Don’t Read This Article Si T’es Pas Bilingue

Pas de problème for me who 会说三种语言. But still, this is one of the more interesting articles the Internet has provided me with in the recent days. 

***

Like beaucoup de Montréalais, I’m bilingual. And j’ai realisé that there were no bilingual publications à Montréal, which means there were never aucun bilingual articles. So j’ai décidé d’écrire the world’s first article bilingue that you could read without stopping to think.

Let’s see si tu peux lire this text seamlessly.

I grew up dans une maison where both mes parents spoke en Français, however they put me in une école anglaise when I was very young. According to language laws I had to go to French school, but I guess la loi didn’t apply pour l’école maternelle. Since j’avais seulement trois ans, my brain was comme une éponge, so I was fully bilingual by the time I started grade one.

It was un grand avantage growing up à Montreal. When I went to French school I wasn’t le meilleur élève, mais I always had amazing grades dans mes cours d’Anglais which was a nice bonus. It was also très pratique quand you’re watching a movie with French dialogue et que t’as pas besoin de lire les sous-titres.

What was vraiment intéressant was when my inside voice a commencé à penser en Anglais. Je ne me rappelle pas when it happened exactly, but I remember being triste about it. I enjoyed being bilingual, and tout à coup I couldn’t control it anymore. Whenever j’étais tout seul, I would think in English. And aujourd’hui when I try to think in French it’s actually très difficile.

It’s one of the plusieurs problèmes of being bilingue à Montreal.

En voici a few more:
Traductions
You become un traducteur for the unilingual people dans ton groupe. Now t’es coincé à traduire all the French menus. I’m sorry, I have no idea what une “tête de violon” is and I don’t plan on finding out.

Spelling
Je ne peux plus spell words anymore, knowing deux langues has really messed up my spell checking abilities. Est-ce-qu’on dit “centre” or “center”, I never know anymore.

Slang
Living à Montréal, tu pick up beaucoup d’expressions québécoises that don’t mean shit to anyone else. I remember the struggle of asking where the dépanneur is in the US, parce que j’ai soudainement oublié comment dire “convenience store.”

Définitions
Des fois there’s the same word in French et en Anglais but they have totally different meanings. If you order an entrée in French you’ll get salad, mais en Anglais you’ll get un steak. If you want a “petite bite” of something, ne le dis pas en Français because you just requested a “little penis” instead of “small bite.”

The Language Debate
Si t’es tanné of the language debate, think about how bored bilingual Montrealers are of this topic. Pour nous it’s meaningless, we don’t struggle to read or talk so to us it just looks comme un groupe de dumb asses arguing over rien.

Being an asshole par erreur
Being bilingual means you have une responsabilité to remember qui parle quelle langue. Parce que you don’t want to be rude and leave anyone out of la conversation. Il y a trois différents doormen in my building, 2 are French and 1 speaks English, et je ne me rappelle jamais c’est lequel.

Pratique
I always worry about losing mon Français. Tous mes amis speak in English so I parle pas en Français as often as I used to. Des fois I find myself not remembering the French word for something. Ça veut dire qu’il faut que je pratique both languages constantly to make sure I don’t forget one of them.

I’m not going to vous mentir, being bilingual causes quelques problems, mais it’s a lot better in general. It can make you plus intelligent, it helps prevent alzheimers, and it can even lead to une meilleure sex life. Simply reading this article has given your brain a nice little workout and has helped improve your cognitive processing power. So, tell your brain I said “de rien”.