Language requirements in citizenship test should reflect Québécois French, says one applicant

Christian Shriner has lived in Quebec City for 15 years and has had his permanent residency for much of that time. He’s always been hesitant to apply for citizenship, as he comes from Germany, where dual citizenship wasn’t allowed until a recent change in legislation. Shriner began his application process in Quebec, which includes a language requirement. With the English test only available in Montreal, Shriner opted to take it in French first. I needed to sit down with a very nice guy, and we needed to have two conversations, one formal and one informal. For Shriner, whose wife and kids are all born and raised in Quebec, the first part of the test was a breeze. But he says he was taken aback when he was told it would be recorded and sent to France for evaluation. To immigrate into Canada, you need to pass a test in France. It didn’t make much sense to me, Shriner says. He was even more baffled by the 2nd portion of the test, in which he had to listen to audio recordings and respond to questions on them. He says the recordings were all in a French from France and did not include any Quebec cultural references. Shriner says there were at least 12 vocabulary words he didn’t understand. He ultimately passed the test, but wonders if others would be as lucky. I was thinking like a lot of our friends are immigrants who who come here and who the only language they hear is Quebecois. They don’t hear Francais de France. So, so how is it for them? In a statement to Global News, the school that administered Shriners test at Zurain Tasks says it was only following the requirements of the federal and provincial government, and that the test is given in a standardized French so that it’s fair to applicants of all countries. The federal and provincial immigration ministers did not respond to a request for comment. Franco Minaka, Global News, Quebec City.

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