He grew up there; born and raised a Canadian. He went to a Canadian school, learning Canadian history and Canadian facts. He learned English the Canadian way, sometimes spelling like a Brit, other times like an American, and still others as a Frenchman. He learned French the Canadian way, throwing himself into confusion when he tried to use it in France.

He was surrounded by diversity: cultural, ethnic, lingual. His friends spoke Japanese, Filipino, Spanish, Ukrainian.

He spoke English, some French, a spattering of Russian and enough Japanese to answer the phone correctly.

His name is Jack, and he only recently realised his Anglocentrism.


"Isn't it odd?"

"What?" the other man asks.

"That this singer is from Russia, but sings in Persian," Jack clarifies. "I mean, the two languages aren't even related."

"No," the other agrees. "That is odd."

Silence falls over them, the Arabic howls of Natalya Shevlyakova echoing in Jack's earbuds. As her voice dies off, it is replaced with the high-pitched intonations of Utada Hikaru, delivering her latest English single.

"Hey," Jack says to grab his friend's attention, waking him from his own submersion in song. "Have you heard Utada's new one?


"Her English has got so much better. You can almost barely tell she's Japan..."

Jack's voice falters, he stares into space.

"...Japanese?" the other man queries.

"Yah," he answers, half-heartedly.

So why is it weird that Natalya speaks Persian? Russia is right on top of the middle east, and they occupied parts of it, didn't they?

Utada speaks Japanese and English. England and Japan are on opposite sides of the world, so why is it somehow more "normal" for her to know English?


He realised that's what Canada had taught him: English was the factor that brought unification, that allowed the joining of unlike entities. English is like glue.

And he's fine with that, 'cause he speaks it.


The End

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