Saturday, May 13, 2006

How bilingual is your favorite Liberal candidate?

According to a test of their skills conducted by the Globe and Mail and a professor with the University of Ottawa's second language institute, probably not as bilingual as they want you to believe.

Of the 11 candidates, here's who made the grade, in descending order: Bob Rae, Michael Ignatieff, Stéphane Dion, Joe Volpe, and Martha Hall Findlay.

Failing to make the grade as bilingual, but closest to being able to improve their language skills to a passing level: Gerard Kennedy and Maurizio Bevilacqua.

Trailing behind: Scott Brison, Ken Dryden, Carolyn Bennett.

Did not take the test, and doesn't think bilingualism is a requirement for the next leader: Hedy Fry.

I should note that this test measured the capacity of leaders to actively produce oral responses in French, as they might have to in a debate, and does not measure their passive bilingualism (or ability to comprehend spoken and written French). Still, the debate is going to be pretty key during the campaign.

It will be interesting to see who makes the grade three months from now.

Update: Thanks to Calgary Grit for pointing out that the Globe & Mail made an error - A grade of "2" does qualify as bilingual, according to the University of Ottawa standards, and thus both Kennedy and Bevilaqua should have been counted in this category, if less fluent than the others.

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At 8:50 a.m., Blogger James Bowie said...



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