Τextbook of Greek schools in Canada in the 1920s
Source: From the book "What time has not erased" by Michalis Mouratidis,
Our Greek is much better
The informant asserts that he knows Greek better than those who live in
Greece. At the same time, he criticizes the refusal of the Greek-Canadian
parents to send their children to Greek schools, such as Socrates and
Demosthenes, where they can fluently learn three languages (English, French,
RES.: Do you think you have forgotten your Greek?
AN.: No. I improved it, because I engage myself
in... I engage myself in... I'm having some lessons with Mr. Bouchard... uh...
in Greek. I go there, I have been attending courses for two or three years,
now that I'm free. No. Uh... my Greek is much better than my Greek when I was
in Greece, I think. But I had to lay more emphasis on French. This is what my
wife tells me: "Instead of studying Greek and doing all these things, you
should go to learn French". "Now at the age we are", I say to her, "forget
RES.: Do you think that... the Greek you speak
now... uh… is it different from the Greek you spoke before, in terms of...
let’ s say, your pronunciation or...?
AN.: No. Not for me. Now, as I told you, the Greek I
speak now is much better than the Greek spoken in Greece. We watch the TV here
and there. I believe my Greek is much... better now than when I was in Greece.
Okay.. we came as immigrants here, believing that, since we are in North
America, it is better for our kids to learn English. This could have been a
mistake. I do not know. For those who... but... the Greek schools are doing a
lot of work now. As I said. Who was here, in the fundraising that we did on
TV? He says: "If you go to an English school, you will learn only English. If
you go to a French school, you will only learn French. If you go to a Greek
school, you will only learn Greek. But if you come to the Socrates and
Demosthenes Schools, you will learn English, Greek and French". This...
unfortunately, this is not appreciated, it’s not appreciated so much by the
parents. Unfortunately. I try to explain it to them, but they cannot
understand it. "We pay," they say, "and we want...". Yes, you pay. You pay
four and a half thousand dollars a year, and your child learns three languages
fluently. But in order for your child to play hockey, you need three thousand
dollars a year. Just to play hockey. Εstimate the cost, I say, of the clothes
and those and [...], the sum of money mounts to about two and a half, three
thousand dollars for each child. I have two grandchildren... uh... and I know.
It's about three thousand dollars a year to play hockey. And do you complain
about the three and a half thousand dollars?