Language & linguistics news from around the world • Updated daily • Relevant stories, selected by humans (not computers)

Share this site!

Language: French - Page 2

  • Mar 24, 2012
  • 06:26 PM

L'actualité of living in Montreal

Josh Freed / Montreal Gazette
MONTREAL - L’actualité magazine has a special edition out on anglophones that suggests many of us don’t know Radio-Canada from Canada Goose. The magazine did a poll of anglos that surprised its editorial staff – but some of the surprise is just that they’re surprised.
  • Mar 24, 2012
  • 06:17 PM

French magazine takes young Anglos to task

Angelica Montgomery / Astral
The CROP poll finds that a large majority of Anglophones between the ages of 18 and 34 think big businesses should be allowed to hire managers that don't speak French. And, 67% don't agree with the statement: "The predominance of French is a key ingredient to Montreal's originality. Without it, the city would lose its soul." 80% also said they don't believe it's their duty to contribute to the continuing existence of French in Quebec.
  • Mar 23, 2012
  • 02:13 AM

Harper Government Invests in Manitoba's Francophone Community

Canada NewsWire
WINNIPEG, March 22, 2012 /CNW/ - The Francophone community in Manitoba will continue to thrive, thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada. Support for 13 organizations was announced today by Shelly Glover, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament (Saint Boniface), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.
  • Mar 22, 2012
  • 03:13 PM

What foreign language do students most want to learn?

Rebecca Walker / USA Today
A recent USA Today College poll indicated that 44% of students would enroll in a Spanish course for their next foreign language course. The numbers quickly tapper off after that — with Chinese being the second most popular language at 11%, and Arabic attracting 9% of students. Closely trailing are the three languages that are commonly found in universities across the country —- at least at the beginner level: German, French, and Italian all tallied in 8% each.
  • Mar 21, 2012
  • 11:54 PM

Welcome to Canada, But Only if You're Fluent

Rachel Décoste / Huffington Post Canada (blog)
Minister of Multiculturalism Jason Kenney announced this week that Canada would no longer welcome newcomers who were not proficient in our official languages. This policy flies in the face of common sense and the 500 years of experience Canada was built upon.
  • Mar 21, 2012
  • 11:08 AM

Statements On The Occasion Of The Journee Internationale De La Francophonie
“On this day we celebrate the French language, not only in Canada but around the world. French-speaking Canadians are proud to be a part of this significant global community celebrating a common language. Throughout North America, Europe, Africa and Asia, the language of Molière has evolved to produce many diverse accents and dialects, remaining strong and instilling pride in those who speak it.
  • Mar 20, 2012
  • 03:16 PM

Deal on French at Olympics to be signed in Quebec
An agreement on the use of French at the upcoming Summer Olympics in London is expected to be signed in Quebec City in May. Former governor general Michaelle Jean tells The Canadian Press the deal between the London Olympic Committee and International Organization of la Francophonie will be inked on May 25 in Quebec City.
  • Mar 20, 2012
  • 02:11 PM

Alliance Francaise kickstarts Francophonie celebrations

Nokukhanya Aimienoho / The Swazi Observer
As the world celebrates French, Alliance Francaise du Swaziland has a series of events to commemorate this annual event in the country. Alliance Francaise du Swaziland Director, Laurence Amigues explained that half a billion French-speakers around the world celebrated International Day of Francophonie on 20 March.
  • Mar 19, 2012
  • 05:21 PM

Chinese hoping ticket out of China is French class

Louise Watt / Seattle Post Intelligencer
Chinese desperate to emigrate have discovered a backdoor into Canada that involves applying for entry into the country's francophone province of Quebec — as long as they have a good working knowledge of the local lingo.
  • Mar 18, 2012
  • 09:01 PM

A language barrier for the 21st century

Lucy Mangan / The Guardian
Why is the BBC trying to teach Mandarin to pre-schoolers when, as a nation, we haven't even mastered French yet?
  • Mar 18, 2012
  • 08:04 PM

French Language teaching revolutionized in Tanzania

Rodgers Luhwago / IPPmedia
The government of France has taken a step further in an effort to improve the teaching and learning of French Language in the country by introducing a new system whereby teachers and students will now use Information Technology ( IT) system and audio visual material in teaching and learning the international language.
  • Mar 18, 2012
  • 07:17 PM

Making sense of the language confusion (audio)

Julia Slater /
Switzerland is at the intersection of three major European cultures – German, French and Italian – and the only language it can truly call its own, Romansh, is spoken by less than 0.5 per cent of the population.
  • Mar 17, 2012
  • 09:10 PM

London 2012: Francophones insist all every sign and leaflet at the Olympic should be translated into French

Emma Reynolds / Daily Mail
This summer's Olympics will take place in London, presided over by British celebrities and politicians and paid for by the nation's taxpayers. But a determined group of Francophones are insisting that every sign, announcement and leaflet at the landmark event should be published in French. The Gallic activists believe their language should be placed on an equal footing with English at the Games.
  • Mar 15, 2012
  • 03:19 PM

More teenagers to take GCSEs in foreign languages

Graeme Paton /
Experts said the change was set to reverse almost a decade of declining interest in foreign languages, which are in huge demand among employers and leading universities. According to figures, the number of pupils taking GCSEs in languages halved from 80 per cent to just 40 per cent between 2000 and 2011.
  • Mar 15, 2012
  • 01:26 AM

Nation honours Francophone Day

A Francophone Film Festival will kick off on Friday in Ha Noi and HCM City as part of a national celebration of this month-long event. The festival will present 12 films from nine countries: Viet Nam, France, Canada, Marocco, Switzerland, Belgium, Greece, Chad, and Ivory Coast.
  • Mar 15, 2012
  • 01:08 AM

