Quebec Commissioner of the English Language Needed

by Jack Locke

It is time for Québec to appoint a Commissioner of proper English.

I have no problem with the Government of Québec setting forth an official language, but other venerable languages should not be butchered mercilessly.

The Quebec Charter of the French Language is a beautiful document. However, its official translation into English is bloody awful. Take for example, the translation of the first paragraph in the Charter’s preamble:

WHEREAS the French language, the distinctive language of a people that is in the majority French-speaking, is the instrument by which that people has articulated its identity;”

Tabernac! A high school student could provide a better translation. Despite that the Charter insists, “the National Assembly intends to pursue this objective in a spirit of fairness and open-mindedness, respectful of the institutions of the English-speaking community of Québec, and respectful of the ethnic minorities, whose valuable contribution to the development of Québec it readily acknowledges.”

Other gems found in the English translation include: “The mission of the Conseil is to admise the Minister responsible for the administration of this Act on any matter relating to the French language in Québec.”

And how do you spell “responsibilities”?

Liste du Conseil des ministres Download the list of the members of Cabinet
(PDF, 1,36 Mb) (with photos and responsabilities)

Is it time for a Commissioner of English?

If you agree, send a jovial email to Premier Charest or:

Madame France Boucher
Présidente-directrice générale
Office québécois de la langue française
info@oqlf.gouv.qc.ca

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