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How to respond to reverse linguistic integration?


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I've known a few French Canadians, both men and women, who'd lived in China; learnt Chinese; returned to Canada; married Chinese; moved to Toronto, Richmond, or Vancouver to help their spouse set up a business in the Chinese-speaking community; and then themselves integrated into that community while still maintaining links to the French-speaking and extending ties to the local English-speaking community.

What are your thoughts on the process of reverse linguistic integration?

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My guess here is that these French-Canadians who returned to the Toronto and Vancouver regions with their Chinese spouses also spoke/speak English. If the answer is affirmative, this suggests that the integrative language was/is likely English, as has been the case throughout much of the world over the past couple generations. For better or worse, English has become the world's 'lingua franca'. Knowledge of English facilitates migration and integration more than does any other language. As my French-Canadian paternal grandfather, who was fluent in English, used to say, "English is the language of money."

Edited by turningrite
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16 hours ago, Machjo said:

I've known a few French Canadians, both men and women, who'd lived in China; learnt Chinese; returned to Canada; married Chinese; moved to Toronto, Richmond, or Vancouver to help their spouse set up a business in the Chinese-speaking community; and then themselves integrated into that community while still maintaining links to the French-speaking and extending ties to the local English-speaking community.

What are your thoughts on the process of reverse linguistic integration?

My feelings about language were shaped long ago at the Museum of Man (which morphed into Civilization and is now History). There was a diorama showing how various peoples came together during periods of tribal migration, including war and conquest (Ie, the vikings, he Norman invasions). It specifically showed how their languages melded into new, universal languages which incorporated elements of the originals but could be understood by everyone. That made perfect sense to me and still does, and so I oppose any effort, by government or other institutions, to resist this as counter-productive and damaging to universal understanding, communication and unity.

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3 hours ago, turningrite said:

My guess here is that these French-Canadians who returned to the Toronto and Vancouver regions with their Chinese spouses also spoke/speak English. If the answer is affirmative, this suggests that the integrative language was/is likely English, as has been the case throughout much of the world over the past couple generations. For better or worse, English has become the world's 'lingua franca'. Knowledge of English facilitates migration and integration more than does any other language. As my French-Canadian paternal grandfather, who was fluent in English, used to say, "English is the language of money."

I should have clarified. Some of the ones I know knew Chinese better and sometimes much better than their spouses knew English; and they weren't returning to Toronto or Vancouver but moving there for the first time in most cases specifically to assist their spouses in the business market.

Edited by Machjo
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2 hours ago, Argus said:

My feelings about language were shaped long ago at the Museum of Man (which morphed into Civilization and is now History). There was a diorama showing how various peoples came together during periods of tribal migration, including war and conquest (Ie, the vikings, he Norman invasions). It specifically showed how their languages melded into new, universal languages which incorporated elements of the originals but could be understood by everyone. That made perfect sense to me and still does, and so I oppose any effort, by government or other institutions, to resist this as counter-productive and damaging to universal understanding, communication and unity.

I can agree with this in the private sector, but not in the public sector. Any organization needs a common language of internal administration to function efficiently, be it a business or a government.

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2 hours ago, Machjo said:

I can agree with this in the private sector, but not in the public sector. Any organization needs a common language of internal administration to function efficiently, be it a business or a government.

And how is there any difference between public and private sector in that regard?

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15 minutes ago, Argus said:

And how is there any difference between public and private sector in that regard?

I didn't express myself clearly there. My bad. I was thinking that many businesses exist but there is only one government. But that's wrong. different levels and jurisdictions of government exist. So I guess yes, one government could operate in one language and another government in another just as one business and another could.

 

For maximum efficiency to save on translation costs though, governments and businesses of the same language would try to interact with one another as much as possible and try to avoid interactions outside of that language market.

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3 hours ago, Machjo said:

I should have clarified. Some of the ones I know knew Chinese better and sometimes much better than their spouses knew English; and they weren't returning to Toronto or Vancouver but moving there for the first time in most cases specifically to assist their spouses in the business market.

Your apparent argument might have more weight if they returned from China to live in Montreal or Quebec City. But if they moved from China to Vancouver or Toronto the actual language of integration would almost certainly be English.

Edited by turningrite
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1 minute ago, turningrite said:

Your apparent argument might have more weight if they returned from China to live in Montreal or Quebec City. But if moving to Vancouver or Toronto the language of integration would almost certainly be English.

While moving to a Chinese-speaking community might result in the Canadian integrating into the local Chinese-speaking community in the short term, I suppose you're right that in the long term either the Chinese spouse or at least their children would finally integrate into the English-speaking community. I suppose that at most, it delays integration into the English-speaking community but does not prevent it.

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15 hours ago, Machjo said:

I didn't express myself clearly there. My bad. I was thinking that many businesses exist but there is only one government. But that's wrong. different levels and jurisdictions of government exist. So I guess yes, one government could operate in one language and another government in another just as one business and another could.

My point is not that government should not provide translation, nor even services in both official languages. My point is that government and governmental institutions should not attempt to stand in the way, much less reverse, the normal processes of integration. It is the policy of most governments in Canada to do just that, to help preserve minority language communities wherever they exist. The federal government even has a special immigration program which brings French speaking immigrants into Canada specifically to settle into minority Francophone communities outside of Quebec to help sustain them. And of course, all levels of government fund language and cultural support programs for minority languages. French should simply have been allowed to survive - or not, as normal human behaviour patterns would have it. No attempt to suppress, but nor to preserve.

Edited by Argus
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51 minutes ago, Argus said:

My point is not that government should not provide translation, nor even services in both official languages. My point is that government and governmental institutions should not attempt to stand in the way, much less reverse, the normal processes of integration. It is the policy of most governments in Canada to do just that, to help preserve minority language communities wherever they exist. The federal government even has a special immigration program which brings French speaking immigrants into Canada specifically to settle into minority Francophone communities outside of Quebec to help sustain them. And of course, all levels of government fund language and cultural support programs for minority languages. French should simply have been allowed to survive - or not, as normal human behaviour patterns would have it. Nor attempt to suppress, but nor to preserve.

I prefer this too. I also believe that the average person WOULD too if they weren't being forced to think this is a form of 'cultural genocide'. [Immunizing rhetoric to dissuade rational free speech] We need one official language just as we use math and science terms and language in a more and more universal way.  

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