French Language Sweeps City

Irina Titova / The St. Petersburg Times
St. Petersburg is celebrating the French language for the next two weeks with the Francophonia Days festival, which runs from March 13 to March 30. An extensive program of cultural events dedicated to the language will include the final of the French Language Song Festival for schoolchildren and students in the northwest of Russia on March 16...
  • Mar 15, 2012
  • 12:46 AM

A language scapegoat is exiled to Toronto

Don Macpherson / Montreal Gazette
David Smith might not get much use from the three-month intensive French-immersion program his employer ordered him to take. Because as soon as Smith completed the program, his employer ordered his transfer from Montreal to Toronto.
  • Mar 15, 2012
  • 12:44 AM

Gendron: Huntingdon, Que., will not submit to language 'Taliban'

Stephane Gendron / The Vancouver Sun
MONTREAL — From coast to coast in Canada, there has been a wave of positive reaction to the Huntingdon, Que., municipal council's unanimous decision to stand up to the Office de la langue francaise, which is asking us to stop any bilingual written communication with our residents. But here in Quebec, it's a different story. Last week, all political parties at provincial legislature condemned our decision, which is against Bill 101 (the Charter of the French language).
  • Mar 14, 2012
  • 12:42 PM

Back When America Was Multilingual

Ryan W. McMaken / The LRC Blog
...The adoption of such measures, in these two places, as in most places in America, is meaningless in the practical sense because most local governments already do business in English only. But, such measures are symbolic measures designed to send a message to undesirables who are insufficiently nationalistic in their choice of language. An obsession with forcing the citizenry to speak one government-approved language has long been central to the plans of nationalists everywhere.
  • Mar 11, 2012
  • 05:29 PM

Senegal: bad news for the French language

Bram Posthumus / Radio Netherlands
Admittedly, my Wolof is rudimentary and does need improvement. But gone are the days when a flawlessly exercised greeting in high school French would do the trick for you in Dakar.
  • Mar 09, 2012
  • 02:45 PM

Jürgen Trabant: English is smothering the great cultural languages

Knut Diers / The
Jürgen Trabant, a professor from Berlin, thinks the major losers in the unbridled expansion of English in business, science and everyday life will be French, Italian and German. The linguist and professor, who lives in Bremen, supports having an adoptive language. Every EU citizen should, in addition to his/her native tongue and global English, take on a third language.
  • Mar 07, 2012
  • 08:09 PM

'French language is sexist' feminists say

Clea Caulcutt / The Local
French feminists demonstrated in Paris calling on authorities to change French grammar. They say grammar rules convey sexist ideologies and should be reformed. Feminist activists wore pink gloves and pretended to sweep the floor as they demonstrated on Tuesday evening in front the French Academy in Paris, French daily Le Parisien reports.
  • Mar 07, 2012
  • 08:06 PM

Huntingdon refuses order from language watchdog to be French-only
MONTREAL — Despite a warning from Quebec's language watchdog, the town of Huntingdon is looking to maintain its status quo and vows that it will continue sending bilingual notices to locals.
  • Mar 07, 2012
  • 08:04 PM

Dulac native celebrates Cajun language, heritage with book

Thad Angelloz / Houma Courier
From an early age, Gordon Voisin of Houma understood there was something special about the language he heard his parents speaking inside their modest down-the-bayou home. It’s that language that sparked Voisin to author a book in an effort to preserve the Cajun-French language he’d grown accustomed to listening to as a youngster in Dulac.
  • Mar 05, 2012
  • 11:09 PM

Sugar Sammy’s ‘franglais’ show has Quebecers laughing in both languages

Graeme Hamilton / National Post
In an unprecedented experiment, his new “franglais” show tackles the linguistic angst of his native Montreal head on. Switching back and forth between English and French, You’re Gonna Rire was a box-office smash before he told the first joke. And now, after Wednesday’s official premiere, his routine ripping into Quebec’s franco-, anglo- and allophones has won over critics on both sides of the language divide.
  • Mar 01, 2012
  • 03:06 PM

French loses ground to English, Arabic teeters on ledge

Paula Jahn / The Daily Star
“Why do you need the French language?” asks Asmar. “Nothing is in French, everything is in English.” But not only French is under threat; signs abound of an even greater squeeze on Arabic. Older Lebanese complain that Arabic has been contaminated by English expressions, resulting at worst in a pidgin language that bears little resemblance to what they spoke as youths.
  • Feb 29, 2012
  • 01:40 AM

Language investigation launched at Iqaluit hospital
Nunavut's Languages Commissioner is launching a systematic investigation of the Qikiqtani General Hospital in Iqaluit – a first for the territory’s language watchdog. The investigation will focus on whether French and Inuktitut speakers have had their language rights violated.
  • Feb 22, 2012
  • 03:26 PM

Je Speak Inuktitut

Zachary Kuehner / The Mark
Aboriginal languages should be integrated into all public-school curricula so they are made available to all young Canadians, regardless of background. This may sound naïve (some may even think it misguided), but the groundwork is already being laid. Nunavut has created a bilingual education system – English and Inuktitut...
  • Feb 22, 2012
  • 02:45 PM

Prof seeks key to language fluency

Marian Scott / Montreal Gazette
Quebecers are North America's bilingualism champions. But when it comes to how fluent we are in our second official language, well, we're all over the map. Why is it that some of us slip effortlessly between French and English - not to mention third and even fourth languages - while others still can't get "le" and "la" straight?
  • Feb 22, 2012
  • 02:40 PM

Teaching Method Exploits Similarities of Romance Languages

Latin American Herald Tribune
LOS ANGELES – A program at a California university teaches languages like French and Italian starting with their similarities to Spanish, an idea that is scoring a big success among Hispanics of the region.