What ought to be Canada official language policy?


View Poll Results: Which of the options in the OP would be the best option for Canada?
Option 1. 1 6.67%
Option 2. 0 0%
Option 3. 0 0%
Option 4. 3 20.00%
Option 5. 11 73.33%
Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

Machjo
#1
Which do you think would be preferable for Canada?

1. Official Bilingualism (i.e. what we have now), costing us an estimated 16 billion dollars and only about 15% of Canadians knowing both English and French.

2. Regional monolingualism and individual monolingualism, having each province and territory have but one official language, and students being free to not learn a second language if they don't want to.

3. Regional monolingualism and individual bilingualism, having each province and territory have but one official language, and students being free to choose their second language, but compelled to learn a second language.

4. Federal monolingualism and individual bilingualism, whereby the federal government adopts, revises, or creates a common second language, designed to be easy to learn, to be taught to children in all schools across the country, this policy to be implemented gradually as teachers for the new language become available.

5. Other answer.
 
L Gilbert
No Party Affiliation
#2
Official multilingualism.
 
Machjo
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by L Gilbert View Post

Official multilingualism.

Official bilingualism ias laready costing Canada an estimated 16 billion dollars annually with a 15% success rate (StatsCan 2006) to show for it. If people can't even learn one second language, how are you going to get them to learn many wihtout bankrupting the country?
 
L Gilbert
No Party Affiliation
#4
There're no laws saying you HAVE to be bilingual so there shouldn't be any saying you HAVE to be multilingual. As far as Canada's bilingualism fgoes, it is pretty primitive. Other countries have MULTIlingualism without the problems Canada has with only TWO languages.
 
Spade
Free Thinker
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by L Gilbert View Post

There're no laws saying you HAVE to be bilingual so there shouldn't be any saying you HAVE to be multilingual. As far as Canada's bilingualism fgoes, it is pretty primitive. Other countries have MULTIlingualism without the problems Canada has with only TWO languages.

May I correct you? This is British Columbia's third language.
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L Gilbert
No Party Affiliation
#6
lol This is BC, not Canada. We are only a part of Canada in a superficial way anyway. There are more of each of Chinese-, Pakistani-, Indian-, Russian-, German- speaking people here that there are French-speaking people.
 
Machjo
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by L Gilbert View Post

There're no laws saying you HAVE to be bilingual so there shouldn't be any saying you HAVE to be multilingual. As far as Canada's bilingualism fgoes, it is pretty primitive. Other countries have MULTIlingualism without the problems Canada has with only TWO languages.

It would mean that government employees would all need to be multilingual. Seeing how the government is already struggling to fill its postws with French-English bilinguals, good luck trying to fill all those posts with multilinguals.

As for other countries, you're kidding, right? If we're talking about small countries, it doesn't even compare. In the Montreal to Ottawa corridor, a large percentage of the population is bilingual owing to geographical proximity to a linguistic border creating a bilingual corridor between two monolingual regions of the country. We could compare this corridor to small multilingual countries like Switzerland where everyone lives in or close to bilingual linguistic corridors. But to be fair, we have to compare Canada to geographically large nations with a relatively homogeneous population like Russia. In russia, unless you live in or near such a corridor, most people will be monolingul, just like in Canada.

We can't just compare Canada to any country. We must compare it to geographically large nations with many minority groups within their borders, just like Russia, China, etc.

Using that comparison, while there is nothing wrong with individual multilingualism in schools, it's not appropriate to make it a part of official governemtn policy on such a large scale for such a large country.
 
L Gilbert
No Party Affiliation
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by Machjo View Post

It would mean that government employees would all need to be multilingual. Seeing how the government is already struggling to fill its postws with French-English bilinguals, good luck trying to fill all those posts with multilinguals.[

I repeat, "other countries have MULTIlingualism without the problems Canada has with only TWO languages."

Quote:

As for other countries, you're kidding, right?

No, I'm not.
Quote:

If we're talking about small countries, it doesn't even compare. In the Montreal to Ottawa corridor, a large percentage of the population is bilingual owing to geographical proximity to a linguistic border creating a bilingual corridor between two monolingual regions of the country. We could compare this corridor to small multilingual countries like Switzerland where everyone lives in or close to bilingual linguistic corridors. But to be fair, we have to compare Canada to geographically large nations with a relatively homogeneous population like Russia. In russia, unless you live in or near such a corridor, most people will be monolingul, just like in Canada.

So?Most German-speaking people in Switzerland speak only English and German, most French speaking people in Switzerland only sp3eak French and English, etc. Most people in Canada speak only English and whatever other language they were born with. Big difference.

