Yes, you may have heard about Canada being Bilingual and French being one of the official languages of the country. Yes, you might know of Quebec as the place where most of the people speak French, but did you know Canadian French has two main dialects? We bet you haven’t!
Hold onto your seat belts as we tell you 4 fun you need to know about French in Canada:
1. Canadian French has two dialects
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Apart from the Quebecois (people from Québéc) dialect, which is spoken in Quebec, provinces like Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia use the Acadian French dialect. Accents, words, and phrases separate the two dialects from each other, causing prominent distinctions.
PS: Acadian French uses some old words which are not used anymore in France!
2. French with a twist
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Speaking of Acadian French, the residents of New Brunswick have taken it upon themselves to mix English with French to form a dialect called Chiac. Since language is always evolving, specifically among the younger generation, it further adds a flair to the Acadian dialect.
Sure for those who prefer sticking to the traditional French language, this may seem unfavourable, but according to the folks of New Brunswick, they have created a unique identity.
3. Role of French outside Quebec
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Contrary to popular belief, Quebec is not the only Canadian province where Francophones reside. But it is not the only one. If we go by government data figures, approximately 600,000 Francophones can be found in Ontario. They have a strong presence in Ottawa, along with Sudbury and other northern regions.
Additionally, women make up more than half of the Francophone population in Ontario. Over the years, Eastern and Central Ontario have seen an increase in the Francophone population.
Immigration Canada also encourages French speakers to immigrate outside of Quebec and there are many specific pathways to do so. This is part of IRCC’s (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) strategy to further strengthen the country’s bilingual character and linguistic duality.
4. Blast from the past
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For people who might not know French, Quebecois French might be exactly the same as French spoken in France. At the surface level, sure it is to some degree, but not entirely.
When it comes to writing, both are exactly identical to each other. But when it comes to spoken French, the rules change. You have to understand that Quebecois French is based on spoken French in France during the 17th-18th century. During that time, Parisians moved to “New France,” what we now know as Quebec. Since that move, Quebec became frozen in time compared to France and followed the same linguistic tradition since then. Meanwhile spoken French kept evolving in France, creating quite the difference between the two.
About the author
Rohan Khanna is a writer/content creator, who also happens to be a Potterhead. He has a penchant for art, history, and culture and is also a part time artist. Figuring out life one step at a time, he manages to adhere to health and fitness, while going through the trials and tribulations.