the country, most Canadians fail to see the merits of a second language, the richness of its cultural production and the importance of an adequate legislative framework to maintain them.

adski said...

“Lévesque acknowledged it with his souveraineté-association formula.”

Yes, Lévesque did. Separation in 1980 would have meant something different than in 1995. In 1995, people got snowed with a tricky question about partnerships and negotiations, all while Parizeau was plotting to declare unilateral separation at midnight of the referendum night. It was going to be an all out separation, no strings attached.

The difference was that Parizeau was never a statesman of Lévesque’s caliber. He never had Lévesque’s charisma and honesty. Instead, he was an overambitious, cynical, populist, elitist politician who simply wanted to be president of a country. In his spare time, he was frequenting cocktail parties at the British Embassy (he always was an anglophile with elitist inclinations, always acting like an English gentlement - with the umbrellas and hats - a habit he picked up while studying in London), and then would appear publicly in front of his people to snow them about the dangers of English. He was essentially a lying sack of s**t. And remained one to this day.

"Unfortunately for the country, most Canadians fail to see the merits of a second language, the richness of its cultural production and the importance of an adequate legislative framework to maintain them."

Who cares? It is their loss. If they want to be unilingual members of the faceless majority, let them.

We are different and we are better. We speak 2 languages and often 3 (immigrants in Montreal). I am learning Spanish now, which will be my fourth language.

I often hear in Quebeckers complain that "we learn their language but they don't learn ours". Contrary to these people, I see this as an advantage, not a disadvantage. It’s a point for the Quebecois. Game, set, match.

Learning a foreign language is always good. Quebeckers know it, English Canadians don't. They are the ones missing out, not us. It's their loss, not ours.

But it doesn’t mean we can’t exist in one country with these ignoramuses. And we simply don't have a choice (the alternative being to become American).

Michel Bolduc said...

I see you have a strong opinion about Parizeau. I think he simply adapts to the audience to get the proper attention. All politicians do it.

You only see two possibilities, the Canadian federation or the USA. I see other alternatives on top of these. We obviously don't agree.

The idea isn't for Canadians to learn French. It's their loss, you're right, but things would run a lot smoother if the Canadian constitution wasn't constantly being used to challenge the Charter of the French language.

P.S.: Are you the anonymous commentator from prior entries? You use similar techniques.

Raman said...


The Quebec people chose to express their will through legislation. Believe me, that is much better than through social pressure.

Just ask non-Anglophones of past decades, in Canada and America, how they were brought to abandon their French/German/Italian/Yiddish...
No laws were necessary, because good old intolerance and social pressure did the trick. (You know, "Speak White" wasn't only aimed at Francophones...)

Is that what you'd hope for Quebec?

(And please don't give me the "If Quebec culture is vibrant enough, Anglos and Allos will naturally want to speak French" argument... Very unfortunately, we all know that isn't true either.)

No. The fact is, there is one key element that fosters linguistic segregation in Quebec: Namely, the ghettoized English school system.

When I mentioned stricter language laws above, possibly in an independent Quebec, that's especially what I had in mind.

There are countless other examples of societies that are diverse but that don't suffer from the kind of social schizophrenia that Quebec call "les deux solitudes". And that's because, in those societies, all citizens converge through learning the same curriculum, in the same language, in the same schools.

«Instead, he was an overambitious, cynical, populist, elitist politician who simply wanted to be president of a country.»

That is a very shallow appreciation, and utter BS.
Methinks all you think you know about him comes from The Gazette maybe?

adski said...

“I see you have a strong opinion about Parizeau.”

As probably all immigrants in Quebec.

“Are you the anonymous commentator from prior entries?”

Actually, today is the first time I comment.

“The Quebec people chose to express their will through legislation.”

This is a fact. I disagree with their decision.

“that is much better than through social pressure.”

Social pressure exists nonetheless.

“brought to abandon their French/German/Italian/Yiddish...”

Especially in the US (the melting pot). Sad.

“Namely, the ghettoized English school system.”

Since the English have been around for so long and helped build this province, they have legitimate rights here and overhauling their educational institutions would be the worst international blunder Quebec could commit. The reason that this overhaul hasn’t taken place is because every politician in Quebec knows that it would be going too far.
The only thing Quebec can do is to make the lives of Anglos so miserable that they all move out. Once they’re not here anymore, there won’t be a need to keep English schools. For as long as they are here, you’re stuck with them and their schools (I’m surprised though why they bother you so much. I’d just let them be).

“kind of social schizophrenia that Quebec call "les deux solitudes”

True. This is nobody’s fault though. It is simply how things evolved in the post colonial theatre. 2 major European powers came here, fought, and then split the lands. The English and the French happened to share the space that is Quebec today. So we are in the situation we are in.

