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Subject: The Language Police hits QUEBEC Stores (French letter) rss

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So the Language Police (OQLF) in Quebec Canada is forcing stores to stop carrying ENGLISH games if it does not exists in FRENCH too.

I am the owner of Chez Geeks, one of the stores being targeted by this. I am currently fighting them and I am posting here
because a lot of my clients are asking me what is going on, so at least I can direct them to this post.

You can get more info here:
http://www.cjad.com/cjad-news/2015/02/12/the-oqlfs-latest-ta...


So here is the latest letter I got from them (In french)
-------------------------
STARTS:
Monsieur,
J’accuse réception de votre courriel du 17 février 2015.

Nous comprenons que votre site Web est vaste et qu’il comporte plusieurs descriptions de jeux. Ainsi, nous sommes prêts à évaluer
votre demande de prolonger le délai accordé pour effectuer la traduction complète de votre site. Afin que cette demande soit approuvée,
nous vous demandons de nous faire parvenir un plan de correction indiquant les différentes étapes et les échéances correspondantes.

Par exemple, vous pourriez vous engager à offrir en français les sections « Home », « About », « Contact » et « Account » au cours des
3 premiers mois. Ensuite, vous pourriez traduire la section « Card Singles » d’ici 6 mois, puis la section « Card Sealed Products »
d’ici 9 mois. Finalement, vous pourriez corriger tout le reste d’ici un an.

Nous voulons nous assurer que les différentes étapes de votre plan seront complétées dans les délais, donc nous vérifierons périodiquement
votre site Web. D’autre part, notre lettre du 2 février 2015 mentionnait aussi des corrections à effectuer à votre affichage. Nous vous
accordons un délai de 3 mois, soit jusqu’au 1er juillet 2015, pour vous conformer sur ce point.

Par ailleurs, le 8 août 2014, nous vous avons fait parvenir une lettre qui concernait un jeu en particulier, soit le jeu « Jungle Speed ».
Selon l’article 54 de la Charte, il est contraire à la loi d’offrir au public des jeux dont les inscriptions ne sont pas en français
(emballage, étiquetage, contenant, documentation, etc.). Elles peuvent également être rédigées dans une autre langue, pourvu que le
français figure de manière au moins aussi évidente.

54. Sont interdits sur le marché québécois les jouets ou jeux, autres que ceux visés à l'article 52.1, dont le fonctionnement exige
l'emploi d'un vocabulaire autre que français, à moins que le jouet ou jeu n'y soit disponible en français dans des conditions au moins aussi favorables.
Or, nous savons que le jeu « Jungle Speed » existe déjà en français. Nous vous accordons donc un délai de 3 mois,
soit jusqu’au 1er juillet 2015, pour corriger la situation.

J’attendrai la confirmation des mesures correctives et le plan de traduction de votre site Web d’ici le 15 avril 2015.
N’hésitez pas à communiquer avec moi si vous avez besoin de renseignements supplémentaires à ce sujet.

Cordialement,

END LETER HERE.
--------------------------

Now this is our reply to this letter:

Nous avons ajouté une option de traduction automatique au bas de la page pour que toutes les sections puissent être lues en français.
Il y a des mots en anglais qui, selon les règles d'adaptation et d'emprunts linguistiques du manuel "Le français au bureau", constituent
un emprunt de la langue anglaise. Ils doivent ainsi rester dans la langue d'origine, car la traduction n'existe pas.

De plus, la section "card singles" à des milliers de cartes, et pour les traduire, il nous faudrait des années. Il y a également des
centaines de nouvelles cartes tous les mois, ce qui rend ce travail impossible à accomplir.

En ce qui concerne l'affichage, nous nous engageons à créer une version en français de tout affichage que nous faisons nous même,
Nous avons cependant un babillard ou des clients ont le droit d'apposer des publicités, produits, affiches, etc.
Pour les jeux qui existent seulement en anglais, nous recevons des affiches de la compagnie seulement en anglais. Que faire dans ce cas?
En plus, je n'ai pas l'autorité de traduire des termes, expressions, slogans, logos et noms PROTÉGÉS selon la loi de protection d'auteurs.

En ce qui à trait au jeu Jungle Speed, c'est un jeu qui ne requiert aucun vocabulaire, ni usage de mots pour jouer. Ce sont seulement des dessins.
L'emballage indique clairement que le jeu est multilingue, pour cette raison. Cependant, pour éviter tous problèmes dans le futur,
nous allons arrêter de vendre le produit. Ceci forcera les gens à acheter le jeu en ligne, ce qui est une perte pour nos commerces
(car tous les autres magasins devront faire ainsi, si la loi est juste pour tous), et par conséquent, notre économie
(puisque les distributeurs devront aussi arrêter de le vendre aux boutiques au Québec). Ceci pourrait également une réalité pour tous les autres
jeux multilingues et anglophones, puisqu'ils nous parviennent principalement des États-Unis.

