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Month: August 2021

Chocolatine or Pain au Chocolat

By Camille Masson

When one thinks of the French language, they typically think of Paris, France, and fine food. However, there are many other places where French is used, namely in the Canadian province of Québec. However, there are important differences between Québécois French and European French that can be found in their idioms, phonetic inventory, and grammatical structures. For example, in Québécois spoken French can differ greatly from written French, as written French tends to be more “standard” and will usually follow the guidelines emitted by “L’Académie Française”.

Unfortunately, it is quite frequent for language learners to be unaware of these differences, and this can lead to confusion when the time comes for those learners to practice their French in Québec!

This year, I had the chance to meet one exchange student who was learning French, and a few exchange students from France. Through meeting these students, I realized I needed to adapt my French for both the French learner, and for the students from France even though we both spoke the same language. This experience sparked my interest in sharing a few differences between Québécois French and European French. The differences I will write about here are only a few examples and may vary depending on the context of use. After all, people usually do not speak to their boss the same way they would speak to their friends!

It’s over, Anakin, I have the high ground

“It’s over, Anakin, I have the high ground”

“Tá sé críochnaithe” translates literally as “is her completed”. críochnaithe is derived from críoch which means boundary or end.In Irish the verb always comes first. For adjectives and past participles (like completed) you must use the word “tá” which is cognate with Spanish estar. In Spanish estar is used for temporary states but in Irish its just used for adjectives.If you want to use a copula with nouns, you have to use “is”

“Is fear mé” “I am a man”

“Is bean mé” “I am a woman”

But”Tá mé ard” “I am tall””Tá mé gearr” “I am short”

Irish doesn’t have an indefinite article. If you want to refer to a noun indefinitely you just write the noun by itself with no article.”an” is the definite article. The adjective “ard” (high, tall) comes after the noun, like in Romance languages.”agam” is derived from “ag mé” which means “on me”. Literally it means “is the land tall on me” or “I have the high ground””A Anakin” in the middle is the vocative case. “a” is the vocative particle. “a” causes lenition so “Mary” (in the vocative) becomes “A Mhaire” pronounced like “a wear-uh” (in English style spelling)