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10 May, 2021

Canadian French: How Quebecois French is Different?

Planning to visit or settling down in Canada? You must be aware that the second language of Canada is French. But what if I tell you that French in France is very different from French in Canada. You read it right. Canadians speak the more casual version of French. To learn more, keep reading.

There are three basic differences in the French spoken in Canada and France/Belgium - 

1) Vocabulary   

2) Pronunciation

3) Grammar.

Let’s understand how in more detail.


# 1 Vocabulary


The most pronounced way of how Canadian French is different is the vocabulary that is used. They still use the obsolete words which the modern French do not use. The story behind this is that in the 17th- 18th century the colonist of North America was cut off from the European culture. Thus, their French remained the way it was.

For example, in Canada, you will hear about words like à cause que and mais que instead of parce que and mais (because and but). The former expressions are not used in France for centuries.

The French used in Canada also reflects the religious point of view of early Catholic settlers.

The French of Canada also uses Loanwords, both from English and other languages. Popular belief says Canadian absorbed more words from English than modern French, although there are pieces of evidence that contradicts this statement. On the other hand, modern French has taken many words from English.

French Canadians also use words from the English language directly. For example, truster and watcher, which are not used in France. (Even on a national radio channel in Quebec)

Another thing that differs Canadian French from European French its contractions. In Canada, il gets y, elle becomes a, sur la is s’a and Je sais is equal to ché etc.

In the case of Pronouns, the Canadian French has a more informal approach and use tu in place formal “vous” and on in place formal ‘’nous’’.

Also, over time, many words have developed different meanings in their respective province. For example, dépanneur in France translates to the person you seek help from when your car breaks down by the roadside. Whereas in Canada the same word translates to ‘convenience store’


# 2 Pronunciation


When it comes to pronunciation, Canadian French differs from European French. The difference is so extreme that even non-French speaking people can tell that there is a difference in the pronunciation of both versions. It is quite evident from the difference in the fact that the Canadian French is isolated from European French for a long time.

Apparently Modern Canadian French is more like Persian French.

But the main difference lies in the vowel sound. However, the sounds of some consonants are also different.

For example, maître and mettre were pronounced differently but now they both can be used interchangeably in France. However, in Canada, they still follow the difference.


# 3 Grammar


Basically, there are very few differences in Canadian and European French that you will notice if you are used to speaking Metropolitan French.

For example, the use of don’t in European French is very different in Canada.




Don’t be. We at ESYLANG can help you distinguish between the Canadian French and Metropolitan French with the utmost ease. Our advanced and unique methods instil the essentials of the language within a short period. So, if you are planning to visit or immigrate to Canada or Quebec anytime soon do not just depend on the French you already know. 

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