What makes Quebec and French Canadian special
Quebec is a ‘special’ Canadian province in many ways, but it is especially known for being the only province where English is not an official language! It is well known that the people of Quebec fought for the French Canadian language despite the huge English influence. Finally, in 1977, the French Language Charter set French as the only language for advertisement and education in Quebec.
Despite this, it is important to refer to the French dialect in Quebec explicitly as Canadian French in order to differentiate it from the Metropolitan French dialect from France. French people often claim that they have trouble understanding Canadian French. Let’s explore some of these potential differences.
The most notable differences between Metropolitan and Canadian French are probably to do with pronunciation. Whereas French, in general, contains a very rich vocalic inventory compared to other languages, Canadian French has even more vowel sounds (around 15) than that of France. Quebeckers also tend to reduce their use of consonants significantly and to use abbreviations extensively. The use of articles (le, la) is similar to Portuguese. Instead of saying “le” or “la” (the), they will often say “el” (or l’) and “a”. In some cases, “le” becomes “l apostrophe” in front of a consonant.
Vocabulary in French Canadian changes from French European
French Canadian vocabulary is distinctive from the vocabulary of Metropolitan France. This is not surprising considering that since its arrival in Canada, the French language was exposed to many different influences. It couldn’t possibly have developed in the same manner as in Europe. Some even say that it resembles the French spoken in France in 1700. In addition, there is an interesting relationship between the English and French Canadian languages. On the one hand, English is undeniably more evident for a Quebecker than a French person, but on the other hand, French Canadian speakers have attempted to conserve French words from Anglo influences. One example is the old French term “magasiner” which French Canadians still use nowadays, whereas French Europeans borrow the English expression “faire du shopping”.
Although many people claim that grammar is the same as standard French, there are some differences. The syntax of spoken Canadian French makes less use of specifiers such as relative clauses, wherein “que” is a relative pronoun in many cases. For example, a Quebecker might say “J’ai trouvé le document que j’ai de besoin,” whereas a Metropolitan French speaker would form the sentence as “J’ai trouvé le document dont j’ai besoin.”
In addition to all of these differences, there are many more that occur in day-to-day conversation which can be attributed to idiomatic expressions, slang words, and cultural references.
Do you need a translation in French Canadian or French European? We can help you! Here at Lingostar, we have professional translators who are native speakers of both languages. We also have other services such as revising, updating and localizing your content into more than 100 languages. And if you ever wish to improve your language skills for better job opportunities, we also provide language tutoring services! Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 604-629-8420 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your next language-related project. To get a free quote, click here. We look forward to hearing from you!