2006-10-13

Italian Should Be An Official Language of Canada

I think Italian should be an official language. Of course, so should the aboriginal languages.

Offering federal services in Italian would be relatively simple as most Italian-Canadians are geographically concentrated.

Having Italian as an "official" culture would remove some of the edge off the two solitudes schism we have in Canada. It would be the "neutral" group. Some times they would be aliened with French Canadians, other times with English Canadians.

Canada was "discovered" by an Italian (Giovanni Caboto, aka John Cabot and Jean Cabot). The Italians have influenced Canadian culture immensely.

Unlike Chinese, Canadians aren't worried about being flooded with Italians taking over our culture.

At the very least, we should allocate more resources to Italian-Canadian culture. Perhaps an Italian language CBC. These people borough us lasagna, pizza and spaghetti. I think we owe it to them.

Other blogs:

Thoughts on nationalism and loyalties ;
Language and wealth ;
English-only, please ;
The differences between Canada and Slovenia: what Lonely Planet ... ;
Unity in Diversity

6 comments:

Adrian MacNair said...

Enough money is already wasted on multiculturalism. And don't get too excited about the prospects of Italian multilingualism... the chances of Mandarin becoming an official language grows by the day.

Anonymous said...

Italian is not an indigenous language of Canada. It is a language of an immigrant community that rarely persists beyond a couple of generations.

A test of what an indigenous language is is how entrenched as a lingua franca it is within a particular area and whether outsiders moving in can be immersed in the language. That doesn't occur with Italian in Canada.

Besides, the people who don't want to learn French aren't going to be any happier about having to learn Italian.

This applies to all other immigrant languages as well.

I speak Italian (as well as French), by the way. I think everyone should speak at least two languages.

Height Impaired said...

not to be rude, but we arent going to make italian an official language because its convienient to the italian communities. The only changes to Canada's language policy would be to perhaps place Mandarin chinese at a higher level in the Toronto region. But other than that there just arent the population numbers to justify any changes to Canada's official languages.

Altavistagoogle said...

I understand your points. But French and English were not indigenous to Canada at one point.

And Italian culture has impacted Canadians much more than Chinese culture.

I want to preserve Italian influence in Canada, and I figure language is an easy way to do it.

I really don't want to go back to eating fish and chips out of a newspaper...

fragmunt said...

I with you.
The language is beautiful, the food universal, the women stunning, the people non-paranoid, the wine superb and .... many Italian-canadians even like beer; a winner all round.

Anonymous said...

I want to preserve Italian influence in Canada, and I figure language is an easy way to do it.

Not by declaring it official. The way to do it is to support heritage language programmes and close ties with Italy. We don't want Italians to become museum pieces in our glorious "cultural mosaic." We want their influence and the quality of their culture to be something we can all enjoy and that enriches an ever-evolving Canada.

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