French in Quebec Canada is not as bad as you've been told.

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    Jan 10, 2011 4:27 PM GMT
    There is no difference whatsoever between Standard Quebec French and Standard/International French, except for a few minor differences in vocabulary and grammar (e.g.: In Canadian French, accents on capital letters are required but almost frowned upon in European French / verbs that have two conjugation forms: one form will be preferred by Quebecers and the other by Europeans, "suçon" is a hickey and "sucette" is a lollipop in Europe but the other way around in Quebec, etc.). Quebec French also has more vowel sounds than France French, which is actually an advantage for Quebecers who can imitate foreign accents more easily, whereas you'll recognize an European French-speaker in whichever foreign language they speak, since France French has a very limited sound range (almost monotonous). The major and most notable difference is the accent, which is often exaggerated by the French based on stereotypes. Informal Quebec French can be somewhat hard to understand at first but after a while anyone can get used to it. Most Quebec Francophones (unless you're uneducated) can easily switch from Quebec French to International/Standard French. So let's cut the crap: France French is also characterized by anglicisms. If you've been to Quebec or have Francophone friends who live in your city let me know what you think. I have lived in New York Boston and Philadelphia where at first I found it quite difficult to understand their language but once I got pass the few idioms I was fine. icon_biggrin.gif I love the american language and am pretty sure that it would not be the same without those beautiful dialects. Australians on the other hand throw me completely off but that's just my opinion and has no bearing whatsoever on what a beautiful people and country that it really is.
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    Jan 10, 2011 4:35 PM GMT
    All I can remember from working in the call center of a business machine company is the following:

    Me: "Bonjour, merci pour appeler XXX, comment est-ce que je peux vous aider?"

    Quebecois: " Bungjoor! La m'shinn eh brrizeh!"

    Me: "Bien, votre machine ne marche plus. Qu'est-ce qui c'est passe?"

    Q: "Bung, quang sh'y mett le papier, il s' devieng comme accordeong."

    ...
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    Jan 10, 2011 4:52 PM GMT
    Okay I think the customer said the machine is broken but that's all I got.Sorry.
    Where did you learn French as you don't seem to speak it very well?
  • TrentGrad

    Posts: 1541

    Jan 10, 2011 5:46 PM GMT
    As I recall, when I spoke with my brother in law, who is a Francophone Acadien who spent some time in Montreal, the transition between France French and Canadian French (?) was that French from France seemed more cumbersome. So much so that, when he'd have instructions in English and French, he'd use the English version.

    Likewise, I had a Francophone friend who was from Montreal, and he suggested France French was tedious...or at least, that was the way he explained it to me when I told him I'd tried to speak French while visiting Montreal, and a lot of times, the reaction I got was either someone answering me in English, or someone rolling their eyes, and then answering me in English.

    In Ontario, apparently while we were in school, we learned France French.

    Which really sucked, because if you haven't visited Quebec, and you do go, you're in for a treat. Quebecois men are beautiful and very sexy! Acadien men are beautiful and sexy as well...all the more so because they have no idea how hot they are!
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    Jan 10, 2011 7:06 PM GMT
    Andreas73 saidAll I can remember from working in the call center of a business machine company is the following:

    Me: "Bonjour, merci pour appeler XXX, comment est-ce que je peux vous aider?"

    Quebecois: " Bungjoor! La m'shinn eh brrizeh!"

    Me: "Bien, votre machine ne marche plus. Qu'est-ce qui c'est passe?"

    Q: "Bung, quang sh'y mett le papier, il s' devieng comme accordeong."

    ...


    The Q said "hi, the machine is broken" then "well, when I put the paper in, it goes like an accordion (ie all squashed into a fan)". N´est pas?
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    Jan 10, 2011 7:13 PM GMT
    weah, tray be end
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    Jan 10, 2011 7:30 PM GMT
    Lostboy said
    Andreas73 saidAll I can remember from working in the call center of a business machine company is the following:

    Me: "Bonjour, merci pour appeler XXX, comment est-ce que je peux vous aider?"

    Quebecois: " Bungjoor! La m'shinn eh brrizeh!"

    Me: "Bien, votre machine ne marche plus. Qu'est-ce qui c'est passe?"

    Q: "Bung, quang sh'y mett le papier, il s' devieng comme accordeong."

