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Quebec investigating lack of French on DVDs
MONTREAL (CP) – The Quebec agency that enforces the province’s language law is investigating whether the packaging on some DVDs violates the Charter of the French Language.
Steve Gagne, a Quebec City resident, filed a complaint with l’Office de la language francaise last week along with a list of more than 900 DVDs he had found in area stores which had a French soundtrack but unilingual English packaging.
He sent a copy of his complaint to Line Beauchamp, the minister responsible for the language law, and the Parti Quebecois spokesman on language issues.
Gerald Paquette, a spokesman for l’Office, said the matter is being investigated and retailers and distributors will be informed of any transgressions.
Paquette said that under the law, a DVD with a French soundtrack should have a portion of the text on the sleeve in French as well.
He also noted that 85 per cent of the DVDs available in Quebec have French soundtracks, indicating that American distributors are increasingly respectful of the requests by the government to supply French-language content for French-speaking consumers in Quebec.
Beauchamp’s department studied the availability of French in films earlier this spring and found that 89 per cent of the 1,071 films shown in Quebec since 2002 and later released on DVD had French-language content.
However, only about half of 37 U.S. TV series released on DVD had a French soundtrack and 16 per cent had French subtitles.
Beauchamp recently wrote to the president of the Canadian association of film distributors asking that the organization’s members offer Quebec consumers more products in French.