Nearly half of Francophones who work for the federal public service in particularly bilingual regions of Canada are uncomfortable using French in the course of their employment.
This is what a recent survey conducted by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages revealed among 10,828 public servants in five key regions: New Brunswick, the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau, and other places in Ontario where people speak. both Shakespeare’s and Molière’s language, as well as places in Quebec where workplaces are bilingual.
All regions combined, no less than 44% of French-speaking respondents admitted to feeling uncomfortable at the idea of speaking their first language to their colleagues. For each of the five regions individually, the proportion is still at least 22%.
“The most common explanation is that it would be an inconvenience for coworkers or supervisors who might not be comfortable with the language, or that it would bother them or cause trouble,” read the article. research report published last Friday.
Among Francophones who said they felt uncomfortable using their first language, 37% said they had this problem for oral communications, such as during a team meeting, and 27% for written exchanges. . Others – 19% – are reluctant to ask for supervision in their mother tongue.
For each of these contexts where uneasiness in using one’s mother tongue manifests itself, a large proportion of respondents fear being perceived as “offenders[s] troubles”.
Meanwhile, 39% of Anglophones surveyed who have knowledge of Molière’s language are reluctant to use it. The main reason mentioned? “I lack practice – I have to put in the extra effort,” replied 69% of those who have difficulty speaking.
At the same time, 61% fear that they will be judged or corrected for their accent, grammar errors or vocabulary. Another 42% indicated that “colleagues tend to switch to the other language” when they try to interact in French.
“The right to work in French within the federal public service is non-negotiable and we must ensure that the use of official languages is maintained in federal workplaces,” responded the office of the President of the Council of Trésor, Jean-Yves Duclos, head of the civil service. The Trudeau government promises to study and act on the research report produced by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages.