Ist es nicht offenkundig?
And furthermore, I don't know if you have travelled far enough, but there's plenty of countries on Earth where nobody would understand a single word of English. Take Russia or China, for instance. I mean, the real China, not Hong Kong or Singapore.
This summer for instance, I was stuck in Russia and later in Ukraine. What language do you think I had to learn? How do you think I tried to adapt and survive (yes, it was a matter of survival)?
Frankly, in which world do you think you're living? Is it the same than mine?
No. I never pretended that current English-speakers were worse or more arrogant than the way French-speakers were during, let's say, the 19th century. But a wrong done doesn't justify any more wrongs. It's not because other nations practised slavery and bigotry that it's a good idea to do the same when you're in position to.Okay, I'll ask you something. If the situations were reversed, and French was the dominant language in most of the world... and the effort was towards trying to preserve English in Quebec, would you care? Would most of the French-speakers care? I doubt that they would. Perhaps English speakers are arrogant, but would not ANY speakers of a language in that position be arrogant? Are we any worse than you would be?
This concerns only a tiny minority of people, even if this minority is very active and widely distributed geographically. A language that is not learned through cultural recognition is often quickly forgotten once you're out of school and do not practice it.Well, many of the Chinese, Arabian peoples, and Japanese have learned English for such reasons, have they not? They don't care for English culture at all, they learn the language so they can trade with us and communicate with us.
And so do African workers in France: they learn French. And so do Turkish workers in Germany: they learn German. What is it supposed to mean? In a foreign country, you learn the dominant language. In Rome, do as the Romans do.Hispanic workers come here and learn it to find a job.
And in Quebec, you learn French, exactly the same way you learn English when you live... let's say... in British Columbia. Is it really such a frightening, horrifying perspective?
It seems so.Perhaps it is different in Europe, though. I know not.
I would be the last to deny it.What I'm saying is that there are a non-negligible number of people who would learn languages for such reasons, even if you would not. Do you deny that?
And so is every language: unique and beautiful. And it's not only about translation, it's rather about the way we think, we shape ideas, and how we consider our neighbours. Do we respect them, or do we want to convert them to our own image?Okay, I think I'm beginning to see your point, though... what you are concerned about, is the loss of our ability to interpret the vast body of French literature in a non-translated form, because you feel that something would be lost in that translation. You feel that there is something valuable and unique to French culture that is irreplaceable. From your perspective, French is unique and beautiful.
Yes, French language is wonderful and the "vast body of French culture" (to quote your own words) is incredibly rich, far more than what most traditional English-speakers would often believe. But so are German culture, Russian culture or Chinese culture. The core elements of philosophy, poetry and litterature I perceive here are vastly superior to what is usually avalaible in English and every academician specialized into these questions would confirm it to you. The English supremacy is only fairly recent (and it's an interesting phenomena), hence its poverty and comparative lack of references when you go anywhere beyond the XXth century.
To master a language gives you access to its culture, to elements more meaningful once you're able to put them into context. This is why, for instance, you can't easily translate a lot of philosophical concepts: ever tried to figure what the Dasein, the Shensui or the Poïesis would be in English?
It goes far beyond simple translation: with each exemple I use here, it's about the inner mechanics of the language (how you build words and why), and about the cultural and even sometimes, physical context. Whoever has not set foot in the Huangshan mountains might not be able to understand the concept of Shensui and void as a landscape element...
It goes far beyond the language as a simple written explanation.
It's about places, paintings, buildings, interactions, discussions, territories: what we define as a cultural identity. And this fundamental perception cannot be really understood practically, but rather, ontologically.
Sometimes, discovering a language is a question of fate and chance. And I will not judge which language and which culture Fate has intended for us. But people who are able to withstand cultural immersion are always more interesting and more diverse people.From mine, it is just another Romance language like Spanish, only far less popular. However, you speak French, and I do not know one word of it. I have to concede that this places you in a better position to judge that than myself.
You should not ask me why French seems so important for the majority of people who live in Quebec (even if this is pretty obvious), you should rather ask them and try to understand them if you ever go there.All right. I'll try to listen, and stop judging. What do you believe that speakers of other languages have to gain from learning French in particular? What would they gain from it that they wouldn't gain from learning Spanish? What is unique about French? What is so special about it, that people in this particular area, and no other, should be compelled to speak it and be educated in it if they don't wish to be? Why is French important? What do you believe the implications would be if Quebec began mostly transitioning to speaking English rather than French?
I'd say that it seems meaningful for them, that it seems to define who they are. Without it, they would lack something that goes far beyond utilitarian principles. And believe me, you should not mess with cultural identity: most conflicts and major misundertandings of History have begun this way. Rather, be humble and try to respect them if you can.
Besides, English speaking states are doing exactly the same than what they are doing, if you think carefully to the context. So who are we to judge them, especially in such categoric ways?