French is such a diverse language and its speakers can prove to be extremely creative. Did you know, for instance, that different French speakers use different words to count, that some of them grow up using French words that have a different meaning to that in Standard French, or that they use different idioms depending on where they come from? Well, if you’re interested to know more about the French spoken outside of France, I gladly invite you to read further.
Being French, I have always been fascinated by Canada and its French-speaking provinces. Travelling to Toronto last summer, I took the opportunity to visit a friend in Quebec City and see it for myself.
One of the most striking things for me and for anyone from France, I believe, was the accent. Quebeckers sound so exotic to me! It was really refreshing to hear different manners of speech and a whole lot of new idioms and even vocabulary. This lovely accent also makes them sound incredibly welcoming and friendly. Actually, that might not be the whole truth since they are genuinely welcoming and friendly people anyway!
There are not enough adjectives for describing my stay in Quebec. I can just say that I’ve discovered another world there! I live in Spain, very close to the French border and when I decided to live in a French speaking country to improve my French level, I thought Canada would be the perfect destination for discovering a new culture and French accent and what I’ve found there has exceed my expectations! From the people to the food or even the new winter weather experience have been fascinating!
Actually, I wouldn’t have thought that it could be so cold! And then you could say “Yes, but you’re a Spanish girl! You don’t know anything about cold” Well…that might be true, but we reached even -50° in February! I was wearing all the clothes I had brought: thermal trousers and t-shirt, two pairs of trousers, a long-sleeved shirt, a jumper, a huge fur coat, a scarf, a hat and gloves and I could still feel the “cool” air going through them. It was a good and exciting experience that I could stand just for an hour thanks to the caribou (a typical and strong drink that I wouldn’t have drunk if it hadn’t help me to warm up), while the carnival parade was crossing Quebec’s streets.