Resources for Canadian French
Anyone wants to know more about Canadian French and culture?
I was reading a good post about the differences between Quebec French and Metropolitan (France) French on famous Italian polyglot Luca Lampariello's blog, The Polyglot Dream, and remembered some people on Duo expressed interest in the subject.
The article had some very good links for anyone interested in Quebec's culture (French, English and native american). Here they are :
- Films du Québec, a website with a lot of information about movies made in Quebec (about two dozen a year, not bad for a province with only 8 million in population), including many trailers. Notice that Quebeckers make a lot of comedies, it's not by chance : the province has a very active stand-up comedy scene, its own official humor undergraduate school and is home to one of, if not the most famous comedy festival, Juste pour rire (Just for Laughs), Quebeckers have a good sense of humor;
- A Wikipedia article about Quebec's cinema industry;
- Another Wikipedia article, this one about musicians from Quebec;
- The top 200 of songs from Quebec from the 2000 decade.
That's it (I may add more as people suggest it or if I find it myself).
Everything below this line has been added after the initial post
- A wikipedia article about the culture of the province of Quebec;
- Again a wikipedia article, this one about the cuisine typical of Quebec;
- A most interesting way to discover Quebec's cuisine : this site offers plenty of recipes with maple syrup, so you can have a taste of the culture before you visit ;-).
- OffQc - Excellent blog with tons of resources;
- Ici Radio Canada - French CBC, the Canadian public TV channel;
- BaladoQuébec - A repertory of podcasts (baladodifusion in French) from Québec;
- Tou.tv - A Hulu style legal streaming provider, with both free and paid content, belonging to Radio Canada;
- Dictionnaire Québécois - A glossary of Quebec specific vocabulary and expressions;
- Tokio University of Foreign Studies' Quebec French course, with transciptions;
- A post on another polyglot's blog interviewing a Quebecker polyglot who had just published a course book to learn specifically Quebec French, including free downloadable audio samples. The book is now also available as an e-book;
- A spring and summer immersion program in Quebec, free for Canadian students, paid for other people. Unfortunately the subscription period is over for this year, but look it up for next year;
- Wikebec - a wiktionary style crowd sourced Québec dictionary;
- Tag télé - A youtube like streaming site from Quebec;
- The website of a Quebec language teaching resource producer, with lots of games and exercises, although tending towards a more standard (formal, correct) French;
- If you are looking for a French Canadian phrasebook;
- Tout Canadien, a site full of Canadian French resources. The site itself isn't the easiest to navigate, but the content is of good quality. Look in the "library" section for the most relevant stuff;
- A French Wikipedia page about Québécois lexicon. (English version, not sure which one is more complete/useful);
- Du français au français, a blog about the differences between Québécois French and France French;
- Oreille tendue, the blog of the director of University of Montreal's Département des littératures de langue française;
- Histoire du français au Québec, if you're interested in history and linguistics related history (Site in French only). Also has links to pages with the more general history of the French language, of the English language, of Acadians and of French in Louisiana.
- Je parle Québécois, mostly oriented to French speakers outside of Canada, this site presents a video per week, an excerpt usually from a movie or TV show from Quebec with transcripts or quiz questions. Also features a lexicon.
- Quebec Culture Blog. A slightly different approach from the other resources above, this blog is written by an anglophone from Western Canada who went through French immersion schools for most, if not all, of his education. It is intended for English Canadians to better understand the political and cultural issues with French speaking Quebec (and francophones dispersed all around Canada). In other words, it tries to bridge the two solitudes that are the French and English speaking people all over Canada;
- /r/francaisCanadien, a subreddit about French Canadian that I've created;
- RCI : Radio-Canada International, the international network of the Canadian public broadcast channel. The Canadian equivalent of the BBC (UK) and TV5 Monde (France);
- Lexilogos (in French) has links to many linguistic resources, including for Quebec and Acadian French. It has many resources for dialects and smaller languages as well well worth exploring.
- A list of Quebec expressions and idioms on République libre, with a some other information. Seems to be a bit biased toward sovereignty ideology though.
