Monthly Archives: May 2012


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  • Brexit – English Language

No other EU country has English as their official language and so it could lose its status.

Danuta Hübner, the head of the European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO), warned Monday that English will not be one of the European Union’s official languages after Britain leaves the EU.

English is one of the EU’s 24 official languages because the U.K. identified it as its own official language, Hübner said. But as soon as the Britain completes the process to leave the EU, English could lose its status.

“We have a regulation … where every EU country has the right to notify one official language,” Hübner said. “The Irish have notified Gaelic, and the Maltese have notified Maltese, so you have only the U.K. notifying English.”

“If we don’t have the U.K., we don’t have English,” Hübner said.

English is one of the working languages in the European institutions, Hübner said, adding: “It’s actually the dominating language,” the one most frequently used by EU civil servants.

The regulation listing official languages of the EU would have to be changed unanimously by remaining countries if they want to keep English as an official language, Hübner said.

The European Commission has already started using French and German more often in its external communications, as a symbolic move after Britain voted to leave the EU last Thursday, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, the president of the regional council of Tuscany, Eugenio Giani, called for Italian to become one of the official languages of the EU. “We have not defended … our language as we should have, both on the European continent and in the world,” Giani said following the British referendum result.


Like beaucoup de Montréalais, I’m bilingual.

And j’ai realisé that there were no bilingual publications à Montréal, which means there were never aucun bilingual articles. So j’ai décidé d’écrire the world’s first article bilingue that you could read without stopping to think.

Let’s see si tu peux lire this text seamlessly.

I grew up dans une maison where both mes parents spoke en Français, however they put me in une école anglaise when I was very young. According to language laws I had to go to French school, but I guess la loi didn’t apply pour l’école maternelle.

Since j’avais seulement trois ans, my brain was comme une éponge, so I was fully bilingual by the time I started grade one.

It was un grand avantage growing up à Montreal. When I went to French school I wasn’t le meilleur élève, mais I always had amazing grades dans mes cours d’Anglais which was a nice bonus.

It was also très pratique quand you’re watching a movie with French dialogue et que t’as pas besoin de lire les sous-titres.

What was vraiment intéressant was when my inside voice a commencé à penser en Anglais. Je ne me rappelle pas when it happened exactly, but I remember being triste about it. I enjoyed being bilingual, and tout à coup I couldn’t control it anymore. Whenever j’étais tout seul, I would think in English. And aujourd’hui when I try to think in French it’s actually très difficile.

It’s one of the plusieurs problèmes of being bilingue à Montreal.

En voici a few more:


You become un traducteur for the unilingual people dans ton groupe. Now t’es coincé à traduire all the French menus. I’m sorry, I have no idea what une “tête de violon” is and I don’t plan on finding out.


Je ne peux plus spell words anymore, knowing deux langues has really messed up my spell checking abilities. Est-ce-qu’on dit “centre” or “center”, I never know anymore.


Living à Montréal, tu pick up beaucoup d’expressions québécoises that don’t mean s*** to anyone else. I remember the struggle of asking where the dépanneur is in the US, parce que j’ai soudainement oublié comment dire “convenience store.”


Des fois there’s the same word in French et en Anglais but they have totally different meanings. If you order an entrée in French you’ll get salad, mais en Anglais you’ll get un steak. If you want a “petite bite” of something, ne le dis pas en Français because you just requested a “little penis” instead of “small bite.”

The Language Debate

Si t’es tanné of the language debate, think about how bored bilingual Montrealers are of this topic. Pour nous it’s meaningless, we don’t struggle to read or talk so to us it just looks comme un groupe de dumb a***s arguing over rien.

Being an a****le par erreur

Being bilingual means you have une responsabilité to remember qui parle quelle langue. Parce que you don’t want to be rude and leave anyone out of la conversation. Il y a trois différents doormen in my building, 2 are French and 1 speaks English, et je ne me rappelle jamais c’est lequel.


I always worry about losing mon Français. Tous mes amis speak in English so I parle pas en Français as often as I used to. Des fois I find myself not remembering the French word for something. Ça veut dire qu’il faut que je pratique both languages constantly to make sure I don’t forget one of them.

I’m not going to vous mentir, being bilingual causes quelques problems, mais it’s a lot better in general. It can make you plus intelligent, it helps prevent alzheimers, and it can even lead to une meilleure sex life.

Simply reading this article has given your brain a nice little workout and has helped improve your cognitive processing power. So, tell your brain I said “de rien”.

(article by Jeremy Hazan -