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Canadian French

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Canadian French
Français canadien
Native toCanada (primarily Quebec, Eastern Ontario and New Brunswick, but present throughout the country); smaller numbers in emigrant communities in New England, United States
Native speakers
7,300,000 (2011 census)[1]
Official status
Official language in
Recognised minority
language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3

Canadian French (French: français canadien) is a term that refers to French language spoken in Canada.

It is used as an umbrella term for the French used in Canada including Quebec French. Formerly it was used to refer solely to Quebec French and the closely related varieties of Ontario (Franco-Ontarian) and Western Canada—in contrast with Acadian French, which is spoken in some areas of eastern Quebec, New Brunswick (including the Chiac dialect), and some areas of Nova Scotia (including the dialect St. Marys Bay French). PEI and Newfoundland & Labrador have Newfoundland French.

In 2011, the total number of native French speakers in Canada was around 7.3 million (22% of the entire population), while another 2 million spoke it as a second language. At the federal level, it has official status alongside English. At the provincial level, French is the sole official language of Quebec as well as one of two official languages of New Brunswick, and jointly official (derived from its federal legal status) in Nunavut, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories. Government services are offered in French at select localities in Manitoba and Ontario (through the French Language Services Act) and, to a lesser extent, elsewhere in the country, depending largely on the proximity to Quebec and/or Québécois influence on any given region.

New England French (a dialect spoken in northern New England) is essentially a variety of Canadian French and exhibits no particular differences from the Canadian dialects, unlike Louisiana French and Louisiana Creole.[2]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ How Similar Are Québec French and Metropolitan French?
  • ✪ French lesson on Canadian French part 1
  • ✪ French in Quebec vs France: interview en français with subtitles (accent, attitude, history, curses)
  • ✪ Easy French 12 - Montreal
  • ✪ French Canadian Expressions | Learn French #3


Hello everyone, welcome to the LangFocus Channel and my name is Paul. Today, we'll be discussing the question, "How similar are Metropolitan French and Quebec French or Québécois?" In other words, "how similar is the French spoken in France to the French spoken in Quebec?" French is one of the world's major languages and it's spoken in dozens of different countries and everywhere that it's spoken the standard variety or the formal variety that's learned at school and used in the media is essentially the same as metropolitan French based on the Parisian variety of French. In informal speech however, there is some variation with local differences in accent and vocabulary. There's one major variety of French that is particularly distinct from Metropolitan French And that is the French of Quebec, a culturally distinct French-speaking province in Canada. French speakers from France often say that they have trouble understanding the French spoken in Quebec. I should point out that the formal variety of French used in Quebec is virtually identical to metropolitan French. The differences lie in the informal varieties of Quebec and in informal speech there can be a considerable amount of difference. But why is Quebec French distinct from metropolitan French? The reason lies in the settlement of New France and the later isolation of Quebec from France. New France was an area in North America that was colonized by France before the creation of Canada and the United States. The first settlers in New France were not mainly from the Paris area but from regions like Normandy and Brittany where regional sister languages of French, langues d'oïl, were spoken rather than French itself. But since French settlers were outnumbered by English settlers, the King of France, King Louis XIV, sent female settlers, mainly from the Paris area to help bolster their numbers through marriage and childbirth. Since these women were mainly from the Paris area they brought with them their parisian variety of French, which contributed to the decline of the regional languages and the adoption of French among the settler population. And of course the interaction between speakers of different regional languages encouraged the use of French as a lingua franca. As a result, the language that developed in New France was similar to the language spoken by the King and the aristocracy, but was also influenced by the regional languages of the settlers. The French language became adopted throughout the various regions of France LATER, after the French Revolution of the late 18th century. The variety of French that became the new widespread standard language was not the French of the King and the aristocracy, but rather the French of the bourgeois class who led the revolution. Prior to the French Revolution, New France had already been conquered by the British in 1760 and its elite had returned to France. The British soon decided to allow the French-speaking population in what is now Quebec to continue using their language as a way to prevent them from joining the American Revolution against the British, which was taking place to the south. Quebec therefore remained under British rule but was isolated from France. The French language in Quebec began developing in its own direction while the French spoken in France developed in its own direction. VOCABULARY. The vocabulary of Quebec French differs from that of metropolitan French in several ways. First, the two varieties of French have taken in loanwords from English during different time periods. The French of Quebec was infused with English vocabulary during the period from 1850 to 1960, for example, the word for job. In Quebec French, there's "une job", in metropolitan French, "un travail"/"un emploi". In Quebec French, "weird" and metropolitan French, "bizarre". In Quebec French, there's "chum" meaning a male friend or boyfriend and in metropolitan French, that would be "mon petit ami" or "un copain". In Quebec French, there's "fun". In Metropolitan French, it's "amusant" "Fun" also appears in the phrase "avoir du fun", which is a direct translation of the English expression "to have fun". In Metropolitan French, it would be "s'amuser". Expressions like this are called "calques" or loan translations. Another example is "ça fait du sens". This is translated from English, "that makes sense". In Metropolitan French, it would be "ça a du sens". And in Quebec French people say "bienvenue" to mean "you're welcome". But in Metropolitan French they would say, "de rien". "Bienvenue" means "welcome" in all varieties of French, but not "you're welcome" in response to "thank you". Note that these are informal québécois words, which are not considered proper in formal Quebec French, which mirrors the standards of Metropolitan French. Since 1960, there have been French Language protection laws in Quebec and a general distaste towards anglicisms. Metropolitan French, on the other hand, doesn't have the same protective attitude and in recent decades has been more influenced by English, so it contains recent English loanwords that are not used in Quebec. For example, in Metropolitan French they say "email" but in Quebec French they say "un courriel". In Metropolitan French, there's "smartphone". In Quebec, they say "téléphone intelligent". Stop signs in France say "STOP". This is not really a part of the French language, it's just an internationally used street sign, but in Quebec the signs say "ARRÊT". Another aspect of vocabulary that differs is that there are some words or expressions in Quebec French that seem older or more traditional to speakers of Metropolitan French. The québécois word for shoes is "des souliers", in metropolitan French, it's "des chaussures". The québécois word for car, "un char". In France, it's "une voiture." In France "char" means tank, as in, tank of war. Another example is the way to say "I miss you" in Quebec. It's "je m'ennuie de vous". In France, that would sound rather old-fashioned and the way people would usually say it is "vous me manquez." The French of Quebec also contains numerous slang expressions and swear words that are taken from the Catholic religion. Perhaps the most famous swear word of Quebec is "tabernak". Others include "câlice" meaning chalice, "osti" meaning host or communion bread. These words are only offensive in Quebec and nowhere else in the francophone world, as far as I know, and the French of Quebec has also just developed some of its own vocabulary and expressions. For example, to go shopping in Quebec French its "faire du magasinage", in Metropolitan French, it's "faire des courses"/"faire du shopping." GRAMMAR. Written French and Quebec is grammatically identical to Metropolitan French but in informal speech you might hear some differences in grammar. "Tu" is used after verbs as a yes-or-no question marker. "T'as-tu une blonde?" This means "Do you have a girlfriend?" In metropolitan French, it's "t'as une petite amie?" Notice here that "tu" is being used as a yes-or-no question marker and not as a pronoun. Also notice the québécois word for girlfriend, "blonde". "C'est-tu prêt?" this means "Is it ready?" In Metropolitan French, that would be "C'est prêt?" "Est-ce que c'est prêt?" Notice that the subject is third person. To be clear, "tu" is nothing but a question marker here. It's not