Threats to French Language in Montreal Canada
Summary of the Selected Articles
Article 1: Johnson, W. (2017). Opinion: There’s no threat in sight to French linguistic predominance in Quebec.
A newspaper article “Opinion: There’s no threat in sight to French linguistic predominance in Quebec” that was published on 24th August 2017 by William Johnson sought an opinion on whether French language was facing any threat in Quebec in regard to its dominance (Johnson, 2017). This was after a computer error that had categorized most of the people who use French as English speakers.
After the correction, the corrected values continued to cause havoc as they gave English language the lead. But from the analysis of the data, the number of individuals who speak French at had home increased. The estimated decrease in the French-speaking population likely resulted from a slight decline of the French population. This is a factor that is very common in a diversified community since even the number of the individuals who speak English in the region also increased. Therefore, the biggest dependency of the dominance of the French language is the number of the people who speak French but not some mere variations. In 2016, the number of French increased by 2,431,250 to 7,619,050. This showed that in the year 2016, the French-speaking group increased by 0.1 percent. Thus, in conclusion, there is no threat facing the French language in Quebec. Thus people should stop taking fears into consideration over facts.Article 2: Butler, D. (2016, December 30). Francophones see threat to future of French in Canada, survey finds.
The article “Francophones see a threat to future of French in Canada, survey finds” by Don Butler which was published on 30th December 2016 seeks to clarify if the French language in Canada is really facing any threat (Butler, 2016). This was after the belief that the French language could be facing a threat. Unfortunately, three-quarters of the population opposed the findings.
With respect to a report that was tabled on 3rd November, more than three-quarters of the Canadians believed that it was an added advantage to learn both English and French since the two were fundamental in the job sector. Another survey dated 27th April found that a good number of the population positively believed that their language was still more pronounced in the land. Most of them believe that the language is their source of cultural pride. A good number of the countries residents agree that both the native language which is French as well as English is vital in the job market.
They proposed that high school students should be taught both French and English for purposes of both securing jobs easily as well as safeguarding their culture. Thus the federal government was entitled with the mandate of protecting both English and French as the official languages. In reference to the Canadian Heritage, the number of Canadians who have been speaking English has always been high compared to the French-speaking group. Thus there is no threat to the French language in Canada.
Article 3: Treleaven, S. (2017, October 23). More Parisians are moving to Quebec seeking lower rents, jobs, and an easy cultural fit. But as housing prices rise, so does resentment among the city’s locals.
The article, “In Montreal, French Expats Find Language Doesn’t Translate to Community” by Sarah Treleaven which was published online on 23rd October 2017 seeks to reveal if language translates to its community (Treleaven, 2017). A couple, Cecile Lazartigues and her husband visited Montreal so that they could get their first child outside their hometown. They were excited by the cultural mix in Montreal and they decided to try it for a period of one year. But fortunately, a year later she undertook a new role of helping new immigrants to adapt to the Montreal environment.
The number of immigrants continued to rise until the cost of living increased in Montreal. Local foods started to extinct due to the introduction of foreign dishes. This showed that, in as far as foreigners continued to increase, French speaking population never decreased. Thus there is no threat to French language unless affected indirectly
Discussion of the above Three Articles
The French language is not threatened in Montreal. As (Johnson, 2017) notes in his publication, the number of those people who speak French determine the vitality of the French language. French-speaking people have impressively increased only that the current generation has more of adopted English as the major national language. This is a normal issue in any vibrant community that hopes in developing. In as much as foreign people continue coming into a place, its cultural language is always preserved.
In 2011, the number of people who had English as their mother tongue started making a notable increase, unfortunately, after the 2016 analysis, there was a small proportion of English speaking community. Probably this could have been caused by assimilation. The summations of those individuals who acknowledge French together with another language make a huge percentage over the English speaking group. A decline of the number of people using this language at home showed that youths who manage to move to high school tend to concentrate too much on English because it shall help them in the job market thus ending up forgetting the French language which is their cultural language. The writers of these articles failed to recognize that the massive growth of the English speaking group could have assimilated the French-speaking group. The immigrants such as Sarah Treleaven might have assimilated some French speaking individuals.
Migration is always seen as a disruptive factor. It changes the lives of the people in which the immigrants move to (Axelsson, 2016). Montreal was basically a French-speaking region. When the immigrants came in search of better pasture, they influenced the existing tribe until it started losing its original French language. Human beings like being assimilated by new people. They like learning the ways of life of new people. Likewise, it happened to the Montreal people when new people came to the region. Social bonds between the French-speaking natives and the English speaking newcomers are still very weak. They will need a substantial amount of time for the bonds to grow. This is why the newspaper writers are not yet able to find out that the French- language is under threat. There is thus an entire need to extinguish the problem before it does away with the local language. This is due to the faster growth of the assimilation bonds (Leonard, 2018).
