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Found 11 results

  1. Dieppe (Moncton,NB) pushes French, bilingual sign bylaw Proposed sign law open for discussion in January Tuesday, November 10, 2009 | 6:13 AM AT CBC News Dieppe is proposing a bylaw that will require all future commercial signs on the exterior of buildings in the southeastern New Brunswick city to be either in French or bilingual. Dieppe city councillors brought forward the sign bylaw on Monday night in an attempt to quell a long-simmering debate in the francophone city over the number of English-only signs. The proposed bylaw is not in force yet and the city will give people opposed to the idea a chance to speak at a public meeting in January. The move was greeted with applause by people in the audience at Monday night's meeting, including Martin Rioux-LeBlanc, who ignited the debate after gathering 4,000 names on a petition in January in an attempt to get bilingual signs in the city. "It's a big step for New Brunswickers, it's a big step for Dieppe and we can be proud of that," Rioux-LeBlanc said. The bylaw states that any new signs that go up in Dieppe will have to be either in French or bilingual, but existing signs would not be affected. Dieppe, a city of roughly 18,000 people, is the province's only francophone city that offers municipal services in both official languages. Natural progression Dieppe Mayor Jean LeBlanc said the proposal is a natural progression from years of trying to convince businesses through education to switch from English-only signs. "Dieppe has been promoting French and promoting French culture — the linguistic landscape of our city — for a long time. This is just a continued progression towards making sure our community is well reflected," the mayor said. Dieppe, along with its neighbouring Moncton, are popular shopping destinations for people in the Maritimes and have attracted a large number of businesses in recent years. However, most business signs are still in English only, which is what instigated the petition to adopt a new sign bylaw. Although New Brunswick is officially bilingual, the province's language law does not cover the private sector. So any regulation over the language on signs in municipalities must come from the local government. Municipalities are covered under the Official Languages Act, if they are designated as a city or have an official language minority that forms 20 per cent of the population. That would require, for instance, local bylaws to be published in both official languages, but it would not extend to commercial signs. Positive regulation Michel Doucet, a prominent constitutional lawyer who specializes in language law at the University of Moncton, has been pushing the city to pass such a bylaw. Doucet said this is a step forward for bilingualism. "It's something that will be very difficult for somebody, who is in good faith, to oppose this," Doucet said. "What the municipality has done is ensure that the linguistic image for this municipality transpires through its sign law. And I believe that the council now needs the support of the people of Dieppe to come forward and to congratulate what the council has done." Along with the public meeting on the bylaw that is planned for January, Dieppe city council is also seeking an opinion from the Greater Moncton Planning Commission on the bylaw.
  2. http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Gazette+exclusive+EMSB+pitches+tout+fran%C3%A7ais/2414008/story.html This is much needed. And not all of it should be spent on grammar reciting either (as is often the case). I think a big part is just being able to learn to get use out of it. Practice comprehension and conversational skills first, then worry about written skills. Although I had great French teachers in school, how was I (or anyone else) to become fluent by spending only 4-5 hours a week on it? This compared to living the rest of the week entirely in English (except for the Habs/Expos game back in the day). Having said that, English instruction should be toughened up as well. The quality of written English of a good portion of university peers is downright abysmal. They should have to pass a stringent English exam to get accepted into a regular program (if they fail, they should take a year-long mini program designed at teaching them proper written and spoken English). From what I have heard, they offer English-Second-Language courses that are taught by immigrants with heavy accents (notably from Ukraine and China). WTF?