Quote:

We can't just compare Canada to any country. We must compare it to geographically large nations with many minority groups within their borders, just like Russia, China, etc.

Why? Is your thinking process THAT limited?

Quote:

Using that comparison, while there is nothing wrong with individual multilingualism in schools, it's not appropriate to make it a part of official governemtn policy on such a large scale for such a large country.

What's the matter with regional language difference? Canada can be officially multilingual with regional differences. We are that way now. The only difference 5there is, is that we only have two official languages. English and some language that relatively very few people speak
 
L Gilbert
No Party Affiliation
#9
Um, language is not distance limited, BTW.There are Portuguese-speaking people all over the planet, Spanish-speaking people, etc.
 
Machjo
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by L Gilbert View Post

Um, language is not distance limited, BTW.There are Portuguese-speaking people all over the planet, Spanish-speaking people, etc.

But now you're talking about individual persons, not government policy. For example, a government could choose to have but one official language while at the same time requiring all to know a second language before being able to claim their high school diploma. We musn't confuse an official language of administration with an official second-language acquisition policy. One related to administration, the other to education. And there is no contradiction to a government wishing for all of its citizens to be bilingual while at the same time expencting them to share one common language, the secodn language varying according to school interest.
 
L Gilbert
No Party Affiliation
#11
A government could choose to have many languages officially (or only two). It could pass laws requiring only one language be used for the purpose of governmentally-used language and have non-gov't sorts speak whichever other one they like or it could choose to have many officially (or only two), and demand that governmental employees speak all of them. Canada is the latter and it is a primitive attitude.
One of the reasons why there are Portuguese speaking people all over is that Portugal was the gov't in various countries. Same with Spanish, English, French, etc. Not just because people have a tendency to go touristing.
 
Mogz
Conservative
#12
Federal monolingualism and individual bilingualism

We waste far too much time, effort, and money on promoting French. Granted, that's just MY opinion
 
Risus
#13
Canada should have one official language: English
If the provinces want to be bilingual, fine, but English must be available.
 
Francis2004
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by Spade View Post

May I correct you? This is British Columbia's third language.

Sorry Cousin Spade but I need to correct you.. This is British Columbia's second and Third Languages..


YouTube - The Carnival Band - Vancouver Chinese New Year Parade 2007



YouTube - May He Poop? (an Indian music video translation)

As always you Cousin from BC SirFrancis
 
taxslave
Free Thinker
#15
English should be the ONLY official language for all government , business,and education. What anyone chooses to speak at home is up to them. Bi and multi lingualism is just another expensive and useless PC vote getter like the long gun registry. So if you don't want to speak English don't come here and don't expect Canadian taxpayers to pony up the cash for ESL programs.
 
Francis2004
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by L Gilbert View Post

A government could choose to have many languages officially (or only two). It could pass laws requiring only one language be used for the purpose of governmentally-used language and have non-gov't sorts speak whichever other one they like or it could choose to have many officially (or only two), and demand that governmental employees speak all of them. Canada is the latter and it is a primitive attitude.
One of the reasons why there are Portuguese speaking people all over is that Portugal was the gov't in various countries. Same with Spanish, English, French, etc. Not just because people have a tendency to go touristing.

Bang On..
 
VanIsle
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by Machjo View Post

Which do you think would be preferable for Canada?

1. Official Bilingualism (i.e. what we have now), costing us an estimated 16 billion dollars and only about 15% of Canadians knowing both English and French.

2. Regional monolingualism and individual monolingualism, having each province and territory have but one official language, and students being free to not learn a second language if they don't want to.

3. Regional monolingualism and individual bilingualism, having each province and territory have but one official language, and students being free to choose their second language, but compelled to learn a second language.

4. Federal monolingualism and individual bilingualism, whereby the federal government adopts, revises, or creates a common second language, designed to be easy to learn, to be taught to children in all schools across the country, this policy to be implemented gradually as teachers for the new language become available.

5. Other answer.

You didn't give us the option of "English only" as the OFFICIAL language. Since in reality we all know that Quebec is the only province that fully adheres to french and the provinces and territories have english as their official language. I know that some of the provinces nearer Quebec have a lot of people who are bi-lingual but it ends there. Speaking french is the exception in all of the western provinces. It seems that most nations in the world are making an attempt at learning english and that it's even possible that one day, the language everyone will know will be english. I'm not saying that it will be the official language of other countries - just the most common language in the world. It's pretty much that now. There is a major difference between being multi-cultural and multi-lingual. There is absolutely zero need for us to be multi-lingual. It is far too great an expense and how on earth does anyone expect that we can squeeze more information onto pill bottles, food cans and even anti-perspirant containers! It's bad enough that we can barely read what things say because it must be written in both official languages. One official language is all that is necessary. Do remember that I said "official". Since Quebec is so interested in just French - they should have to supply information for each product they import, written in the language of their choice (even if they are importing from other provinces) so their populace can understand what they are buying and how to use that product. Sound silly? Well - isn't that how they play the game in a manner of speaking?
 
