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C

Christopher DeWolf

Guest
you last heard from me in june, when i was about to leave with my girlfriend, the indominatable mlle. laine, for europe. six weeks, seven destinations, eleven plane rides: we're back. it wasn't quite a whirlwind tour, since we had about a week to soak up each place, except for lisbon.

i am preparing ten threads that i will post in august and september. this is the fifth.

KILGORE IN EUROPE :: Photo Schedule

01 -- LONDON (Part One)
02 -- PARIS (Part One)
03 -- ROME
04 -- MADRID (Part One)
05 -- PARIS (Part Two)
06 -- LISBON
07 -- MADRID (Part Two)
09 -- PARIS (Part Three)
10 -- LONDON (Part Two)

the photos in this series were taken by myself, except for those taken by mlle. laine, which are noted.


PARIS
(part two)

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Great pictures once again.

Over the years I've read a few items about the French intelligentsia, getting upset about the highjacking of the French language by English. It is apparently a bit of an industry in France to come up with French words for things rather than let the English words creep in. In this context it's interesting to see "brunch" and "smoothie" on a restaurant sign (Pic #15). I wonder if that restaurant owner will face a boycott? Or have those reports been exaggerated on this side of the Atlantic?
 
It is apparently a bit of an industry in France to come up with French words for things rather than let the English words creep in.

I thought that was a Quebec thing?
 
keeping the french language vital is a preoccupation of intellectuals in both france and quebec.

but a boycott? certainly not. parisians are more cosmopolitan than that. i do think north american media reports tend to exaggerate animosity towards english. after all, this is the country where people fait du shopping and achète des best-sellers. the only difference in quebec is that different english loan words are used. "week-end" is said more often than "fin de semaine" in quebec simply because, to many people, it sounds better.

"brunch" and "smoothie" are used because there really isn't any possible french equivalent.
 
There was some news several years ago about the language authorities in Quebec wanting to eliminate these English expressions in Quebecois French. They even wanted to come up with French expressions for things like golf terms such as bogie and birdie. Of course, Quebec is where they have arret signs too.
 
I have never understood peoples opposition to the language issue in Quebec.
As a Torontonian who visits regularly I actually like the idea of the language and culture being protected from 'bastardisation" and eventual dismissal, to me Quebecois is such a great culture we should try and protect it so it doesn't go the way of so many other lost languages/cultures. Wether the current model is the right model is a question I have a hard time answering.

Chris as a Albertan, now living in Montreal do you think that it actually makes a difference? Is it, in your view worthwhile?
 
i'm sure the OLF is always fretting about the amount of english present within quebec french (although they now recognize such terms as smoked meat and bagel -- instead of viande fumée and baguel -- as correct usage in quebec french). but montreal is a linguistic melting pot; most people speak french and english and 1/5 speak a third language. whatever works in quebec city or chicoutimi doesn't necessarily work in montreal. language here is very fluid; i've been in many social settings where anglos have spoken french to one another and francos have spoken english to one another.

i can't really talk about the french attitude towards their language, except to say that the class divisions that permeate all of french society are inevitably present. in france, the only "correct" french is the french of the parisian elite. if you speak like you're a quebecker, or a belgian, or a suburbanite, or a marseillais, you'll be ridiculed and shoved aside. needless to say, this approach has led "official" french to stagnate. all of the innovation in the french language today comes from these marginalized linguistic communities.

incidentally, about arrêt: it has nothing to do with efforts to ensure linguistic purity. if you look at old photos of montreal from the 1930s, you'll see that most of the city's stop signs were bilingual stop/arrêt. in other parts of canada, such as ontario and new brunswick, arrêt is also the common french word for a stop.

to be honest, i'm not sure whether or not stop signs in france have always read stop, or if this is the result of EU standardization. i do know that spain is the only spanish-speaking country with english stop signs; in latin america, the word used is either pare or alto.
 

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