French has become a collateral victim of the coronavirus pandemic in Canada, forcing the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, to defend failures to uphold laws requiring labels and services in both official languages.
Canada is officially bilingual, but the government has allowed the sale of imported disinfectants labelled only in English because of “the extreme situation in which we find ourselves”, Trudeau said on Tuesday.
Presumably the TV announcement of the end of the world would not be valid unless equal weight was given to the bloke phlegming it out as “le fini du mondial”*.
*Yes, my French teacher was** indeed Miles Kington. Why, wasn’t yours?
**Actually, not true. A rugby master***. He was too bright to teach geography but even so, the accent wasn’t quite there.
*** And Fifi, some years later, where I did actually learn something although not entirely language.