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Transcript: “French in the Workplace Outside Quebec”
Video length: 3:16 minutes
NADINE KABWE-KITI (New Brunswick, originally from Congo, Pediatrician): [She is speaking to her daughter:] “Éva, what did you do at daycare today?” [She is now speaking to the camera.] In my practice, I have to speak with the parents in English, and also obviously speak and have discussions with the children. It’s true that it’s a challenge, but we manage. Why? Because we can ask the staff to translate.
CYRIAQUE KITI (New Brunswick, originally from Benin, Banking Services Advisor): In everyday life, people always speak French, but English is not far behind. English is not far behind in the sense that people mix some English in with their French. People will often use anglicisms because they’re bilingual. Because people are bilingual, they’ll automatically come out with a sentence that has some English words in it. I notice it even at our work meetings. I feel that my colleagues use a lot of anglicisms. But I take advantage of that because it helps me learn English, learn many English expressions, so after three years, I’m almost bilingual.
MICHEL MARTIN (New Brunswick, Bank Branch Manager): When it came time for training, he had a choice to make. He could do his training in French or English. But he positioned himself. He said, “You know what, Michel? I’m going to try doing the training in English.” In other words, he put himself in a position where he will be perfectly bilingual. Then after six months, a year, two years, he can serve English-speaking as well as French-speaking customers. He’s positioning himself. We’re not the ones doing it. We gave him the tools. He had a choice, but he’s the one who made that choice.
STEVE DE METS (Manitoba, originally from Belgium, Agronomist): I work mainly in English, but when I have the opportunity to speak French, then of course I jump at the chance. It always… it makes customer relations easier when a Francophone customer is trying to speak English, but I can see right away that it would be easier to communicate in French. So I switch to French.
AUDE VILVAUX (Newfoundland and Labrador, originally from France, Wharf Signaller): I applied for a job and actually got the first job I applied for. It’s a bit below my education level, but I didn’t really feel comfortable enough in English to apply for jobs that were at my education level. I was lucky to get hired because I also speak French. IOC has a site here in Labrador City and another site in Sept-Îles, so I can work with both sites.
VIRGINIE DE VISSCHER (Manitoba, originally from Belgium, Director, Trade): In my job, I represent a lot of European markets. So when we communicate with businesses in France, Belgium or Quebec, we can show them that, no, there’s a place for you in Manitoba, we speak your language, we communicate in your language. So, it is a huge advantage.
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