  3. Everyone is aware that Montreal has been performing at an unacceptable level according to virtually every measure. The challenges that lay ahead are not simple, or easy, but they can be pursued successfully. Significant change appears to have commenced, and may be gathering strength. At the outset, let’s be clear about something. If Montreal is to become a great city again, it will either need to get some sort of real “special status” within Quebec, become a special economic zone or, later, a city state. As we see it, the fundamental question we face is: Can Montreal become a city of global importance, or is it destined to be a provincial metropolis? We are currently a provincial metropolis not much higher in status than other important provincial metropolises, such as Halifax or Winnipeg. We need to become more important, like Toronto or Barcelona. Under existing constitutional arrangements, municipalities are controlled largely by the provinces. Provincial governments pass most of the enabling legislation that affects the powers cities have. Mayor Denis Coderre has entered into talks with two provincial cabinet ministers, Pierre Moreau and Robert Poëti, regarding some kind of special status for Montreal that would see the city get more responsibilities and funding — but for small things like transport and services for the homeless. Bravo and kudos, but is that enough? No. A recent Bank of Montreal/Boston Consulting Group analysis of Montreal outlined 10 distinct proposals to turnaround the city’s sagging fortunes. If these 10 propositions were to become actionable, they would be implemented within one of the two broader contexts we see for Montreal: evolving provincial metropolis or evolving global city. First of all, Montreal needs to be able to attract and retain the best talent. That is a clearly defined goal to which to aspire. To do this, Montreal must control its own destiny, and that means it must be open to diversity and become a beacon of opportunity. In order to reconnect with the larger North American and offshore business world, Quebec’s restrictive language laws need to be reviewed, and reworked to fit with Montreal’s global ambitions and identity. The thinking should be as follows: Montreal is a French city, first of all. It is also a North American city. It should become a global city. Global cities are defined by their openness to diversity and creativity. And so all students, regardless of ancestry or origin, need to be bilingual at the end of primary school, and trilingual at the end of secondary school. Anglophones and allophones (including immigrants) should be free to choose any school they want, as long as those schools offer a bilingual or trilingual education. Businesses and institutions should be able to use their language of choice. The public should have access to all services in either official language: anywhere, anytime. All of this is possible; we just have to do it. The time is now. Michel David is a business strategist and author of The Genius Is Inside. He is also a director of Fondation Montréal: City-State. He lives in Westmount. Morton Grostern is a consultant to small- and medium-sized businesses in Montreal. He is also a director of Fondation Montreal: City-State. He lives in Hampstead. Michel Lozeau, a strategic consultant and executive coach in Paris, contributed to this commentary. He lives in Montreal and Paris. © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  4. http://world.time.com/2013/04/08/quebecs-war-on-english-language-politics-intensify-in-canadian-province/ To live in Quebec is to become accustomed to daily reminders that French in the Canadian province is the most regulated language in the world. Try, as I did recently, to shop at Anthropologie online and you’ll come up empty-handed. The retail chain (which bears a French name) opened its first Montreal boutique in October, but “due to the Charter of the French Language” has had its site shut down: “We hope you’ll visit us in store!” Montreal’s transit authority maintains that under the present language law, its ticket takers must operate in French, which lately has spurred complaints from passengers. Last year, the city of Montreal erected 60 English safety signs nearby Anglophone schools in an effort to slow passing vehicles. The Quebec Board of the French Language and its squad of inspectors ordered that they be taken down; a snowy drive through town revealed that all had been replaced by French notices. Since the Parti Québécois (PQ), which calls for national sovereignty for Quebec, won a minority government in September, the reminders have become increasingly less subtle. In February, a language inspector cited the swank supper club Buonanotte, which occupies a stretch of St. Laurent Boulevard, Montreal’s cultural and commercial artery, for using Italian words like pasta on its otherwise French menu. The ensuing scandal, which has come to be known as “pastagate,” took social media by storm. “These are problems we had in the 1980s,” says restaurant owner Massimo Lecas. “They were over and done with; we could finally concentrate on the economy and fixing potholes. And then this new government brought them all back. These issues might never go away now, and that is a scary sort of future.” It’s true: despite the nuisances and controversies generated by Bill 101, Quebec’s 1977 Charter of the French Language, the province had settled in the past years into a kind of linguistic peace. But tensions have mounted considerably since the separatist PQ returned to the fore. In the wake of pastagate, the language board allowed that its requests were maybe overzealous; the head of the organization resigned. And yet the PQ has prepared for the passage of Bill 14, a massive and massively controversial revision to Bill 101. The bill’s 155 proposed amendments go further than any previous measures have to legislate the use of French in Quebec. Most English speakers see the changes as having been designed to run them right out of the province. “Definitely non-Francophone kids who are graduating are leaving,” says restaurateur Lecas. “If you don’t have a mortgage yet, if you’re not married yet, if you don’t own a business yet, it’s like, ‘I’m so outta here.’ But leaving is not the solution because when you leave, they win.” In a poll conducted by the research company EKOS in January, 42% of the Anglophones surveyed said they’ve considered quitting Quebec since the PQ was elected. If Bill 14 passes, military families living in Quebec but liable to be relocated at any time will no longer be permitted to send their children to English-language schools. Municipalities whose Anglophone inhabitants make up less than 50% of their populations will lose their bilingual status, meaning, among other things, that residents won’t be able to access government documents in English. For the first time, companies with 25 to 49 workers will be required to conduct all business in French, a process set to cost medium-size businesses $23 million. French speakers interested in attending English-language colleges will take a backseat to Anglophone applicants. The language inspectors will be able to instantly search and seize potentially transgressive records, files, books and accounts, where currently they can only “request” documents that they believe aren’t in accordance with the law. And no longer will they grant a compliance period. As soon as a person or business is suspected of an offense, “appropriate penal proceedings may be instituted.” Jamie Rosenbluth of JR Bike Rental is among the business owners who’ve had run-ins with the ever more bold language board, which already has the authority to impose fines and, in extreme cases, shut enterprises down. A month ago, an inspector asked him to translate the Spanish novelty posters that paper his shop and increase the size of the French writing on his bilingual pricing list by 30%. Says Rosenbluth: “I told her, ‘You want me to make the French words 30% bigger? O.K., how about I charge French-speaking people 30% more?’ It is so silly. Are they 30% better than me? Are they 30% smarter than me?” Since the encounter, he has covered the offending posters with placards of his own that say, in French, “Warning: Non-French sign below. Read at your own discretion.” The PQ is trying to reassure its separatist base of its seriousness as a defender of Quebecois identity. To pass Bill 14, it will need the support of at least one of the province’s two primary opposition parties. In other words, if the bill doesn’t succeed, Premier Pauline Marois of the PQ will be able to hold the opposition accountable and remain a hero to the hard-liners. The PQ knows that, in its present incarnation, it will never drastically expand its core of support, but it can galvanize its troops. Some of those supporters rallied together in Montreal last month to protest “institutional bilingualism” and champion the bill. Cheers and applause resounded when journalist Pierre Dubuc called out: “If someone can’t ask for a metro ticket in French, let them walk.” Public hearings on Bill 14 began in early March at the National Assembly in Quebec City and are ongoing. “I can tell you that if someone came to Côte-St.-Luc to tell us we would lose our bilingual status, you will have chaos, you will have opposition of people you wouldn’t think of who will take to the streets,” testified Anthony Housefather, mayor of the municipality of Côte-St.-Luc, on the first day. “People are scared, people are very scared.” By the time Quebec’s largest Anglophone school board, Lester B. Pearson, came forward on March 19, it had already collected 32,000 signatures on a petition against the bill. “There are many ways of protecting French, and coercion isn’t one of them,” says Simo Kruyt, a member of the board’s central parent committee. “Fourteen of our schools have closed over the past seven years. We are getting fed up. We are getting tired of having to fight to be who we are. English is the language of commerce and we parents believe we are part of a world that’s larger than Quebec.” It’s hard yet to say if the bill will make it through. The opposition Liberals have flat-out refused to support the legislation. The Coalition Avenir Québec, which holds the balance, has said that it might — if certain of the more controversial measures are “improved.” In fact, the Coalition has only come out against four sections of Bill 14, and these don’t include the provisions that would give the dreaded language inspectors new and extraordinary powers. In the face of such antagonism, it’s no wonder some are leaving. Kruyt’s eldest son, a bilingual 27-year-old engineer, is preparing to relocate to Ottawa, the Canadian capital that sits near Quebec’s western border. Says Kruyt: “There, they’ll appreciate his French and won’t hammer him because of his English.” Read more: http://world.time.com/2013/04/08/quebecs-war-on-english-language-politics-intensify-in-canadian-province/#ixzz2PxmWuSHp
  5. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=3a52042e-09e1-45eb-ac93-c03a898ddfbc&k=38113
