Back in February 2016, e2f announced the opening of Services de Traduction e2f Canada Inc., a new subsidiary with offices in the borough of Le Plateau-Mont-Royal in central Montréal, Quebec.
Yesterday I had a opportunity to visit and speak with the staff. We enjoyed lunch at a nearby Japanese restaurant, where I learned that what we call gyoza in California is called ravioli in Montréal. Sitting traditionally around a low table on cushions, we discussed the translation industry, the culture and history of Quebec, and the opportunities ahead.
Abdou Wagué (pictured in the photo at left) leads the team. Born in France, educated in Canada at Université Laval, and having spent time at e2f’s California headquarters, Abdou is a soft-spoken cosmopolitan with an easy smile. Though fluent in French and English, and proficient in Spanish and German, he admitted to me that one of his greatest challenges was visiting the country of his heritage, Mali. Which is quite understandable. Mali has no less than 13 national languages. Even though French is the official language, its influence has waned over time. Now, only about 10% of the country can speak French.
Solange Beaulieu (center) came to e2f from the world of media and marketing. She felt a sense of deja vu coming to work at e2f’s office. She had lived just a few blocks away in years past and the streets and shops were second nature to her. When I asked Solange what made Quebec unique, her mind immediately leaped to music and the arts. While much of Anglophone Canada is heavily influenced by American television and movies, the French Canadian community has found itself somewhat insulated and thus able to flourish, developing its own voice and its own style. If there is anything that Solange would love to see “exported” from French Quebec into English, it would be such cultural beauty and treasure.
René Brisebois (pictured at right) came to e2f by way of Canada’s West Coast: Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia. René has a considerable (even formidable) background in government, having worked for the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, the National Research Council Canada, Elections Canada, the Canada Public Service Agency and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. We spoke a bit about the recent trends and evolution of the Translation Bureau. When given a chance, René would rather wax poetic and passionately about a true universal language: jazz music.
How about you? What are your experiences in Montréal, Quebec, and the rest of Francophone Canada? Have you any need to translate your work into, or from, Canadian French? Let us know! Contact us at [email protected], so Abdou, Solange, René, and the rest of the team here at e2f can help you reach and inspire your own audiences.