Nous ferons tout notre possible pour rendre notre affichage et magasin le plus bilingue possible, mais dans notre domaine,
nous n'avons aucun contrôle sur la langue utilisée dans la plupart des produits.

Merci de votre compréhension

END LETTER


-------------

So this, basically is telling all Gaming store in QUEBEC that they will NO longer be allowed to sell ENGLISH ONLY games,
even though Francophones WANT the English games.

Thoughts?


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Ewout Key Rameijer
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This sounds a lot like the language struggle that has been going on for decades in Belgium, especially the region of Halle-Vilvoorde near Brussels...

The difference however is that in Belgium it's an issue for local goverments and schools and the language of their communications, not the language used by private persons or companies or their products.

Of course the government, schools but also product specifications, info on medecine, etc should be in the official language of a country but the language of creative objects I think can never legally be forced upon by any democratic government of a free country.

The downside of democracy is the "Two wolves and one sheep deciding on what to have for dinner" principle, which is why I am in favour of a system where there is room for multiple parties rather than a two party system where the "winner takes all" as I assume you have in Canada (correct me if I'm wrong).

Getting back to the issue at hand:

How about the language in movies, music, books, paintings, newspapers and articles or games (print-and-play) accessible from where you live through the internet? Must everything be in French in order to be legal?

How about me writing to you in English? Is that against the law as well or must you translate it before being able to legally print it out and pass it on to someone else, in your store for example?

I know that there are laws in France as well to protect their language and culture such as the minimum % of French language music on the radio (fact!) but this seems to take things to a whole other level.

Of course it's easy for me to say but the only thing I can think of is that you should take this to court. There is seperation of powers in Canada, right? I truly can't imagine something like this holding up in court in a civilized and more importantly free country as Canada.

Good Luck / Bonne Chance!

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This is such a tricky subject. I understand that there should be measures in place to protect the French language in Quebec, and the bilingual rule is something very dear to my heart, being a Welsh speaker. However, I feel that when such policies are implemented in a heavy handed way, it often has the opposite effect, and makes people angry. I can't for the life of me figure out how stocking an English language copy of Love Letter would threaten the bilingual policy of Quebec.

I live in France, but live and work with the Breton language. If the French government would implement only a quarter of the policies that exist in Quebec for French to safeguard the Breton language, we would be smiling...It's notveay here, believe me!

By the way, I play with an English copy of Love Letter that I have translated ino Breton.

Bonne chance et bon courage. Ne te baisse pas les bras.
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Ross W
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My comments would only get this thread sent to RSP. There is a reason that I have moved out of quebec after 33 years, while being totally bilingual.

Best of luck!
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It's hard to say anything about the recent events on this topic considering your letter and reply are in french only.
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Tzer wrote:
It's hard to say anything about the recent events on this topic considering your letter and reply are in french only.


bgg should ban posts in languages that aren't also published in english.
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Good luck OP!


tl;dr The Quebec government is violating gamers rights from buying games because those games are too Englishy.


[written not to be some large treatise on the subject but just shotgunning some (English) words.]



Before people become outraged, it's complicated.

Here's a link; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_of_the_French_Language


 
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Are there any user created, French translations of rules here on BGG? If so, would providing a print out of the rules in French with the English only game be a work around?

It's a long shot but I would hate to see you go out of business because of this.

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Jon Baxter
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There's two problems, first the website which is a clear violation, big corporations have been forced to shut down or prevent access to their English only websites.


And for the games the issue is;

Product labels, their instructions, manuals, warranty certificates as well as restaurant menus and wine lists must be in the official language. Other languages may be used, provided the official language's prominence is at least equivalent.

For the rule book I'd wager that just pointing them online won't be enough, however emailing them a pdf should be. Boxes typically have other issues, however the problem isn't something for retailers so much as for distributors which should likely be required to place a full or partial sticker cover parts of the box with the french text.



Someone asked about movies. In Canada most movies have either a bilingual cover or one side English the other French (and the insert is basically flipped before shrink wrapping.
 
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Stephen McHale
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jgbaxter wrote:




Before people become outraged, it's complicated.

Here's a link; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_of_the_French_Language




No it is not, it is just wrong.
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I am all for English being the official language in the USA. I don't mind French being the official language of Quebec.

But I totally understand commerce catering to both or whatever their target audience is. It's a capitalism thing.

My shampoo has instructions in French and English. And that's down in the Deep South. Other products have Spanish too.

Business is business and the government needs to butt out.

This is wrong.

Sadly America is headed this way.
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Marc Kingsbury
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scifiantihero wrote:
Tzer wrote:
It's hard to say anything about the recent events on this topic considering your letter and reply are in french only.


bgg should ban posts in languages that aren't also published in english.


Good one

This store must have done something, because there's dozens of stores in Quebec that don't have any problem with language, even if most of what we see in the store is in English.
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Once in a while in Quebec, we get one of these language police horror stories. In the end things always fall into place and common sense prevails. Ok, most of the time...

