Shocking study reveals most northern NBers not actually fluent in any language

Campbellton – New Brunswick officially identifies as Canada’s only bilingual province, giving equal status to both English and French. A recent study conducted by PhD students at UNBSJ, however, shows that southern New Brunswickers speak mainly English, while the northern regions of the province speak a mishmash of words and sounds that make sense only to other residents of the cities in question.

Bathurst resident Jacques Fiat, 60, heard about the study when his 21-year-old son Georges returned to Bathurst for Christmas from UNBSJ. “Bain, donc, that’s dumb, ca,” Fiat said. “Where’s UNB anyways? Down south? Voyons, we don’t need them up here.”

NBbilingualThe Manatee interviewed several Campbellton residents in an effort to glean which languages they were using in day-to-day conversation, and our reporter was shocked to learn that, indeed, no single language is spoken with any real proficiency. Brian Krandall, 33, was gassing up his snowmobile at the Pik Quik (the store’s name is presumably a sorry attempt at spelling “Pick Quick”) on Water Street. “I heard down there in Frederictown or Saint Johns or whatever they don’t even speak French,” he scoffed, then yelled at the station attendant, “Eh buddy, something’s wrong with le fuel pump, là.”

“Tabernac,” he added vehemently, shaking gasoline droplets from the faulty pump.

The study interviewed a substantial chunk of the population from each city in New Brunswick, asking individuals to first check off a box indicating their native language, and another indicating the language they use most frequently of English or French. While nearly all citizens of the southern cities checked “English” for both, approximately 88 percent of northerners left both boxes unchecked, claiming not to understand the survey’s wording.

Premier Brian Gallant’s Liberal government is looking into the possibility of making “Chiac,” an incomprehensible non-language claimed by some illiterate northerners, an official third language, rather than wasting time and resources to effectively teach French and English in schools. Our reporter asked Gallant what language he feels the majority of New Brunswickers truly identify with and claim as their own.

“Quossé tu parle about?” he asked, a perplexed look on his face.

 

  1. Nice one, except that francophones don’t actually speak like that in the northern part of the province. They do in the South Eastern part though, where Chiac is spoken.

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    • moncton is “shack” french, some people here in campbellton may be as well but most i’ve heard here is regular french. You go to different parts of New Brunswick and u speak normal french ( bonjour, c’est un bon jour)you will have people staring at you wondering what you said.In order to know what type of french is used-try going all around New Brunswick and find out not just certain places.

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    • bull crap, I live in northern NB and they speak like that big time!

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    • I totally agree with Anthony. Jane Martin also has a great point. Funny how I was thinking the same thing. Brad, where do you live exactly?

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    • South Eastern NB is English. I have been up North and the french is okay but you folks use so much slang its not even funny. NB is a bilingual province but majority prefer English.

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  2. im from the area , and yes maybe we do talk like that, but would appreciate if what your writting is true.. When was there ever gas tanks at pik quik?? I’m 35 and there was never any since I knew of …

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  3. bacon131@hotmail.com January 2, 2015, 3:44 pm

    Moi je suis builingue et non mon francais n’est pas parfait mais allez donc faire vos etudes ayeur aussi auxlieux de pointer le doight d’une direction .. Atleast we can speak both and everyone understand’s each other here. I find this article out right disrespectful and shame on the writter. This to me is english mentality, why cant you guys learn french anyways ? Why is it that we the french people have to engage a convo in english with you guys ? Like is this a joke?? How come you dont make the same type of article shedding light on english people not making a stitch of effort to speak french ..

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    • You know it’s satire right? It’s suppose to be a joke. Like ‘this hour has 22 minutes’ sort of joke.

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      • Is it though? I’m from Bathurst but now live in Niagara Falls and when I see people commenting in french, they use english words in their comments. I think this article is very true. lol

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    • Because while the country is officially Bilingual it is majority English. Your safe universal language is English more so when you speak business. And don’t worry, English people in this province are forced to learn French if they want a good job in a non specialized sector. Then again, maybe if fewer people spoke Shiac (How ever one wants to spell that) you more learn to speak French and English instead of just English.

