With their usual condescending Anglo-elite perspective, the Globe and Mail headlined the article below, « Chinese discover back door into Canada – through Quebec, » thus managing to simultaneously denigrate Québec and the Chinese. Still, the article does draw attention to something we also observed during our trip across Québec, that many Chinese are arriving in La Belle Province with excellent French language skills. However, it’s not because they want to enter by « the back door », but because they appreciate the language, the paysage and the people!
Thousands of people in China are trying to write their own ticket out of the country — in French.
Chinese desperate to emigrate have discovered a backdoor into Canada that involves applying for entry into the country’s francophone province of Quebec — as long as they have a good working knowledge of the local lingo.
So, while learning French as an additional language is losing ground in many parts of the world — even as Mandarin classes proliferate because of China’s rise on the international stage — many Chinese are busy learning how to say, “Bonjour, je m’appelle Zhang.”
Yin Shanshan said the French class she takes in the port city of Tianjin near Beijing even includes primers on Quebec’s history and its geography, including the names of suburbs around its biggest city, Montreal.
“My French class is a lot of fun,” the 25-year-old said. “So far, I can say ‘My name is … I come from … I live at’ ” and, getting straight to the business of settling down in the province: “I would like to rent a medium-sized, one-bedroom flat.’ ”
Despite China’s growing prosperity and clout, more and more of its citizens are rushing to the exits, eager to provide better education prospects for their children and escape from their country’s long-standing problems, including hazardous pollution and contaminated food.
Canada joins the United States and Australia among the most favoured destinations.
Article en français dans La Presse: Le français, une porte de sortie pour les Chinois voulant émigrer – La Presse