  6. Young anglos complain of un plafond de verre Conference. Must have higher level of fluency in second language, English-speakers say HUBERT BAUCH, The Gazette Published: 23 hours ago The burden of bilingualism chafes on young anglos in Quebec. Many feel that even speaking both languages, they are still second-class citizens. A consultation with 300 young anglophones from all parts of the province conducted by the Quebec Community Groups Network found most are eager to integrate with the francophone milieu, but encounter frustration, either because their school-taught French isn't good enough, or because franco- phones are unwelcoming. A perverse finding was that for young anglos, bilingualism is a greater asset outside Quebec than at home. Most shared the view that outside Quebec, any ability to speak French gives job applicants a competitive advantage, whereas less than total French fluency puts you at a disadvantage if you're anglo in Quebec. It suggests that rather than slowing the exodus of young anglos from Quebec, bilingualism is aggravating it. A common view was that on the provincial job market, francophones qualify as bilingual with far lower second-language skill than is demanded of anglophones. "Most youth expressed the frustration they feel at attempting to integrate into the job market," says the summary report of the consultation. "In addition to the language barrier, many feel that English speakers face discrimination in accessing jobs or upward mobility." The survey suggests young anglos find their school system is doing an inadequate job teaching them French, and while overall language tensions have significantly abated in Quebec in recent years, English-French relations remain tenuous on the ground. "While some said they feel shy about participating in French language activities, others reported feelings of social segregation, being unwelcome and a lack of belonging," the report says. On the upside, it was found that a great many young anglos feel positively about their communities and would prefer to make their lives there. For all the frustrations, "quality of life" was widely cited as good reason for staying. "In rural Quebec the quality of life cited included access to the outdoors, the proximity of family and friends and a strong sense of community. In Montreal, it was cited more in reference to the low cost of living, vibrant artistic community and range of activities." There also appears to be a willingness to confront the frustrations and reach across the linguistic divide. "A desire for frank discussion and projects to directly address English-French tensions in their regions was expressed." The consultation results were presented at a weekend conference organized by the QCGN at Concordia University and attended by about 100 young anglos from all parts of the province. In a plenary discussion, some spoke of personal experiences that reflected the report's conclusions. Jonathan Immoff, who attends university in Rimouski, praised the quality of life in his native Gaspé. "The region is gorgeous. It's home. It's where our family is and we don't want to leave." But he said job opportunities are scarce for anglos who don't speak perfect French. "You have to speak very well to be considered bilingual, while francophones aren't held to nearly the same standard in English." Marilyn Dickson, from the Magdalen Islands, said bilingualism is "the big issue" for the small local anglo community of about 500. "Those who aren't have no choice but to leave. It's the way it is." A delegate from the North Shore said anglo efforts to be bilingual tend not to be reciprocated by francophones. "They're not willing to speak any English. If you're English, it's screw you. The lack of communications cuts all ties right there." A franco-Ontarian delegate who moved to Quebec said she finds anglo Quebecers are treated like francophones are in her native Ottawa. The situation presents challenges for the greater Quebec anglophone community, but there is also an encouraging will to confront and overcome what problems and frustrations there are, said QCGN president Robert Donnelly. "You expressed a desire to move forward, to leave the issue of language in the past, to increase intercultural activities and to have frank, open discussion with your francophone counterparts," he said in his welcoming speech. "You stated you wish to remain in Quebec and to contribute to Quebec society." The consultation and the conference are the groundwork for a three-to-five-year strategic plan for English-speaking youth being developed by the QCGN, an umbrella group for anglo organizations throughout the province. "Youth are saying now that they want to stay," said Brent Platt, co-chairperson of the QCGN youth committee. "I think French people on the whole are more willing now to work with us, to make things better for both communities. We have to do things together if we're going to get anywhere." [email protected] thegazette.canwest.com
  7. Hi, I have been reading SSP for about 5 years now and most recently, I have joined MTLURB so I could read that too, so I am quite familiar with all the projects. My question is this: Does anybody know what the two giant metal semi-circles in front of the Telus Tower are and why they move? Sometimes they're down, sometimes one is up, or the other... I asked a security guard and he had no idea. Thanks. p.s. I am bilingual, however my writing skills are far better in English than in French, but please feel free to reply in either language. Also, I work in the McGill University Planning Office (hence the nickname) so I can be a resource for all McGill related construction questions.