“comes from The Gazette maybe?”

??????? why the gazette?

But even if it did come from the gazette, what would be wrong with it? The Gazette, just like La Presse, Le Devoir, JdeM, can be wrong, can be right, but most of the time is just boring (it’s been ages since I read it, btw).

And opinions are always opinions. They all depend on where you stand. I remember at the time of the OJ Simpson trial, a reporter went around asking people if they thought OJ was guilty or innocent. Every White person said “Yeah, I think he’s guilty, for sure”, every Black person said “No, he’s innocent, the police are framing him”. Opinions were split 100% based on race. I still remember that reportage...

Michel Bolduc said...

"The only thing Quebec can do is to make the lives of Anglos so miserable that they all move out."

What is that?

adski said...

I have no idea. I’ll leave that to the PQ to figure out. They’re a creative bunch.

In the 1970s, 250,000 Anglophones left Quebec. It shows that you can drive people away if you pass laws and regulations that tie their hands and interfere with their lives. If you step up the existing laws, more people will leave (but of course the downside is that by doing it Quebec will expose itself to international criticism. I’m not sure if it cares though).

Michel Bolduc said...

That's what the PQ inspires you? Why?

You mentioned that probably all immigrants have a strong opinion about Parizeau. Why?

Some people in the 70s didn't want to work with the majority and favored leaving. It's sad, but I respect their choice. The way I see it, the majority of those who stayed recognized the distinct society we live in. They still have daily newspapers, radio stations, TV stations, hospitals, elementary schools, high schools, CEGEP, universities... all is fine. In what way are laws and regulations tying their hands and interfering with their lives?

Most of my English-speaking friends obviously don't like these laws, but they understand why they're needed. Do you?

adski said...

“but they understand why they're needed.”

They’re lying to you. That’s not what they think but they’re too afraid to tell you that. They know that Bill 101 is off limits as far as discussion is concerned. It's the same thing with religion - you don't criticise it in front of very religious people, because you know it will inevitably lead to trouble.

In Quebec, the Anglophone population has been driven into a corner. They’re scared of their own shadow. They’re a spineless and apologetic bunch that has given up and retreated to their West Island ghetto.

There is a blog by this guy Fagstein that is a prime example of that. He’ll bend over backwards to appease everyone. I remember him once lending support to a bunch of MMF whackjobs that came to harass the Second Cup on Parc Avenue.

In one of his latest posts, he’s wishing Le Devoir “bon anniversaire”. That’s a paper that shits on Anglos and Fagstein’s own The Gazette. This is what Quebec Anglos have become – gutless masochists.

“Do you?”

Promotion of French – YES, for the sake of French (I am a Francophile), but also for the sake of diversity...

Doing it through laws that favor one language at the expanse of another – NO.

Michel Bolduc said...

Although I can't dismiss the possibility that some of my English-speaking friends are nuancing their words, I must say your reply mostly reeks bad faith. If you somehow have the ability to read minds, I'd be interested in knowing about it.

Raman said...


Though you first came off as well intentioned, everything you say contradicts any pretention of good will.

-You only make blanket statements about Quebekers, Quebec politicians, and about immigrants. -You demonstrate a deep lack of understanding about the sociocultural and political situation. -You fail to demonstrate any of your arguments. -Plus you keep painting things as if the democratic will of this society was some kind of nazi-esque, hate-filled campaign against a persecuted English minority.

There's only one term for this: Sir, you are an Angryphone.

Robert Robbins said...

I recently bought a French textbook on English even though it is the French language that I am studying. It was interesting to see how the Anglophone culture was presented. For example, a lot of material on India was included even though India does not contribute much to the Anglophone culture. Maybe the British are more conscious of their former colony. I don't know.

sheepless in vancouver said...

I agree with the first anonymous poster on several counts. I love French. I regret not reaching fluency when I had the chance. I could have gone to university in Quebec. I'm trying to make amends for that by relearning it now. We are fortunate to have the Quebec media because it greatly facilitates learning French.

I also share anonymous' cultural confusion. The Quebecois can be certain about their cultural identity. Those of us in the rest of Canada cannot. This is why Canada needs Quebec.

I cannot speak for those in Quebec, but here's a typical Canadian cultural experience for those in my generation (boomers). For the generations that followed, it has only become more culturally diverse.

I was born in Canada. My mother tongue is English, but I don't consider myself "anglais". My background is a mixture of Fransaskois (with roots back to Quebec since the country belonged to France), Scottish and even some Cree. I grew up watching American TV shows on CBC and listening to CBC radio. We went to the Chinese restaurant on Saturday, had roast beef and Yorkshire pudding on Sunday and ate from a culturally diverse menu of recipes that our mothers swapped.

