Welcome to episode three of Language Stories! This time we visit Montreal, a city that goes beyond the bilingual expectations you might have.
When I was studying for my French A level, my French was going through a bit of an identity crisis.
My Spanish was set. I just found it more endearing, more interesting, and more exotic and new.
Whereas French? Well, French had been part of my life for much longer, and I’d been to France lots of times. It no longer excited me in the same way...until I discovered Montreal.
A place far enough away in North America to be exotic and exciting, but a place with the familiarity of Europe and home. I wanted to go.
And in 2016, when I was invited to speak at NAPS (now LangFest), I finally got the chance to visit Montreal. I was beyond excited.
The city didn’t disappoint. So when it came time for LangFest the second time around in 2017? I was there.
One thing that intrigued me about Montreal before visiting for that first time was the bilingual nature of the place. But after visiting, and after arranging our first couple of interviews for this episode of Language Stories, we realised that this wasn’t just a bilingual city.
This is Montreal: Beyond Bilingual.
Thank you to everyone who made this episode possible.
To learn more about the people, projects, and places in this episode, click the links below.
Sainté - Taxi Driver
Margarita - Hairdresser
Further Reading + Resources
Bernard Spolsky - The Language of the Jews - As referenced in the podcast episode.
Montréalers Need To Stop Greeting People With 'Bonjour. Hi.' - Huffington Post - A different opinion to my own on the use of 'Bonjour. Hi.'.
How Bilingual Is Montreal? The Truth is Shocking - MtlBlog - Some stats on bilingualism and opinions on it in the city.
Maps tell story of Montreal's changing linguistic landscape - CBA News - More interesting visuals on languages in Montreal.
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