Sorry, I Don't Speak French: Confronting the Canadian Crisis That Won't Go Away
As the threat of another Quebec referendum on independence looms, this book becomes important for every Canadian — especially as language remains both a barrier and a bridge in our divided country
Canada’s language policy is the only connection between two largely unilingual societies — English-speaking Canada and French-speaking Quebec. The country’s success in staying together depends on making it work.
How well is it working? Graham Fraser, an English-speaking Canadian who became bilingual, decided to take a clear-eyed look at the situation. The results are startling — a blend of good news and bad. The Official Languages Act was passed with the support of every party in the House way back in 1969 — yet Canada’s language policy is still a controversial, red-hot topic; jobs, ideals, and ultimately the country are at stake. And the myth that the whole thing was always a plot to get francophones top jobs continues to live.
Graham Fraser looks at the intentions, the hopes, the fears, the record, the myths, and the unexpected reality of a country that is still grappling with the language challenge that has shaped its history. He finds a paradox: after letting Quebec lawyers run the country for three decades, Canadians keep hoping the next generation will be bilingual — but forty years after learning that the country faced a language crisis, Canada’s universities still treat French as a foreign language. He describes the impact of language on politics and government (not to mention social life in Montreal and Ottawa) in a hard-hitting book that will be discussed everywhere, including the headlines in both languages.
From the Hardcover edition.
What people are saying - Write a review
Unofficial Thoughts of the CommissionerUser Review - friendly neighbour - Borders
As many of you may know, Graham Fraser is currently the Commissioner of Official Languages in Ottawa. This book represents his thoughts and study on the subject of language relations and the history ... Read full review
Making a Policy
chapter three Two Eminences Grises
chapter four Two FriendsTwo Views
Getting from There to Here
chapter seven The Federal Capital and David Levines
chapter eight Talking to Ourselves
Other editions - View all
Sorry, I Don't Speak French: Confronting the Canadian Crisis that Won't Go Away
No preview available - 2006
anglophones argued became Biculturalism bilingual bilingual country cabinet Camille Laurin cent Commissioner Confederation Conservative Constitution critical culture debate decades difﬁcult election English Canada English-speaking Canadians fact federal government federal public service ﬁfteen ﬁght ﬁlms ﬁnd ﬁrst Franco-Ontarians francophones French Canadians French immersion French-language French-speaking French-speaking Quebeckers fron1 graduates guage Harper i11 French inﬂuence issue Lamontagne language law language policy language rights language training later Laurendeau Laurin leadership learn French Lester Pearson Levesque Liberals linguistic live lune majority Meech Lake Accord meeting Minister minority Montreal Mulroney nationalist observed ofﬁce Official Languages Ofﬁcial Languages Act oﬂicial Ontario organizations Ottawa Parti Québécois Pearson Pelletier Pierre Trudeau political problem province public servants Quebec City reﬂected rest of Canada Royal Commission saying Scott second language signiﬁcant society speak French Stephen Harper teachers tion told Toronto understand unilingual University wrote