    ...


    The Q said "hi, the machine is broken" then "well, when I put the paper in, it goes like an accordion (ie all squashed into a fan)". N´est pas?


    C'est ca!You are right but I was thrown off by the other guys spelling.
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    Jan 10, 2011 7:33 PM GMT
    beneful1 saidweah, tray be end


    Do you mean Oui tres bien? Yes Very Well?
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    Jan 10, 2011 7:47 PM GMT
    Well, I was trying to showcase the pronunciation, hence the weird spelling... Every so often we'd get a guy from rural Quebec, and I had no clue what he was talking about. Luckily, we had a French Canadian on staff who would then take those calls.

    To answer the question about my French capabilities... I learned French from 7th grade on in a German school, the last 2 years (12 and 13) being an advanced placement class, so to speak. Over the years, I went on numerous trips to France, though they were not for immersion courses per se. I went to Lausanne, Switzerland for some immersion for 4 weeks to prepare for a possible job with the German state department. I used it again on the job for several years at said call center, but have not actively used it in a while.

    Canadian French seems more "chewy" than European French. The biggest difference in pronunciation I have noticed is the "ng" sound instead of the nasal "n", the rolled "r", as well as lenghtened and shifted vowels such as o to a in "bonjour", which sounds more like "bangjou."

    The way the Quebecoise co-worker explained it to me is that Canadian French is comparable to American English. The original languages evolved differently from the time the respective colonies were settled. Canadian French and American English are actually more closely related to the language used in the 17th century than their European counterparts. I did study American English at the university level to become a translator, so language evolution was part of it. I can dig up more info on that if anyone is interested.

    Dangc, bangjourrrr a tous!
  • disasterpiece

    Posts: 2991

    Jan 11, 2011 12:24 AM GMT
    Something I find pretty funny. Most Québécois are very able to imitate perfectly the France French accent. Although, France Frenchies can't imitate our accent, and they don't understand a word ! icon_rolleyes.gif

    But Andres73 is right, it's even worst when you go in region (Gaspésie, Saguenay, Beauce especially), those accents are strong, even I can't really understand. But I guess it's the same... Lyonnais accent in France is totally different from Paris accent, I understand Parisiens very well, but when I had a talk with a Lyonnais, I couldn't understand a word. Funny thing is, Lyonnais learn to speak with the Parisien accent.... And Texas accent is different from New York...
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    Jan 11, 2011 12:40 AM GMT
    I wonder if Red Vespa will resurrect his profile and racist rants on French Canadians?
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    Jan 11, 2011 2:36 PM GMT
    Don't look for trouble until trouble looks for you.
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    Jan 11, 2011 3:00 PM GMT
    I dont understand a word of Quebecois.... let them speak France French and Ill understand...

    Not that I particularly like france French.. I hate speaking it.. it feels to me like my lips and tongue are having seizures!!!!
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    Jan 11, 2011 3:25 PM GMT
    Tout à fait Thierry, it's true that French Canadians are sexy and painfully so too! Mais je ne peux pas du tout les comprendre icon_confused.gif

    Case in point, met a gorgeous québécois here in Lausanne, but I didn't know it at first. My French was coming along and I could understand the vaudois somewhat... okay. However, when I met him in person, whole phrases were suddenly weird and incomprehensible to me. At first I thought it was me, then I asked him whether he was from Suisse. I let out a huge 'aaaaah' when he told me he was from Montréal. Yes, I learnt Standard French and am more accustomed to Parisian and Vaudois French.

    The differences I noticed were that he pronounced the 'r' in a different way, the vowels were more open, the nasal vowels were just... icon_eek.gif I can't quite explain, except to say it's like an English-speaker would attempt to pronounce them.

    He was the dreeeeeeeamiest guy I've met here yet icon_redface.gif total arsehole though ^^
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    Jan 11, 2011 3:28 PM GMT
    Who the fuck ever thought that Quebec French was vastly different then French French? Ya they have a couple different words, but it isn't two different languages, it that stupid accent.

    The only difference is their terrible fucking accent that makes understanding French even for native or bilinguals difficult at first. I have 2 quebecois colleagues and they know how to hide their accent really well. I also had a quebecois student and I had a lot of trouble understand him especially after his nasals.
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    Jan 11, 2011 3:30 PM GMT
    Disasterpiece said But I guess it's the same... Lyonnais accent in France is totally different from Paris accent, I understand Parisiens very well, but when I had a talk with a Lyonnais, I couldn't understand a word. Funny thing is, Lyonnais learn to speak with the Parisien accent.... And Texas accent is different from New York...


