Many people believe a language does not change in the different countries where it is spoken: Of course, it is not true at all. A clear example is Spanish and English. The Castilian spoken in Spain is not the same spoken in South America; the same issue between British and American English. And in French too.

It should be remembered that French is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, with two hundred million speakers; the third preferred foreign language among the second language learners.

In Canada, almost seven million people speak French. It is the co-official language of the country together with English and the only official language in the province of Quebec.

Here are some differences between Canadian French, so-called Québécois, and French from France.

Pronunciation

It is the main difference. French people are sometimes unable to understand Canadians perfectly. This happens because Canadian French accent resembles more than what was used in the French court of the seventeenth century:

 

  1. Words   end with “-oir”, such as the verb “avoir”, say “-oér”;”avoér”[av?e?].
  2. In front of the vowels “u” and “i”, the consonants “t” and “d” speak sounds “ts” and “dz”. For example:”importations.”
  3. The sound “e” at the end of words sometimes becomes an “a”. For example: “Je ne suis pas parfait”, where the “ai” in French is pronounced as “e”; in Canadian it is called “parfa”.
  4. Words end in “a” become a long “aa” vowel. For example: “Le Canadâ”

 

Vocabulary

Many expressions and archaisms of ancient French are used in Canada. Here are some examples:

  1. Shopping: Magasiner (CAN) – Faire les courses (FRA)
  2. Automobile: Char (CAN) – Vocations (FRA)
  3. A film: Une vue (CAN) – A film (FRA)
  4. The ball: La ballonne (CAN) – Le ballon (FRA)

Dialects

We need to take into account the large amount of dialects derived from the existing French, both in France, such as the Norman, Provençal, bourguignon, champenois,  and many more and in Canada, such as the Brayon, acadien, etc.

Québec accents

In Québecois, for example, a different construction is used for negation, or words are used which are used alternately depending on the situation, although they have the same meaning in French.

It refers, in particular, to the past generations habit to pronounce an S after T,  a Z after T, in front of certain vowels such as I or U.

Example:

petit = petsit

têtu = têtsu

Negative sentences

French spoken in Québec uses certain particular forms such as pus, pantoute  instead of  the French plus, pas du tout. In traditional French, negative sentences are built with the particle followed by a verb, together with pas or personne.

  • Lise ne parle pas (Lise doesn’t talk)
  • Lise ne parle à personne (Lise doesn’t talk to anyone)

 

Now you know that it is not the same thing learning French in France or in Canada. And remember: if a Frenchman is talking to son petit ami, a  Québec resident is talking to jase avec son chum. Both expressions mean talking to his/her boyfriend.

 

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