The concern for the preservation of the French language never ends in Quebec. I realize Canada is officially a bilingual country and I don’t suggest the French language should be diminished in that province. However, the latest debate in the Quebec National Assembly over how store clerks should greet customers is perhaps a bit silly. Census numbers show a slight drop in the use of French in the workplace. A standard store greeting is “Bonjour/hi” and a heated debate on a motion to drop the “hi” and stick with just “bonjour” took place last week.
Even the premier called the debate ridiculous but admitted he preferred a French only greeting. The motion passed unanimously so next time you’re in Montreal and go into a store you should only hear the clerk say bonjour instead of bonjour/hi. I’m not sure what dire punishment there would be for anyone who dares to still put in the hi part but I’m pretty sure the good old Parti Quebecois would want the offending clerk flogged in public at the very least. They’ve never come up with a French translation for hot dog so if you want one you say je voudrais avoir un hot-dog s’il vous plait Same goes for hamburger. Maybe someone will present a motion to outlaw hot dogs and hamburgers in La Belle Provence just to start another ridiculous debate.