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    • Sorry i don’t mean to be a rude / ignorant english person but that goes both ways. I am trilingual (native english but also speak french and spanish). My french is not perfect but i do speak it often as i work in a seniors home that has many french residents. Through out high school i worked part time in fast food restaurant. I had some coworkers who were hust starting to learn french and french customers were very rude to them. One customer even went as far as to throw milk at a coworker’s face because she thought the french word for milk was miel.Avant de commencer en disant les persone anglais essaient pas de parler français, vous devriez obtenir vos faits.
      it goes both ways Some French people are ignorant they dont want to speak English . Some English people are ignorantand dont want to speak French. SOME does not mean all!

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    • maybe because English is our first language and french is our second language in canada. Ignorant french people always think everbody should speak french. If french was our primary language in Canada i would agree. But it is our SECONDARY language, therefore not EVERYBODY is going to speak it

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      • …secondary language? You speak of this as if it was a fact. Stop making a fool of yourself and do a bit of reading: there are no “secondary languages”. Both languages, English and French, are equals in the eye of the law in New-Brunswick, as it is described in section 16 of the Charters of Rights and Freedoms.

        So you can keep writting nonsense andwine like a child, or man up and educate yourself.

        I could learn English; are Frenchies so much smarter that only they can learn another language?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_Sixteen_of_the_Canadian_Charter_of_Rights_and_Freedoms the Official Languages Act.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Brunswick

        Keyword: “Constitutionally bilingual”

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      • Humm… Josh, French might be a secondary language in your province or territory, but as far as I know, French is an official language as English is. Not all Canadians speak French as not all Canadians speak English. However, you seem to think that everybody should speak English, isn’t it? If you think that learning your own country official language(s) is your citizen dutty, tu devrais peut-être songer à apprendre le français et pourquoi pas quelques connaissances générales sur ton pays et ta province.

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      • i was born french ,i went to french school,it was my everyday language spoken before i married an english speaking woman,now i dare to say i speak 90% english all the time ,i prefer all my correspondance in english, simply because it is much easier to understand,

        french,english,who freakin cares learn to coexist with each other,we are not in the 1600s no more,stop living in the past people,i don’t fill my yard with acadian flags and crates and every goddamned piece of material that comes to hand painted like the acadian flag to try and shove it down everyones throat.and to all english people out there stop being french haters simply because we are french,like i said earlier just learn to live with each other,as long as one isn’;t abusing the other ,my motto is”treat people like you want to be treated”

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    • Yes, the article is a joke. This is not serious journalism. It is written to help us laugh at ourselves and each other. That’s what the Manatee is known for.

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    • Haha…Its a joke cool off—sa une blague refroidir

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  4. Would have been more believable without the “Voyons” and “Tabernacle”…at least for chiac speakers….that’s too close to Quebec French for me!

    “Hey buddy, Y’a something de wrong avec la fuel pump!” “Ah, frig”

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    • And up north, we don’t say “Hey buddy, Y’a something de wrong avec la fuel pump!” “Ah, frig” that’s in the south. we’d say aie, y’a queque chose de wrong avec ta pompe.

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  5. So did you guys spend any time talking to educated people in their work places or did you just talk to the first homeless person you saw and made a generalized assumption of an entire part of the province? Je peux vous garantir qu’on est pas illettré pis qu’on est plusieurs à être bilingue. Votre article m’insulte tellement il est remplie d’ignorance. Put that through google translate and think twice before casting jugement and derogatory bullshit about an entire population of people. Shame on you. Pis worry pas, on veux pas que vous nous comprenez parce que vous être trop ignorant anyways.

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    • je suis d’accord avec toi Emilie…cest ridicule comment les anglais se croi superieur parce qu il son anglais…i would love to see those idiots speak english and french…je vien du nor ouest de la province…ou la majoriter de la population est francais….pas de chiac. the idiot who wrotte this article should get the facts straight first!!

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      • At least the author did not sling insults like ‘idiot’. Did you not sense, for just one minute, that the article is satirical? In satire, part if the humour is that not all the facts are straight! And if you don’t understand that, maybe you’d better stick to l’Acadie Nouvelle online and leave the rest of the internet to the rest of us who do ‘get it’. Otherwise, you will spend a lot of your time commenting on articles, and looking like a complete fool.

