Proud to be immersed in bilingualism
The Editor, In the context of the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of French presence in Ontario, area francophones were treated to a royal feast of humour at the Aultsville Theatre by the “Juste pour rire/Just For Laughs” organization in partnership with many groups.
Among the 14 performers, one humorist, Katherine Levac, made a statement that resonated very well in our bilingual community: “Ma plus grande fierté c’est d’être bilingue.” (“My greatest pride is that of being bilingual.”)
Being immersed in bilingualism, we sometimes take this life skill for granted, a skill that opens so many doors, not only in our area, but in our country, and around the world really.
I sometimes wonder if we, as Canadians, realize our luck in having French and English as the official languages of our nation. They are so similar: Same alphabet, 40 per cent of English words are identical or similar to their French equivalent, every Canadian has equal access to them.
French and English are taught in every Canadian school.
Allow me to list some of the many attributes that come with this life skill that we promote in all schools of Canada, as listed by a B.C. association called, “French for the Future,” www.french-future.org. Did you know that... French and English are the only two languages taught in every country in the world.
French is the official language of the Red Cross, the Universal Postal Union. French is the language of diplomacy. French is one of the two official languages of the Olympic Games.
French is one of the official languages of the United Nations, and UNESCO. New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Nunavut have English and French as official languages. French is the lingua franca of art, cuisine, dance and fashion. There are over 700 French-language universities in the world.
French-speaking Africa represents an area larger than the USA. Many scholarships are offered to bilingual students. French is the language of love.
Salaries are higher for bilingual workers than they are for unilingual workers.
French opens doors to careers in teaching, business, diplomacy, research, translation, interpretation, travel and more.
If you bump into Johnny Depp, or Sidney Crosby or even the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, you could have a French conversation with them. The latter was sent to Switzerland for his education.
Jean Lecompte, Cornwall