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Found 6 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. L`article est un peu facultatif, je veux porter votre attention aux nombreux commentaires en relation avec celui-ci. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071204.wcensusmain1204/CommentStory/census2006/home/ Canada's tenuous French connection BRODIE FENLON Globe and Mail Update December 4, 2007 at 4:12 PM EST Just a day after the Prime Minister appointed Bernard Lord to head a committee on bilingualism, newly released census figures suggest that Canada's official-languages policy and the vitality of the French language are under increasing pressure outside Quebec. There are nearly as many Canadians with a non-official language as their mother tongue as there are francophones, while the peak rate of bilingualism for anglophones living outside Quebec has dropped again. The new figures on immigration, language and mobility, gleaned from the 2006 census, paint a dramatic picture of Canada's changing demographics. Among the highlights: • One in five Canadians – 19.8 per cent of the total population – was born outside the country, a rate not matched since 1931, when the percentage of foreign-born citizens peaked at 22.2 per cent. Only Australia has more foreign-born residents. • More than 60 per cent of immigrants live in the large urban centres of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver; only about 5 per cent live in rural parts of Canada. • Most of the recent newcomers to Canada are from Asia – 58 per cent when those from the Middle East are included. Europeans, the dominant immigrant group for most of the 20th century, represented only 16 per cent of those who moved to Canada between 2001 and 2006. • Canada's foreign-born population increased by 13.6 per cent, four times greater than the growth rate of 3.3 per cent for the Canadian-born population. But it is the language numbers released Tuesday that will likely make headlines, following as they do on the heels of Mr. Lord's appointment by Stephen Harper to head a high-profile committee on bilingualism in Canada. The former premier of New Brunswick will travel to seven cities across the country during the first two weeks of December to speak to members of English and French minority communities and provide advice and guidance to the federal government. Mr. Lord will then report to Official Languages Minister Josée Verner in January. What Mr. Lord will find outside Quebec and New Brunswick, Canada's only officially bilingual province, is increasingly isolated French-language communities, the census suggests. One indicator is mother tongue, defined as the first language learned at home and still understood at the time of the census. For the first time, allophones – those who speak neither English nor French as their first language – represent fully one-fifth of the population. The numbers jumped to 20.1 per cent from 18 per cent in the last census, driven primarily by immigration. Conversely, the proportion of francophones and anglophones decreased slightly after population growth is taken into account. This will be no surprise for Canadians in many parts of the country. For several years, Chinese has topped French as a first language in Ontario, Alberta and B.C. The 2006 census reaffirmed the position of Chinese languages as Canada's third most common mother tongue group. More than one million Canadians reported one of the Chinese languages as their first language, a jump of 18.5 per cent. Experts are quick to note that allophones speak about 200 languages and are not a homogeneous group. Francophones still represent about one-quarter of the population; people who report Chinese as their mother tongue represent 3.3 per cent of the total population. Moreover, the census showed that nine out of 10 Canadians speak English or French most often at home: Just over one-fifth spoke French, 67.7 per cent spoke English, and 11.9 per cent spoke a non-official language at home. It is important to note, however, that the English and French numbers dropped from the previous census, while the non-official language numbers increased by 1.5 per cent. Even in Quebec, the percentage of people who spoke French most often at home dropped to 81.8 per cent from 83.1 per cent. The bilingualism rate is another indicator of the tenuous French connection. Outside Quebec, only 5.6 per cent of allophones in 2006 reported knowing both official languages. While there was a slight increase – 7.4 per cent from 7.1 per cent – in the number of anglophones outside Quebec who said they could carry on a conversation in both official languages, the number dropped for a key demographic: young Canadians. Because most anglophones learn French at school, the peak bilingualism rate for Canadians outside Quebec occurs in the 15-19 age range. That rate has slipped over the past decade, to 13 per cent in 2006 from 16.3 per cent in 1996. The ability of young anglophones to maintain their knowledge of French as a second language appears to decline with time. In 2001, 14.7 per cent of anglophones aged 15 to 19 were bilingual. Five years later, only 12.2 per cent of that same cohort reported being bilingual. The numbers are disappointing, considering that one of the chief objectives of Ottawa's $787-million plan on official languages – launched by the previous Liberal government in 2003 – is to double by 2013 the percentage of young bilingual Canadians to 50 per cent. Jack Jedwab, executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies and advocate of official bilingualism, warned against an “ethno-local” reading of the numbers, which he said could foster tensions and challenge public support for French in areas where other languages dominate. “When you start breaking things down locally, then you risk tearing away at the fabric of national unity. ... That's the Canada of multiple parts, not the Canada with a national vision both of its demographic reality and its history,” he said. “Bilingualism is the fundamental feature of a strong Canadian identity to the extent that more than a quarter of the country, nationally, consists of people who are French speakers.” Others suggest, however, that such sentiments are antiquated in a multicultural Canada and ignore the demographic reality of much of the country, especially urban areas such as Toronto or Vancouver. “Nobody's asked any longer what is the place of French. Now I walk on hot coals to even say that out loud,” said Heather Lotherington, associate professor of multilingual education at York University. “We're living in a global society. We have this influx of people who speak the languages of the world, and we're not doing a damn thing with these languages. We're just letting them go to waste.” Ms. Lotherington, whose