September 27, 2021

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What is the future of the French language in Quebec?

Charles Castongue was a sociologist who published the book “French in free fall” He reports the decline of the French language in Quebec with sub-statistics: “At the demographic level, we’ve seen that since the beginning of the 21ste Century, the decline of the French weight census to an all-time low, both in the mother tongue and in the most frequently spoken language at home. This is the fastest decline in just 15 years. If you look at the weight of the population by the mother tongue, French has fallen below 80% for the first time since this question was asked, i.e. since 1901, so for a century, the weight of the majority of the population has been over 80% French, which has dropped to 78% in the last census. And everything indicates that this will continue.

A historic low for the French language in Quebec and forecasts predict that this decline will continue in the coming decades. “At the same time, we see the maintenance of even a small increase in the weight of English as the language used at home in Quebec.” The sociologist continues.

Why this decline?

The sociologist offers several explanations for this decline of the French language in Quebec. The first factor is the significant increase in immigration since the beginning of the 21stTh Century: “Quebec never welcomes so many immigrants, we talk about 50,000 or more a year, We are fighting for their rights, Charles Costongue mentions. English competes with French to capture new speakers and it does well: in terms of its weight in population, English attracts 10 times more than French in linguistic integration and attraction to newcomers who do not speak French or English. They side with the English, especially those who live on the island of Montreal, where they often settle.

Another phenomenon mentioned by Charles Costongue is the attraction of young Francophones to English on the island of Montreal, home to a quarter of Quebec’s population: On the island of Montreal, 6% of French-speaking young people say they have adopted English as their main language at home. The sociologist explainsIn other words, they are Englishized, which feeds the population of the English-speaking group and this weakens the weight of the French on the island of Montreal.. Younger phonographs are more bilingual than English phones.

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Conclusion: On the island of Montreal, the French mother tongue lost 5% of the population between 2001 and 2016: “Already 5% in 15 years, unheard of in history, not at the rate and rate of decline we have seen in the past” Laments Charles Castongue.

The attraction of English in the world of work

Another worrying and threatening phenomenon for the French language is the increasing number of companies that require fluency in English when hiring new employees. A study by the office Quebecois de la Long Franchise, published in August 2020, reveals: In Quebec, 40% of businesses and on the island of Montreal, 63% of businesses require English skills in their operation. Rule 101, this requirement will be accepted only if the condition to be filled is required. Otherwise, you must speak only fluently in French, the official language of Quebec. So more Quebec businesses, companies and municipalities need to be fluent in English to hire someone when the level does not need to be filled.

The ball is in the court of Quebec … and the Government of Canada

The Quebec government has been promising for months a complete overhaul of this groundbreaking law, the famous Law 101, adopted in 1977 by Ren முதல் Lavesque’s first government to protect the French language in Quebec. The minister in charge of the file, Simon Jolene-Barrett, assures us that this new law will have the teeth needed to ensure the stability of the French. He recognizes that the main problem of the French language is found in the metropolis of Montreal and much of it. In particular, he promises that his bill will guarantee the ownership of francophones that work in French. ” This is not normal in Quebec [que] French-speaking Cubans cannot speak their language on the island of Montreal. In Quebec, it is not uncommon for Quebecs to live in French in all aspects of their lives. Did he announce? Simon Jolene-Barrett is due to submit his bill in the coming weeks.

Charles Castongue believes the Canadian government should take adequate measures to preserve the French language in Quebec but in other parts of Canada: “Ottawa should put its shoulder on the wheel and push in the same direction as Quebec.” Sociologist estimates that over the past 50 years, the Canadian government has paid more attention to the safety of English-speaking minorities in Quebec than to the safety of French-speaking people in the province: Will Ottawa Really Change Your Mind? Charles Costongue asks. The Government of Canada and the Supreme Court have cut off the wings of the French language charter to the extent that there is not much left today..

Melanie Jolie, the Canadian minister in charge of the file, is currently working on a review of Canadian law on official languages, a bill that will soon be introduced and is eagerly awaited by the phonograph communities across Canada.

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See also: Canada: Melanie Jolie Promises “We Need to Keep a Francophone Immigration Strategy Outside Quebec”

Quebec independence, solution?

The Movement Quebec Franchise, for its part, is firmly awaiting the new edition of Bill 101 of the Franுவாois Legalt government. But its chairman, Maxime Laporte, has not hidden his doubts about its true effectiveness and regrets that successive governments have not done much to protect France since the adoption of Bill 101. In an interview, he gives us a sad rating: “We see the decline of the French language and population in Quebec, especially in the Montreal region, which is a visible and audible event that will reconcile the future of the French language in Quebec and North America. Since the beginning of the s, the vitality of this population has been declining, receding and passing every day.

The Quebec franchise leader of the bill hopes that the amendment to Bill 101 will be strong enough to adequately protect the French language: “For me, half the steps are not possible, or the steps taken will achieve this goal, or it will fail.

Maxim Laporte believes that the only way to secure the future of the French language in Quebec is through the independence of Quebec. He believes the French language recession is evidence of the failure of the federal will: ” Our aim is to ensure the future of French Quebec, and if this goal cannot be achieved within the Canadian framework we will take the pages in support of the free will in Quebec. “

And to conclude: “Will these measures at least put an end to the decline of the French population, its social status and its economic status? The real killing question is, otherwise the future of France is in jeopardy. , I do not know how this inaction can justify this neglect.

Flexible but threatening language

This is the health test we can do now for the French language in Quebec. Furthermore, we are concerned about this record: we wonder if French will still be spoken in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada in a hundred years, unless effective measures are taken quickly to ensure its future. Yes, the language has proven its strength and resilience over the centuries to survive in Quebec, but can we escape this population decline if we do not encourage immigrants to become more French? Yes, Quebec is actually the village of the tough Cools in the Roman Empire, but can it still resist the English-speaking invaders? Will French become a vernacular in the coming centuries? Charles Castongue did not hide his concern: “French is slowly being reduced to a vernacular. If we can attract new speakers and they adopt French in their own homes, we can preserve the French language.

In Ontario, will the University of Sutbury soon speak 100% French?

The University of Sutbury, Ontario, the neighboring province of Quebec and the largest province in Canada, recently stated that it wants to become a 100% French-speaking campus. Sapturi University is a partnership with Laurentian University, a bilingual institution that is currently facing serious financial problems. The rector of Sapturi University is concerned and fears that these difficulties may affect the teaching of French at his university.

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The only way [conserver ces programmes en français] 100% Francophone Company Managed by Francophones ” Says John Meehan, president of the University of Sutbury. So he wants to merge his company with the assembly of the Francophonies in Ontario so that it becomes a full-fledged Francophone, a very favorable project of Carol Jole, the head of the organization: Our goal is for the Francophones in Ontario to be able to complete their schooling in the French language of their choice, and the survival of our communities depends on it. . The Ontario government must approve this position of the University of Sandbury, which has not yet been done. One of the largest Francophone communities in the province lives in the Sutbury region of northern Ontario.