- A glossary of Acadian French on the website of the Université de Moncton's Centre d'études Acadiennes. You can find many interesting things on that website, including many scanned books about and/or by Acadians.
- Cyber Acadie - A portal for many things related to the history of the historic French colony Acadia and the numerous and scattered descendants of its last inhabitants : the Acadians.
- QC French - A website with free French lessons, with a section dedicated to the French spoken in Quebec.
- Unis TV - A Canadian French public TV channel, aimed at Quebecers and French speakers living outside Quebec, similar to TV5 (the internationally available French channel). A lot of content is available online as well.
- A repertory of Quebec phonetics, which is a project of linguistics at Laval University in Quebec City.
- Phono, another repertory of Quebec phonetics, a project of UQAC (l'Université du Québec à Chicoutimi).
Small update (2016-08-11)
While Quebec French and French French are essentially the same language, they sound very different. I have a friend who is fluent in French, but because of their Quebec accent I find it very hard to understand them. It would be nice if Duo offered a Quebec French voice as well
I was actually wondering if anyone was ever going to add Canadian French to the incubator. I find that they are so different that I cannot read France French but I can read Quebec French. I wonder why the Quebec government has not sent a team on this considering they ❤❤❤❤❤ all the time about nobody in Canada being able to speak their language. They could likely hire a small team of people and bang one out in no time. Every kid accross Canada learning French would have a new, amazing, resource.
Agreed. But how big is the difference between Quebec French and France French? If it's not that big, perhaps a bonus lesson would suffice?
Yes! A bonus lesson! We don't want French Canadian and French from France to be considered as 2 different languages! And when you start making a whole course for one, and a whole course for another one, you help it to occur, and we don't want it I'm sure! (I talk for myself, but I really think French Canadian don't want to be considered as a dialect rather than a language, they speak French, a really good French, with some variants, it's the same language, the difficulty to understand each other is in the accent)
English, Ireland , Scotland then Canada we have slag. So if you think going to Canada and talk english you might be surprised if you go to NFL NS PEI some place are worst for there accents .. . If you learning english its the same way different saying and accents. French in NS a bit different NB plus QU. But the basic's are the same
Here is a comparable sketch in European French and Canadian French. They're from famous Canadian French humorist François Pérusse (he's actually from the city where I live). He makes short audio sketches called Les deux minutes du peuple since the early 90s' and, in the early 2000s', he started recording sketches for Europe as well, some of which were directly adapted from his previous ones for Quebec. These are caricatured a lot, but it gives a good idea. If you can understand his work and you like it, he made 10 albums in Quebec, 2 in France and a few DVDs from his TV series (he made the voices and a studio created animations to match them).
Actually, but for some regional expressions, the written language is exactly the same, usually you can't tell if someone writing French is from Quebec, from New Brunswick, from France or from Switzerland unless they use some very specific words or expressions not used somewhere else. Only the accent and a few expressions and words will differ in spoken language, but the accent is so much different that an untrained European French will not understand a French Canadian (and that includes Acadians).
My thought is there are two big differences between the two: idioms and accent. Example, le weekend vs le bon fin de semaine, or bienvenue vs de rien. Could the important idioms of Canadian French be captured as a lesson? The accent might best be experienced by watching and listening to the resources listed above....
I hear more and more Quebeckers say weekend instead of fin de semaine (and that saddens me a lot, but that's another story). And both weekend and bienvenue are actually anglicisms. I hope I don't have to explain weekend, but bienvenue, when used as the answer to merci, isn't proper French, it's only the direct translation of you're welcome. Instead, one should say de rien, ce n'est rien, je vous en prie, ça me fait plaisir, etc.
I'm curious, is it the gradual change of the language you're familiar with that bothers you, or anglicisms specifically? I'm sure you're well aware how much of English is of French origin, and we're dropping "c'est la vie"s and similar pretty regularly as well. I don't believe many find this negative. I'm not sure, am I am missing something? Why the ill feelings when it goes the other way?
Do you fear the English language might disappear? We are 8 million people holding our culture the best we can surrounded by almost half a billion English speakers. We feel the threat every. single. day.
French expressions in English are barely the flavor of the week.
