The Convergence
Wednesday, June 18, 1997

Language police bust Quebec Web site

Court orders French translations

by David Nodwell,

Quebec culture cops are demanding more French on a Montreal-based Web site.

The Office de la Langue Francaise has sent a court order to Micro-Bytes, a computer retailer, demanding that it comply with Quebec's French Language Charter, Bill 101. It orders the company to pump up the French on its mostly-English site.

The site already has translations for some sections of its site. The court order demands complete translations, and French predominance throughout the site. For example, according to Micro-Bytes, the icons for French sections would have to be twice as big as the icons for English.

Bolstered by support from the Internet community, the company plans to fight the order.

"It is smart for a business in Quebec to have French on their site", writes Micro-Bytes Web master Andy Chen. But the province's presumption of control of the Internet irritates the company, so it will defy the order. We just don't like being bullied."

Relevant links: Microbytes

Copyright © 1997 by David Jones. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.