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language debate

After a mostly English speech at the Palais des Congrès in November, Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau made headlines for saying that the fact that he'd lived in Montreal for 14 without speaking French was "a testament to the city," leading him to get roasted by Quebec politicians and issue an apology.

As it turns out, this wasn't just another language-related faux pas in a country where bilingualism is a hot topic. Rather, it was THE language-related faux pas that has garnered the most complaints in the history of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL).

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If you're big into the French-English language debate or the Canada vs. U.S. debate, you might want to click out of this article and go listen to some Jean Leloup or something because it could rile you up. Republican U.S. Congressman Glenn Grothman went off on Canada at a House session on November 16 and brought into question the country's success compared to the States.

Grothman used part of his half-hour speech to discuss "why nations fail," saying, "I never felt Canada was quite as successful as America [...] because to a degree their elections pitted the French speakers against the English speakers."

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Over the weekend, we posted an old article on Facebook that listed all the reasons why English is so hard to learn, and we got quite the reaction. 

People are always saying how French is hard to learn, so we just wanted to find out if English actually was easier. And as it turns out, it's pretty damn hard. In fact, English is borderline sadistic when it comes to rules and exceptions.

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This morning, everyone is loosing their shit over the latest Trudeau "scandal"

No, he didn't punch a baby in the face, he didn't trip an old lady and he didn't murder anyone. What he did was beyond reprehensible. He spoke French... in Quebec!

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Montreal's language debate is in the news pretty much every week.

And no matter what the issue is, the same comments get repeated over and over:

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Photo cred - imgur

Moving to Montreal is a unique predicament, at least when it comes to language. If you're not a native French of English speaker, you pretty much need to learn one or the other, and your choice is largely determined by where you live in the city. Nothing illustrates that fact  better than the map pictured above, which breaks down the language-demographics of Montreal.

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Photo cred - Lindsay Buckley

Easy there language debaters, we're not trying to inspire some intense ire over here, just pointing out an interesting trend in Montreal's education system. While the number of students in English school programs in Montreal continues to decline, English schools have actually been shown to produce better students, reports CTV.

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Photo cred - Dead Obies

Rap artists are rarely in the good books of the older gen, usually irking those longer in years with lyrics about hoes drugs. Montreal's Dead Obies, a 6-person rap group from South Shore, is pissing off the middle-aged for a different reason, however, as they've come under fire for using French and English in their songs. God forbid.

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Photo cred - Sylvain Granier

Being bilingual in Montreal has obvious social benefits (pick up anyone, at any bar, among many others) but knowing two languages also has some very real benefits for your brain, especially as you grow older. We all know there's a huge language debate ongoing in Montreal, and hopefully this'll take to cultural aspect out and prove for a different perspective.

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