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April 1st 2011

“My first passion is writing” – Vincent Bossé

April 1st 2011

Vincent Bossé is bilingual. His first language is French, and he’s proud of that. “French is such a rich and highly developed language. It’s important to celebrate and promote it if we want to preserve it.” He also believes that learning English opened doors for him and will enable him to go farther later on in life. “English classes started in Grade 3 at school. At first, I found it hard to learn a second language, but listening to English-language programs helped me. I also joined a writing club in Grade 10.”

A native of Saint-Hilaire, this Grade-12 student at Cité des Jeunes A.M.-Sormany in Edmundston works on the student newspaper and has his own show on CFAI radio every Thursday evening. Registered to be a student at the Université de Moncton in Information/Communication next September, he says he chose that field because he loves it. “My first passion is writing. I write a lot in French (poems, songs, etc.), and being able to write in English has allowed me to add a new dimension to my writing; now I can explore things in English.”

Living in a predominantly French-speaking region, Vincent says he still has the opportunity to practise English since he’s often around English-speaking customers when he’s at work. “It’s really great to be able to practise what I’ve learned in English class. Practice makes perfect!”

Learn more about Vincent’s passion for language by reading his article below which appeared in Espace Jeunesse in the March 4, 2011 edition of L'Acadie Nouvelle.


“You’re so lucky you’re bilingual”
Vincent Bossé
Cité des Jeunes A.-M.-Sormany, Edmundston, N.B.

I’ve been working behind the cash register in a fast food restaurant for almost three years now. What I like the most about my job is interacting with people. Of course, as is true in any job involving customer service, it’s not always easy to satisfy everyone. But smiling generally makes it easier to manage more complicated situations. Most of the time, I hear positive comments about my work - which makes me smile - and that encourages me to keep on doing my best.

In both winter and summer, lots of tourists come from all over to explore the city or spend time with family; others just stop at the restaurant for a short break before continuing on their way.

Recently, a cheerful woman came to my register. I greeted her with the traditional “Bonjour!” She was an Anglophone and gave me her order: “I’ll have a number two with a coffee, please.” I quite naturally asked her: “And what do you want in it? Cream and sugar?” With a big smile, she said, “You’re so lucky you’re bilingual.” My first reaction was to reply, “Well, I don’t really have a choice, I work in a restaurant.” But I had second thoughts. Her comment really made me smile. It’s not something I think about regularly since we start learning English in Grade 3, but being able to speak both languages is a great opportunity since some people are limited to just one or the other.

French is such a rich and highly developed language that I’m proud to have been able to speak it fluently since childhood. It’s important to celebrate and promote it if we want to preserve it for at least another 100 years. For its part, English is an all-purpose language, I would even say a universal one. No matter where you go in the world, if you know even a little bit of English, there will always be some way of making yourself understood.

So I think that woman gave me a gift by making me realize how important these two languages are in my life. Before she left, she said, “Have a nice day!”And I replied, “In French, you say bonne journée!” She smiled at me and said, in accented French, “Bon journée!”