Don’t worry, I watched it for you. I can’t vote in this election because I am not a Canadian citizen. So I decided to focus not on what the leaders were saying but how they were saying it. Here are 32 thoughts doing so:
(0. Nobody looks like they’re going to cook anything. Apparently we’re talking about another kind of “chefs”)
1. The debate is in French, so your name will be pronounced as a French name.
2. His name is not Mülker! It’s Mulcair!
3. Elizabeth, come see me for some French lessons
4. Gilles Duceppe a.k.a “I’m the only real francophone here”
5. Harper made a lot of progress with his French since the 2010 debate
6. French mayhem!! Tout le monde parle!
7. Trudeau is the only one who sounds the same in French and in English
8. Reassuring fact: Leaders can talk for 2 minutes and say nothing in French, too.
9. This debate looks more like a debate in France: everybody talks at the same time and tries to speak louder than everyone else.
10. This is a French debate, so let’s make it about Quebec. Forget about the rest of the francophones.
11. Gilles just said “Interdire un vote à visage découvert”. Y’all hear that? Cover your face, when you vote. (he obviously meant the opposite)
12. “Moderateur” is apparently the French word for “I am useless”.
13. Elizabeth is talking about aboriginal women when asked about the niqab. Did she understand what they were talking about or just decided to talk about something completely different?
14. It’s not easy to make promises in French when it’s not your first language.
15. Who’s this M. Mülker they keep talking about?
16. Refering to Jean Coutu. This one is obviously not for you francophones from outside Québec.
17. Gilles Duceppe is here to remind you of Quebec. Don’t forget: Je me souviens.
18. – You have 5 seconds. Madame May.
– Nous.. nous.. nous devons…
– Time’s up, thank you Madame May.
19. Debating in your second language is very hard and very frustrating.
20. Elizabeth’s French isn’t bad. It’s just hard for her to jump into the conversation. Spontaneity will come with practice, keep practicing, Liz!
21. Journalist apologized to kids – as if kids were watching this – for using the word “dégoutés” (disgusted). I think that’s okay, monsieur.
22. Gilles just dropped the M word: la monarchie.
23. Justin just remembered it’s actually easy for him to speak French. He suddenly sounds more confident and passionate.
24. 1h07 into the debate: French and English languages are used to oppose different parts of the country.
25. French isn’t Harper’s and May’s first language and they’re getting tired because they have to concentrate harder than the others. So now, they’re talking less.
26. They’re now talking about the environment. Elizabeth, this is your field. I hope you did your French homework.
27. Fun fact: Leaders nod with disdain in French the same way they do in English.
28. “Québec, la belle province” – Gilles Duceppe (every 7 minutes)
29. “Québec” might be tonight’s most-used word.
30. Harper’s body language is the same whether he’s speaking French or English, which is not the case for everybody using a second language. Psycholinguistics shows it’s usually a sign of confidence.
31. First “faux-ami” of the night- used by May: “actuellement” doesn’t mean “actually”.
32. Harper’s accent is getting weirder and weirder. I’ve been there, it’s normal when you’re not used to speak another language. But his accent is really weird, almost Russian sometimes.
French report cards for tonight: