In bilingual communities around the world, “mixed” sentences abound. The National Capital Region is certainly no exception, as we see from this locally recorded example: “Il y avait une band là qui jouait de la musique steady, puis il y avait des games de ball, puis euh, ils vendaient de l’ice creampuis il y avait une grosse beach, le monde se baignaient”.

Almost all bilinguals do it, but no one likes it — not teachers, not parents, not even the speakers themselves. They think it reflects a poor command of one or both of the languages. They believe it weakens the language, and could even lead to a whole new hybrid language, such as “Franglais” or “Spanglish”. These opinions are strong and widespread, especially when they concern the influence of English on Canadian French. But is there really cause for concern?

The science says no!

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