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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 2005-03 > 1112122908

From: "Harriett Schultz" <>
Subject: Re: [Sc-Ir] In Ireland you've got to read the language
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 14:05:36 -0500
References: <BAY103-F18BCBB6423DD0B44458732BB450@phx.gbl> <000c01c53485$bb4ce280$6401a8c0@GINIA2> <000601c5348b$15ca38c0$51889144@freda4lgfx5uu0>

This is good news for us. When Paul & I were on our honeymoon (40 yrs ago)
we went thru
Quebec - beautiful area - and ran into a lot of the "mandatory French"
Most restaurants did,
however, have the French and English sides. I'd have been totally lost
without that as far as knowing
what I was eating is concerned.

I wasn't aware that they had finally come to their senses. But, as I said,
good deal.

When my husband was working in Montreal in 1990, there was still some of the

Harriett Schultz

----- Original Message -----
From: "fredastewart" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2005 1:14 PM
Subject: Re: [Sc-Ir] In Ireland you've got to read the language

Hi Virginia - the damage done to tourism in Quebec lasted until they finally
gave in and accepted that the majority in Canada speak English and will
continue to do so. This whole issue was a political, vote-buying move by the
Federal government of the day who didn't have the guts to let Quebec to
separate if it wanted to - but that move would have the cost of breaking all
ties with the rest of Canada. You see, Quebec planned on using Canada's
banking, postal, rail and all other systems. That is independence? Too many
Liberal MP's resided at that time in Quebec, and they were afraid of losing
their cushy jobs. You spoke of hostility, and believe me it was very real.
Many Quebecers would come away on driving holidays or business, stopping at
restaurants or service stations, speaking and 'demanding' service in French.
Needless to say they were told in English where to go and how to get there.
And believe me they understood. However, on a trip to Pontiac Co. in 2001
(western Quebec) we did not experience difficulty or hostility. When we
spoke in English to serving or clerical staff of various businesses, replies
would be made in English without any 'attitude'. The bilingual thing has
done a lot of damage to all of Canada in terms of hard feelings and
financial cost. For instance in the west French is useless as an everyday
working language, Chinese would be much more useful. Personally, I would
love to have had the opportunity to learn a second language, and am happy
that we have French-Immersion schooling available here - not enough student
spaces of course. Give the rest of Canada a try for your next holiday, you
will find a totaly different attitude.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Virginia Beck" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2005 10:35 AM
Subject: Re: [Sc-Ir] In Ireland you've got to read the language

>> In an age where many people bemoan English's growing global influence,
>> advocates of local languages scored a small victory Monday when Ireland
>> enacted a law outlawing English in road signs and official maps on much
>> of the nation's western coast, where many people speak Gaelic.
>> Locals concede the switch will confuse foreigners in an area that depends
>> heavily on tourism, but they say it's the price of patriotism.
> This is reminiscent of the "French language only" experiment in Quebec,
> Canada. We traveled through the area at that time in a motor home. We
> wanted to see the beautiful province, but spoke no French. Amply warned
> about the ban against English language (not confined to road signs, but
> mandatory for all areas of government & private business, including spoken
> and written communication), we stocked up on groceries before we crossed
> the border, and prepared to drive through with as few stops as possible.
> We discovered that, though many residents stuck to the letter of the law,
> some who depended on tourism for a living were
> adding little hand-made signs in English to indicate what they offered. We
> were saved a long drive into a national park to camp simply because my
> husband recognized the French word for "closed" due to childhood insults
> exchanged with his sister. She studied French in HS, he studied Spanish,
> and they used to tell each other to "close your mouth" in those respective
> languages! We found the atmosphere a bit intimidating, and, perhaps
> unintentionally, slightly hostile. At Albert Parc, where we stayed
> overnight, the attendant spoke English to us, but would speak only French
> to our British Columbia neighbors. The impact on tourism and business was
> quite negative. I can't recall just how long the ban lasted, but it was
> eventually rescinded. Virginia
> --
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