1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. Canadian French VS. European …


Canadian French VS. European French

My cousin, who resides in suburban Paris made fun of my French when I came to visit.

We were talking about something and I said the word "vingt" (twenty) I pronounced it "vang", as my teacher taught us like so

She immediately reacted and laughed at my strange accent

My cousin promptly taught me the "proper" way to say it, which is more a "vehn" sound.

What other differences are there in Canadian and European French?

November 12, 2017



There's no proper way.. Why are some of the French sometimes so snobby about how people speak the language. They should be happy that somebody actually is taking the time to learn their language.


I guess people like to make fun of accents a lot nowadays. When I went to London my cousins who grew up there kept making fun of my Irish accent. As long as you're speaking correctly in the dialect your learning it isn't considered wrong.


C'est vrai que les français rient (ils se moquent aussi des accents de leur propres régions distantes de 300 à 400 km) en fait pas tous. Beaucoup d'artistes québécois sont adorés en France. En fait, les Québécois parlent le français (dit-on) comme le parlaient leurs ancêtres partis pour le nouveau monde. Moi, quand j'entends parler un Québécois, j'entends parler mes arrière-arrière grands-parents et ça me fait plaisir de retrouver la famille


Et mon français, en tant qu'anglo-québécoise, va faire rire bien du monde, c'est sûr.


She would probably make fun of someone with a Breton accent the same way.

Quebecois French is an odd mix of English intrusions and active resistance to the same. My impression is that there are actually far more loan words in French, but far more people in Quebec who are all but switching back and forth within a sentence. That reaches a peak outside Quebec (for a funny example http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/chiac-moncton-home-natasha-chaisson-1.3811526).

The active resistance to loan words is fairly normal for linguistically isolated populations - the French in France don't think twice about losing their identity because they refer to 'le computer', where the Quebecois nightmare is Louisiana. People in France don't notice their own Anglicisms, they do notice the unfamiliar Quebec ones, but at a guess I would say that in formal speech Metropolitan French has more.

Examples would include France/Quebec

le weekend/ fin de semaine Stop or even stopper/arret un pull/ maillot (this one is creeping in) interview/entretiens (when referring to media versus job) un meeting/un reunion

that said, un job is heard in Quebec as in France, but in France you will hear boulot far more.

One major difference is in obscenities. Quebecois has a stream of obscenities that relate to the Catholic Church (calice, tabernac, etc) that disappeared from Metropolitan French at the time of the Revolution.

Minor difference - Quebec French almost never uses dont, which is fairly common in usage in France. There are lots of similar grammatically correct but quite different commonly used constructions.

In addition to the fact that the underlying accent in Quebec French is mostly Norman/Breton, there are a lot of changes that happened to Metropolitan French around long vowels in particular, Quebec has retained the 17C forms. Maitre and mettre, for example, sound much more different in Quebec than they do in Paris. Similarly, French has evolved the uvular R to a more trilled R over the past 300 years, where in Quebec the uvular is still common.


There are actually many differences. I've been learning French since Kindergarten and I would say they're as diferent as UK and US English.


My teachers in French have all been from different regions of FRA. Actually, people in Paris speak differently than people by the Mediterranean.


All my relatives on both sides descended from their Quebecois grandparents, and we spoke French in our homes in Rhode Island. When I took French in high school (an easy A for me), my French teacher told me I spoke with a 17th century Brittany accent. As for differences in pronunciation, the most common is that French words ending in -ais or -ait or -aie are pronounced with the ending -ah in Quebec. Hence, milk is "lah."

Try this on: English: Millard, bring me the straw. Parisian: Millard, amene moi la paille. Quebecoi: Meelaou, ahmin moueh la poy.


I have no idea what type of French www.lingvist.com is teaching (I am using it for Portuguese-English as EN-PT is not available at this time).
Premium features still free until end of 2017: https://lingvist.com/blog/new/2017/11/02/a-letter-from-lingvist-co-founder-mait/

What I have seen is, that the website https://language101.com/ has both courses, French and "Canadian French" for teaching speaking phrases.


Many individuals have a very provincial attitude towards pronunciations which can vary widely from region to region. (which is to say that if one doesn't pronounce a word the way they do then it is wrong) What I always have taught my children is that if the different pronunciation doesn't get in the way of comprehension then there really is no problem. Those differences should be celebrated. Variety is the spice of life.


well...for me i think your cousin might have been right because thats how MY teacher said it was.

but im only level 11 in french so ...maybe not.


They were both right.


Should note that by the same measure as Parisian French deem Quebecois pronunciation 'wrong', all Duolingo English is 'wrong', because it uses American pronunciations.

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.