Languages change faster than we might think!


In the third chapter of the textbook, we read about physical isolation and language change. Van Herk shed some light on some types of linguistic isolation and he touched upon the idea that usually when immigrants revisit their home counties, they find that the spoken language has changed slightly – or even significantly – from how it was when they lived there. Reading that chapter made me think about my own experience. In fact, even though I have been away from my homeland for a relatively short period of time (2 years and a half), I cannot recognise some aspects of language now commonly used in my home country.

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Chinatown vs. Chinese Identity

By Jia Pu——second post

What is your impression of Chinatown? Before coming to Montreal, my understanding of Chinatown all came from online videos and TV programs about it. For me, Chinatown should be a place filled with traditional Chinese features, like the honorific archway, red lanterns and, of course, Chinese characters, which can help to maintain and propel Chinese identity of the immigrants and their offsprings. Meanwhile, as a tourist attraction, Chinatown can provide tourists from all over the world with an experience of Chinese culture. However, what I saw in Chinatown here completely changed my impression of it. I made the decision to visit Chinatown in Montreal the second day after arriving because I thought it would be a good way to relieve me from my homesickness since I could enjoy Chinese food and talk to people  in Chinese instead of French. But what I saw there was almost nothing like what I had imagined before. To my disappointment, there were just a few restaurants and stores operated by Chinese immigrants, which covered quite a small area and looked shabby. Besides, I noticed that even Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese  restaurants could be found in Chinatown, making me more confused about the purpose of building it in the first place. Therefore, I read several articles concerning Chinatown and tried to find the answer.

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Is Montreal Really Embracing Immigrants and Their Cultures?


Last week, we talked about language, space and the influence of globalization on languages. And we had discussions and activities in terms of dealing with the immigrant children depressed by French learning in Montreal and their culture loss. I can’t help asking myself this question: Is Montreal really embracing immigrants and their cultures?

When I first came to Montreal last August, I was surprised by its multilingual environments. I can hear people speaking various languages in the street: French, English, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, and others. People of different complexions greet each other at schools and workplaces. I thought that this city is embracing immigrants and welcoming people from all over the world. However, after a year, I felt that I am uncovering its veil gradually and there is a known secret, in which we are all a part of that: Montreal is not as friendly as it’s tagged.

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