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Quebec's French language videogame laws come into force

English-only titles banned from sale if French alternate is available elsewhere

A Quebec law which prohibits the sale of English-only videogames if a French alternate is available has come into force, to the consternation of local retailers.

The law could see new games delayed as they are localised for French speakers, this could cost local retailers business as consumers turn to the internet or cross the border to get the latest releases without delay.

"I'm afraid it's going to cost me my business," Ronnie Rondeau, co-owner Game Buzz, told The Star. "If it really was going to make a difference, I'd be for it, but only a small number of people want to play in French. The rest don't care.

"And money-wise, it's going to hurt," he added.

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Latest comments (11)

Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D11 years ago
As much as I love Montreal (my wife's from there, I've been there a few times), the Quebec government is REALLY anal when it comes to language laws, as are a lot of Quebecois.

There were more than a few times when people over there would refuse to talk to me/answer me if I spoke in English. My very first experience after arriving there was going to buy a metro ticket. I walked up and asked for one, in English. The woman behind the counter just stared at me even though she almost certainly spoke English. So my wife, who obviously speaks French, went up and asked, and paid. Well, my wife's Canadian-Asian and the woman behind the counter took it upon herself to congratulate my wife on her French being so good, as presumably only white people can speak it... Then she said how unusual it was that the woman was paying for the man's ticket, as normally it's the other way round. Racism and sexism, great:) And that's just one experience.

Quebec is an awesome place - Quebec City is also worth visiting. But they can be very anal when it comes to crap like this. There's also a requirement that any business sign in Quebec is in French. It doesn't HAVE to be in English, but if it is then the French version has to be at least as big. A lot of stuff like that.
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James Lee11 years ago
For some reason this story reminded me of this clip from the movie Canadian Bacon :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6p_6wvByFg

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Lee on 3rd April 2009 10:57am

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Thomas Bahon Head of Payment Services, Ankama Games11 years ago
As French, I see your point. I have the same problem in Belgium.
I don't understand why in the West all these hillbilly don't want to speak French when they can. Ok, I know they weren't allowed to speak Dutch at school until end of WWII. But what's the f***! We won the Soccer World Cup in 1998 or not? Have you ever heard about Belgium going to final? No! So let's speak French.

By the way, I think we should all speak only one language worldwide. French because it's great or Chinese because it's the most spoken language in the world.

...


..


.


Obviously, I was kidding... Indian will be the next most spoken language soon. :p

Edited 5 times. Last edit by Thomas Bahon on 5th April 2009 9:52pm

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Show all comments (11)
Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D11 years ago
I remember Belgium getting to the world cup semis in 1986. They had a great team that year, after Northern Ireland went out they became the team I supported for the rest of the tournament.
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Dwain Hill11 years ago
How about manufacturers realise that people don't want region locked games, invest in some decent digitial distribution, and then the people can get whatever games they like, in whatever language they like.
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Thomas Bahon Head of Payment Services, Ankama Games11 years ago
Belgium has 3 official languages : French, Dutch (or Dutch, French) and... German (representing only 1% of Belgian Citizen).
On cigarette boxes, the health care message is quite large ;)
See there : [link url=http://www.e-news.name/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/tabac2.jpg
]http://www.e-news.name/wp-content/upload...[/link]

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Thomas Bahon on 5th April 2009 9:56pm

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SP Goodman Composer-Cartoonist-Writer-Techie, EarthLight Productions11 years ago
Gee, I guess the folks at home aren't fazed by all this puffing and blowing done at the G20 about "protectionism" huh?

IS there a French version of many video games not developed in France or Quebec? It would have been more productive to meet with game producers to discuss localization development efforts, by local people, so long as the 'locals' don't try to squeeze the game producers for ransom money. Which thanks to this Quebecian law is now more possible than ever.

What silly people, to jump to conflict without talking first, something they more often than not accuse their English-speaking neighbors to the south of...
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Thomas Bahon Head of Payment Services, Ankama Games11 years ago
@SP Goodman

I know I may have a non-objective opinion, but the news say "A Quebec law which prohibits the sale of English-only videogames IF A FRENCH ALTERNATE IS AVAILABALE."
So for me, as far as I understand English, it's mean "No Quebec law will prohibit the sale of English-only videogames if no french alternate exists". It's not a localization problem, but a retail one.

And to anwser your question : Yes, there is a French version of many video games not developed in France or Quebec (most of them in France). Obviously because there are laws and also because most French People understand English just like you understand "Chti". ;)
I must also admit that it's because France is at least the 3rd market for video games in Europe. If they want to sell copies Publishers need to release a French version here. For Belgium, The Nederland or The Luxemburg, I know things are slight different.

People from Quebec has to deal with they wish to "safeguard" French and the fact they are surrounded by English speaking People. It's just like what happen in Dutch region of Belgium. Do you know that today, it's forbidden to speak French in some Flemish Schools around Brussel, break time included.
See: [link url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/5305484.stm
]http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/...[/link]

I don't say it's good or wrong, I just say there are explanations.

Edited 7 times. Last edit by Thomas Bahon on 5th April 2009 10:00pm

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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.11 years ago
I can understand the preservation of language but at the potential expense and harm to businesses seems an odd move.
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Thomas Bahon Head of Payment Services, Ankama Games11 years ago
It's maybe now time to ask for help and rights to advertise in both language.
As James suggested, "Bilingual Signs" is a major concern. But Advertising is seen differently. See : [link url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2008/04/28/qc-quebeccitybillboards0428.html
]http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/...[/link]
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Quebec to me sounds like its up it own @rse to be honest. If people wish to speak english and english is spoken in Quebec then why not, people should not be ignored or treated differently just because they lack the necessary French skills....i sense a hint of fascistism. The irony of all this is that Quebecans(?) don't even speak proper French according to my Parisian mates, they're considered to speak some sort of pigeon French.
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