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      • actually i grew up in campbelton and we speak like that ( when i lived there) and the article is putting lightly, i know some that write the same way and it’s hard to read. campbellton is a mish mash of whatever but we all understand each other. on fait un effort pour communiquer avec eu pa de la region , entre voisins c’est chiac. satire or not i like this article it’s funny.

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    • Completement d’accord avec toi Emilie.

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  6. If you’re going to make fake stories you should at least make them funny.

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  7. Lol. He is exaggerating. That’s the point guys. I know darn well we don’t speak that way. I thought it was funny 🙂

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  8. I am from Northern NB and I know Manatee is a laughable On-line journal, But I am sorry we don’t speak like that ! Even if “Lucien” is from Northern NB. He doesn’t speak like that in real life…None of us do , we’re either English or French ! or Bilingual !

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  9. hahaha.. cheers to the writers. This is one of my personal favorites! or should I say: favorite, personnelle. I also love all the silly readers who really think this is not a satire. But really, NB is ridiculous.

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  10. M. Gilles Frontenac January 2, 2015, 6:48 pm

    For the sake of gods, all the buddies are knowing this that are living in the regional area.
    I would like to be saying some more things about all this, but i am having to go play hockey ball at the jim.

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  11. Oh my goodness! You need to know that there are two other languages that are spoken in NB. ..There is Micmac and Wolustook ( known as Maleesit). And yes there are 3 different French dialect spoken in NB as well; the regular French taught in school and used in the business arena (Bonjour, comment allez vous aujourd’hui?), there is the familiar French spoken between the everyday people ( Allo, comment ca va aujourd’hui?)and the French you’ve encountered Shiac (Allo, how are you aujourd’hui?). And there is the occasional Quebec French as well. Thats what NB is all about.

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    • Yes,I agree with the article completely.Je dois fixeh my wipers sur mon car.It’s a great way for unilingual french & unilingual english to communicate.That is why there is shack french.It’s not derogatory term to the French or English.It’s simply 2 cultures communicating with each other..Lighten up people.

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      • i am from Bathurst. Moved away 15 years ago in my 30’s. That is exactly the way people from Bathurst speak. When you move away and come back to visit, you realize how bad it is. And for anyone to say that it’s not accurate, just look at comments on people’s Facebook. Hilarious!!!!

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      • How do you agree with the article we can speak correctly if needed

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  12. Chepas moi, moi j’ask pour la traduction en francais

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  13. I’m from the Northwest region of N.B. where the french dialect is ‘Brayon’. Not to be confused with the North east Acadien French, before heading Southeast where Shiaque is spoken. Ever go to England and hear the Cockney english, and the London english dialects? Every area speaks regional dialects. Language evolves through people. Ever hear Cajun dialects, or the Maine drawl? And Newfoundland is pretty distinct, too. These dialects are our personal identity. Communication is key, people. Embrace it!

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  14. throw me down the stairs my jacket

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  15. i love it , former northern n.b.er here livin in ontario

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  16. There’s no problem here – these people are light years ahead of the rest of the country!

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  17. What about micmac. That is an important language to this land. And micmac have a population 10000 in NB. The language hold the REAL history of this land. Maybe it should be available for all nbers to learn.

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  18. Chiac should be a official language. Its the perfect mix of English and French

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  19. J’aimerais voir les questionnaires et les résultats (statistiques) du sondage. Il me semble qu’un sondage efficace doit effectivement inclure un certain échantillon de la population (avec une population cible de10,000, une marge d’erreur de 5% exige au moins 370 sondages pour un niveau de confiance de 95%), Ont-ils envoyés des questionnaires bien préparés (pas tout le monde les retournent), etc. Quelles furent les questions posées afin de determiner l’exactitude du sondage? As-t’on mesuré à l’écrit ou seulement à l’oral? Y avait t-il des questions qui ont mesuré les capacités vocabulaires? À Campbelton, 34% des plus de 15 ans n’ont pas de diplôme, grade ou certificat, et 21.7% n’ont qu’un diplôme secondaire.
    A survey that just polls someone at a gas station somewhere in northern NB cannot be effective. Not to belittle Campbelton and Bathurst, but they aren’t the only populations that should speak French in Northern NB. I grew up in Drummond, went to school in one of the few “bilingual” schools in the province (75% French, 25% English, no immersion) and most people I grew up with speak both official languages. But if you hail them on the street, their response will depend on if you are a local or someone they don’t know. But they will be able to address you in both languages. However, having worked in a business environment for 17 yrs and in the education system for 15, I can honestly say that unless the provincial education system is changed, it will get worse.

