Cheese, coffee, bread! I guess I’ll just have to get used to it. My sister warned me that it would not be easy for me here because I do not speak English. Since the province of British Columbia is a former British colony, English is the language commonly spoken. It is also the language of commerce. To do business here, you have to know how to speak English.

But with a little effort you can overcome the language barrier. The Chinese people have managed to get by. They have opened shops where they sell food to their own community, or have founded businesses that do not require them to speak the language fluently. When they want to get hired on construction sites, they find an employee who speaks English to serve as an intermediary. English-speaking Chinese workers often become foremen.

In Montreal, I could always get by knowing only two or three words of English. It was easy because the majority of the population there speaks French. But I don’t have a choice here; I will have to learn English because I am told only 2.5% of the population speaks French.

So, let me give it a try: “Hi, how are you?”

Author: Service national du Récit de l’univers social

French (If available)