Analysis of the Decline of the French Language in Montreal in Canada
In the English speaking states, children who have the advantages of speaking another language other than English enter the school with abilities and advantages different to those learners who can speak English alone (Kang & Chang, 2016). This is an indication that, learning other languages apart from your native language is also an added advantage.
In Montreal, children who are able to speak English in addition to the French language have an added advantage in the job sector. The multilingual group if properly natured has to benefit throughout its life. This is because; they can be able to express themselves in different places and grounds without facing any complication. Thus, native language unless actively used might end up being forgotten. This gives an advantage to bilingualism which is a contagious disease to the speaking and expression sector. Native language in our case French in the Montreal region in Canada can be lost due to several problems.
School education is one of the major causes of loss of native language (Timalsina, 2011). In Montreal, high school students are encouraged to take English language with seriousness as it will help them in the job market (Johnson, 2017). This leaves them with a limited chance to use French in school. This acts as a charm for forgetting the native language. When one practices a language over a long period of time, it becomes hard for that particular individual to forget the language.
Secondly, assimilation is another factor that leads to the loss of native languages. It is the process through which a group of people loses its culture, language and values and adopts the lifestyles of another group preferably its immediate neighbors (Borjas, 2015). When immigrants migrate to a new place, in most of the cases, the existing group tends to forget its ways of living and takes up the ways of living of the group the foreigners.
When Sarah Treleaven and her husband wanted to get their first child, they moved to Montreal. Therefore, they became immigrants in that area. As Treleaven (2017) argues, the cost of living in the area continued to shoot up beginning with the rent. This is a clear indication that the people in Montreal were influenced by the foreigners and they forgot their original ways of life. This absolutely highlights that the French culture began getting lost from that point through the linguistic assimilation process.
Thirdly, acculturation is another factor that works towards the loss of the first language. It is the process through which upon interaction with another language, the initial or the native language gets lost gradually (Harrison, Samnani, & Boekhorst, 2013). The occupants of Montreal interacted with the English speaking people. This probably eradicated the native language (Lian & Tsang, 2010). In this case the French language. The interrelationship has automatically made the Montreal people abandon using French language which is their native language.
In addition to the list, we have a social distance factor which also leads to the loss of the native language in a country. Everybody in a society feels that he or she has their own social position which is not supposed to be intruded by anybody (Magee & Smith, 2013). The social distance between any two individuals or groups of people affects their communication (Cont & Löwe, 2010). This finally accelerates the manner in which one group learns the language of the other (Maurer, 2013). For example, when Sarah migrated to Montreal, she affected many people in the region. Most of the native people in the region dumped French and began using English as their language of communication. Ethnic origin and social status among the two groups are some of the factors that determine the social distance (ShelirFayzi, Naderkhani, & AmiraliZolfaghari, 2015). For the case of Montreal, the French language is under threat since the native people have really been surrounded by immigrants whose first language is not French.
Linguistic and cultural hegemony is also among the factors that have threatened the French language in Montreal. It is a process whereby native people try to convince the foreigners for them to accept using the native language and culture (Güngör, et al., 2012). When those who don’t accept to use the natives’ language and culture are advised to use their own culture and language is the moment hegemony is achieved. In Montreal, the foreigners decided to use their own language. Thus it is clear that hegemony was never reached. This turns out to be another reason that has threatened the French language.The federal government, as well as the users of the French language, should become vigilant since the loss of the native language can lead to the loss of identity (Wahab, Odunsi, & Ajiboye, 2012). When native language is not used on many of the occasions, it might extinct thus leading to the collapse of the whole culture. Culture is paramount since it preserves where people come from. Massive loss of culture which results from the loss of the local language consequently leads to assimilation. If the French-speaking occupants of Montreal start using their native language in most of the occasions, then they can absolutely avoid being assimilated by any community.
Maintaining native language comes with its own advantages, to begin with, maintaining native language maintains crucial family and community ties. When parents encourage their children to use native language, the children find it easy to interact with other community members. The first language is also critical to the child’s culture and heritage maintenance. This is a positive contributor to the child’s personal concept. Children also need a less interrupted intellectual development. If the Montreal people expose their children whose first language is French at a young age, they possibly mentally torture those children as they start intellectually functioning below their intellectual levels.
In conclusion, for the Montreal people to save their native language from collapsing there is need for them to major in using the language in all aspects of life. This will actually save even their economy. This is because even some of the job opportunities in the region require individuals who are good in both first language as well as English. Students who speak English as well as their first also have an advantage of doing well academically.