An Anglo in Québec

Christopher Hall [Google translation] is a popular Québécois comedian. Although his mother tongue is English, he earns most of his living in French.

August 26th, 2007 marked the 30th anniversary of the Charter of the French language. Mr. Hall was invited to participate in the commemorations that marked the event. Here's an excerpt of what he said:
"I remember when it came into force because we had just arrived in Montréal; my father had accepted a job at McGill. We were living in Westmount and some people came at the door asking us to sign a petition against Bill 101. My father told them he wasn't interested because he felt it was normal for Québec to ensure the perpetuation of French.

They were flabbergasted; they just couldn't believe that he would say 'no'. That's when I learned the meaning of the word 'ostracized'. After that, not even Jehovah's witnesses came ringing at our door.

Of course, my father was right to do this, but I must say his commitment started way before that when we were living in Saskatchewan. He, and my mother, co-founded Saskatoon's French school 40 years ago and counting. They didn't want their children to have the same handicap they had, being English-speaking unilinguals.

I'm real happy for their ideal, but, for me, it was a 'pain in the ass'. I was getting kicked around by everyone. For Anglos across the street, I was a 'fucking frog'. For the Fransaskois I attended school with, I was a 'fucking bloke'."
Click below to watch his speech [only in French] and learn how he takes a crack at how we speak French in my part of the world.

Of course, he may come across as "colonized" to some, but I love the way he takes the heat out of the linguistic duality of my hometown.


L'engagé said...

Votre blog est absolument dans mes intérêts, mais dois-je moi aussi faire l'effort de vous écrire en anglais ou puis-je vous écrire en français?

Je ne vous ai pas écrit en «bilingue», les clips de Trudeau me font un effet étrange...

Michel Bolduc said...

Puisque ce blog vise à engager des échanges avec des lecteurs de langue anglaise, je préfèrerais qu'ils soient en mesure de bénéficier de tous les points de vue qui y sont présentés.

P.-S.: Effectivement, le clip de Trudeau était d'un ridicule consommé.

James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michel Bolduc said...

I fully agree with you James. My conclusion simply aimed at refraining undesirable comments. I really like this guy.