French Language Law Ran Amok


Quebec has a French only sign law on its public and road signs. However, that law also extends to businesses. It is illegal in Quebec for a business to have an English sign, unless their name is part of the logo. So IKEA is still IKEA, but every other sign on the IKEA storefront is in French.

If a business wish to translate a notice or billboard, the French must be twice the size of the English notice. you can see an example in the above photo. This was taken in front of a drug store in Montreal. The left window is the English version. The right two windows is the same thing, but in French.

Since Quebec is majority French, I wonder why it even needs a French only sign law. Surely businesses would know how to cater to their customers. If they’re mostly French, then they would make their signs French. Why have a law to force it?

I guess the Quebec government is just scare of losing their unique status in Canada if they allow businesses to do signs as they please. While French maybe the majority, everyone I have met can speak English because English is the power language. And if the entire population can already speak and read English, why not just switch to English? Because Quebec has a law against it.