The need for the OQLF ?

Office Quebecois de la langue francaise. The mere mention of this government body makes me cringe and gag at the same time. I know what an office is in the English language but I am perplexed by something. What on earth does Office mean in French ? I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t entirely attentive in my french classes throughout high school but i can assure you that Office is not a French word. The irony in their name is comically mind boggling. How can an organization in which their sole purpose is to protect the french language and culture have the word office in their name ?

I’m sorry if what I’m about to say will offend some of my card carrying Liberals. Did you know that the OQLF was created by the Liberal party lead by Jean Lesage in 1961 ? It’s initial mission read as follows:

“to align on international French, promote good Canadianisms and fight Anglicisms, work on the normalization of the language in Québec and support State intervention to carry out a global language policy that would consider notably the importance of socio-economic motivations in making French the priority language in Québec.”

WHAT THE F*&K is this supposed to even mean ?

Did you know that their annual approximate budget is $19 million ? Once you’ve caught your breath and taken in this staggering statistic, ask yourself what else can Quebec do with that money. Fill up a few more pot holes, grease a few more politicians, overpay more civil servants, purchase new snow removal equipment or just maybe invest in education, health care, or social programs. Sorry, that was my pathetic attempt of trying to be funny.

Could you imagine France having similar organizations ? They exist to make sure that the lettering in French is predominant on all signs over English. No we can’t and I’ll tell you why. France realizes that this has absolutely nothing to do with protecting your culture or language. On the contrary, France encourages their citizens to learn English and other languages.

I hope that the good Lord keeps me alive long enough to see the day the OQLF is abolished. One can always dream. 


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