French of France V. French of Quebec

Our French-speaking cousins overseas definitely speak French, but their French is a little bit different which includes its own unique idioms. Before we speak about grammar or about the language itself, you will see the first big difference, or better yet hear it. Listen closely to Celine Dion speaking French, then listen to Marion Cotillard. Can you hear that singing accent?

About Idioms: It’s hard to make a complete list of idioms, but here are a few examples:

FRANCE QUEBEC ENGLISH
C’est n’importe quoi ! Ca a pas d’allure ! It does not make sense !
Il est désagréable. Il est malcommode. He is unpleasant.
J’en ai marre Je suis tanné I am fed up.

With the influence of English and a different History, some words sometimes obtained different meanings or kept a meaning in one country while losing it in the other.  For example, Char is only a Military Tank in France but in Quebec it can be a car, a tank, or a carriage.  A ‘Blonde’ is a blond haired girl in France (or a beer). In Quebec, speaking about your blonde refers to your girlfriend or your wife (even if she is not blond).

Finally, it is good to know that French and Quebec swear words are pretty different. However don’t worry, they will understand your French very well. Feel free to order this unique “Poutine” in your favorite Molière language!

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