Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How Do You Say "Quit Your Kvetching" in French?

I was too busy watching the kitschy display of feathers, fringes and fiddlers to notice whether or not there was a sufficient amount of French in evidence during the Vancouver games opening ceremonies. Others, however, had their eyes and ears peeled and are complaining that there was a dearth of Canada's other official langue. From the Ceeb (my bolds):
The office of Canada's watchdog for official languages is investigating several complaints that there wasn't enough French in the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Due to the confidential nature of the investigation process, details of the complaints cannot be made public, Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser told CBC's Power & Politics Tuesday.

However, "one of the things that the complaints are expressing is the desire that the process of resolving these complaints will result in improvements in the closing ceremonies," Fraser said.

The issue highlights two quite divergent views of what constitutes linguistic duality in this country, he added.

"One view is that … the French language should be like the Victorian attitude towards children — seen but not heard and the other is that … for a language to fully live, it has to be spoken and heard."

The debate also raises the question of whether including both languages in ceremonies should be done out of obligation or because it represents how Canadians perceive themselves, Fraser said.

"We have seen some interesting comments from Anglophones saying that the presence of French in ceremonies is an important way in which they see the country."...
The Anglos were complaining on behalf of the French-speakers about the lack of French? Isn't that kind of like the non-Jew complaining on behalf of the Jews to the "human rights" commission about the "Nazis"?

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