A funny yet striking — and sure-to-be-controversial — new ad from the Quebec government warns against the use of Franglais, specifically the way some Francophones intersperse their speech with terms borrowed from English for flourish or emphasis. The suggestion in the ad is that the practice undermines the integrity of language and contributes to the decline of French in the province.
The 30-second clip takes the form of a mock nature documentary following a peregrine falcon. The bird of prey, a narrator says, "est reconnu pour être assez chill."
"Parce qu'il est super quick en vol, il peut passer la majorité de son temps à watcher son environnement," the ad continues.
"Mais malgré que ses skills de chasse soient insane," the narrator warns, "l'avenir du faucon pèlerin demeure sketch."
The implication, of course, is that the supposedly threatened falcon is an allegory for the French language in Quebec.
"Au Québec, le français est en déclin," a message at the end of the ad reads. "Renversons la tendance."
The ad is the work of Quebec's Ministry of the French Language, whose goal, as stated online, is to "promote the establishment and maintenance of conditions conducive to the future of the French language, in addition to promoting the knowledge, protection, enhancement and transmission of Quebec's French-language heritage."
The CAQ government frequently warns of a "decline" of French in the province.
The 2021 census showed that while the number of French speakers is increasing, the share of the Quebec population that speaks French at home decreased from 79% to 77.5% between 2016 and 2021. The Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) further found that, in the same time period, the proportion of people who predominantly speak French at work also decreased to 79.7%.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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