U.S. Says “We Oui” to Canada
WASHINGTON — Le Département de français en Amérique today introduced a newly-minted translation program aimed at enhancing Canada-US relations.
Its first translation project shared with reporters is The Star Spangled Banner (La Bannière Étoilée) which will be sung in both languages at hockey and baseball games when a Canadian team is playing anywhere in États-Unis.
Heading up the new département is former celebrity and now again presidential candidate Mitt Romney whose excellent French surprised Americans during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Romney was the first choice of United States Secretary of State John Kerry (who also speaks feckless French) to head up the projet (“project” in English).
“This is a new era in Canada-US relations and it will open portes for free cultural exchange between our nations,” said Kerry.
“Americans will hear for the first time how sexy and romantic our culture sounds when spoken about in French terms,” chimed in Romney who was wearing a collectible Quebec Nordiques hockey jersey.
“The White House becomes La Maison Blanche, FLOTUS becomes PDÉUA, my favourite movie title is La cloche et l’idiot and I rather fancy the new name for our capital…Lavéville DC,” said Romney.
Reactions from streeters on both sides of the border were mixed.
Zydeco singer/songwriter Bernie Marécageux of Thibodaux LA, who is a regular at one of the state’s top Cajun cuisine restaurants in the town, Le Bistro Cornichon Pourri, is thrilled about the French lyrics. “I just love the prospect of putting my hand over my heart to sing about La Vieille Gloire next time I go to a Devil Rays’ game when the Blue Jays are visiting!” said Marécageux.
Meanwhile, in Regina SK, French teacher Céline P. McTavish said, “Meh. Now Americans will know when Canadians are swearing at them.”
Neither President Barack Obama nor Prime Minister Stephen Harper were available for comment at press time.
Earlier Quebec MP and Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel was asked by the Ottawa Citizen if this translation initiative is a positive step towards improving U.S./Canada diplomatic relations and replied, “Oui. Oui.”
The New York Times page 4 article quoted Lebel as saying “We. We.”
Foya D. Rably
Reportering for The Lapine