the second person pronoun "tu." It's also used for emphasis or exclamation "c'est-tu choquant!" - "that's so shocking". "C'est-si choquant!" Next, in Quebec French, "que" is used as the relative pronoun more often than in Metropolitan French. "Je cherche le livre que j'ai besoin". This means "I'm looking for the book that I need". In Metropolitan French, this would be "Je cherche le livre dont j'ai besoin". In a sentence with an embedded question, in Metropolitan French you use a relative pronoun, but in Quebec French the interrogative pronoun is used. "Je fais qu'est ce que je veux." This means "I do what I want." In Metropolitan French, "je fais ce que je veux." Next, in Quebec French, the explicit subject of a sentence is often said as a tag, with a pronoun as the subject in the main clause. For example "Mon boss, y me met tellement en colère," This means "My boss makes me so angry." Notice how the subject my boss is set aside at the beginning, separate from the main clause, and then the pronoun "y" which is a contraction of "il" appears in the main clause. In metropolitan French this would be, "Mon patron me met tellement en colère." In Quebec French, "Son plan, c'est de voyager autour du monde." This means "his plan is to travel around the world." In Metropolitan French. It would be, "Son projet est de voyager autour du monde." This type of tag is also used in Metropolitan French but is much more common in Quebec French. Next, there are some differences in imperative forms in Quebec French, "Dis-moé le!" This means "tell me" or "tell it to me". In Metropolitan French, "Dis-le-moi!" You can see that the object pronoun "le" is positioned differently. Now the negative form, "Dis-moé le pas!" In metropolitan French "Ne me le dis pas!" You can see that in the negative, the syntax is quite different. In Metropolitan French, the object pronoun "me" is used instead of the French emphatic pronoun "moi", often pronounced "moé" in Quebec and it comes before the verb as does the object pronoun "le". In Quebec French, they come after the verb, as they do in the affirmative. accent probably the biggest difference between the French of Quebec and metropolitan France simply lies in accent without previous exposure to The French spoken in Quebec French speakers from Europe typically have trouble understanding it and this differs depending on the socio-economic background and the region of the speaker the consonants are not so different for the most part, but there are some differences in Quebec French before the vowels E and E the consonants to end become Anza gg Whereas in metropolitan French it's pronounced 2d There are several different Rohtak sounds used throughout Quebec including trill sounds as opposed to the uvular fricative of metropolitan French however This is also true in France where some regional accents have trills rather than fricatives and in Quebec informal speech and in many areas The uvular fricative is also used So the situation in Quebec and France is similar except that in France the shift towards the uvular fricative is more advanced Vowels one difference is that nasal vowels are quite different in Quebec French There's cat and in metropolitan French, there's cone Another difference is that in Quebec French long vowels and nasal vowels come diphthongs in open syllables So in Quebec French we have fight but in metropolitan French, there's fit in Quebec French We have pie in Metropolitan French it's damn related to that Quebec French retains some long vowels from older French that have become short in metropolitan French for example in Metropolitan French these two words sound the same MIT MIT but in Quebec French they don't Miette knit These are just a couple of examples but there are numerous distinctions like these in vowels some words also become contracted in Quebec French, for example Su meaning on followed by a definite article gets contracted soon sir see Now, let's look at a few sentences to compare Here's a sentence meaning I fell in love with her because she's beautiful in Quebec French She told me on I'm all have a girl I call scary Bell and in metropolitan French Ashita miru heard in Pascal e-bill here We can see a québécois expression tombe on a move avec which is a calque of the English expression fall in love with and here we see two different phrases meaning because a Kolka is an older phrase, which is obsolete in metropolitan French but is still used in Quebec Another pair of sentences this time They mean I want to go out with my friends on the weekend in Quebec French for salsa hanggang often salmon And in metropolitan French shiva-shakti avec. Mes. Amis a weekend in the Quebec French sentence We see on gang which means with a group of friends or colleagues. This phrase is strictly a québécois phrase So in metropolitan French, you'd say something like a Vic Meza me next we see the phrase Offenders a man, which means on the weekend in metropolitan French the usual term is the weekend or in this context So weekend, this is an Anglicism that has not entered Quebec French due to its language protection efforts in Metropolitan French someone might say send us a map. But to refer to the end of the work week like Thursday Friday before the weekend Now let's look at one last pair of sentences this time. They mean I'm going to park the car here and ride my bike in Quebec French ripoff kilala see Imhotep stooped and in metropolitan French Juve gamut of witchery see Upon movie Lu here we see a uniquely québécois phrase Park inertia With the verb parque that comes from the english word park And again, we see the word siya meaning car and notice that the words for bicycle are different in Quebec The common word is bicyclette. This word isn't a loanword from english In fact, it appeared in French before the word bicycle appeared in English It's a standard French word but is generally considered old-fashioned to speakers of metropolitan French who mainly used the word Velo As we've seen the French of Quebec has a number of different features that distinguish it from metropolitan French But it seems to me that people sometimes Exaggerate these differences. There are significant differences in accent But that seems like something that would cease to be much of a problem with significant exposure to it in terms of vocabulary Quebec has its own informal expressions and slang. But so do other french-speaking areas including Paris in terms of grammar There are some little things here and there but nothing too shocking And of course formal French in Quebec is very close to formal French in France albeit with a different Accent the question of the day for native speakers of French from Quebec from your point of view How different is your variety of French from the French spoken in Europe and for native speakers of French from Europe? how well can you understand the French spoken in Quebec and For learners of French assuming that you're learning metropolitan French. What do you think of the French spoken in Quebec? is it hard to make sense of be sure to follow Lange focus on Facebook Twitter and Instagram and once again Thank you to all of my patreon supporters, especially my top tier patreon supporters. These wonderful people right here on the screen many Thanks to them and to everyone. Thank you for watching and have a nice day