But to add a bit more reflexion to the idea. When there is no good word for a specific idea in French and the English one catches on, it doesn't bother me much. When we have a good diversity of synonyms that are perfect in French, but we choose the English word out of fashion or lazyness, that is what I don't agree with.
Most of the words and expressions of French that are used in English don't replace typical and perfectly fine words or expressions in English. It's not like we decided to take some word that we use everyday and change it to a word in another language that doesn't add anything new to the English one. This is exactly what happened in the two examples I gave about English words used in French.
You can see that I gave many perfectly fine examples of French answers to merci. It's really not like it's not enough and we need another one to really express our thoughts.
Canadian French Immersion students learn (at least in western canada) France French. amazing yes, resource not as much
Maybe you're confusing international French with European French? I wouldn't blame you for it though, international French would be Parisian French without any argot (Parisian style slang).
well im told its france french but its possible that international french is closer to the case.
That could be the source of my confusion. I did French Immersion in Ontario from Kindergarden right up until Grade 10 (then I moved to Australia) and I always felt that I didn't quite learn European French, nor did I quite learn Québecois.
My friend is french she said that she didn't have to much problem in Paris but in English in NS you can drive down the south shore or eastern or valley we all sound different. I meet in guy in Spain told me he was moving to Ireland to learn his english before he went to the States. I try to explain how English sounds different in different places like England and Canadians. That is the problem learning a new language ....
Besides the CBC, Canada has a French language radio and French language TV. Everything has French and English written on it.
One time a few years ago when I was in the post office, a clerk was talking away in French with the customer ahead of me. She sounded like she was from Quebec. I didn't understand a word she was saying. When it was my turn, she switched to English and was talking in perfect English, with a beautiful French-Canadian accent, of course. Another time I was in a store in the check-out line and a young man and woman ahead of me in line were conversing together in French. The man instantly switched to English and asked me in perfect English about something I was buying. Needless to say when they were talking in French, I didn't understand anything they were saying.
All Federal government departments in Canada offer service in French or English. If you're phoning, it says, "For service in English, press 1. Pour le service en francais, appuyez sur le deux." I've heard it so many times, I have it memorized. It's also a robot voice that says that.
Thank you so much for this list!
(One minor point I would suggest; maybe this was a deliberate choice for the DuoLingo audience, but I find a First Nations person in Quebec, or anywhere in Canada, would not use the term "native american".)
I'm surprised offqc.com is not mentioned. It is an entire blog dedicated to the differences of Quebec french, and signing up for the frequent emails is great. It talks about culture, politics, slang, cursing, etc... the quebec way. EDIT: this site also has a "listen" section with tons of resources that allow you to listen to quebecois francais, with explanations on differences sometimes.
Que j'adore ca! Merci pour partager cela avec nous! S'Il y a quelqu'un pour pratiquer le francais, faites-moi un signe!!!
Wow, amazing post! You saved me a lot of time with all these resources, thanks a lot!
Actually no, I'm not. I had noticed a few people mentioning him in discussions on Duo and went to see his blog when I stumbled on the post about Quebecker French.
I have mixed feelings for dedicated polyglots as M. Lampariello. They make it sound so easy that someone just beginning to learn a new language may look at them for comparison and get discouraged too soon. Learning new languages when one also has to maintain more than 10 languages at a good level necessitate so much work everyday that no one but a pure genius can do it without dedicating their whole life to the purpose. That means having one sole work, hobby and vacation type, which I find kind of sad. Also, the fact that they know many languages benefits only themselves, in opposition to musicians, which can be comparable in terms of work (practice) needed to master many instruments as one would many languages, where everyone hearing their music will have the possibility to enjoy it. Considering these two facts, I get the impression that hyperpolyglots must be very egoists and self centered, although at some point, they have to practice their language skills by speaking to a lot of people so in reality they probably are very extroverted and outgoing.
And on the other hand, most of these polyglots end up giving invaluable insight and tips to learning a new language from which everyone can benefit. And they can't attain any level of fluency without getting at least a bit interested in the culture of people who speak their target languages, so they get to accumulate a load of general culture and trivia which can be fascinating. Add the fact that they can translate their own posts in so many languages and you'll understand that they make great candidates for blog writers and vlog owners.
