2006-10-06

Anybody but Kennedy: bad French on web site.


Bad French Fashion
A BCer in Toronto has an excellent post about the top four candidates. His favourite is Stephan Dion. I chose Ignatieff a while back, but any of the top three would be fine.

Gerard Kennedy has a blatant error on the French version of his web site. The error "dans la médias" (sic) is part of the template so it shows up on every page. Médias, as you all know, is maculin and in this context is plural. So it would be "dans les médias". More appropriate would be "dans l'actualité".

Now grammar and spelling are definitely not my strong suites, in either French or English. However, when someone tells me I have a mistake, I correct it. I e-mailed Kennedy's team two days ago, in English, and have not received a reply and the error is still there.

This isn't an error buried on some news release that few people will read, this is part of the template so the error is visible ON EVERY PAGE! Then of course there is the "Resources" section of the web site. Plenty of stuff in English, almost nothing in French. Simply unacceptable.

If Kennedy wins the leadership, I'd rather vote NDP. At least Layton is bilingual.

"In a party that had a paucity of qualified bilingual candidates, Gerard Kennedy or Scott Brison?s French might pass although Ken Dryden?s would not, even in those reduced circumstances. But in a party that offers a perfectly fluent trio of top-tier candidates, aspirants whose second language turns to gibberish under pressure simply don?t make the grade.? (Chantal Hébert, Toronto Star).

-
Un français qui étonne ;

Gerard Kennedy souffre beaucoup de sa sa maîtrise souvent approximative du français .

*******************
Update (2006-10-06, 6:25PM)
Wow! I just finished listening to Gerard Kennedy on the The Current (CBC Radio). Forget his inabilities in French. Gerard Kennedy just doesn't understand Federalism.
On the subject of national standards, he says we should be inspired by countries like Norway and Ireland! Norway has a population of 4.5 million people and is NOT part of the European Union. Ireland, population 3.8 million, IS part of the European Union but left the United Kingdom less than a century ago because they were tired of the UK imposing their values onto Ireland. And yet he wants NATIONAL STANDARDS on things like education. Why?
If this was an interview with the Toronto Star, I'd understand. But Kennedy is trying to appeal to a NATIONAL audience. People who HATE Toronto and generally mistrust Ontario.
I'm a regular reader of the Toronto Star, so I realised these centralist ideas are popular in some circles of Toronto. But I assumed any leadership candidate would be smart enough not to repeat them to a national audience. Unbelievable!
I suspect Kennedy will not be joining any other candidate. But if he doesn't want Ignatieff to win, he should drop out of the race.
As for the rumor that Dion might support Kennedy, are you guys nuts?! No way, never going to happen. A French interview with Kennedy will air Sunday. Look for editorials panning him Monday and Tuesday in Quebec.
If Kennedy wants a future in federal politics, he should start filling out NDP application forms.
**********
Update (2006-10-07, 16:30).
The error has been corrected:


10 comments:

The New Liberal Movement said...

Even though I lament Kennedy's french as much as you, an anybody but Kennedy approach is a little harsh, don't you think.

In my posts, I've done my fair share of criticism of Kennedy's campaign, but if you take him as a person, he is an excpetional man who will do great things, and his hang up with the french language will not last forever. He is, after all, working very hard on it.

I met Kennedy several times during the past few months and his french improved every time. I am not saying that his current french is not a problem, but that it is becoming less so with time.

I am a Dion supporter, but Kennedy is a close second. He did badly in Quebec due to a lack of organisation and structure, and not because of any perceived deficiencies in the french language.

The New Liberal Movement said...

But I sympathise with your frustration...

Such elemental things as a well translated website, and equal content in french or english...., his campaign can't seem to get properly.

fragmunt said...

The old saying, "if you can teach a monkey to talk ....", if it happens for Harper it can happen for Gerard. He has the political leaning that appeals in Quebec and I'm certain he would be cut slack enough if Quebec knows he is in a learning phase.
The same idea applies to his policies; they can be changed, adapted and improved upon.
What he has that no other candidate has is an unburdened history, a promise of renewal and smarts enough to listen to new ideas.
There are no other new ideas floating and sure as hell any one of the three "leaders" will guarantee a majority for Harper. Its time to start thinking of what the voters in this country need.

Anonymous said...

oh for goodness sake. Give it up..... Gerard doesnt design his own website, would you rather he didnt have one?

all english speakers put up with a proof is a proof and all dat for 10 years and the results show actually we quite liked Chretien, probably because of WHAT HE STOOD FOR.

Let's stop being so darn divisive

Anonymous said...

You are acting like a jerk. Do your research.
Kennedy was the most fiscally conservative member of the McGunity cabinet.

Kennedy has great ideas and your hatchet job on him is despicable.

Anonymous said...

I would rather have Kennedy than Ignatieff, at least he has political experience and has lived in Canada.
You want us to believe that Ignatieff understands federalism and Kennedy doesn't? Gimme a break.

You are so insulting to Kennedy. Don't look for him to support Iggy with rude people like you waving the flag for Iggy.

Anonymous said...

I guess Gerard did the website, that unilingual bastard. Bias often makes opinion irrelevant, that is clearly the case hear. Enjoy the view.

DivaRachel said...

Mr. Alta,

It took me about 3 seconds to find a grammar mistake on Ignatieff's official website.
http://www.michaelignatieff.ca/fr/

Le mot "supporteur" n'est pas dans le lexique francais. C'est "partisan", "adepte", mais pas "supporteur" qui est un anglicisme.

You can look it up on the french dictionary.
http://www.lexilogos.com/francais_langue_dictionnaires.htm
You will see that the only time you see that the word actually exists (most dictionaries say its not even a word), it clearly says its an English word.

If you want, I can actually read the website and look for more errors, as this one was directly on the navigation page, and did not require 'searching' to find it.

Altavistagoogle said...

http://www.patrimoine-de-france.org/mots-neo-0-2661.html says it is OK. It is certainly often used in Quebec. But I agree that "partisan" is the standard word.

DivaRachel said...

Mr. Alta, I agree.

I've heard the word used in Quebec. But the bastardization of the French Language in Quebec (see Gilles Proulx for more on that) isn't a leg you'd want to stand on. Words often used in Quebec include "le verbe checker", "icite", "peignure", "slaker", "on y va-tu?", "un appointement", all used every day, even in the media, but all bad grammar.

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