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  20. So do you ever stop to think if we want to speak correctly that we can. Just parce qu’on parle comme cela avec nos Ami ça ne veut pas dire si nous avons besoin de le parler corectement envers nos “Ami du Quebec” parce qu’il son ignorant et fasse comme s’il ne comprend pas l’anglais qu’on peut pas. Moi si jveut parler chiac ej parlerai chiac si faut jparle anglais parce vous etre trop dumb pour apprend l’français well jparlerai anglais if you ask me I can speak three languages and to whomever I speak to depends on which one I choose to speak with. So to your “smart” UNB student good job brah

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  21. J’etait au Tim Hortons a Bathurst la semaine passe, et il y a les gens qui parlent dans un langue comme un mix de chiac, anglais, brayonne,et quebecois. Cette article est vrai. Si ils sont donne un questionnaire, qu’est-ce qu’ils vont responder? Parce que ils ne parlent pas anglais ou francais. C’etait quelque-chose different.

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    • Tu devrais ecrire en anglais, t’aurais peut-etre moins de misere. Pis si tu parles comme ca en francais, bin t’as rien a dire! Article est masculin: cet, on met pas deux i cote a cote: si ils, sont, ca veut dire quoi ca? responder, c’est quoi ca? ah! je sais! du chiac!! T’es juste une hypocrite, ecoute-toi parler avant de parler des autres!

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      • Comme on dit en Neguac …. Whatever.

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      • La verite doit choquer hein Cecille!
        Tu veux dire a Neguac non lol C’est tu ca que t’appelles du francais ton whatever??
        Pis t’as la face de dire que ca parle pas bien ailleurs!! T’es tu anglaise ou francaise toi? Fais-toi une idee toi aussi comme ca hein!

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      • Poiting out the obvious January 13, 2015, 1:47 pm

        Est-ce que la vérité te choque, Cécile?
        Tu veux dire à Néguac, non? MDR Est-ce ça que t’appelle du Français, ‘whatever’?
        Pis tu as de la face de nous que L,on parle pas bien ailleurs!! Tu es Anglaise ou Française? Tu as déjà penser te faire tes propres idées?

        Je suis loin d’être un expert en Français Émilia, mais si tu vas te moquer de Français des autres, vaudrait mieux que tu fasse preuve de plus de vigilance toi même.

        Et si t’es trop dingue pour t’apercevoir que cet article est un canulars, tu serais mieux de retourner à l’école peaufiner tes aptitudes en Français et en compréhension du satire, un cours de philo te ferait pas tort.

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  22. I am from northern N.B. Campbellton to be exact. I grew up with people speaking both languages and yes, speaking with bilingual sentences. That’s how we roll in the north shore.

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  23. I love how some people here are taking this seriously. The article is poorly made just to make sure that it is humorous. Besides, the reason why NB is a bilingual province is because the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms specifically recognizes that English and French are the official languages of the province… not because everyone is bilingual. En autre mot, bilingue ou non, le tout ne change pas le fait que les 2 langues officiels de notre provinces sont l’anglais et le francais.

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  24. Equal status my ass. Here in Moncton more than likely you need to speak French to be able to get a job. Most English people go out west.

    “New Brunswick- where the French work for the government an the English work for the west”

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  25. Oh my! I enjoyed reading all of your comments so much. This was so funny. I think as New Brunswickers, we tend not to take ourselves too seriously. I LOVE going home to visit on the north shore. We are so original and we don’t have to change for anyone. Be proud of who we are!

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  26. You really CAN tell that whoever wrote this article, did not do so to inform people, but to bash northern NB’ers.

