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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:29 pm
 


welcome to vive, I can't comment on your question as I have never heard of the Francophonie hors-Quebec. Please explain what you mean, or what it is...



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:47 pm
 


"Francophonie hors-Québec" refers to how francophones operate outside of Quebec in an environment that is mainly anglophone. For instance, Radio-Canada is close to being my last remaining lifeline to french. Most francophones outside of Quebec are quite fluent and you will often not be able to differentiate them. They tend to pick the best out of both worlds. And yet there are still certains things that hold us back in our identity and make us very proud of being francophones. Somewhat similar to First Nations or Maoris in kiwiland.



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 8:25 pm
 


Hi Gaulois, <br /> <br />I live in Vancouver, and the Francophones I have known here fit in seemlessly. I think what you're asking is that they might use Radio-Canada or the Francophone cultural events here to construct their own isolated world inside larger Vancouver. Or on other hand, they might become completely Anglophone. <br /> <br />From what I've seen this isn't the case. A group of friends I used to hang out with had a couple of people from Montreal, and they had definately become totally Vancouverites. At the same time, it was obvious they were still Francophones. I'm not sure what their lifeline to French was, but there's lots of people from Quebec around, of course RDC and the cultural events. They were also under thirty too, if that might make a difference. And Vancouver's a pretty laid-back place, so it seemed like it was pretty easy for them to live in both worlds (anglophone and francophone). <br /> <br />I think the cultural services are important for anglos as well. It shows Francophone culture isn't something that's just in Quebec, but is in BC as well. Most people who live and work in Vancouver will know Quebecers, but that may not be the case in other places.



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 10:56 pm
 


Francophonie is not about a French couple living in Vancouver. Francophonie is described as communities living in a French environment.

Gaulois, I do not know where you hail from and I have not much knowledge about the situation of the Francophonie Hors-Québec. I do remember reading census numbers a few years back though and assimilation had not been stopped over the decades even with the help of subsidies.
If as you write, subsidized communities feel like they are living in a pretend world, this is only further proof that French outside Québec and New Brunswick may sadly become a dying breed.

I have no answers to the dilemna you provide about the situation.



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2004 5:25 am
 


And most often francophones end up living with an allophone partner and the children typically end up more comfortable operating in English. Note that this happens to all the other ethnic communities. <br /> <br />Perhaps it is delusion of my part on the dying breed diagnostic, but I think some substantial improvements could be made if we did not bury our head in the sand and be willing to operate in a defininetely less traditional francophone "environment" rather than a pretend world that our federal government wishes to perpetuate. I think the internet and francophone medias operating outside of Quebec could make a huge difference. Francophones living outside of Quebec (&New Brunswick) have clearly made that choice and will live with some "compromises". Compromises they currently have to make are not workable.



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2004 10:10 am
 


Michou, <br /> <br />My post was not about "a French couple living in Vancouver". <br /> <br />Gaulois asked if Francophones outside of Quebec were assimilated or were living in a "pretend world", as he called it. My experience was that the Francophones I knew were neither assimilated nor living in a "pretend world". There were enough Francophones that I knew for them to have a French community at the same time being part of my Vancouver neighbourhood and circle of friends. <br /> <br />Gaulois asks if there might be a better way for them to live in French in Vancouver, and I think you suggest the French environment outside Quebec must have a certain level of quality or completeness. You're probably right. I know we didn't have Radio Canada in Vancouver until sometime in the 80s. So everything is built step-by-step. The point is, by my observations, the situation is good and improving in Vancouver.



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2004 10:24 am
 


An addition: <br /> <br />Gaulois also brought up the case of children of "mixed" marriages, and I guess of Francopone children growing up in anglo areas, and the dangers of them being assimilated. <br /> <br />The danger of this happening in Vancouver seems to be low. At work, I knew a Francophone whose boy had just reached school age and he said he was sending him to the French school. So it is possible, in Vancouver at least, for Francophone children to spend the first years of their lives in a French environment. I assume this would guard against assimilation, as the first years are obviously the most important.



