Montreal vs Quebec City?
Replies: 34 - Last Post: Apr 4, 2012 4:07 AM Last Post By: Pedro45
Jan 24, 2012 7:05 PM
Jan 25, 2012 4:29 AM
Jan 26, 2012 4:01 PM
17I recently lived in Montreal and it is not a particularly easy place to learn french. In the downtown area, where you would most likely be spending your time, it is possible to go all day without speaking french, because just about everyone else is bilingual. As other posters have mentioned - it is automatic for french speakers to revert to english as soon as you begin to struggle (e.g. as soon as beginners open their mouths).
I recommend Quebec City. The people are just as friendly there as anywhere else. Although a good number of people are bilingual (especially in the service industry) you can still immerse yourself.
Alternatively, you could go to a smaller place like Chicoutimi where absolutely everyone is french.
Jan 26, 2012 7:01 PM
18It really depends on why you want to learn French.
The French spoken in Quebec is 200 years old. It hasn't evolved as is spoken in France. I met a French man in Tour years in 1989 who had spent time in Quebec. He told me that the people in Quebec who traveled to France and used their French were laughed at by the French.
When I was in college in the Georgia in the 60's there were students from Kentucky and Tennessee who still spoke English with an old English accent.
So why do you want your children to learn French?
Jan 27, 2012 3:23 PM
19"I met a French man in Tour years in 1989 who had spent time in Quebec. He told me that the people in Quebec who traveled to France and used their French were laughed at by the French."
That is one person telling you a yarn. I think he was full of shit. Either that or you are.
Whenever I have had encounters in France if people say anything at all they say they find the Quebec accent "quaint."
I was in France visiting relatives of my wife and my wife's cousin and her husband were up ahead of us on a hiking trail and they stopped to talk to a young couple. I came up to the four of them and noticed them talking and didn't notice anything unusual and then my wife's cousin said "these young people here are Canadians too."
I hadn't even noticed they had an accent any different than the relatives.
Jan 27, 2012 3:30 PM
20It may depend on what region in France you were in, but I can with almost 100% accuracy tell if someone's accent is French, or Quebecois. They are different-no doubt about it.
For all intents and purposes, the words and structure are almost all the same, as long as you're not talking about dialects like joual, and grammatically, the same. It's the pronunciation that can be a killer.
Edited by: truenic to add that it's also entirely possible that the Canadian couple were not speaking Quebecois French. I for one, through school, had an anglophone French teacher, who had NO discernible accent. So when I went to France, picking up a French accent was simple-I had zero habits to break.
Jan 28, 2012 12:04 AM
21Having lived in Montreal for 5 years I have to say that the French as spoken in Quebec city is less contaminated by slang and "Anglisisms" than in Montreal. Although both are great places to visit, if you want to learn French go to France.Even the French say they cannot understand the French spoken in Quebec; perhaps it sounds to them like Jamaican English sounds to the English. I have hitch hiked in France extensively, visited Tunisia, Morocco, Tahiti, New Caledonia, and Guyane; spoke French in all of them and was understood and could converse with the locals.But when I go to Quebec I am often told that my admittedly flawed French is not good enough for them and I should only use English. The politics are alienating.
Jan 28, 2012 11:18 AM
Jan 29, 2012 12:49 PM
Jan 29, 2012 10:25 PM
24I so agree with you Cluxewe!
Every single time I have travelled in a French-speaking country in Europe, I have been asked where I came from. No one could tell from which European country I was from. When told I was from Québec, jaws dropped out out surprise. "But you have no accent!!!" . Speaking well is easy if you care. Those who travel with their thick accent are effectively told more than often they have a quaint accent, that it sings like the French spoken in the south of France.
@ Pedro45: if you consider travelling all the way to France to learn some French, wait until you see how little (if any!) patience people will show for you there. If you think there is ONE way to speak French in France, well FYI they also have accents over there too. And they speak about 2 times faster than we do on this side of the pond. So if you spend 2 or 3 weeks there hoping to learn, good luck with that.
Jan 30, 2012 8:16 AM
Jan 30, 2012 8:41 PM
26Thank you soooo much for the feedback, it was truly helpful. So it's going to be Canada, and I'll stay in both cities for a week or so each. For one thing I can drive to Montreal in four and a half hours, so it'll be an awful lot cheaper than France, which I was considering, but I have a plan:
If anyone begins to switch to English on me I'm going to only speak back to them in Spanish, and I won't break character, just telling them, sorry, it's either Spanish or French. It might work...
Jan 31, 2012 6:33 AM
Jan 31, 2012 4:28 PM
28"If anyone begins to switch to English on me I'm going to only speak back to them in Spanish, and I won't break character, just telling them, sorry, it's either Spanish or French. It might work... "
A technique a lot of people here use is to just keep speaking french at them when they switch to english for you.
Mar 15, 2012 5:26 AM
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