Machjo
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by Risus View Post

Canada should have one official language: English
If the provinces want to be bilingual, fine, but English must be available.

I have a mixed answer to that:

1. I can understand why Canada has two official languages. It might not be efficient, but it is economically expedient in that it can appease at least enough Quebecers to keep Quebec in Canada. Ironically enough, though, the blame for this rests not with sovereignist Quebecers (they favour official monolingualism in Quebec and couldn't care less what the policy was outside of the province), but with Federalist Quebecers (they know that by adopting Official Bilingualism, they can win enough fence-sitters and opportunists to their side). What some federalist Quebecers might not have bargained for is that it can also backfire and push some fiscal conservative Quebecers towards the sovereignist camp. After all, we can't deny, regardless of our political affiliations, that the official monolingualism that the sovereignist camp is proposing is indeed more economically efficient.

2. Making English the sole official language of Canada would block access to the federal government on the part of monolingual French-speaking Quebecers, of which there are many. This would likely feed the flames of sovereignism beyond recovery. I believe this would push Canada to separation, either through peaceful or violent means. Of course this would also lead to an officially monolingual English-speaking Canada and an officially monolingual French-speaking Quebec, both of which would be more efficient that what we have today with official bilingualism. If separation is on friendly terms, I could support it. If by violent means, not only could it lead to civil war, but even after the war, any money saved fro official bilingualism would just be wasted on militarism, autarchy, and nationalism on both sides, making matters even worse than now. In that case, I'd rather just accept the inefficiencies of today.

And on a moral note, it would obviously be unfair to expect one ethnic group to be given the language advantage over another. This is bound to lead to conflict in any country, past , present or future, in the East or the West. That's just human nature.

My fear though is that there is much prejudice on both sides, and so could see some Englsih speakers being willing to force English even at the risk of violent conflict. Some might even have a desire to 'bring 'em on'. And I'm sure some militants on the Quebec side woudl gladly rise to the challenge. Let's hope we're dealing with a minority on both sides as far as fanaticism and hatred go.

3. My favoured option would be for the government to adopt, revise or create a language that is designed to be easy for all to learn as the official language of federal administration. Of course this would involve a slow and gradual transition process, but woudl have the best of both worlds. By having a common language, we'd save money on translation, and because it's easy to learn, all could learn it well within a short period of time and at little cost, thus ensuring that all have access to their government with no one ethnic group having a language advantage over the other. This could work of course only if all sides can agree to language justice. Otherwise, shoudl nationalism prevail, there is no way it could work and pushing it woudl likely lead to the same result as 2 above. It is my prefered option, but I doubt most Canadians woudl go for it any time in the foreseeable future. People are to power hungry to share.

4. Another option I could se would be regional monolingualism. According to this solution, all federal services in Quebec woudl be offered in French, and elsewhere in English, with only Parliament Hill being bilingual.

5. Or of course we have the current option, the status quo, maintaining an expensive buraucracy of translators and interpretors naitonwide.
 
Machjo
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by L Gilbert View Post

A government could choose to have many languages officially (or only two). It could pass laws requiring only one language be used for the purpose of governmentally-used language and have non-gov't sorts speak whichever other one they like or it could choose to have many officially (or only two), and demand that governmental employees speak all of them. Canada is the latter and it is a primitive attitude.
One of the reasons why there are Portuguese speaking people all over is that Portugal was the gov't in various countries. Same with Spanish, English, French, etc. Not just because people have a tendency to go touristing.

I just want to make sure we're on the right page here. When I suggest official monolingualism in this forum, I'm referring to one official language of internal government administration, not necessrily a ban on the use of other languages outside of government. Maybe you did understand my meaning, but I just want to be sure.
 
Machjo
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslave View Post

English should be the ONLY official language for all government , business,and education. What anyone chooses to speak at home is up to them. Bi and multi lingualism is just another expensive and useless PC vote getter like the long gun registry. So if you don't want to speak English don't come here and don't expect Canadian taxpayers to pony up the cash for ESL programs.

This would undoubtedly lead to the separation of Canada. I could agree to this if it's a peaceful separation on friendly terms. It had been done in the past with Sweden and Finland, so why not here, if we're civilized enough for a peaceful separation of course. The Quebec governmetn would adopt French as it does already, and the rest of Canada would adopt English.
 
