BFS From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 738 posts, RR: 2 Posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1158 times:
After reading the post about asking for the Air Mali timetables, I started to get worried. In August I am going to Université Laval in Québec for four months as part as my modern languages course, and now I am worried that, although I would understand precious little enough in France, I will be completely stuck in Québec. What are the diffences in both the spoken and written languages? Does it take long to get used to? Any advice to help prepare myself would be great!
Airplay From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1136 times:
I don't think you will have a problem. The differences between "Quebecois" and French are somewhat exagerated. It is more of a cultural difference than a language difference, although occasionally completely different words are used for certain items.
The French tend to form new words for new items and processes introduced by new technology whereas in Quebec they adopt a bastardized english name for many of these items. Either way, if you know English and French I wouldn't worry about understanding "Quebecois".
Sebolino From France, joined May 2001, 3681 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1108 times:
For instance, "I'll check the toaster" : a French would say "Je vais vérifier le grille-pain", and in Québec, it shall (les eaux) become : "Je vais checker le toaster"...
Well, "checker", like "business", like "compliant" and many other English-like words are the standard in some companies (like mine). And that's really funny to hear those greasy fat managers speaking those horrible Frenglish sentences with a strong and ridiculous accent.
I can't stop laughing when I think about the day a manager told in front of 150 engineers exactly this (it's true):
Il y a des people et des MF. Quand il n'y a plus assez de MF, il faut réduire le nombre de people
WHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. This idiot was sure to sound smart speaking like an asshole !!
Coming back to the Quebecquois: couldn't the accent be a problem ?
Qb001 From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2053 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1084 times:
My little letter to Air Mali was a big exaggeration about the way we can speak at times. If you hang out in some blue-collar districts of Montreal (Southwest or east end), you could have some problems. But people with a minimum of education are perfectly capable of using a formal French that you will easily understand. The university crowd you'll hang out with shouldn't be a problem.
The differences between Parisian French (which is one way of speaking French, among many in France itself) and Québecois (then again, which region of Québec are we referring to) are quite similar to the differences that exist in English between, say, London and New-York.
I do speak English, but I remember I had a tough time having "normal" conversations in some places in the US and Canada(Kentucky, St-Paul/Minneapolis and Newfoudland are memorable examples). A friend of mine who went in Scotland last year told me he didn't understand a thing over there.
So, no language is perfectly "universal". There are always regional characteristics and, usually, it adds to the richness of the language.
You should have a great time in Québec City. It's a well known fact that the girls in Montreal are very cute. It's a very well kept secret that those in Québec City are even cutter. And Québec City is the nicest city in North America. Lucky you...
Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
CPDC10-30 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 4780 posts, RR: 24
Reply 8, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1071 times:
I don't claim to be fluent in French at all, but generally I have found the Parisian accent much easier to understand than the Quebecois. The vocabulary isn't that much different, just the pronunciations. I find that Quebecois also tend to speak quite a bit faster.
I guess it is because it is because the Parisian accent is taught in the school system in Ontario...kind of strange acutally.
Quebec city is one of my favourite cities in Canada, but watch out for the slippery sidewalks and crazy drivers
LH423 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 6501 posts, RR: 54
Reply 9, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1035 times:
I started out learning French-French in schooll but over time my exposure to Québécois became such that my accent is very much Québécois itself, even some friend at Air France make fun of me because of my accent, but I need only remind one of them that he's got an accent toulousain and the chiding usually stops
It's all about what you get used to. I have French friends and I have Canadian friends and when I was learning French-French it was easier to understand my French friends. Now that I've spent more time around my Canadian friends (all my French friends moved home) and have visited Canada a lot it's now easier for me to understand the Québécois. It's all relative to what you're used to. You may have problems at first, but after a while you'll get used to the accent and it will become second nature to you.
Un fier Québécois de l'Amérique
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Iflyatldl From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1936 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1024 times:
Being a former Montrealer, it just different dialects- Parisian vs. Quebecious. And my French is SO rusty, it takes me two or three days to get into swing, when I go home. For the most part, if you have an encounter and appear to be struggling, they are for the most part, pretty friendly and helpful. As long as you make the effort, you really shouldn't have too much of a problem if at all. Montreal is a beautiful city and have GREAT festivles going on constantly-Comedy, Jazz etc. Enjoy your time in Montreal/ Laval( the North Island).
Ah, Summer, Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox and Beer.....