On (re)claiming my bilingualism (by Lauren Godfrey-Smith)

I’m writing this from my brother’s house in Melbourne, Australia, where outside the window in front of me are the same (or similar) Monet-esque winter skies, red 11421620_10153245919386355_1107122113_ntiled rooves, and native birdsongs that I remember from growing up in Tasmania. When I was a teenager, I left Canada and moved to Australia, and by the time I was in my early twenties, I had a stronger sense of Australian citizenship and identity than I’d ever had about being Canadian. Yet, my persistent Canadian accent and the almost daily question, “Where are you really from?” caused a kind of ‘identity dissonance’: In my heart, I was an Australian with a long family history and strong cultural heritage, but I was marked as a Canadian by the way that I spoke English.
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On the categories I live by, despite myself (by Kathleen Green)

I’ve been an “Anglophone” for about two and a half years now, which is as long as I’ve been living in the province of Québec. English has always been my first and dominant language, but the idea of it being a prominent part of my public identity is new. Like many Montrealers, I find myself spending time, daily, thinking and talking about language and the confounding intricacies of my linguistic public and private lives.
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YouTube, the ‘Montréal Switch’, and what it means to call Montréal home (by Lauren Godfrey-Smith)

I am weirdly fascinated by a comedic music video titled ‘Anglo’ by Montréal-based comedian, Mike Patterson. The video is captioned with this description (translated from French), “Are you an Anglophone? Are you annoyed when you speak in French and all the Francophones switch into English because of your accent and grammatical errors? It’s important to practice though! That’s why I wrote this song. We live in Québec, let us speak French, even if it’s not good! Speak to me in French when I buy my beer at the corner store, ostie!” (‘ostie’, referencing the host, is a religion-based expletive unique to the variety of French that is spoken in Québec, and is roughly equivalent to ‘damn it’). To give you a general idea, the video is about self-described Anglophone Mike Patterson, who in the song (entirely in French) expresses his frustration at always being spoken to in English whenever he speaks French. Since putting this video up on YouTube in 2012, Patterson’s video has received around 13,000 views and some pretty interesting comments from viewers. Continue reading