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Showing posts from March, 2013

Un bagel avec du smoked-meat, s'il-vous-plaît? (Pastagate Part Deux)

I lived in Montreal for many years before coming to Ottawa - I lost count, maybe 5 or 6 years I spent there... 
The city of Montreal possesses a very original and interesting cultural history, an intermingling of the past which traditionally includes three majorities who are the French, the English, and Jewish cultures. Although, in recent times - mainly due to language woes - many Anglophone Jews have exiled themselves to seek work outside the province of Quebec. Because of this, numerically, there are now around 90,000 Jews who claim Montreal as their home, therefore demographically placing them seventh in rank after those other ethnic groups outnumbering them (including the Italian and Arab populations) (1). 

For the most part, historically, the English arrived since James Wolfe's victory over Montcalm at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City in 1759, a defeat which paved the way for an assault on Montreal the very next year... The fall of Quebec therefo…

Pastagate: Can someone translate pizza for me ?

Among those of you who have been reading what's in the Canadian news lately, assuredly you have come across some of the 'Pastagate' articles coming from out of Quebec (see CBC News'Pastagate' prompts review at Quebec language office). Stories about the provincial language police officers going into restaurants and handing out fines and warnings to establishment owners in regards to inadequate concessions to the sole official language of the province, French - and thus it has been since the Loi sur la langue officielle (Official Language Act) of 1974. 
Some of the more ridiculized recommendations made by the so-called French police include the more sensational charge against the use of Italian terms such as pasta, caffe, and botteglia di vino(bottle of wine). Recommendations to change these to their French equivalents pâtes (alimentaires), café,andbouteille de vinwere made in order to accomodate provincial standards. This has, if anything, apparently served a…