The benefits of speaking French or being bilingual

Immigrants talk about the benefits of speaking French or being bilingual in a province or territory with an Anglophone majority. They explain how it helped them to find interesting work.

Thanks to Hugo Sabourin (YUGZ) for use of his paintings in the video.

The benefits of speaking French or being bilingual

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Transcript: “The benefits of speaking French or being bilingual”

Video length: 2:15 minutes

Red, white and black ribbon background is displayed then fades into a shot of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, some athletes running on an outdoor track followed by a performer in front of an audience. Red, white and black ribbon background returns then fades to a group of people in an office setting and back. A Canadian flag emerges from the background with the text: “Live the Francophone Life in Canada. The Benefits of Speaking French or Being Bilingual.”

Narrator is shown in a foyer of a building, in front of the stairs, with the text: “Province: Manitoba. Country of origin: France. Fathi Khezzane (Assistant Director General, Franco-Manitoban Cultural Centre).”

Narrator (speaking French): I chose to come to an English-speaking province in central Canada because I knew that if I went to Quebec, they all speak French. So speaking French wasn’t an advantage for me. It wasn’t anything special. I came here as a bilingual person. That’s a good thing.

Scene changes to Fathi working with two women in an office then back to the foyer.

Narrator (speaking French): When it comes to job opportunities, speaking French gives you an immediate advantage, right? You get paid a higher salary. Sometimes I got paid 25 percent more for the same job, just for being bilingual. So it’s a real, a real advantage to be … to speak French, to be bilingual in an English-speaking province. It’s a really good thing.

Narrator is shown sitting in a room decorated with art on the walls along with the text: “Province: New Brunswick. Country of origin: Congo. Jonathan Mpunge (Student).”

Narrator (speaking French): Being bilingual makes it easy to get to know more people around the world and easy to … It’s easier to get much more work if you speak two languages.

Narrator is shown in front of a large window in an office building along with the text: “Province: Manitoba. Country of origin: France. Lorene Lailler (Nature guide, Co-ordinator, visitors and French-language services).”

Narrator (speaking French): Speaking French didn’t just get me hired, it let me have a full-time job, which is very, very rare at the interpretation centre. We’re a very small team, year round. So, yeah, it let me have a full-time job. 

Narrator is sitting in a classroom with the text: “Province: Manitoba. Country of origin: Mali. Samir Touré (Director General, Student Association, Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface).”

Narrator (speaking French): It was definitely an asset, a real asset for me to be Francophone, and it helped me a lot with my career objectives, in doing research, even in getting to know the realities of this country.

Scene changes to Samir writing at a desk.

Narrator (speaking French): It was an asset.

Narrator is shown in the foyer of a building along with the text: “Province: Manitoba. Country of origin: France. Erwan Bouchaud (Project Manager, Manitoba Cooperative Association).”

Narrator (speaking French): When I came to Canada, I spoke very, very little English. So I had to find a job, and the advantage of speaking French enabled me to find a job right away, a job where I could also practise my English.

Narrator is shown standing at the outside basketball court along with the text: “Territory: Northwest Territories. Country of origin: Rwanda. Rod Bryan Tuyishime Muvunyi (Student).”

Narrator (speaking French): If you master both languages, it’s a ticket … You can go anywhere. It opens doors.

The Citizenship and Immigration Canada corporate signature and the copyright message “Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2014” are displayed followed by the Canada wordmark.

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