    I am from Dalhousie and while my french OR english isn’t perfect, we are far from speaking like “Quosser tu parle about la”.

    Also, this passage from the article and I quote:
    “Brian Krandall, 33, was gassing up his snowmobile at the Pik Quik (the store’s name is presumably a sorry attempt at spelling “Pick Quick”)”

    Can’t people call their stores whatever the hell they want nowadays without ignorant people calling out other people THEY think are ignorant?

    Why would you use a word like PRESUMABLY in an informative, fact based article? You are contradicting yourself, if you presume something, it means you are not 100% sure.

    This is not an attack, just an attempt to show people how The Manatee is just trash news all day just like any other mainstream crap news stations all over the world poisoning people with ignorant un-true ideas.

    Step your game up guys, really, this is unprofessional.

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    • A Real Doctor with a PhD (Everything I write is true) January 3, 2015, 11:06 pm

      I absolutely agree. A person should certainly not make an assumption without checking their facts. Certainly not about the legitimacy of an article on the internet especially. If this satirical news website is going to make jokes and write fake news, they should probably include more real facts. Unprofessional indeed, if you want more serious news maybe check out some of their other articles, such as: “Local man scores two goals in senior men’s hockey, signed by Toronto Maple Leafs,” “Green Party introduces bill to lower voting age from 18 to 5,” or “Volunteer mistakes Zamboni for snow plow, causes mayhem on hill” Much more reliable, believable, and it really seems they did their research to bring you accurate, informative, and educational news about what matters most to us NB’ers.

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    • Jake – really, we all know that our northern NB slang is hilarious and is what makes us so fun to poke fun at.

      Just head down to Tim Horton’s and listen to how they talk! Lucien parle comme ca aussi. Don’t take it personally. There are many funny and unique things about being a northern NBer that others just don’t get!

      From Cecile, also representing the north shore 🙂

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      • Cecile, why do you say that the north slang is hilarious? I for one don’t appreciate to be made fun of! You don’t represent nothing! Especially the NORTH!
        Let’s go sit at Neguac’s Tim Horton’s and have a blast at their hilarious slang!

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  27. As a come-from-away who’s made NB my home for two decades, the comments above are just such a perfect snapshot of Francophone, Anglophone and First Nation New Brunswickers and the range of attitudes they have about each other and their languages: French, English, Franglish, Maliseet, MikMaw. But what about Mandarin? Not a word about that. If I didn’t know the stories in the Manatee were pure fabrication, I’d be filing a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal.

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  28. the article is hilarious, the comments are hilarious. this might be the best article and thread I have ever read about NB. well done!

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  29. I knew it was a joke when I read, ‘gassing up’ . There is no such verb. Our journalist here, paints herself with the same brush (don’t know your English verbs??) . Okay, it’s funny but it also comes close to poking fun that hurts, or is seriously critical of others as to make them feel ashamed. I’m from NB’s north shore and happy to be bilingual – it has served me well in life .. and by French spelling/grammar is awful.

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  30. I am a Speech Language Pathologist. I grew up near Campbellton. I now live in the US – Pacific Northwest. I am proud of my heritage – speak French, English and am now learning Spanish. Languages change over time – they evolve and new languages form. Patois style dialects exist in most parts of the world – especially in geographically isolated areas. This article pokes fun and I can see that it can be hurtful. This is what we need to remember when we teach our kids languages – it is okay to speak a dialect, like Chiac. It is also important to learn another, universal language, though. So go ahead and speak Chiac with your friends but know the difference between French, English and Chiac and know when to engage in each. If you do not know how to move from one to the other you isolate yourself from the rest of the world – and the rest of the world is a beautiful place too!!

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  31. South eastern NB is were i hear it all the time and does not matter where i go. WOW!!! not sure what they teach in schools down here but i did not learn that language in Northern NB. Tabernac ill fait cold. LOL

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  32. it’s one thing to write a satirical, humorous article, its another to insult an entire group of people (“illiterate northerners”?? C’mon!)
    Plus the humour should have its roots in some truths – chiac is more south eastern. I thought the article somewhat funny up to the last paragraph.