I fail to see how the Quebec government would benefit from us shopping online in the rest of Canada or the US, considering we pay 15% tax on everything.
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Many things sold in Quebec have a French sticker placed on them. This is usually placed in a very inconvenient spot on the box, covering the instructions or something like that. Could you just put a sticker on all your games?
 
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Stephen Wark
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The OQLF said you can sell English-only games if the French version doesn't exist, but if a French or multilingual version exists, you should have that available too. They also called you out on your statement that Jungle Speed wasn't available in French...it is.

None of the other stores in Montreal (Carta Magica, Valet de Coeurs, Cosmix) seem to have this problem. What are you doing differently?

Translating Magic card singles titles seems to be a bit time-consuming, but since Magic also available in French it can't be THAT hard to get the official versions. It's not as if you have to hire a professional.
 
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Martin Plourde
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Your letter was polite, clear and true. I hope common sense will apply soon. soblue
 
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James E
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Could you make your website a separate business and headquarter it in another province?
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Jon Baxter
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StephenM wrote:
jgbaxter wrote:




Before people become outraged, it's complicated.

Here's a link; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_of_the_French_Language




No it is not, it is just wrong.



So is the English Quebecers ruling over the province and taking most of the good jobs and business and discriminating against the French Quebecers for hundreds of years.

If it wasn't complicated this whole separation thing would be another simple story that would have been resolved quickly, if it wasn't complicated there wouldn't have been tanks in the streets.

I hate bill 101 but there are good reasons for it and the vast majority of the people of Quebec want it as law.


It's not the only country to have a language law, several other countries modelled their laws on bill 101.

Anyway, it's complicated. Which is why I'm in Alberta, 20 years and I'm still dealing with culture shock from that move. laugh
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Martin Plourde
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Exactly Jon, but there I still no reason for this kind of abuse of the law against such a small, niche market.

I believe the store should have all the necessary tools to work in french, but the product in itself should be left alone. Next thing, are they going to ask record store owner to translate every album sleeves in french? Or worse, translate the music on a separate cd?
 
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Martin518 wrote:
Your letter was polite, clear and true. I hope common sense will apply soon. soblue

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Sad to say but i rarely buy from brick and mortar stores. I hate when people tell me to buy localy to encourage the community. What is that about anyways?
Does the community put food on my table and pay my bills? Nope

I buy 90% of my games online cuz its cheaper.

The internet will kill the small shops? Yup

Buisnesses close all the time sorry it happens.

Thanksfor listenning.

I love you guys at Chez Geeks. I hope you guys figure it out. Many cies have lost this battle. Good luck.

Mike
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Jon Baxter
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So you just want a million square foot WalMart with workers that get paid 14 cents an hour and no other businesses?


I suppose if you don't go to any game store at all and mooch of their free gaming space then that attitude isn't completely insane. ninja


I spend about 1/3 online, mostly for hard to find or out of stock items. I support my game stores since they support the community, hundred of free events and throwing money and prizes at local convention is a nice bonus, on top of all that gaming space they only charge a smile for.


 
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mikpj wrote:

Does the community put food on my table and pay my bills? Nope
Mike


I will assume you are talking about the gaming community. It's tough to quantify the value, but plenty of people make that determination.

However, it's a whole lot easier to quantify how the success of your local community helps you. That community keeps your roads repaired, puts food on the table of local low income families, funds public schools, supports Little League teams, and adds value in a myriad of other ways.

Quote:
The internet will kill the small shops? Yup

Some, yes. Most, no.
Internet shopping certainly keeps small stores on their toes, but it's very possible to compete with online stores.

OOB
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I was in one organized play in a Montreal games shop for a couple of months and i bought for a couple of hundred bucks of games and food even if i knew they were 10\20$ overpriced compared to other Mtl stores and the internet.

I knew for a fact that some of the other d&d groups bought nothing.

I am a good guy but just cheap.

Oh and Walmart employees dont get paid 14 cents/hr.

I bought all my PACG expansions from Valet because they all come with a promo card.

I bought a AEG Black box from Chez Geeks because they just had and i had just read about the black box here on bgg.
 
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Mike it's great you occasionally buy things from local, from the sounds of it of course it's minimal. That being said as long as someone buys things most times to support a local store when they actually use that stores facilities for gaming, then it's basically a reasonable exchange.

$10 purchase per hour of gaming is my personal thought.

Heck, that's basically the games cafe model, and people should consider that more and more game stores will start charging for space. Space isn't free, especially in retail. meeple

mikpj wrote:


Oh and Walmart employees dont get paid 14 cents/hr.



Not yet...

Walmart breaks businesses (often its own suppliers) to the point and beyond of insolvency.

Walmarts ultimate goal is to have 100% market share in everything (that's the goal of every company really, none have a chance of that, even if it's every psychotic evil companies plans to do so).

Therefore if Walmart succeeds, then most everyone becomes indentured servants of it's master, the king (ceo) of Walmart.


Crazy I know, still, I'm sure Walmarts ceo wouldn't be upset at all if that happened. laugh


Nothing wrong with being cheap as long as people also understand the results. whistle
 
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