Quebec restaurant latest to rename food product in rebuke to Russia

Russian-made vodka, a drink that was popularized in the West by James Bond and is among Russia’s most identifiable exports, is now the target of international backlash. New Hampshire announced it was removing “Russian-made and branded spirits” from state stores. Quebec public liquor stores are removing 10 Russian-made spirits from their offerings.

Russia has also found itself increasingly excluded from world sporting and cultural events. The International Olympic Committee has recommended that Russian athletes be barred from sporting events, and the Eurovision Song Contest, the hugely popular singing contest, has also banned Russia from participating.

​In the French-speaking world, calling Mr. Poutine “Poutin” in French can be a matter of diplomacy, although there is disagreement in some linguistic circles about the origin of the pronunciation.

In French, the English word “Putin” is pronounced the same as “putain”, a very popular expletive. One theory as to why Mr. Putin is referred to as Poutine in French is that spelling his name as “Poutine” would mislead French speakers into pronouncing it as their famous insult, while presenting a diplomatic challenge at summit meetings, between others.

But several linguists have dismissed the insult theory.Tatiana Bottineau, a professor of Russian linguistics at the Institut National des Langues et Civilizations Orientales in Paris, said Putin was written and pronounced like the Quebec fatty dish, “poutine”, because the transliteration of the Russian president’s word name from Cyrillic in French was different from its English transliteration.

Sergei Sakhno, professor of Russian linguistics at the Sorbonne University in Paris, observed that such differences in transliteration also explained why, for example, Russian author Alexander Pushkin was written in French as “Alexandre Pushkin “.

Mr. Proulx said he was deeply moved after his gesture was recognized across the Atlantic in Ukraine. Natalia Moussienko, a researcher at Kyiv’s Modern Art Research Institute, told Radio Canada, the French-language Canadian broadcaster, that she applauded the restaurant. She congratulated him on his decision to “DePoutineize poutine”.

Adèle Cordonnier contributed reporting from Paris.

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