Quebec French is spoken in Quebec. Closely related varieties are spoken by francophone communities in Ontario, Western Canada and the New England region of the United States, differing only from Quebec French primarily by their greater conservatism. The term Laurentian French has limited applications as a collective label for all these varieties, and Quebec French has also been used for the entire dialect group. The overwhelming majority of francophone Canadians speak this dialect.

Acadian French is spoken by over 350,000 Acadians in parts of the Maritime Provinces, Newfoundland, the Magdalen Islands, the Lower North Shore and the Gaspé peninsula.[3] St. Marys Bay French is a variety of Acadian French spoken in Nova Scotia.

Métis French is spoken in Manitoba and Western Canada by the Métis, descendants of First Nations mothers and voyageur fathers during the fur trade. Many Métis spoke Cree in addition to French, and over the years they developed a unique mixed language called Michif by combining Métis French nouns, numerals, articles and adjectives with Cree verbs, demonstratives, postpositions, interrogatives and pronouns. Both the Michif language and the Métis dialect of French are severely endangered.

Newfoundland French is spoken by a small population on the Port-au-Port Peninsula of Newfoundland. It is endangered—both Quebec French and Acadian French are now more widely spoken among Newfoundland francophones than the distinctive peninsular dialect.

Brayon French is spoken in the area around Edmundston, New Brunswick, and, to a lesser extent, Madawaska, Maine, and Beauce of Quebec. Although superficially a phonological descendant of Acadian French, analysis reveals it is morphosyntactically identical to Quebec French.[4] It is believed to have resulted from a localized levelling of contact dialects between Québécois and Acadian settlers.

New England French is spoken in parts of New England in the United States. Essentially a local variant of Quebec French, it is one of three major forms of French that developed in what is now the U.S., the others being Louisiana French and the nearly-extinct Missouri French. It is endangered, though its use is supported by bilingual education programs in place since 1987.[2]


There are two main sub-varieties of Canadian French. Joual is an informal variety of French spoken in working-class neighbourhoods in the province of Quebec. Chiac is a blending of Acadian French syntax and vocabulary with numerous lexical borrowings from English.

Historical usage

The term "Canadian French" was formerly used to refer specifically to Quebec French and the closely related varieties of Ontario and Western Canada descended from it.[5] This is presumably because Canada and Acadia were distinct parts of New France, and also of British North America, until 1867. However, today the term is not usually deemed to exclude Acadian French.

