Quebec Language Police Attack English Facebook Pages - MTL Blog

Quebec Language Police Attack English Facebook Pages

The OQLF takes to social media.

Photo Cred - Toronto Star

The Office québécois de la langue française (more affectionately known as the Language Police) is taking to the interwebs in their ongoing mission to enforce the French language. The OQLF's latest target: the Facebook page of a small boutique in Chelsea, Quebec.

Social media has largely been outside of the OQLF's focus, but that may be changing. The unlucky business owner is Eva Cooper, of boutique Delilah in the Parc, who was forcefully asked by the OQLF to translate the entire FB page of the shop into French.

Cooper wasn't too willing to cooperate, and justifiably so. Cooper told the Toronto Star that "I'm happy to mix [posts] up but I’m not going to do every post half in French, half in English. I think that that defeats the whole purpose of Facebook.” A solid point, especially if Cooper is targeting a specific audience.

Given that a lot of Cooper's customers come from Ottawa, her entire in-store staff is bilingual, and the town of Chelsea is bilingual-friendly (the town's site is in French and English),  forcing the FB page to be all and only in French is a little extreme, and may actually hurt Cooper's business.

Is the realm of social media even in the Language Police's jurisdiction? Will Instagram posts and tweets be the next target?  Hopefully not, but if Diane de Courcy lives up to her claims, maybe so.

Should the OQLF back off from social media?

For more on news in Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte

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