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  33. From Bathurst here..we were in Shediac once..and a speed boat came into dock..one guy in the boat says to the other guy..”metez la garbage don le can sur la dock”..love, love it..(excuse any mispellings..blame my mixed heritagae 🙂

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  34. Poiting out the obvious,
    Quoi, t’es pas venu me reprendre en anglais? Peut-etre que t’es juste pas capable, c’est pas de ta faute lol. En passant, pour te laisser savoir, Google translate, ça fonctionne très bien.
    Mon nom, c’est Emelia ok, t’as vu des accents toi? Toi aussi tu devrais lire. Pis non, je ne me moque pas du francais des autres au contraire, ca m’insulte de voir des Cecile se moquer de la façon que les gens parlent quand elle-meme parle le chiac. Pas d’importance pour moi d’ou on viens dans la province. Tu lis pas encore.
    C’est vrai que t’es loin d’être un expert et j’ai pas besoin de tes cours de ton français ok! Toi tu devrais retourner en France parce que ici au Canada, ca ne parle pas comme toi!

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  35. I certainly hope this is a joke. Even so, it is in very poor taste. It really shows a biased view of people in Northern NB. We do not speak Chiac up here, we speak English and French and in most cases both languages are well spoken. Chiac is spoken in Moncton and Shediac. We usually do not mix both languages in one sentence, and as a teacher for 48 years, teaching French as a second language in schools and to adult night classes, I am aware of how hard our people try to speak French proficiently.

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  36. Hey all… you should really think and act as Canadians…. whether you live in the east or the west or heck the middle, french is different in all parts. As much as we say bilingual, french is such a different language in any part of Canada. I have lived in various places in this vast land and I have yet to learn the lingo of all the different and vast places. We are diverse and yet we are labelled bilingual. Good luck to all but don`t go to Quebec they will tell you point blank in our second native tongue they do not understand Anglais then mock you of your French and laugh….

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  37. Guess whomever wrote this article has never been anywhere or talked to anyone. In Canada, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa….there are different dialects within languages people speak in different communities everywhere in this world. Try speaking Quebec French in Paris. Or speaking our Canadian English in the UK.

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  38. Some people have really thin skin. Chill out.

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  39. I’m not sure what to make of this……would you rather folks in NB sound like Quebecers?? Or do you believe that the French speaking people in NB are not preserving their language as they should…….Are you saying that bilingualism in NB should be abandoned because folks don’t use their language correctly…..I’m thinking that your anti- bilingualism position is oozing out…..that is probably your motive behind this silly observation you have come up with…..Go to the Newfoundland out-ports and see how they murder the English language…….should they also be highlighted like you have done to the good folks in northern NB …….I know for a fact that Newfoundlanders are proud of their folks who live in the out-ports…..slang and all……It’s my view that you wasted a lot of your energies that could possibly be spent on more important and positive issues……Bilingualism is here to stay in NB…..get used to it…….and all the communities who have distinct slang in their way of speaking is also here to stay…….Go visit the deeper part of Albert county you will also find a certain slang and believe me there are only a few French speaking NB’ers living in that area…..and I’m certainly not saying that there are any problems in Nfld. out-ports or in Albert County in NB……If your able to communicate in the French language ……you may also want to visit Baie Saint Anne …….NB…..Tell them that you don’t like how they pronounce their words in the French language…….if you choose to…..you will likely be tarred and feathered and shipped out……..Do take care and please learn to enjoy our diverse culturally sound Province of New Brunswick….that Premiers Louis Robichaud and Richard Hatfield made it possible, for the two linguistic groups to enjoy equality……

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  40. Is this a fake study? Most people that speak French, speak it very well. You have to take it into context. French can be very formal, but between friends, we don’t actually speak like that. For a job, you need to be able to speak it well. If you take uneducated people for your study, versus people who actually made the effort to learn the language properly, you’ll find very different results. I have seen so much hostility coming from English speakers, especially from the south of the province. Instead of complaining about bilingualism, how about you learn both official languages and be done with it? This is Canada, it’s a bilingual country. It’s a strength, not a weakness. Until people realize that, we’re not going anywhere… As a side note, being bilingual makes you smarter. It’s a win win situation for everybody.

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