Phylogenetically, Quebec French, Métis French and Brayon French are representatives of koiné French in the Americas whereas Acadian French, Cajun French, and Newfoundland French are derivatives of non-koiné local dialects in France.[6]


France Canada Translation
Glace Crème glacée Ice cream
Pastèque Melon d’eau Watermelon
Myrtille Bleuet Blueberry
Un steward, une hôtesse de l’air Un(e) agent(e) de bord Flight attendant
Citronnade Limonade Lemonade
Petit déjeuner Déjeuner (Belgium and Switzerland too) Breakfast
Déjeuner Dîner (Belgium and Switzerland too) Lunch
Dîner Souper (Belgium and Switzerland too) Dinner/Supper
(Téléphone) portable (Téléphone) cellulaire Cellphone/Mobile phone
Maillot de bain Costume de bain Swimsuit
Shopping Magasiner / Magasinage Shopping
Pékin Beijing Beijing

Parking (Parc de) stationnement Parking
Gomme/Gomme à effacer Efface/Gomme à effacer Eraser/Rubber
Weekend Fin de semaine Weekend
(Woman): Copine/Meuf/Petite amie

(Man): Copain/Mec/Petit ami

(Woman): Petite amie/Blonde

(Man): Petit ami/Chum

Cartable Sac d’école/Sac à dos Backpack/Schoolbag
(Coupon) réduction/Bon réduction (Coupon de) rabais Discount (coupon)
Chewing-gum Gomme/Gomme à mâcher Chewing gum
Caddie/Chariot Chariot Shopping trolley
Ferry/Bac Traversier Ferry/Ferry Boat
Un job (masculine) Une job (feminine) A job (colloquial)
Monter (à bord) Embarquer Climb on board/Get in (a vehicle)
Aspirateur Balayeuse Vacuum cleaner/Hoover
Milkshake Lait frappé Milkshake
Mixeur Mélangeur Blender
Tuto Astuce Tutorial (Video type on the Internet)
Sponsoriser Commanditer/Adhérer Sponsor
Buanderie Salle de lavage (inside a house) Utility room/Laundry room

See also

Notes and references


  1. ^ French (Canada) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ a b Ammon, Ulrich; International Sociological Association (1989). Status and Function of Languages and Language Varieties. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 306–308. ISBN 0-89925-356-3. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  3. ^ Ethnologue report for Canada
  4. ^ Geddes, James (1908). Study of the Acadian-French language spoken on the north shore of the Baie-des-Chaleurs. Halle: Niemeyer; Wittmann, Henri (1995) "Grammaire comparée des variétés coloniales du français populaire de Paris du 17e siècle et origines du français québécois." in Fournier, Robert & Henri Wittmann. Le français des Amériques. Trois-Rivières: Presses universitaires de Trois-Rivières, 281–334.[1]
  5. ^ Francard and Latin, in Le régionalisme lexical, write:
    "Le français du Québec a rayonné en Ontario et dans l'ouest du Canada, de même qu'en Nouvelle-Angleterre. [...] Le français québécois et le français acadien peuvent être regroupés sous l'appellation plus large de français canadien2, laquelle englobe aussi le français ontarien et le français de l'Ouest canadien. Ces deux derniers possèdent des traits caractéristiques qui leur sont propres aujourd'hui dans l'ensemble canadien et qui s'expliquent surtout par un phénomène de conservatisme, mais il s'agit de variétés qui sont historiquement des prolongements du français québécois.
    2Il faut noter ici que le terme de «français canadien» avait autrefois un sens plus restreint, désignant le français du Québec et les variétés qui s'y rattachent directement, d'où l'emploi à cette époque de «canadianisme» pour parler d'un trait caractéristique du français du Québec."
  6. ^ Robert Fournier & Henri Wittmann. 1995. Le français des Amériques. Trois-Rivières: Presses universitaires de Trois-Rivières.


Further reading

  • Darnell, Regna, ed. (1971). Linguistic Diversity in Canadian Society, in Sociolinguistics Series, 1. Edmonton, Alta.: Linguistic Research. Without ISBN or SBN

External links

This page was last edited on 17 February 2019, at 04:26
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