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Does it matter that the Hab's coach doesn't speak French?

It's making headlines in Montréal: the new Habs head coach is a unilingual anglophone. I am not an obsessive hockey fan, in fact, I root for the Canucks anyway, but I am a staunch supporter of the French language. One radio commentator raised an important point yesterday: if a coach for Toronto only spoke French, would that be acceptable? Well, no, because his team wouldn't understand him. Do most, if not all, Habs understand English? As far as I know.

The coach needs to be able to communicate with his players. If his players all speak Swahili, he had better speak Swahili.

As much as I think it is important to know French if you live in Québec (as reflected by previous posts), is it really worth fretting about an interim coach's mother tongue?

I don't know. I want to know what you think!


http://www.montrealgazette.com/challenge+language+police+Habs+sagging+power+play/5883966/story.html#ixzz1h68atERK(external link)

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/12/19/habs-nation-draws-language-lines(external link)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/habs-owner-stickhandles-through-language-debate/article2277058/?utm_medium=Feeds%3A%20RSS%2FAtom&utm_source=Home&utm_content=2277058(external link)

I am thinking of the case of Hab's player Scott Gomez, who is American from Mexican and Colombian descent, who probably speaks only English and Spanish. Although I think he has the money (oh, yes, he does!) to hire a personal interpreter, I don't think that is very convenient during a hockey practice, where the francophone coach is telling him how to move, where to go, what to do.

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