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January 13, 2011


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Todd Cpoles

Montreal also had the Canadian debut of the Scion iQ.


'Zoom' doesn't mean anything in French, that's why. Nothing to do with language police - have a look in a comic book from France some time and see what their sound effects are like.

By the way, neither Montreal nor Quebec takes an accent when written and pronounced in English. But your French is better than LeBlanc's.

Jim Kenzie

Hi Todd:

There were several Canadian premieres; I was concentrating on the North American debuts.

Jim Kenzie

Jim Kenzie

Hi Larry:

Don't know how they'd translate BIFF!!! and ZOWIE!!! in French comic books.

But if you go to the Mazda France web site (predictably,
www.mazda.fr) the first two words you'll hear if you have your speakers turned on are "ZOOM" and "ZOOM".

You'll also see those words in written form no fewer than four times on the upper left of the home page.

So sorry, I have to blame the language police for this one!

I figured since I was writing that post from Quebec, I'd put the accents in. Not easy to do with an English keyboard; I somehow have got the word 'cafe' into my WORD Spell Check dictionary WITH an 'accent ague', so when I need one, I type cafe in, then cut-and-paste as needed.

The Spell Check here in this blogging software isn't as accommodating.

As for my French being better than LeBlanc's; how's that for irony?

Jim Kenzie


Biff is usually PAF, not sure about zowie. Mazda wanted the same slogan worldwide but reviews of Mazdas in France have explained that it meant vroum. So yes, language cops were involved in QC, but a slogan that means nothing in English has sometimes encountered puzzlement/mockery as well (viz. Fahrvergnuegen).

Mathieu P.

Thats a pretty bad example because Mazda sells more cars in Québec than in France, and Québec is also where Mazda has the biggest market share worldwide. So, the "Vroum Vroum" translation has nothing to do with your "language police", only better reaching a key market.

André Chénier

As a lifetime Francophone, I can assure you that "Zoom-Zoom" means absolutely nothing in French. 70 years ago when I was playing with my toy cars, I was saying "Vroum-Vroum".

Language police my eye. Francophones have decided that they will be able to live their lives in their first language in Quebec, just like Anglophones do in Ontario. You do not have "language police" in Ontario because Francophones living there do not try to impose their language on the majority. Get over it.

André Chénier

I don't know why my response to your comments about "language police" in Quebec were not accepted.

I would suggest that you kindly refrain from making commentary for which you are not prepared to accept polite but direct rebuttal.

To add a positive note to this post, I will tell you that fully agree with the great majority of your views concerning cars and driving, and I ALWAYS drive in the cruising lane except when passing.

Jim Kenzie

Bonjour Andre:

So, 'Zoom Zoom' means something in French in FRANCE?

Just like 'STOP' means something in French in France, but not in Quebec?

There are a hell of lot more Anglophones in Quebec than there are Francophones in Ontario, but most of our road signs in Ontario are in both official languages. Not, as would make sense if size-of-population were the issue, in Mandarin or Cantonese.

Who needs to get over what, exactly?


'Jacques' Kenzie

Jim Kenzie

Bonjour encore, Andre:

Je m'excuse; no censorship here! It just sometimes takes me longer than I or my on-line editor wishes to get around to posting Comments.

Glad to see we agree of most things however.

Salut encore,


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