1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. How much French do you need t…


How much French do you need to move to Quebec to work?

Hello there.

I am considering moving to Quebec for work eventually. I am from British Columbia.

I only took French up to the second last year of high school formally and I got very good grades there. In addition to that...

  • I have a Quebecois Stepfather who lives with us.
  • My mother is an Anglophone but she comes from a Quebecois family. I visited when I was young.
  • I listen to local French Radio while commuting or working out everyday for a minimum of 45 minutes each day and understand most of it.
  • I have my flashcards still and I still remember all of my irregular verbs.
  • I got to level 12 of Duolingo French in 2-3 months from when I started to when I finished.
  • I am a second year University student. The University I am currently attending does not offer good quality language courses. However I plan to take a certificate in proficiency or a minor in French from the following online University in Canada while I work after graduation (I am majoring in Business). I am very serious about making such an investment. http://calendar.athabascau.ca/undergrad/current/program/ucert-french.php
  • I have penpals in High School who I keep in contact with. I can definitely do a well grammared text chat in French (not on my phone). I write with perfect grammar in English too when I text.

In short what I am trying to emphasize is while I am definitely at an intermediate level in French where I feel a lack of confidence is as follows...

1) Speed at a casual level. 2) Being proficient at a workplace level.

As such at what point in my language journey should I feel ready to move to Quebec, New Brunswick, or Eastern Ontario?

Is there any other advice any of you can give me?

PS: I am not one of those in the West who sees French as a waste of time or anything like that. I do value the language a lot. The issue I am having is that it is very hard to practice when you live in BC or Alberta.

January 7, 2018



Well, it depends on where you are moving to. if you go to montreal, there is actually a large group of anglophones there and you can get by with very little french or in some cases no french at all. AS far as work, if you want a government job there are tests that determine levels (A, B, C) which will determine (sometimes) how well you get paid. YOu need at least a B to be considered bilingual. At the B level you have to be able to at least have a basic converstation, read & write basic french.


There is a test online for Americans immigrating to Canada. You have to be semi-fluent in both French and English. I only know this because I was searching the web for the best places to move to. #5? Canada.


I do not believe this is accurate. Immigrating to Canada requires proving proficiency in EITHER French or English, but not both. I speak from experience on this subject.


Check out this free program http://www.myexplore.ca/en/

And http://www.immigration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca/fr/immigrer-installer/regroupement-familial/demarches-integration/cours-francais.html (it says for immigrants, but if you are a Canadian coming from elsewhere in Canada you also take it for free)

Learn french for free!!!

Also, check with your university, there is a good chance they have an exchange program with your school, so you could do a semester or two in quebec


You only need to practise it in real life, so move on and good luck!


I have never lived in Quebec but have several friends who moved to montreal. They actually have free (gouverment sponsored) free languages classes for several months once you move there. From what I understand these classes are really good, they will access and put you in the appropriate level (so you don’t have to start from scratch if you already know french). They have beginner to advanced levels. Also, if you are still in school there is a free exchange programe where the gouverment will pay for you to live with a host family for the summer, so you might want to do that after you graduate. (I think the cut off age for this might be 20, but you would need to double check. Also, it depends where you want to move. I know lot’s of anglophones who live in Montreal and don’t even speak/use french. You can get by in Montreal really easily with no french, so if you really want to be immersed in french I would recommend going someplace else. Have you checked out any of the universities in Quebec? There are alot of english ones so you could do your studies in English or french. The only problem might be finding work right away’ but since it sounds like you have basic french and just need practice I think you should be able to get at least a service job. Also, rent is waaayyy cheaper in quebec. I say, if you want to go to quebec don’t wait!


Sounds like if nothing else, you're at least on the right track! Sounds like in your business background, you're probably going to end up in Montreal or QC. While the former absolutely allows you to get by with minimal french, QC is much less forgiving, but still managable! The question you should be asking yourself is how much French you want to be using. If you're sort of hovering around 'when it's needed', then I'd say somewhere anywhere above CEFR B2 would be good for you, and sounds like you're already on your way there! Also to be taken into considerations are dialects and those awfully thick Quebec accents, but with your family background, it seems like you know already!


It seems your French is already quite strong. Is there a branch of the Alliance Française in your area? You probably just need more practice speaking casually, so I would seek out those opportunities, as well as try to learn profession-specific vocabulary. It does seem that your plan is viable.

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