I think the most troubling fact that I find about polyglots is the status of genius, star or role model people tend to give them. So being a polyglot becomes a goal for many people instead of a great side consequence of getting interested in cultures, people and languages, which should always be the only goal here. It's confusing the goal with the means, having interest only in the end destination when the fun part is the whole travel, including the way you get there, or wanting to be a star without having much interest in singing or playing.
Sorry for the novel. ;-)
An extremely organized person could learn/maintain multiple langauges without spending all their time on it.
One wouldn't be forced to have one sole work, hobby vacation type, so there is no reason for you to view a person who knows many langauges as "sad".
Also, what difference does it make if learning a language only benefits ourselves? What about the person who likes to solve crossword puzzles? That only benefits that person, right?
Why do our own personal hobbies have to be useful/enjoyed by other people?
My craving for language-knowledge will only benefit me- and there is nothing wrong with that.
In addition, if you feel that " polyglots end up giving invaluable insight and tips to learning a new language from which everyone can benefit", then why say "hyperpolyglots must be very egoists and self centered"?
Many hyperpolyglots don't "make it sound so easy" and leave it at that; they offer help, encouragment realistic advice, as well. Luca, for example, is always giving free advice and study material on his youtube channel.
These people volunteer to host websites youtube channels, write blogs, create videos and put together learning resources/lessons, simply because they wish to help others learn languages.
That doesn't sound very "self centered" to me.
And if you think Luca is an egoist, you don't know anything about his philosophy of life. He has said that he lives a simple life and doesn't consider himself to be special; he just loves langauges (which is why we are all here, right?) and loves talking to people in different languages.
You said, "I think the most troubling fact that I find about polyglots is the status of genius, star or role model people tend to give them."
So, don't blame the polyglots for the status that other people confer on them. Blame those other people.
I, too, have noticed that some people want to 'become a polyglot', as opposed to being interested in a language and its people/culture. I am sure that people who feel that way will change thier minds or peter out, over the course of time.
The people who truly love language-learning will be in it for the long haul.
Sorry for my novel.
Well, I guess someone could manage to maintain many languages while learning others and do something else, especially if they practice their languages while doing these other activities and the fact I've read somewhere that, apparently, starting with the sixth language, the brain kind of remembers almost every detail about languages (I think it's Dr Arguelles who said it). What I find sad is having only one interest in life, no matter what this interest is. If a polyglot has many other interests beside learning languages, then I don't think this is sad at all.
I don't think that a hobby has to benefit others. I myself speak 5 languages and have plenty other hobbies that benefit only myself, it's not a good or a bad thing. I said this only to illustrate why I though someone pursuing a sole hobby that benefits only oneself makes that person self centered, whether that hobby is learning languages or doing crossword puzzles. There is nothing wrong in enjoying crossword puzzles either, but you have to admit that someone who enjoys nothing else than crossword puzzles must be alone quite often!
Also, I didn't say polyglots are egoists and self centered, I said I had this impression, following the thought that preceded it. And I admit this impression is probably only a bias based on the fact that I don't know any polyglots well enough to have a more informed opinion.
I think you got the wrong idea by the fact that I said I wasn't a fan of Luca Lampariello. I didn't mean that I didn't like him, I meant that I don't follow him or read his blog or know him well enough to consider myself a fan. I meant I'm neutral, not that I don't like him. And actually, the (very few) things I've read from him tend to demonstrate that he is in fact very generous and kind, as you argued.
I do blame the people who confer the status of star on polyglots. I don't think it's the polyglots' fault, you are perfectly right about that as well. But then again, in this day and age where culture of self, reality shows and instantaneous stardom based on all the wrong reasons (when youg people seriously consider making a sex tape to make them notorious, I do believe we have a society problem), if a polyglot makes a video in which s/he only demonstrates his/her hability to speak many languages, without explaining the work and the motivation behind it, then yes, I blame it on them. Timothy Doner, who made the video linked in the last sentence, is a good example of this phenomenon, especially the way he was presented in the media (as a teen who can speak more than 20 languages). He recently made a TEDx talk about his passion which I found extremely revealing about his motivation and the way he learns languages. But most people will never hear about the TED talk and will keep the most incomplete image they have about him that they heard in a 5 minutes segment on the news. Maybe my resentment isn't much with polyglots or the people seeing them as geniuses, but really the media who present them this way. Again, his talk was very interesting on this very subject.
