Air Canada Fined For Not Using French Language

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  • canucklad
    Participant

    Junior Offspring has just started at uni, reading English Literature and French (at the world’s best university, but that’s by the by)

    I’m sure she’ll have a blast in Edinburgh : )


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    Junior Offspring has just started at uni, reading English Literature and French (at the world’s best university, but that’s by the by)

    I’m sure she’ll have a blast in Edinburgh : )

    Edinburgh was her insurance choice. She has not made a claim on her insurance 😉


    nevereconomy
    Participant

    It does all seem silly to we outsiders, but it is the law and Air Canada is well aware of that. The French Canadians do not want to abandon their culture, as we have in
    Britain to the Americans – just watch Freeview and commercials and there can be no question about that – even heard someone say”gotten” on the BBC. I completely sympathize with the actions of the couple concerned, though the compensation was ridiculous.


    christopheL
    Participant

    @ccCookie
    “But of course, it doesn’t matter if a uni-lingual french speaker could or could not divine that ‘North’ meant ‘Nord’, … no doubt that it is the ‘principle.’ “.

    Do you mean that when driving in Quebec a uni-lingual English speaker cannot divine that ´Nord’ means ‘North’ ?


    capetonianm
    Participant

    For real confusion there are places which do it better than Canada :
    Belgium :
    Mons = Bergen (not to be confused with Bergen in Norway)
    Liege = Leuk = Lüttich

    Monaco is the Italian for Munich.

    Genoa becomes Genova in Italian or Genes in French, close enough to be confused with Geneva/Genève by some.

    Then there’s Wales where Cardiff = Caerdydd (if you know the pronounciation rules that’s clear) but Swansea becomes Abertawe, logical if you know that it means ‘the mouth of the River Tawe.’

    Or Ireland where Dublin = Baile Átha Cliath
    Howth = Binn Éadair
    Wexford = Loch Garman
    Dalkey = Deilginis
    Wicklow = Cill Mhantáin
    I often sit on Irish trains, bemused by it all!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    Or, of course, there is Bangkok, known to locals as Krungthep (for short) or, more fully and accurately, Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit


    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    On the subject of place names, few people got it more wrong than the early English did when they arrived in Britain. They wanted to name places and asked the existing (Romano-British) inhabitants what places were called. When it came to rivers the conversation often went like this:

    Saxon incomer (in old English, and pointing at a river): “What is that called?”

    Briton (thinking the invader was asking “what is that”): “Afon” – pronounced “Ahvon”, and the British word for river (as it is still in modern Welsh)

    Saxon: “Thank you; we will therefore call it the Avon River”.

    And so there are many cases of rivers called the River Avon in southern England – literal meaning “River River”.


    ccCookie
    Participant

    @ccCookie
    “But of course, it doesn’t matter if a uni-lingual french speaker could or could not divine that ‘North’ meant ‘Nord’, … no doubt that it is the ‘principle.’ “.

    Do you mean that when driving in Quebec a uni-lingual English speaker cannot divine that ´Nord’ means ‘North’ ?

    They can, do and would have to … since they are in French only.

    As I mentioned in the earlier comment you quote: “When driving around Ottawa, you know when you have strayed into Quebec; all the road signs have become uni-lingual … French only. ”

    My point is the expense of the absurd bilingual signs.


    canucklad
    Participant

    My point is the expense of the absurd bilingual signs.

    Good for the tourist trade though, here in Scotland we’re embracing Gaelic

    A bit of Friday fun on a Wednesday ……..
    See if any of you can guess the following ScotRail/ Reile na h-Alba Stations, that are now bilingually signed …… I’ll leave a clue too ..

    Hamaltan Mheadhain – Lewis in the middle =
    Caol Loch ailsee – over the sea =
    Gleann Fhionnainn – Platform 9 & 3/4 =
    Margadh an Fheoir – Horse shop =
    Sraid na banrighinn – Lizzies road
    Dun Chailldann & Brachan – The Scottish play =
    Inbhir Nis – Where is she ? =
    Dun De – Comic town =
    Glean Lucha – Mary’s birthplace =


    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    @ccCookie

    Some of these are fairer than others! There is a decent chance that some of the people actually using the stations at Caol Loch ailsee (Kyle of Lochalsh), Gleann Fhionnainn (Glenfinnan) and Inbhir Nis (Inverness) will be speaking Gaelic. But the others seem to be translations of English, not real placenames. I’m guessing from your clue that Margadh an Fheoir is Edinburgh Haymarket, but I doubt one commuter in 10,000 using the station would know it !

