Quebec restaurant in trouble with language police over grilled cheese

A grilled cheese restaurant in the Quebec City area is in trouble with the province’s language police for using the English words “grilled cheese” and “enjoy.

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Resto Mama Grilled Cheese recently received a letter from the Office québécois de la langue française ordering it to comply with French-language laws by February.

Co-owner Stephane Rheaume said the order doesn’t make sense because he has never had anyone ask for a “sandwich de fromage fondu,” the literal French translation of grilled cheese sandwich.

“Everybody comes in and wants a grilled cheese,” he said.

He has at least partially complied with the order by pasting a sticker that says “savourez” (French for “enjoy”) on the front sign that says “enjoy grilled cheese."

Quebec’s Charter of the French Language requires that public signs, posters and commercial advertising be in French. If another language is used, French must be “markedly predominant.”

The Quebec Court of Appeal ruled last year that companies like Best Buy, Old Navy and Costco were not breaking the language law, but the provincial Liberal government promised regulations to force companies to add French “descriptors” to the English-sounding company names.



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