Oh wow that is an unexpectedly overenthusiastic reply! I also want to become a polyglot too, but not because I like the status of it, but more to function for my work.
This is a great resource you've put together, BastouXII. :-)
(I can't post a comment anywhere else for some reason).
à Montréal? Ce musée a fermé en 2010. Musée "Juste pour rire" sur Wikipédia: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mus%C3%A9e_Juste_pour_rire
Thanks so much for this! Part of why I joined duolingo is that I'm going over to Quebec later in the year, so this is perfectly timed.
I have never heard them called Quebeckers before. Les québécois ! My parents are from Montréal, Québec. Ils sont des québécois et des montréalais !
Quebeckers is just awful in my opinion (and maybe pejorative?) They are québécois, and I think they are proud of that.
Interesting that people think the term Quebecker is awful. Isn't it just the English variant of québécois, much like there is an English and French version of many names? I've always assumed so. I don't think I've ever seen it spelled out, the 'k' surprises me, I would have spelled it as Quebecer.
If you don't put the 'k', it would be pronounced Quebessers, because a 'c' has a soft sound in front of a 'e'.
"Quebecker" is the English word for someone from Quebec, not pejorative, and it falls within some sort of spelling rule (traffic, trafficker, e.g.). "Quebecer" is a more recent spelling. Don't know why it was adopted. Seems to me like a spelling mistake that just fell into common usage. Both are pronounced the same with a hard "k" sound.
I'm also puzzled by the thought that it might be derogatory (pejorative) in some way. I'd love to understand more on that thought if you have time to expand on it.
I'm not a Canadian, so it's just an impression. (it's the reason I was wondering and not affirming, I'm also interested to know what native Canadian would think about it.)
However, Wikipedia states it's perfectly correct to say "quebeckers" or "quebecers", and on another hand, the construction of "quebec" +"er" is perfectly correct in normal in English. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qu%C3%A9b%C3%A9cois_people
I think quebecois/quebeckers would rather refer to themselves as "quebecois" instead. (but I'm waiting for their reply), The reason why I think it's "awful" is purely subjective :-p
That one is kind of tricky and I think whether or not it is derogatory/taken as derogatory depends on the individuals and the situation. I am a native Anglophone Canadian from out west, so this is just my perspective from my experiences.
People from Quebec will likely ALWAYS use "quebecois" to refer to people from Quebec regardless of if they're speaking English or French and regardless of where they are. I have never heard someone from Quebec use the term "quebeckers". Since both are understood throughout Canada, I think it's only natural for quebecois to refer to themselves and others by the term they use in their first language because they have more of a personal attachment to it.
It's trickier when it comes to everyone else and the term used kind of boils down to personal preference and political opinion of French Canada. If someone lives out west but went to a French immersion school or chose to continue studying French after the mandatory lessons in elementary school, they're more likely to use the term "quebecois". However, if someone has very minimal to no French, they're more likely to say "quebeckers", especially if they dislike Quebec. Although unlike people from Quebec almost unanimously saying it one way in every situation, other people using EITHER term can come across poorly in different situations.
For instance, if you're speaking with a group of anglophones in Saskatchewan who speak no French and you yourself are an anglophone, it's very possible that others may find it weird/dislike you using the word 'quebecois'. Some may actually get quite offended. Also, someone from Quebec generally isn't likely to be bothered by being referred to as a "quebecker" if they're in Saskatchewan and speaking English.
If you're IN Quebec, though, that's a different story. Since French is the predominant language of the province, it will likely be taken poorly to not say "quebecois" even if you're speaking in English. Saying "quebeckers" would likely be taken as derogatory.
It's really quite political and tricky due to the complex relationship between Anglo-Canadians and French-Canadians.
Well, I see Quebecker simply as the English translation of Québécois, without anything positive or negative around it.