We went to a Protestant church except at Christmas when we accompanied our grandmother to midnight mass at the Catholic church where the service was in French and Latin. Among my friends were first generation immigrants from China, Iran, the Ukraine, Germany and Norway. Many didn't speak English at home. My maternal grandfather (a "pure laine" Quebecois lured out west to work as a lumberjack) refused to learn English, but he did learn Ukrainian because that's what his neighbours spoke.

I graduated from school before official bilingualism and at a time when there was anti-French sentiment in other parts of Canada. I can read, but not speak French. My mother married an anglophone. She didn't teach us French because she didn't want her children to face the same discrimination she had. I grew up hearing the sound of French without understanding it.

My confusion increased when the PQ got elected and called the referendums. I had always supported the French side of the language debate because I well understood the importance of preserving the French language. Why was Quebec abandoning francophones in the rest of Canada? My inability to speak French did not deter me from pride in my francophone roots.

Today, I'm still confused, mostly by references in both French and English language Quebec media to an anglophone or "anglais" culture. Just what is an "anglais"?

To me, Canada is a series of different cultures roughly equivalent to provincial boundaries.

I was born in Saskatchewan, but have lived in BC for decades. I still get a feeling of connectedness when I meet someone who grew up in Manitoba or Saskatchewan around the same time I did. It's just not the same when I meet someone from Ontario, or Alberta, or Quebec. Those of us from the prairies share a common bond that I can't quite pin down. It must be culture. But it's not "anglais" culture.

Do Quebec anglophones have the same feeling of connectedness when they meet each other? Is this "anglais" culture? Or is it something else?

I would really be interested in hearing what people in Quebec think the "anglais" culture represents. The first time I was in Montreal, I remember walking up from McGill to Westmount speaking English with a friend from Ireland. We were approached by an obviously local anglophone woman who seemed pleased and excited to hear people speaking English. I remember being very confused about this encounter too.

Ramesh said...

Raman and adski - can I step in for a minute please?

@Raman - I see where adski is coming from. I don't think he bears ill-will towards QC at all. I think what he's trying to say is that the preservation of culture begins at home, and it's better if it's done through an organic process, rather than an imposed process. He cites the example of his native Poland.

To be fair to adski - I see this a lot in many people around the world. For example, many of my friends from India learnt English for the sake of their careers and education, but still speak their languages and maintain their culture at home proudly.

Adski also makes another good point - if English is the dominant language of commerce world wide, then people should learn English to do business and improve their careers.

Also, since QC is a small province, which is highly dependent on international trade, here's something else to think about: The strength of your community's culture depends on the financial strength of your community. If your community is financially and economically weak, then it's more likely that your culture will die.

So yes, it's a good idea to learn English, because you'll need it to grow your community and keep it financially strong. However, learn French and keep Quebecois culture alive, starting at home.

@adski - I see where Raman is coming from as well. He's frustrated that while QC is majority French, to get ahead people learn English.

And yes, coming from an ex- British colony, I see why Raman is unhappy: In the past the anglos of QC acted like the anglos in the rest of the Empire - arrogant and convinced of their manifest destiny. Everything revolved around them.

I hope that works. Just trying to get you both to see the other's point of view.

Michel Bolduc said...


Yes, the sovereignty movement basically abandoned Francophones in other provinces. Why?... because there doesn't seem to be a will in Ottawa to give French-speaking Canadians the proper leverage to perpetuate and develop their culture. Of course, there are programs and actions, but they come at a political cost with the general population that hampers their unabashed promotion. Who started it first?... the chicken or the egg?

I know English-speaking Canada has many faces, but as you point out, it's hard for you to pinpoint the Canadian identity. It's even harder for me. For the majority of Québécois, it's nearly impossible. Hence, les "Anglais".

I'm sure Québec Anglophones have this feeling of connectedness you refer to. Those I know certainly wouldn't want to be mistaken for Ontarians. Have you seen the movie The Trotsky?

I also feel this connectedness with other Québécois (especially, but not exclusively, with those who speak French the way I do). Those who live in the same neighborhood I do, when I meet them in town. Those who live in the same city I do, when I meet them somewhere else in the province. Those who live in the same region I do, when I meet them in other provinces. Those who live in Québec, when I meet them in other French-speaking countries. This feeling of connectedness is also present when I meet English-speaking Canadians abroad.

However, I'm afraid you and I aren't representative of our respective linguistic group. Thank you for your touching testimony.