Machjo
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by Islandpacific View Post

You didn't give us the option of "English only" as the OFFICIAL language. I know that some of the provinces nearer Quebec have a lot of people who are bi-lingual but it ends there. Speaking french is the exception in all of the western provinces. It seems that most nations in the world are making an attempt at learning english and that it's even possible that one day, the language everyone will know will be english. I'm not saying that it will be the official language of other countries - just the most common language in the world. It's pretty much that now. There is a major difference between being multi-cultural and multi-lingual. There is absolutely zero need for us to be multi-lingual. It is far too great an expense and how on earth does anyone expect that we can squeeze more information onto pill bottles, food cans and even anti-perspirant containers! It's bad enough that we can barely read what things say because it must be written in both official languages. One official language is all that is necessary. Do remember that I said "official". Since Quebec is so interested in just French - they should have to supply information for each product they import, written in the language of their choice (even if they are importing from other provinces) so their populace can understand what they are buying and how to use that product. Sound silly? Well - isn't that how they play the game in a manner of speaking?

1. I did include option 5: Other Option. I'm sure thousands of options could be available, but the poll can only be so long. That's the purpose of option 5.

2. You said: 'Since in reality we all know that Quebec is the only province that fully adheres to french and the provinces and territories have english as their official language.'

I'd just like to correct this. Newfoundland and Labrador has 2 official languages (French and English), and so does the City of Ottawa. Nunavut has 4 official languages (English, French, inuktitu, and Inuinnaqtun) In fact, according to Statistics Canada (Population by knowledge of official language, by province and territory (2006 Census)), almost 8% of the population of Nunavut is functional in neither English nor French.

3. As for English abroad, though many are learning it, statistics from many countries show that few learn it well percentage-wise even if many do in numerical terms. If you get enough people learning it, at least a few are bound to get it. But this kind of stratagy for success is about as brilliant as counting on winning money in Las Vegas by enough enough times. Just to take a concrete example, it's estimated that about 90% of Western European are learning English, yet only about 6% are functional in it. Now 6% might be alot numerically, but percentage-wise it's pathetic. Not the most efficient second-language acquisition policy. For private schools it might be fine, parents are paying. But when public schools are getting money from taxpayers, I think they have a right to expect a higher rate of success than that. So if you're waiting for the day when the whole world speaks English, statistics show that you'll be waiting a long, long time.
 
Johnnny
No Party Affiliation
#22
keep it the way it is now, its a miracle we got this far

keep your native languages from your families immigration from way back in the day if it survives today at home like mine did
 
VanIsle
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by Machjo View Post

1. I did include option 5: Other Option. I'm sure thousands of options could be available, but the poll can only be so long. That's the purpose of option 5.

2. You said: 'Since in reality we all know that Quebec is the only province that fully adheres to french and the provinces and territories have english as their official language.'

I'd just like to correct this. Newfoundland and Labrador has 2 official languages (French and English), and so does the City of Ottawa. Nunavut has 4 official languages (English, French, inuktitu, and Inuinnaqtun) In fact, according to Statistics Canada (Population by knowledge of official language, by province and territory (2006 Census)), almost 8% of the population of Nunavut is functional in neither English nor French.

3. As for English abroad, though many are learning it, statistics from many countries show that few learn it well percentage-wise even if many do in numerical terms. If you get enough people learning it, at least a few are bound to get it. But this kind of stratagy for success is about as brilliant as counting on winning money in Las Vegas by enough enough times. Just to take a concrete example, it's estimated that about 90% of Western European are learning English, yet only about 6% are functional in it. Now 6% might be alot numerically, but percentage-wise it's pathetic. Not the most efficient second-language acquisition policy. For private schools it might be fine, parents are paying. But when public schools are getting money from taxpayers, I think they have a right to expect a higher rate of success than that. So if you're waiting for the day when the whole world speaks English, statistics show that you'll be waiting a long, long time.

I know we had option 5 but I would have liked to see the other choice as an option. Regardless of whether those places you mention have different languages then english or french, as far as the word "official" goes, I don't think we have changed that status regarding bi-lingualism. This country is still classified as bi-lingual to the best of my knowledge and that is why I was adamant in the usage of the word "official". Knowledge of a language or even full usage does not deem it as a countries official language.
 
Machjo
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by Islandpacific View Post

I know we had option 5 but I would have liked to see the other choice as an option. Regardless of whether those places you mention have different languages then english or french, as far as the word "official" goes, I don't think we have changed that status regarding bi-lingualism. This country is still classified as bi-lingual to the best of my knowledge and that is why I was adamant in the usage of the word "official". Knowledge of a language or even full usage does not deem it as a countries official language.