PERCE_NEIGE, if you call me a quebecker while speaking French, it'll sound weird, but I wouldn't get offended. Other than that, no, there is no difference. I did hear some English speakers use the word Québécois even in English and it works, but it sounds like a foreign word.
Knitmonkey, Saskatchewanian is the official demonym, but Saskatchewaner is also used. In French : Britanno-Colombien, Albertain, Saskatchewanais, Manitobain, Ontarien, Québécois, Néo-Brunswickois, Prince-Édouardien, Néo-Écossais, Terre-Neuvien.
I only hear Quebecker rarely, even from anglophones speaking English here. Even anglophones who speak no French tend to say Québécois, in my experience. This is within Québec, and in a very French part of the province (i.e. NOT Montréal).
Merci pour la mise au point.
If I call you a "québécois" or a "quebecker", there's no difference for you? (personnally) We have an affective link with some words sometimes...
Me too! I would use them interchangeably depending on who I am talking to, and what version the would best identify with. I lived in Toronto and Chicago, where Quebecer would be more usual. Now in Ottawa where Quebecois would be more commonly used. Sorry, can't figure out how to get accents on my Surface.
I was giving this more thought yesterday, if you go through most provinces, the English term is almost always the province with suffix tacked on, maybe also a slight spelling variation. Ontarians , Manitoban, Albertan, British Columbian, Nova Scotian etc. (What do we call people from Saskatchewan?) I don't think I've ever learned the French equivalents, what are they?
I would be curious to see if that originated in New York.. We do say ""New Yorker", but I am Californian. My French Canadian relatives do not call people from New York "new yorcois", nor "New Yorkais". They use the ending that the people from the place use, "New Yorker". I do want to learn what each group call themselves to use that, instead of our Americanisms. Just me, I am not sure how others think about it. I think my parents just don't recognize the English version. I wouldn't want people to guess whether I were talking about them. I think it would be more along the lines of "Is that what they call us over there?", but it is possible that French Canadians prefer French words after years of being forced to use English to get a job in their own province (to speak to other people [air traffic controllers aside] who mostly only knew English as a second language also) by the country of mainly English speakers that took over an area of predominantly French speakers. The right to speak in French is prized over there. It is kind of like saying "French fries" where people would kind of look at you, because you only needed to say "frites". I don't think it would be viewed as an insult, so much as it would place the speaker on the outside as a foreigner or not a speaker of the beautiful language, "le français".
Especially that fries were invented in Belgium, so it has nothing to do with France!
Funny you mention air traffic controllers, as that's what my husband does. They must be bilingual here, because even though English is the international language of air traffic control, Québécois pilots can get a limited license to fly only within the province without speaking or understanding any English.
It's "New Yorkais", the ending change in French, Québécois, New Yorkais, Parisien. As in English: Chinese, Italian, New Yorker, etc...
@Bastou I'm not sure someones invented the fries. We often say, it's from Belgium, because they eat a lot, as American, say it's French, because it's called "French fries", but I read somewhere it was from the word "to french", and had nothing to do with France.
I'm learning French because we plan to move to Canada in a few years (my wife's Canadian), not only because it's fun to learn, but also because it will be useful in a professional capacity. We won't be living in Quebec, but rather the Maritimes. Is the French spoken in NS, NB and PEI virtually the same as (or similar to) Quebecois, or is their brand of French more similar to Standard/Metropolitan?
Neither Quebecer nor metropolitan. The kind of French Acadians (most French speakers in the Maritimes are of Acadian descent) speak is called Chiac (pronounced "shiahck").
You can search for it on Google or check in the resources that I gave here. You could also read the français canadien subreddit and its wiki where I copied the ressources of this discussion and added some more, especially for French accents specific of certain regions outside of Quebec.
Also, learning standard French first (as per Duolingo, for example) is still a good idea, as written French is the same everywhere. You'll have all the time to learn the specifics of Chiac when you move there.
There's a guy on YouTube, he's a big fan of Celine Dion, and he translates many, many Celine Dion interviews, documentaries, etc. He is Condor the "Subtitler"
I have a massive Spotify playlist of Québécois folk music that could be added to this if people are interested.