research is focused on Toronto-area schools, advocates for the inclusion of students' mother tongues in the curriculum. She said decades of research shows that if you maintain the languages children know, they learn other languages better, fast and more easily. “French immersion needs to be looked at critically,” she said. “I do not want to throw it out. Canada is a world leader in immersion education. But you have to think about the way we learn languages and the possibility of learning more. "It's a very colonial stance to say that English and French are the languages of Canada.” Concerns about official bilingualism and the impact of immigration on the French language inside and outside Quebec are not new. In September's Throne Speech, the Prime Minister pledged to extend official bilingualism programs for minority communities. The appointment of Mr. Lord is seen as the first step in that commitment and a response to the critical report by Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser, who accused the Harper government of having “directly undermined” the official languages plan with budget cuts and by eliminating the Court Challenges program, which financed minority-rights court cases against the government. Citizenship and Immigration recently set targets through 2011 to attract between 8,000 and 10,000 French-speaking immigrants a year to francophone communities outside of Quebec. Driving these targets are demographic data showing that for every new immigrant whose mother tongue is French, there are 10 whose mother tongue is English, and that the vast majority of newcomers adopt English upon arrival in Canada. Meanwhile, the debate over immigration and language continues in Quebec, where the Bouchard-Taylor commission on reasonable accommodation of minorities heard last week from a prominent Parti Québécois strategist that only an independent Quebec could protect the French language. The commission also heard from French-speaking immigrants to Quebec who said their lack of English was impeding their ability to get jobs. And in October, PQ Leader Pauline Marois caused a small furor when she proposed the Quebec Identity Act, which would require all new immigrants to the province to learn French within three years. Those who failed a language test would not be permitted to hold public office, raise money for a political party or petition the National Assembly. The bill was widely condemned. The Official Languages Act, first passed in 1969 and updated twice since, stipulates Canadians' right to receive federal government services in either English or French where numbers warrant, the right of public servants to work in either language in certain areas, the right of either English or French speakers to advance in the public service, and that the government must promote bilingualism.
  3. 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
  4. Trilingualism flourishes in Montreal Cheryl CornacchiaThe Gazette Tuesday, January 08, 2008 While widespread bilingualism remains an unattained goal in the rest of Canada, in Montreal, the level of trilingualism has jumped yet again. In 2006, the number of people in the Greater Montreal area able to converse in both of Canada's official languages plus another language, increased to 18 per cent up from 16.5 per cent in 2001. About 660,000 Montrealers know three languages, according to Jack Jedwab, the Montreal researcher who conducted the study that looks at trilingualism in 10 selected Canadian cities. "It's good news all around," said Jedwab, an executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies in Montreal. When it comes to language proficiency, Jedwab said, Montrealers far surpass those living in the nine other cities analyzed as part of the study. Montreal is not only one of North America's most cosmopolitan cities but also one of the most linguistically gifted, he said. "The message for the rest of the country," he added is that "where there is a will, there is a way." At 10.5 per cent and 10.2 per cent of their population, respectively, Toronto and Ottawa came the closest to Montreal for trilingual speakers. At 1.2 per cent, Halifax had the fewest number of trilingual speakers. Jedwab who teaches a course entitled Canada's Official Language Minorities: History and Demography at McGill University's Institute for the Study of Canada, analyzed 2006 Canadian census data, released last month, to arrive at the linguistic portrait. The study also found that in Montreal Armenians (77 per cent), followed by Italians (72.3 per cent) and, then, the Dutch (71.9 per cent) were the three most bilingual of the city's allophone groups. The least bilingual of the city's allophone groups, unable to speak either of Canada's official languages, were Cantonese (21 per cent), Cambodian (15.5 per cent) and Punjabi (15.3 per cent). Hagop Boulgarian, principal of l'École Armenien Sourp Hagop, a 675-student private elementary/secondary school in Montreal said the findings about his ethnic group didn't surprise him. With genocide and a diaspora in his people's history, Boulgarian said, learning new languages - and fast - has been an important survival tool for Armenians in general, not only the 25,000 living in the Greater Montreal region. Aloisio Mulas, acting director of the Picai Institute of Montreal, which is devoted to the promotion of Italian culture and language, said Italians in Montreal have shared that passion for speaking French and English. However, he said, attendance in Italian language classes at the institute have been falling over the past decade. Some families after a generation or two in the city, he said, become less concerned about ensuring their children keep up their Italian language skills. Denise De Haan Veilleux, a cultural attaché at the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Montreal said she is pleased but not surprised to see that so many Dutch living in Montreal are multilingual. In Holland, she said, children must study two languages, English and French or German when they reach high school. "It's just something you do," said De Hann Veilleux. "The attitude towards other languages is very different. "It's no big deal" added the 47-year-old francophone, who grew up in Quebec City and learned English and Dutch only after she married and moved abroad for various postings. With the family now back in Canada, she said, her 20-year-old son studying at McGill University and a 13-year-old daughter are lucky to be able to speak French, English, Dutch, German and Arabic. "It's like a present you give them as children," she said. "They don't have to learn as adults." [email protected] http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=0c56862f-bd4f-4df3-8ddd-8acc4d9e633d&k=76598
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