The Canadian Experience

As an immigrant in Canada, living in Vancouver, on the English speaking side of the country, I will teach myself to speak French. I had never lived or visited a French speaking place, so my experience of the language will come from an external perspective, a colonial view, a traveler's guide. Through audio language courses, literature, movies, text and conversation, I will try to immerse myself in the "Canadian experience". A window to the language colonial history, tracing it back to its origins, influences, semiotics, phonetics, and the transformations that take place when languages migrate. In Mexico, my country of origin, Spanish is not stated by law as the official language, but the codes state that judicial or administrative papers should be written in Spanish, which indirectly turns Spanish into the official language, imposed in colonial times by the government and the church. In Canada, a country characterized by its mosaic of ethnic diversities, English and French still dominate over other languages and the 63 native tongues. The English writer, Angela Carter stated that "language is power, life and the instrument of culture, the instrument of domination and liberation." In a country with such complexities does speaking French as an immigrant makes you more Canadian? How is nationalism linked to language, and how does this imposition works in places with a colonial past?