    Lyonnais actually learn Français Standard (not necessarily Français Parisien). When I was in school they used to always say Français standard was the same as Français Parisien but that has changed as the Parisian accent has some distinct features that are not a part of Français Standard.

    O, and don't fuck with Lyonnais, our accent is pretty amazing.
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    Jan 11, 2011 3:41 PM GMT
    Preface: I have rather strong French skills having taken French language and literature courses in college.

    It was quite telling that when I went to Montreal, I could easily understand my friend's boyfriend who is French while I had a much more difficult time understanding my friend who is Quebecois. It was definitely an accent issue because once I knew what he was attempting to say, I had no issue with comprehension. However, I needed an interpreter at times while walking around the city.

    Personally, I thought that the Quebecois accent was similar to speaking french after being hit in the face with a frying pan. I thought that it was quite slurred and words were not ennunciated at all whereas "french french" had an almost lyrical quality with proper diction, etc. Your mileage may vary, of course.
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    Jan 11, 2011 3:41 PM GMT
    Do any other French speaking parts of the world (besides Wallonie (B) and Vaud (CH)) use septante, octante, and nonante instead of (the more cumbersome) soixante-dix, quatre-vingt, and quatre-vingt-dix?
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    Jan 11, 2011 3:42 PM GMT
    chemguy79 said
    Personally, I thought that the Quebecois accent was similar to speaking french after being hit in the face with a frying pan.


    THIS is the best description of Québecois yet. icon_cool.gif
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    Jan 11, 2011 5:26 PM GMT
    Andreas73 saidDo any other French speaking parts of the world (besides Wallonie (B) and Vaud (CH)) use septante, octante, and nonante instead of (the more cumbersome) soixante-dix, quatre-vingt, and quatre-vingt-dix?


    1.) quatre-vingt is not cumbersome, it is elegant
    2.) Canadians and some parts of Africa use septante, octante and nonante
    2b.) The Walloons barely understand quatre-vingt it is hilarious imo.
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    Jan 11, 2011 5:31 PM GMT
    Andreas73 saidDo any other French speaking parts of the world (besides Wallonie (B) and Vaud (CH)) use septante, octante, and nonante instead of (the more cumbersome) soixante-dix, quatre-vingt, and quatre-vingt-dix?


    Yeah, those numerals are ridiculous, ugh
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    Jan 11, 2011 9:51 PM GMT
    kangourou saidTout à fait Thierry, it's true that French Canadians are sexy and painfully so too! Mais je ne peux pas du tout les comprendre icon_confused.gif

    Case in point, met a gorgeous québécois here in Lausanne, but I didn't know it at first. My French was coming along and I could understand the vaudois somewhat... okay. However, when I met him in person, whole phrases were suddenly weird and incomprehensible to me. At first I thought it was me, then I asked him whether he was from Suisse. I let out a huge 'aaaaah' when he told me he was from Montréal. Yes, I learnt Standard French and am more accustomed to Parisian and Vaudois French.

    The differences I noticed were that he pronounced the 'r' in a different way, the vowels were more open, the nasal vowels were just... icon_eek.gif I can't quite explain, except to say it's like an English-speaker would attempt to pronounce them.

    He was the dreeeeeeeamiest guy I've met here yet icon_redface.gif total arsehole though ^^


    Maybe He was English and trying to pull your leg.These things happen also.
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    Jan 27, 2011 1:52 AM GMT
    I would have imaged that more Quebecois would have commented on this thread.

    I think you're all just being a bunch of little babies icon_razz.gif The nature of accents is that it becomes harder for a person to understand those which are nto their own. It's just the way it is!
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    Jan 27, 2011 2:01 AM GMT
    French canadians are the best
    Why do you think all the French France people are moving in Montreal? icon_razz.gif
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    Jan 27, 2011 2:25 AM GMT
    snowboarder saidFrench canadians are the best
    Why do you think all the French France people are moving in Montreal? icon_razz.gif


    I dunno, but I think they're driving all the Quebcois out west! icon_razz.gif