Learning & Development Sessions: "Bilingual wordplays in Brussels’ and Montreal’s linguistic landscape, a magnifying glass for language contact and conflict"

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


In Montreal, witty bilingual English-French puns appeared on shop signs, to slyly get around the restrictive language legislation. A couple of years later, similar techniques were used in logo’s for state-run businesses in Brussels (e.g. the Centre of Fine Arts was renamed “BOZAR”).
The analysis of the rationale behind these so-called “bilingual winks” (Lamarre 2014) and overall of people’s reaction to them appeared to be a surprisingly efficient magnifying glass in order to reveal positionings towards touchy language issues as well as power relations and stakes in both bilingual cities.
Period6 Oct 2021
Held atBritish Embassy (Brussels), United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionLocal


  • Linguistic Landscape
  • Brussels
  • Montreal
  • Language Contact
  • Language Conflict
  • Bilingualism
  • Multilingualism