Anglo of the Day: Andrew Chang

Co-anchor Andrew Chang speaks about growing up speaking English when one of his parents spoke Mandarin and the other Cantonese.
Andrew Chang is the co-anchor of CBC Television's supperhour news in Montreal. (CBC)

Andrew Chang is the co-anchor of CBC Television's supperhour news in Montreal. He shares his story and struggle with identifying as an anglophone in Quebec.  

Language has always been a funny thing for me.  

The fact that my mother tongue is English at all is unusual because my parents grew up speaking Chinese.  

They didn't speak the same Chinese though – my mother spoke Mandarin, and my father spoke Cantonese – so I grew up speaking the only common language they shared: English.  

Becoming fluent in French, in Quebec, was its own challenge. That was eight years ago and to be perfectly honest, it's still a challenge today.  

I shake my head when I can't think of the right word. Even the silly things bug me, like when I accidentally call someone 'vous' when I meant to call them 'tu,' or vice-versa. (I still don't understand exactly how much offense I'm causing when I mix the two up)  

But to me, that's all part of the fun.  

There are two official languages in Canada and one part of self-identifying as an anglophone is the recognition that I'm just halfway there. Being anglophone in Quebec gives me the best possible edge.  

The English language is core to who I am and Quebec's English-speaking history is so rich, I feel like I could spend a lifetime taking it all in. But I try to be mindful that it's just one part of life in this province. The francophone culture, too, has its story to tell.  

So today, I'm fluently bilingual. And in my line of work, being able to tell both sides of the story is a pretty smart thing to do.