  8. C'est ce que j'adore de Montréal, et de sa communauté anglophone: cette façon d'être elle-même vraiment distincte du ROC et des USA. Ça paraît dans la langue utilisée. Cette particularité est pour moi une richesse indéniable de notre ville et du Québec en entier. Même une grande source de fierté! http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Montreal+English+true+sais+quoi/6941480/story.html
  9. 1. You pronounce it “Muntreal”, not “Mahntreal”. 2. You have ever said anything like “I have to stop at the guichet before we get to the dep.” 3. Your only concern about jaywalking is getting a ticket. 4. You understand and frequently use terms like ‘unilingual,’ ‘anglophone,’ ‘francophone,’ and ‘allophone.’ 5. You agree that Montreal drivers are crazy, but you’re secretly proud of their nerves of steel. 6. The most exciting thing about the South Shore is that you can turn right on a red light. 7. You know that the West Island is not a separate geographical formation. 8. In moments of paranoia, you think that there’s no red line on the Metro because red is a federalist colour. 9. You have to bring smoked meat from Schwartz’s and bagels from St-Viateur if you’re visiting anyone west of Cornwall. 10. You refer to Tremblant as “up North.” 11. You know how to pronounce Pie IX. 12. You have an ancient auntie who still says “Saint Dennis.” 13. You believe to the depth of your very being that Toronto has no soul, but your high school reunion is held in Toronto because most of your classmates live there now. 14. You greet everyone, from lifelong bosom friends to some one you met once a few years ago, with a two-cheek kiss. 15. You know at least one person who works for the CBC, and at least one other person who used to work for Nortel. 16. You know what a four-and-a-half is. 17. You’re not impressed with hardwood floors. 18. You’ve been hearing Celine Dion jokes longer than anyone else. 19. You can watch soft-core porn on broadcast TV, and this has been true for at least 25 years. 20. You cringe when Bob Cole pronounces French hockey player names. 21. You get Bowser & Blue. 22. You were drinking cafe-au-lait before it was latte. 23. Shopper’s Drug Mart is Pharmaprix, Staples is Bureau en Gros, and PFK is finger lickin’ good. 24. You really believe Just For Laughs is an international festival. 25. For two weeks a year, you are a jazz afficianado. 26. You need to be reminded by prominent signage that you should wait for the green light. 27. Everyone on the street - drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists - think they’re immortal, and that you’ll move first. 28. You’re proud that Montreal is the home of Pierre Trudeau, Mordechai Richler, William Shatner, Leonard Cohen and the Great Antonio… 29 .And, you consider Donald Sutherland (and by default, Keifer), Guy Lafleur, Charlie Biddle, and Roch Carrier Montrealers, too. 30. You know that Rocket Richard had nothing to do with astrophysics. 31. You know the apocryphal story of the fat lady at Eaton’s. 32. You miss apostrophes. 33. You’ve seen Brother Andre’s heart. 34. No matter how bilingual you are, you still don’t understand “ile aux tourtes.” 35. You know the difference between the SQ, the SAQ, and the SAAQ. 36. You measure temperature and distance in metric, but weight and height in Imperial measure. 37. You show up at a party at 11 p.m. and no one else is there yet. 38. April Wine once played your high school (alternatively, Sass Jordon or Gowan). 39. You know that Montreal is responsible for introducing the following to North America: bagels, souvlaki, smoked meat and Supertramp. Also, Chris de Burgh. 40. You don’t drink pop or soda, you drink soft drinks. 41. You have graduated from high school and have a degree, but you’ve never been in grade 12. 42. The margarine in your fridge is the same colour as lard. 43. Every once in a while, you wonder whatever happened to Luba. 44. You never thought that Corey Hart was cool, but you know someone whose cousin or something dated him. 45. There has to be at least 30 cm of snow on the ground in less than 24 hours for you to consider it too snowy to drive. 46. You remember where you were during the Ice Storm. 47. You used to be an Expos fan, but now all you really miss is Youppi. 48. You know that your city’s reputation for beautiful women is based on centuries-old couplings between French soldiers and royally-commissioned whores (aka Les Filles du Roi). 49. You don’t understand anyone from Lac-St-Jean, but you can fake the accent. 50. You’ve been to the Tam Tams, and know they have nothing to do with wee Scottish hats. 51. You discuss potholes like most people discuss weather. 52. You encounter bilingual homeless people. 53. While watching an American made-for-TV movie, you realize that “Vienna” is actually Old Montreal, that “New York” is actually downtown and that the “The Futuristic City” is actually Habitat ‘67. 54. You find it amusing when people from outside Quebec compliment you on how good your English is. 55. You have yet to understand a single announcement made on the Metro PA system, no matter what the language. 56. You think of Old Montreal as nothing but a bunch of over-priced restaurants, old buildings and badly paved streets. 57. You understand that La Fête Nationale is not a celebration of “Quebec’s birthday”. 58. You don’t find American comedians speaking “gibberish” French even remotely funny. 59. You don’t find it weird that there’s a strip club on every corner downtown. 60. You like your pizza all-dressed 61. You say Métro instead of subway. 62. You only speak English, yet you suddenly realize you have no clue what a “depanneur” is called in English