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!