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AFN asks Ottawa to declare all aboriginal languages official


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My modest 'merkin county government manages to support 32 languages without much fuss.

What does "support" mean?

From what I've seen, english is far more dominant in your neck of the woods than it is anywhere in Canada.

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By definition is an official language a language of legal action, or in the completely insane scenario where this happened would we suddenly have 60 new interpretations of the law for people to go to court over?

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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/afn-asks-ottawa-to-declare-all-aboriginal-languages-official/article25378218/?service=mobile

It's an interesting article, and I understand its point. But could we not make these languages more equal in reverse, by abrogating English and French from the Constitution instead? Logically, there are two ways of making them equal, by lowering the high or raising the low.

We do need a common language, but I believe that it could be done this way:

1. Gradually abrogate the English and French linguistic provisions from the Consttution.

2. Gradually adopt Esperanto as Canada's official textual international auxiliary language of government administration and make the textual local indigenous language an official textual local language of government administration.

3. Have no official aural language, but give an official status to a sign language.

4. Let public schools choose their language of instruction according to market demand while making Esperanto a compulsory second language. Due to Esperanto being from five to ten times easier to learn than English, and having only two official textual languages of government administration in any location with no official aural language and no official language being imposed beyond the administration of the state, with the official status for a sign language being limited too, it's would be easily sustainable.

Edited by Machjo
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We do need a common language, but I believe that it could be done this way:

1. Gradually abrogate the English and French linguistic provisions from the Consttution.

2. Gradually adopt Esperanto as Canada's official textual international auxiliary language of government administration and make the textual local indigenous language an official textual local language of government administration.

3. Have no official spoken language, but give an official status to a sign language.

4. Let public schools choose their language of instruction according to market demand while making Esperanto a compulsory second language. Due to Esperanto being from five to ten times easier to learn than English, and having only two official textual languages of government administration in any location with no official aural language and no official language being imposed beyond the administration of the state, with the official status for a sign language being limited too, it's would be easily sustainable.

If the details were well worked out, that proposal seems reasonable.

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We do need a common language, but I believe that it could be done this way:

1. Gradually abrogate the English and French linguistic provisions from the Consttution.

2. Gradually adopt Esperanto as Canada's official textual international auxiliary language of government administration and make the textual local indigenous language an official textual local language of government administration.

3. Have no official spoken language, but give an official status to a sign language.

4. Let public schools choose their language of instruction according to market demand while making Esperanto a compulsory second language. Due to Esperanto being from five to ten times easier to learn than English, and having only two official textual languages of government administration in any location with no official aural language and no official language being imposed beyond the administration of the state, with the official status for a sign language being limited too, it's would be easily sustainable.

The most logical solution, obviously. But should British Sign Language and French Sign Language both be given official status?

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The most logical solution, obviously. But should British Sign Language and French Sign Language both be given official status?

If more than one, then the dominant local sign language, maybe American Sign Language, Quebec Sign Language, Inuit Sign Language, and Plains Sign Language?

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Though the very first step would be to make Federal services monolingually French in predominantly French speaking communities and monolingually English in predominantly English speaking communities. This would likely need to the federal first step in the winding down process for English and French

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People are able to choose their second language of study in many places (and when I grew up in Ottawa, people could choose to take e.g. an Italian or Spanish class as well as French). The example of BC has already been given. This is under provincial jurisdiction and has nothing to do with federal policies regarding official languages. Yes, in Ottawa, French is a compulsory course, as it should be, notwithstanding bizarre arguments about the dominance of Chinese.

Edited by Evening Star
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People are able to choose their second language of study in many places (and when I grew up in Ottawa, people could choose to take e.g. an Italian or Spanish class as well as French). The example of BC has already been given. This is under provincial jurisdiction and has nothing to do with federal policies regarding official languages. Yes, in Ottawa, French is a compulsory course, as it should be, notwithstanding bizarre arguments about the dominance of Chinese.

Languages of instruction in public schools are Constitutional, and (except for in Nunavut and on reserves and for the deaf (none of which are protected in the constitution) they are French and English only Canada-wide regardless of local demographics.

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As far as I'm concerned, second language instruction ought to be compulsory, but it should leave it up to the school to decide what second language to teach and to the student to choose the one in which he wants to be tested.

In faxt, ideally Canada's official language would be a common second language, thus making all Canadians bilingual.

It would not work. Despite tremendous efforts needed to teach the second language to all children through school, without the NEED to use it, the knowledge of that second language would fade away. How often do those in BC need to use Mandarin or Hindi? Virtually never. How often would they need to use French? Even less. What about people in Saskatchewan? People in PEI? People in Chicoutami? They don't need English or Mandarin or anything else but French. Most people in Canada, excluding immigrants within their own communities, rarely have any need of a second language.

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Taxes? Quite a few want their countries back actually.

You just don't want to get it do you?

They never had a country. They had a small tribe living in the woods where everyone had a life expectancy of about 30.

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We do need a common language, but I believe that it could be done this way:

1. Gradually abrogate the English and French linguistic provisions from the Consttution.

2. Gradually adopt Esperanto as Canada's official textual international auxiliary language of government administration and make the textual local indigenous language an official textual local language of government administration.

We don't have to do any such thing. You know what happens to languages quite naturally if you leave them alone? They merge. English itself is a bastard language which is made up of French, German Swedish, and whatever language the Angles and Saxons (probably germanic) used to speak. Put a French village next door to an English village and eventually they'll all speak the same language, which will be a mixture of the two. Stop all this official language stuff, stop supporting French, and eventually everyone will speak English.

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They never had a country. They had a small tribe living in the woods where everyone had a life expectancy of about 30.

Ok, so they want their woods back in that case.

We lived under tyrants with a similar life expectancy.

Many of us couldn't wait to leave and would happily give their left gonad for a patch of someone else's woods in the new world.

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It would not work. Despite tremendous efforts needed to teach the second language to all children through school, without the NEED to use it, the knowledge of that second language would fade away. How often do those in BC need to use Mandarin or Hindi? Virtually never. How often would they need to use French? Even less. What about people in Saskatchewan? People in PEI? People in Chicoutami? They don't need English or Mandarin or anything else but French. Most people in Canada, excluding immigrants within their own communities, rarely have any need of a second language.

But if the common second language were an international auxiliary language like Esperanto (which is proven to be from five to ten times easier to learn than English), then one could learn it quickly and forget it slowly. Add to that that with everyone learning their own language where numbers warrant, the international auxiliary language would often be the only common language in Canada's more cosmopolitan cities like Montreal. In a city like Montreal, that language would likely dominate all communication between complete strangers, at least on the island.

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How about we stick with English and French, and the First Nations can find some other way of keeping their languages alive.

I recall that Welsh was on the brink of extinction at one point, and made an amazing recovery. Perhaps we could find out how that was done, and follow their example.

-k

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How about we stick with English and French, and the First Nations can find some other way of keeping their languages alive.

I recall that Welsh was on the brink of extinction at one point, and made an amazing recovery. Perhaps we could find out how that was done, and follow their example.

-k

They made Welsh official. Oops, bad example.

What I don't get is why the same people who oppose an official status for indigenous languages are so quick to defend a privileged status for English and French.

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