Buonanotte restaurant, located in French-speaking Quebec, Canada, recently came under fire for using the words "pasta" and "calamari" on its menu, reports CBC. The reason? The words aren't paired with French translations on the menu, and that's a problem for Quebec's office of French language (OQLF).
CBC reported that the restaurant's owner, Massimo Lecas, was told by authorities that Italian words such as "bottiglia," "pasta" and "antipasto" should all have a French translation on the menu. He also claimed that he was told to translate the Italian words for meatball and calamari into French.
As the news (and outcry!) spread, the OQLF backed down a bit from the original claims. The office admitted that the requests were perhaps "overzealous" and explained that the inquiry began due to a citizen's complaint. Appearing on CJAD radio, Martin Bergeron of the OQLF explained that in order to promote French among the public, official policy says that the most predominant language on a menu must be French. Italian words are welcome to appear, but just not as frequently as French ones.
While Lecas' restaurant might be able to keep using the word "pasta," the social media damage has already been done. A parody Twitter account, @QuebecPasta, has been created, as well as a #pastagate hashtag. A few of our favorites: