Opinion: ‘Bonjour-Hi’ spells ‘ridicule’ in both languages

When my wife and I visit my native Mauritius over our winters, we stay in either one or the other family apartments at the sea. The maids who have looked after the apartments for several years, Noelette and Gladys, have become dear friends.

In addition to their native Creole, they both speak perfect French, as well as English and surprisingly German, which they have picked up from visiting tourists. Gladys is particularly fluent in German.

I have always felt fortunate to have grown up in an environment that enabled me to become bicultural in French and English, besides also speaking Mauritius Creole fluently.

I also often wish that I could emulate my landscaper friend Jorge. Jorge, besides his native Portuguese, speaks French, English, Spanish and passable Italian.

The myth that one language impedes or even destroys another one might make for profitable politics, but it is belied…

Original published: 2017-12-07 11:30:48 Read the full Montreal News here

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