    Incidentally, just across from Kyle of Lochalsh, on the Skye side of the sound, is Kyleakin. Lots of visitors pronounce this Kile-eakin, but it is in fact Kile-ahkin. Named after Haakon king of Norway, whose fleet sheltered there in the 13th century. So the name Kyleakin is part Gaelic, part Norse.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I grew up in what was then a nominally bilingual country. There were many oddities, some areas being almost entirely Afrikaans speaking and others English, and often a case of ‘never the twain shall meet’ as many English speakers despised Afrikaans speakers, and vice versa. In theory both languages were ‘equal’ but depending on where you were, one was usually ‘more equal’ than the other.

    Most place names were the same in either language, even though Afrikaans place names often mean something, they were rarely if ever translated, in fact I struggle to think of a place that is known by both an English and an Afrikaans name. Bloemfontein is ‘spring of flowers’ but nobody refers to it as that.

    The famous ‘longest name’ in South Africa, Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein, is somewhat artificial as it is a farm name, not a place. It means ‘the spring where two buffalos were shot dead in one shot’. As an aside, Afrikaans place names are fascinating, and on long drives I always enjoy translating them for my wife, to whom Afrikaans is just a jumble of letters.

    The linguistic divide was so great that I can remember going to the bank to cash a cheque (remember those days!) in a small seaside village in the southern Cape and the woman refused to accept it as I had written ‘Twenty Rand’ instead of ‘Twintig Rand’. I also remember a policeman refusing to let me write a witness statement in English.

    Happy days. Now we have 11 official languages. Most white people are only proficient in English or Afrikaans, with an increasing number of younger people speaking an indigenous language. Many black people speak at least two indigenous languages, plus English and in some areas, Afrikaans, albeit not always proficiently.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    @capetonianm

    It is always interesting to me when I visit South Africa to see the three naming conventions the three white races of South Africa employed. The original Dutch settlers were very literal – they named things for what they were. Warmbad (warm baths), Klipperivier (stony river), Kaapstad (Cape Town). Then the English came, and wherever the English were in the world they named places after where they had come from (Somerset West, East London). Then the Boers trekked north, and by now they had their own naming convention, which was to name towns after famous people (Johannesburg, Pretoria – after Pretorius, Louis Trichardt).

    What conventions do the African people use in your country?


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Just heard that Zonnebloem (Sunflower), which was an infamous part of Cape Town, is now officially to be renamed District Six, the name by which it was known under Apartheid. I find this somewhat odd although the name District Six long preceded the advent of Apartheid.


    canucklad
    Participant

    Like others on here I’m intrigued by certain place names and underwhelmed by others …..

    Montreal sounds much more appropriate and more Canadian than Mount Royal does. And I can’t help wondering what the French speaking populace would do, if the original locals pushed to ditch the French name and rename it Mooniyaang !!

    Further west, Vancouver , sounds like it’s even further away from these fine and pleasant lands, until you realise its named after Kings Lynn’s most famous son, Captain George Vancouver

    And would Hong Kong sound so mysterious if we referred to it as “Fragrant Harbour”

    “I’m off on safari, starting in Cool water “ doesn’t quite have the same sense of adventure as “ Going to Nairobi for a safari”
    Then again , woke up this morning to a very hard frost, so would love to head off to Clearwater in Florida !!

    Just heard that Zonnebloem (Sunflower), which was an infamous part of Cape Town, is now officially to be renamed District Six, the name by which it was known under Apartheid. I find this somewhat odd although the name District Six long preceded the advent of Apartheid.

    And talking about District 6 , the original Washington in Tyne and Wear used to number their areas but are now gradually reverting back to the old village/hamlet names.


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    On the subject of place names, few people got it more wrong than the early English did when they arrived in Britain. They wanted to name places and asked the existing (Romano-British) inhabitants what places were called. When it came to rivers the conversation often went like this:

    Saxon incomer (in old English, and pointing at a river): “What is that called?”

    Briton (thinking the invader was asking “what is that”): “Afon” – pronounced “Ahvon”, and the British word for river (as it is still in modern Welsh)

    Saxon: “Thank you; we will therefore call it the Avon River”.

    And so there are many cases of rivers called the River Avon in southern England – literal meaning “River River”.

    Indeed! And of course the famous film “Bridge over the River Kwai” means “Bridge over the River Stream”!

Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 60 total)
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