Thursday, February 18, 2010

When in Rome …

Go figure. In a country in which two-thirds of the residents consider English the primary language, and in front of an audience, most of whom understand English better than French, Vancouver’s 2010 Olympics opening ceremonies favoured English over French. Big deal, eh?

Yet some have to complain. It is in the nature of Canada’s English-French sensibilities that each side complains when the other does not hit the balance in the use of our two official languages just right.

I can see no reason that Vancouver should have complicated further what already had a major emphasis on our country’s multicultural character by introducing more, flow-disrupting, non-English in the ceremonies.

As far as I’m concerned, when held in Quebec ceremonies such as those on last Friday night are quite acceptable if they are predominantly in French—in fact, as might be expected, that is usually the case. When held in New Brunswick and, perhaps, parts of Manitoba 50-50 may be more appropriate. And in most of the rest of Canada, including Vancouver, I find it quite appropriate for English to dominate, especially when the audience is expected to be an international one.

If this offends Francophones and those with national unity sensibilities, tough on them: grow up and get over it.

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  1. Excellent observation as Quebec appears to be hypocritical on this topic wanting the ROC to be bilingual while they have made French the only official language in their province.

  2. Can't wait to see what happens when the Games are held in Quebec City!