Presented for your amusement and education, an exposé on the difficulties of being an anglophone in Quebec and the challenge of life in the land of two official languages in the form of a sketch by Radio Free Vestibule.
Announcer: Good evening and welcome to "Looking for a Job in Quebec." We have here Mr. John O'Leary.
John O'Leary: Hi, how are ya? How ya doin'?
Announcer: Mr. O'Leary here is a unilingual anglophone who is attempting to apply for a bilingual job. Now, he has an interesting approach to overcoming this obstacle.
Interviewer: Oh, hi Mr. O'Leary, sit right down, nice to meet ya and all that, okay I want to point out one thing right now, okay? You have to be bilingual if you want this job, you understand? You've got to be bilingual.
O'Leary: Uhm... (in a bad Quebecois accent) I am bilingu-yoo-uhl. But my henglish is a little rusty. So, uh, if you don't mind if we could do dee interview in henglish so I could practice?
Interviewer: Sure, sure, that won't be a problem, that will be fine, really.
Announcer: Bluffing is an acceptable part of any interview. However, once you begin it can get quite sticky.
Interviewer: It's occuring to me right now, O'Leary, that's a very very anglophone name, any yet you seem very, very french. How come?
O'Leary: It's pronounced, uh, Thibodeau.
Interviewer: Thibodeau, really?
O'Leary: Yeah, it's like you go Thi'Bodeau.
Interviewer: Right, well, listen you seem a little nervous, why don't we do the rest of the interview in french?
O'Leary: No! Actually, I'd much prefer to practice.
Interviewer: No, I want you to be as comfortable as possible.
O'Leary: That's nice of you, but...
Interviewer: I insist, I insist. (very quickly) Okay, pourquoi avez-vous choisi a faire un application a notre companie? Qu'est-ce que v'voulez nous emporter qui serait unique?
(translation: Okay, why did you choose to fill-out an application with our company? What will you bring that will be unique?)
O'Leary: (pause) Oui!
Interviewer: (very very quickly) No no no, vous n'avez pas comprendre le question: qu'est-ce que vous apportir donne qu'est especiallement dans la companie, pourquoi me choisir vous parmis tous les autres personnes qu'eus applications et donne des raisons.
(translation: No, you didn't understand the question: what would you bring to this job that is special in the company, why should I choose you over the other applicants, and give reasons.)
O'Leary: (pause) Il'y a des oiseaux ... dans la fenetre. Avec, de petit caoutchuc, et uh. Oui, eh, mes cahiers des excercises c'est pas dans la bibliotheque aujourd'hui. (long pause) Puis, eh-uh, il n'y a pas de service ce numero. (long pause) Pamplemousse?
(translation: There are some birds ... in the window. With the little rubber, and uh. Yes, uh, my workbooks they are not in the library today. And, uh, the number you have dialed is not in service ... grapefruit?)
Interviewer: Pamplemousse, huh.
O'Leary: Deux pamplemousse?
Announcer: Be sure to join us next week on "Looking for a Job in Quebec" when we look at tips on moving to Toronto.
Radio Free Vestibule