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2004 10:49 am
 


My kids went to French immersion and are now undergoing University undergrad studies. So I understand very well the program accomplishments as well as its shortcomings. French has unfortunately remained somewhat "exotic" to my kids (or young adult now); most friends communicate with them in english, for instance. I think they remain somewhat proud of their franco roots and generally curious about francophone cultures but I would not suggest they "dig it" at their age. So whether we wish to call this case "assimilated" (and my fault), I would like to think not somehow, but most people probably would, certainly the stats Canada beancounters. <br /> <br />In regards to francophonie in Vancouver, it is my home base! I will say that francophones around Vancouver do not express themselves in French anywhere on internet public forums to the best of my knowledge for reasons IMHO related to what I have eluded to in my original posting. I have never seen for instance a discussion like this one being held in French among francos, whether in one solitude or the other one!!! I am not sure about other parts in Canada hors-Québec ( or NB ) fare on this. It is somewhat fascinating and odd that this discussion occurs in English on Vive le Canada prior to Canada day and I do notice a number of participants on this forum with franco names. Bonne Fête Canada BTW!



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2004 4:41 pm
 


What can you say, Gaulois, we just love Canada. <br /> <br />I know that for ethnic groups other than my own, I have observed this. The kids when they're in school and university spend most of their time in the dominant culture (i.e. in class or with friends). Once they enter a career and start to settle down it seems like they do return to a certain degree to their original culture (that they absorbed when they were young). Whether this just "getting in touch with their roots" or a more full-fledged embracing of their original culture, I'm not sure. I think this is the issue you raised in your post. <br /> <br />I know that if someone attends a French immersion school, they are considered Francophone for "official" purposes. I know there was just a case in Quebec where a father had attended French immersion outside the province and a court deciced that made him Francophone, so his son therefore would attend a French school (rather than an English one). I know also for Stats Can, that if you check off Francophone on your Census, you're considered Francophone--and this obviously would increase the funding for Francophone services in your area which are based on the Census. <br /> <br />But like you say that is the bean-counter, bureaucratic way of putting it. Though on the other side, once you're given a solid grounding in your culture, you can always go back to it. (And I would think with the continued funding for Francophone services in Vancouver, and other places in the R.O.C. the support would be there when you went back.) <br /> <br />Thanks for the best wishes, hope you had a good Fete Nationale.



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2004 11:41 pm
 


As a French Immersion grad from a rural community, I have a bit to say on this. <br /></P> <br />I know several families that are Francophone since birth. The children my age (not really children anymore) were raised speaking both English and French. Most of them speak french at home with their parents. Some can understand it but not speak it themselves. <br /></P> <br />So there is a little of both sides going on here: some keeping their roots and some being assimilated. But the real key is that most of the francophone families in the region are involved in French Immersion. This goes beyond simply enrolling the children. The parents themselves are involved in Parents For French, an advisory and fund-raising group that's devoted to the program. <br /></P> <br />My mother is English-speaking and she was able to participate in the Parents For French activities in order to support the program. But a significant portion of the parents were french speaking and that committee was (and most likely still is) the foundation for the Francophonie hors-Quebec in this region. <br /></P> <br />If you give people money to preserve their culture, it won't do much unless they have a specific goal. These parents came together to help educate their children in French. And that was how the francophones met each other. Also, the French Immersion teachers all socialize with each other and the French-speaking parents. <br /></P> <br />What this points to is a simple model that can be used to build the Francophone culture outside of Quebec. All we need to do is establish French Immersion schools nation-wide and with parental involvment, that can be the foundation for a distinct culture within the English-speaking majority. <br /></P> <br />Personally, I'd like to see every child in Canada taught both English and French.



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2004 10:25 am
 


Yes I do agree that CPF has a very interesting role to play in regards to trans-generational assimilation rates. Differentiating ourselves from our neighbour south of the border through French as a second language seems most valuable and well recognized. That is most encouraging. On the other hand, Quebec assessment that francophones hors-Quebec are a dying breed (and often treated as such) can be upsetting. I will also point out that the french immersion program caters well to kids that master english at home and are sufficiently priviledged to pick up a second language without the excess baggage of carrying slower kids in the classroom. <br /> <br />Perhaps my concern has more to do with the existing franco infrastructures hors-Quebec having gone stale and not sufficiently responsive to how most francophones hors-Quebec actually live and work, i.e. mainly in english. These infrastructures should therefore better deal with the problems that this situation creates. <br /> <br />For instance, the Internet has tremendous potential to help francos hors-Quebec write (&read) again in French, the first language skill they generally lose. Initiatives in this area are very isolated and generally poorly supported by the existing well funded franco infrastructures that they end up competing against. The Montreal or Ottawa managed infrastructures do not understand this basic need. <br /> <br />I often get the impression that the franco infrastructures hors-Québec are there to look after the francophones "de passage" in ROC before returning to Quebec and bring back a positive message to Quebec electorate that francos can live in the ROC. Do not take me wrong: the franco infrastructure monopoly operates very well in several areas but not so well in others IMHO. I have some doubts that they can be reformed as there is too much fear of "perdre les acquis" and very little political weight in a mainly unguarded monopoly environment. As a result these franco infrastructures are growing stale and causing francos to disconnect in French and do exactly what I am doing now, but in English!!! <br /> <br />If any of you is aware of an Internet forum that discusses francophones hors-Quebec problems in French, I would be delighted in hearing about it. I am meanwhile most grateful to this forum for the discussion. Or perhaps I should just write in French on the Vive Le Canada forum???