At a basic level, I agree with you. Whether a person knows the official language or not doesn't really matter in his day-to-day life because it's just a language of internal government administration.

But in a democratic system, things change. For one, what if, let's say, a speaker of Inuktitut who knows neither English nor French well (such persons who know neither English nor French make up about 8% of the population of Nunavut after all, and that's not a small percentage if we're talking democracy) decides to run as an MP for his riding in a federal election. Should he be allowed?

Now let's say he wins. Should he get an interpreter assigned to him in Parliament?

What if a constituent wants to write him a letter. Should we pay to have correspondence translated? Or do we just make it a requirement that before you be allowed to vote in an election or run for office that you must pass a language test?

I'm not saying there's any easy answer to this, but these are relevent questions when thinking of the relation between language rights and democracy.

I can see a number os solutions to this:

1. All citizens have a right to participate in the democratic process, and the government has the obligation to provide assistance in any language as necessary to make it happen. This could cost the government much money in translation and interpretation bills.

2. The government adopts the obligation to ensure that each citizen succeeds in learning a common national language. Depending on the language chosen, it could cost the government much money and also more than a generation to fully implement.

3. Leave it at the status quo, with those who don't know either English or French (such as that 8% in Nunavut) likely just dropping out of the democratic process.

Some might be satisfied with option 3 above, but then it leads to moral and philosophical questions concerning our commitment to democracy. Personally, I'd opt for option 2 above as my preferred choice, and 1 above as my second preferred, though granted 1 above would mean a tax hike too.

3 above just shows a lack of concern for civic participation. And of course there might be even more options available.
 
Tyr
Free Thinker
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by Islandpacific View Post

You didn't give us the option of "English only" as the OFFICIAL language. Since in reality we all know that Quebec is the only province that fully adheres to french and the provinces and territories have english as their official language. I know that some of the provinces nearer Quebec have a lot of people who are bi-lingual but it ends there. Speaking french is the exception in all of the western provinces. It seems that most nations in the world are making an attempt at learning english and that it's even possible that one day, the language everyone will know will be english. I'm not saying that it will be the official language of other countries - just the most common language in the world. It's pretty much that now. There is a major difference between being multi-cultural and multi-lingual. There is absolutely zero need for us to be multi-lingual. It is far too great an expense and how on earth does anyone expect that we can squeeze more information onto pill bottles, food cans and even anti-perspirant containers! It's bad enough that we can barely read what things say because it must be written in both official languages. One official language is all that is necessary. Do remember that I said "official". Since Quebec is so interested in just French - they should have to supply information for each product they import, written in the language of their choice (even if they are importing from other provinces) so their populace can understand what they are buying and how to use that product. Sound silly? Well - isn't that how they play the game in a manner of speaking?


the provinces and territories have english as their official language.

New Brunswick, Ontario and Manitoba are officially bilingual with no one language taking precedence over the other
 
Machjo
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by Tyr View Post

the provinces and territories have english as their official language.

New Brunswick, Ontario and Manitoba are officially bilingual with no one language taking precedence over the other

And Nunavut has four official languages.
 
Liberalman
Free Thinker
#27
Je suis franais et en anglais doivent tre les langues officielles du Canada tel qu'il est aujourd'hui.

C'est tout simplement la bonne chose faire.
 
Machjo
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by Liberalman View Post

Je suis franais et en anglais doivent tre les langues officielles du Canada tel qu'il est aujourd'hui.



C'est tout simplement la bonne chose faire.


Peut tu expliquer pourquoi c'est "tout simplement la bonne chose faire", ou n'est-ce que le traditionalisme sans concerne pour les couts?
 
Machjo
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by Liberalman View Post

Je suis franais et en anglais doivent tre les langues officielles du Canada tel qu'il est aujourd'hui.



C'est tout simplement la bonne chose faire.

Je peut bien comprendre que c'est notre avantage de promouvoir le bilinguisme officiel, mais la vraie question est si cette politique est conforme la justice.
 
taxslave
Free Thinker
#30
Quoting Liberalman
Je suis franais et en anglais doivent tre les langues officielles du Canada tel qu'il est aujourd'hui.



C'est tout simplement la bonne chose faire.
Je peut bien comprendre que c'est notre avantage de promouvoir le bilinguisme officiel, mais la vraie question est si cette politique est conforme la justice.
Any one want to translate that?
This is why we need ONE official language. So we can all communicate. In BC it would be better to have Chinese or Punjabi as other official languages as both far outnumber French and are far more important from a trade perspective.