Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Canadian Bilingualism - Kerfuffle over Mufferaw Joe

RedBlacks’ Mufferaw now just another Joe after francophone backlash - The Globe and Mail
Now Joe had to portage from the Gatineau down
To see a little girl he had in Kemptville town
He was back and forth some many times to see that gal
The path he wore became the Rideau Canal
Step 1: please read the Globe article above if you’re not aware of the brouhaha in Ottawa over Mufferaw Joe. What a uniquely Canadian story!

Mrs S and I are currently living in a quad-lingual country that effectively is bilingual over much of its area. The culture difference here appears to be an acceptance between the various Mother Tongues that language/culture is not an issue, you learn 2 or 3 languages, you cheer for the Fribourg Gottéron or the Freiburg Gottéron and life goes on. There is not the (valid) concern and associated sensitivity that is so strong in Canada, where the minority language group is concerned about losing their language and culture. Maybe the difference here is being surrounded by countries that speak different languages rather than bordering one of the works largest and most unilingual English-speaking countries.

Either way, Mufferaw Joe teaches us in multilingual society you best do your homework and consult with a wide range of folks before deciding on something like a mascot or logo!

I’ll leave you with Stompin’ Tom singing Big Joe Mufferaw.

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