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2004 1:11 pm
 


As far as I know there is nothing to stop you from posting in french or from starting new or old topics written in french. This site is for all Canadians regardless of what language they speak or write in. If Mohawks want to write in Mohawkish that's fine too, IMO.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2004 9:25 am
 


As I eluded to earlier on, the Mohawks as First Nations would have the same problem of the "two solitudes" and could very well comment on this topic if there was a Mohawk on this forum. I however doubt he/she would be understood if writing in Mohawk? I would hope to be more understood if I wrote in French. Let's see... <br /> <br />Je m'interrogeais aussi sur le cas des anglos du Québec. Ils sont probablement moins subventionnés puisqu'ils bénéficient de plus grands nombres et fonctionnent dans un continent essentiellement anglophone. Mais n'ont-ils pas eux aussi leur propre saveur du problème des deux solitudes: les pures des derniers ghettos anglais -vs- les plus intégrés à la francophonie québécoise??? Quelles solutions sont à l'horizon chez eux (s'il y a problème)?



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:22 pm
 


You're right, there are no restrictions on what language you post in on Vive and in fact we want to encourage more posting en Francais because it will in turn attract even more posting en Francais. We just need a few people to start doing it and I'm sure it will become more common. <br /> <br />It's also true that our First Nations face similar problems, and we are very opening to discussing them, since on this site we recognize that we have several Canadian "sovereignties" ie English Canada, Quebec, and First Nations. <br /> <br />In northern Alberta we have several strongly Francophone communities which have existed since the fur trade/missionary days, although I have no idea whether or not they are subsidized in any way. Falher, Guy, Marie Reine, and St Isidore, which is closest to my home, all spring to mind. In all or most schools up here we offer French immersion for either Anglos or Francophones and there are predominantly French schools within the Francophone communities. But we are in a rural area and there seems to be a problem with losing young people to the cities, which is hurting these French communities as much as it is our Anglo communities, and perhaps more, since when the kids move away that close interconnection and unbroken link to the culture is threatened (no next generation to carry it on). In St Isidore we celebrate a yearly Carnaval and there is a similar event in Grande Prairie. It seems that the smaller communities have a stronger culture and sense of being Francophone, and are more tightly-knit, perhaps because they are more exclusively Francophone rather than being spread out among Anglos as in the cities. For instance, from personal experience the Carnaval in the rural village of St Isidore seems to be more "authentic", better organized and well-attended than the event in the larger, urban Grande Prairie. <br /> <br />There is certainly a strong contrast between these communities and southern Alberta, where most people have no idea there is such an idea as a Francophone Albertan. I certainly never heard of or attended a French cultural event or a Francophone community while in Calgary. <br /> <br />PS, I have started a forum topic for "Quebec" under politics as well because we certainly need that forum. But discussions of culture and Francophonie by no means need to be restricted to that topic.



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 4:10 am
 


There is much talk here about preserving the "French Culture'' and the stepping stone for this to happen is the ability to speak French. I believe this to be a false premise and my opinion is that a culture is much more than the language it speaks though it is an important one. <br />The reason why Francophonie Hors-Québec is not as strong as it could be is because the surrounding culture it lives in is an Anglo-North American one. <br />It is the sharing of a common bond within one's society that makes its participants feel they are part of a greater whole. Just speaking the language is not enough. I speak English, have lived in England, English Canada and the U.S. but I never felt part of their culture other than being an outsider looking in. <br />Culture is a set of values shared by many and it is not something you can just leave on your doorstep when you go out into the world.



« Il y a une belle, une terrible rationalité dans la décision d´être libre. » - Gérard Bergeron


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