A course in Chiac
The language policy geek in me is very excited this morning. Apparently the immigrant welcoming centre in Moncton, New Brunswick is going to be offering courses in Chiac, the Acadian dialect of French.
If you scroll through the comments page on the CBC story that I've linked to, you'll find all the anticipated denunciations of Chiac as bastardized, lazy French. I'm not a linguist though, I'm a historian. And my initial take on this is that this course could be really beneficial to new immigrants to francophone New Brunswick. I wouldn't recommend it as the only French course that they take - a course in "standard" French will be needed, and likely one in English too, if they want to maximize their opportunities. But to get a grasp on Acadian culture, theatre and literature, a knowledge of Chiac would be very useful - just as getting the basics of Joual helps in Quebec.
A common complaint that I heard at a forum on official languages policy in Toronto was that new immigrants were not welcomed and/or viewed with suspicion or hostility by the multi-generational French Canadians. This type of course will help with the integration process, if it's well done.
On a very loosely-connected note, I'm really looking forward to seeing French Immersion, the new comedy from the producers of "Bon Cop, Bad Cop", when it comes out. Our language issues in this country have caused severe tensions, but they're also great comic fodder, and it's always nice to see Canadians able to laugh at ourselves.Recommend this Post