What does pasta mean?
Posted By: Laura Casellalcasella@astral.com·2/20/2013 7:15:00 AM
One of Montreal's hip restaurants on St. Laurent Boulevard has caught the eye of the language police.
Buonanotte was paid a visit recently by the people at the Office Quebecois de la langue francaise.
They followed up with a written complaint about a couple of words on the Italian restaurant's menu. One being "pasta", the other "bottiglia" to indicate its wine selection by the bottle.
It seems these words are violations to Bill 101 because there are no French words describing what they mean.
Once again, we are a laughing stock, and rightfully so. Has anyone, and I mean anyone ever heard of not being able to use Italian on a menu in an Italian restaurant.
After reading the entire article, it appears as though lawyers are involved in this. Good move on the owners part, as the OLF has no case here. As a former business owner, I am well aware of the discriminatory langauge laws as they apply to businesses. Generally, two thirds of any advertisement has to be in French, the rest in any other language. Business owners have several options when advertising in languages other than French. Here are a few:
1. They can have English signs for every French sign provided that the French sign is twice as big.
2. They can have English and French signs of the same size provided that there are two French signs for each English sign.
3. Two thirds of the advertisement is done in French only and one third of the advertisement in English only.
4. Unilingual English signs that are registered trademarks or brand names are displayed.
Of course English above can be replaced by any other language.
If I were the lawyer here, I'd focus on 3. above. If two thirds of the menu is indeed in French, then case dismissed.