Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Official bilingualism's failure

Why can't more people recognize that official bilingualism has failed and has been way too costly.

Hey, I took francais in high school but admittedly, have had to use it very, very little, if ever.  I'm more inclined to learn and have been slowly learning Spanish over the past few years due to my travels in the U.S., even though Spanish is not an official language.  In fact, businesses and governments just simply offer Spanish out of necessity, not based on some grand government vision.

The National Post's Kathryn Blaze-Carlson has noted that official bilingualism, essentially a federal program forced upon the provinces, costs taxpayers $2.4 BILLION per year--mostly in Ontario.

So a rough calculation ... 2011 - 1969 = 42 years x 2.4 billion = $100.8 billion total.

Wow, that sure is a lot to ensure 5% of the population (francophones) can understand what's going on.

So is it worth it?  We know it certainly costs companies to produce separate labels to have French.  I'd say in Vancouver, it is probably a better idea to have the labels also in Mandarin.

And that's the point here isn't it?  The main problems with bilingualism stem from one of the most simple aspects of human nature... our basic need to communicate and creating words to do so.

Forcing a language upon people can actually surpress that language.  Letting the people decide, a noble libertarian concept I might add, can actually help a language flourish.

Languages come and go.  But why is English so popular and the dominant international language, yet only comprises a fraction of the original speaking peoples of the world?

Even when French was the language used in the courts in England hundreds of years ago, the English language was the one on the tongue of the commoner.  And it varied, and continues to vary, twist and turn, morph, change, as people talk to another and mingle from different countries and within them as well.  There are numerous examples of words changing their meaning to the complete opposite of its original intention.

Some may say the Internet and computing, being originally an English-based concept, even unto computer languages themselves, but perhaps it is simply because of its lack of rigidness and rules, and multitude of free-flowing dialects that has allowed it to spread, endure and strengthen.

The stats show that Canadians in Quebec are leaving that province in droves to greater economic pastures in Alberta and Saskatchewan and that its remaining population is stagnant or decreasing, leaving behind a pocket of francophones.  But even those two provinces have small but continual communities within the cities and towns.

And the rest of the country should continue to pay billions per year to ensure a language few speak is maintained throughout the entire country by forced actions and doublestandards?  We all know the language police stories in Quebec.  It's hypocracy at its finest.  I don't mind that Parliament is bilingual, but forcing businesses and public sector hiring practices to be dictated by bureaucracy is social engineering at its worst.

Is this an attack on the French language?  Au contraire!  If francophones truly wanted to ensure the survival of their language within Canada, the best approach would have been continually to develop and grow their economy so people would be attracted to moving and working there and expanding businesses, not through government corporate welfare, or by forced bilingualism in government and crown corp positions.  Letting the market and people decide what languages should dominate, would have allowed French to flourish.  How many more folks from France would then migrate to Canada and grow the language?

It's much like the CBC.  People can claim that just one of hundreds of television stations that includes American programming brings the country together all they want, but they're out of touch with reality.  When the ratings are so low and few watch, it's hardly a case to continue spending over $1 BILLION on that when socialists and provinces themselves claim there's not enough money for health care, education, pensions, etc.  And $100 BILLION since 1969 would certainly have covered a lot of things like that, but maybe a lower debt and lower taxes that would have fueled the economy even more, even in Quebec and attracted investment and and people.

But I guess that won't happen any time soon, showing that essentially, bilingualism has failed to do what it was intended to.

Which is typical of anti-libertarian social-engineering state-run policies.


Patsplace said...

And the worst part is that bilingualism stops at the Quebec border.

maryT said...

Bob Rae said the war on drugs has been a failure. I think the failure of bilingualism has been much bigger and more expensive failure.
The govt has made a start with stopping the funding for french for civil servants.

Sean M said...

Forced french ("bilingualism") is a colossal theft of taxpayer money that transports the myopic tribalism of Quebec and forcefully infects all the other Provinces. The imposition of "bilingualism" by that warped little dictator from Quebec, Trudeau, is a poisonous, one sided disgrace that favours Trudeaus special tribe "francophones", while it limits, or out right restricts the rights of so called "anglos'. It's been reported that since 1969 and the imposition of Trudeaus forced french act ( "bilingualism') the cost is as high as 1.2 trillion dollars!! Trudeaus radical, warped desire to destroy English Canada and manufacture a french speaking State should be seen as an act of criminal psychosis. The OLA is an inherently racist document imposed on an English speaking nation that quite deliberately sows the seeds of destruction.

DavidA said...

Used to agree with this view myself, then I remembered the enormous benefits that come with deploying french speaking soldiers in SE Asia. Also, membership in la fancophonie is cool...we can totally throw our weight around there for North American interests against france.