People Speaking English To Me In Montreal Is Driving Me Crazy
Yes you heard me right and no I am not crazy, but I am honestly very passionate about this subject. So that you understand where I am coming from let me give you a bit of information about my background.
I am a born and raised anglophone from the United Kingdom, more specifically born in Wales. For those of you who don't know, Wales is a small Celtic country off the side of England. Being a Celtic country we actually have our own language and are completely bilingual. That's right, all people educated in the public Welsh education system speak both Welsh and English and are educated in both languages therefore become completely bilingual.
After 22 years of my life in the UK I moved to France to join my parents, who had taken an early retirement there. I quickly integrated into the culture the best I could and strengthened on my language skills in French and to this day can happily say that I am bilingual.
I arrived in Montreal in May 2012 with the idea to be entering a country highly influenced by both the British and French culture and embracing both languages equally but empowering their French roots and prominently speaking French. On arrival I originally installed on the North Shore in Terrebonne and worked and lived just as I suspected in French.
I then moved to Rosemont - Petite-Patrie in the September of 2012, another prominently French speaking sector of Montreal and frequently spend a lot of time in the Plateau and Outremont. At the beginning all seemed as I suspected being welcomed and spoke to prominently in French and only being spoke English to by close friends who wished to practice. But lately I am not getting greeted by the regular "Bonjour - Hi" or just simply "Bonjour", but just directly in English!
Now you're probably wondering why this is driving me crazy. Being an anglophone by birth, why am I not embracing this facility? Well because weirdly I feel insulted. Yes that is right insulted! Why you may ask? Well it is simply because I took the time and effort to learn and speak French. Also I feel that there is nothing more important as an immigrant than embracing your current countries culture and making all possible efforts to integrate. So yes I am actually saddened that the French language is being almost lost.
Why is my country that, let's be honest speaks almost a completely pointless language, as no one speaks Welsh but us, is more capable at ensuring that it is passed on and embraced by the next generation?
Now it is important that you understand that I am not saying that we shouldn't not speak English. Actually very much far from it, English is a very important language and being able to speak it only strengthens your chances to success and opportunity in life, as it is a universally embraced language for worldwide communication. However Quebec please don't lose your history, your charm and culture and if I make an effort to speak French to you please speak back to me in French too. Merci.