February 26, 2007

104: Ill Communication

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I like to think I can understand french, living as I do in an officially bilingual nation. Truth is, I don't. But I also do – somewhat. Working for many years at a national non-profit conservation organization, my knowledge of our second language is limited primarily to the words of the trade: I know my ducks in french (ruddy duck, my fave = érismature rousse). I know a volunteer is a bénévole. And a few other things. So for Illustration Friday's current theme of communication, I present this. Dropped into an actual confrontation with a francophone, it's fair to say I would be equally inept at conversation as this poor guy.

Incidentally, please do not misconstrue that I believe all french-speaking folk to be six-eyed – I was merely trying to better highlight how lost the chap on the left actually is. Click here for a closer, more detailed look at the finished product (then click on the magnifying glass icon).

12 comments:

studio lolo said...

What great emotions these characters portray! Years ago my Uncle (in Ottawa) worked as an artist for the Canadian Gov't in the Health, Education and Welfare dept. He designed Olympic logos, etc. Anyway, he was in his fifties when it became mandatory for every gov't employee to be bilingual. It was very hard on him. Today he's 79 and quite fluent in the language (which I find beautiful.) Still, your point was well illustrated!

Mark Kruk said...

Much like you, I wouldn't fair well in a French conversation. I do like your Beastie Boys reference in the title though.

I've lost all my illustration skills. Not that I had many to begin with. :) My mom had me paint a bird house for my sister's wedding social. I admit I rushed through it and went totally off what I could picture in my head, but it didn't turn out to well. I think I'll stick to the digital realm.

Oh yeah my point. . . it's awesome to see all the great artwork you come up with. You make me want ot keep trying. Good stuff.

catnapping said...

woah. this has to be one of the best 3 illustrations this week. beautiful work. very effective.

a.g.barrows said...

Mais.. il est très joly!
aha..
Great idea, I like it..

buep said...

he! great illo!

Michelle Lana said...

Hehe....totally awesome! Great way to communicate! love the details!

Ellen said...

LOVE this illo!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Natura said...

Great work and characters, love the force in the words

Arkonbey said...

It's very nice to see a well-executed conceptual image. Nice. I also appreciate the style. Nice use of type and image.

The first two things I thought of:

> David Sedaris' "Me talk pretty one day"

> Steve Martin's bit where he went to France and was disgusted to find that the French had a different word for everything!

Jeope said...

Thanks, people.

Mark, remember what Corey Hart said: never surrender!

paula said...

Nice piece, Jeope, and one I can certainly relate to. I live in Montreal (most of the time) and speak no French. The only phrase I know is, "Je ne parle pas francais." I've got that down good.

lil kim said...

Wow this is a great illo! i was born in Montreal and was lucky enough to grow up speaking both languages. Now that I live in Australia where most people don't have a 2nd language, I realize how lucky I was. And yes, it's funny how Canada is technically a bilingual country but most of it is just lip service for Quebec!