Quebec language police order store owner to translate Facebook page into French

Giuseppe Macri Tech Editor
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The government of Quebec has ordered a boutique clothing store owner to translate her Facebook page into French.

Eva Cooper of Delilah {in the Parc}, located in both Ottawa and Chelsea, received a letter from Quebec’s language office mandating that she translate her English Facebook page into French by March 10 or face potential legal consequences.

“I was a little bit in shock. I was a bit taken aback,” Cooper said in a CBC News report. “It’s not like I’ve ever not followed the law with my businesses on the Quebec side.”

Cooper is bilingual, and caters to both English and French-speaking customers in the language they prefer. Cooper says she prefers to have an English social media presence, but occasionally mixes French words into her posts as well.

The letter came in response to a customer complaint against Cooper for violating Quebec’s Bill 101, which mandates all promotional material for a business be written in French, according to the provincial government official who wrote the letter.

“Interestingly enough, it doesn’t really state anything to do with Facebook, but it does talk about catalogs and brochures and flyers,” Cooper said, arguing that the law makes no mention of social media. “We are dealing with social media and the World Wide Web. It definitely is another area, and it’s a grey zone.”

In an appropriately snarky response, Cooper requested a copy of the letter be sent to her in English, and said she will do more research on the law before making any changes to the store’s Facebook page.

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