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post #61 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
Can you elaborate? Do you mean French spoken in rural areas when you talk of "weird dialect"?

Well, not just rural areas, though it is more symptomatic there. I currently live in Québec City and some of the expressions, intonations and pronunciations I hear are quite... ugly sounding to my ears. Now, I know that the way we speak is culturally charged and plays its part in our 'identity', but sometimes its just over-the-top. A friend of mine just came back from a trip in Gaspésie and some folks were literally saying «frambwéz'» instead of «framboise». I notice that we never pronunce the 'e' at the end of a word. I don't do it either, and I would say that it is the most 'québécois' part of the French that I personally speak.

While I don't buy into this 'international French' thing that is aired on Radio-Canada and in some swiss radio, I would say that the way I speak is more alike to this than to the French spoken in rural Québec. Now, there is a lot of fluctuations depending on where you are.

It can sometime be entertaining, colourful and all, but at other times, it just seems over-the-top weird to me. Marseillais also struck me as 'over-the-top weird' with their accent, mind you.
post #62 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
My accent (typical Parisian) feels flat and boring, compared to theirs.

It depends on the side you take. Yes, on one side, their accent is more colourful and perhaps lively than yours, and mine too I would assume. But on the other hand, I find the way the talk to be at times incomprehensible. I have a friend from the Lac St-Jean area and, on top of speaking way too fast, he has these expressions that I don't understand at all.
post #63 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
I feel the same, I have a particular fondness for Quebecois French, of all the ways French is spoken throughout the world. Of course, there are varying levels, which also depend on social background, I assume. I remember once getting lost in Quebec and asking for directions in a 4 house village. They understood me, but I was mortified that I couldn't understand them, so I pretended I had and got back in my car so as not to offend them...

My accent (typical Parisian) feels flat and boring, compared to theirs.

I haven't been to quebec city despite living in the province for years so I don't know if they speak differently than people in montreal, but I much prefer Parisian french to Quebecois french in general. To my ear, it sounds much more refined and pure. French here has been butchered in many ways, but maybe it's just the people that I knew. I'm sure there are those that speak a more correct french. I always found it ironic that kids in my class from Hong Kong spoke better french than the locals though...
post #64 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu
We need Globe to chime in on this. Where the hell is he?


its hell that they don't have internet on all planes yet - flew in from israel yesterday.


1. I was thrown into hebrew, without a word or a letter, in my early teens. best way to learn a langugue although not a lot of fun.

2. I feel very differently when I speak hebrew or English, my only fluent languages.

3. when I stumble along in other langueges, I feel different, too - like an idiot.

4. my wife was raised speaking spanish, and at 6 or so went to an english language school. her english is perfect and accentless. she has also picked up german, french, and can read latin and greek. that is in her genes, I think. her mother speaks 6 languages.

5. we started my son on 3 languages, and he responded by not talking for 2 years. we cut one out, and he started to talk. my wife speaks spanish to him, I speak english, and he goes to hebrew school on the weekends. he understand pretty much everything in spanish, he has a huge vocabulary in english, but I don't know how much he understands in hebrew. when he does say something in spanish or hebew, his accent is fantastic (he laughs at my accent)
post #65 of 103
Thread Starter 
On the subject of accents, my son's teacher is from the south of France, and the other day, he pronounced a verb the way she would. It was pretty funny to me. There's a little girl in his class whose mother is from Quebec city, and apparently, if she learns a new word from her mom or grandma, she pronounces it with a Quebecois accent, if she learns it from the teacher, it's a southern French accent. I really have to start speaking to her more when I see her in the morning, so she gets the correct Parisian accent.
post #66 of 103
I went back to College a couple of years ago (I think I was 28) to finish my Bachelor's Degree. When I went back, I was told I had to take a language to get my degree. I chose French. I always wanted to take French but we didn't have it in High School so I took Spanish.

When I went to my advisor, he asked my age and then told me that I only had to take 3 semesters of French. I asked why and he said that people over 25 usually can't complete a language and have incredible difficulties learning the language if they haven't learned more than one (or had one in more than 10 years). He was right.

I loved French but by the third semester, I was spending 2-4 hrs A DAY on French and was still getting C's / D's for grades. The first semester I got a B, the second I got a C, the third I think I got a low C or D. I don't remember exactly, but I remember I couldn't keep up.

My French instructer mentioned that a child that learns more than one language growing up has a very easy time picking up languages as they get older. She also mentioned that there may be a gene which some people have which makes language easier? There was an older woman in my class who didn't have much experience with the language but she "just knew" how French worked and she picked it up very easily.
post #67 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek
I haven't been to quebec city despite living in the province for years so I don't know if they speak differently than people in montreal, but I much prefer Parisian french to Quebecois french in general. To my ear, it sounds much more refined and pure. French here has been butchered in many ways, but maybe it's just the people that I knew. I'm sure there are those that speak a more correct french. I always found it ironic that kids in my class from Hong Kong spoke better french than the locals though...

I think the Parisian accent is deeply affected, and I love what Quebecers have to say about how they talk.

For me, I never understand people who say Quebecers don't speak real French. So I guess you and I, with our Canadian/Yankee accents don't speak "real english"? I also find the notion that a foreigner from HK would speak better french than someone here is a bit strange. People associate quebec french with being stupid and dirty. As you know, there's some good universities here and the french students I know at McGill are highly intelligent, and I'm sure their french is every bit as effective and polished as anyone's.
post #68 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
Background on my situation: My son turned 4 last week, and is fluent in French and English, with perhaps slightly better vocabulary in French. We live in the US and I am almost exclusively the only person speaking French to him; my husband speaks English to our son. Two weeks ago, he started within the French immersion program of a private international school. There are two other little boys who have one Francophone parent in the class, and the teacher says they all speak French to one another in class.

Given the fact that he seems equally at ease in both languages, I decided to enroll him in German classes on Saturday mornings. The fun kind, games, songs, etc., taught by a native German former elementary school teacher. I speak German, but not being native, I have not emphasized that language beyond reading books to him, speaking it when German-speaking friends are visiting, or watching German TV (and interpreting at times for him into French).

I just hope I did the right thing, enrolling him in that German class.

PS: if he stays at that school, he'll get Spanish classes starting at age 11.
I think it's great, especially because starting him so young will make it feel very natural for him. My daughter has some friends down the street whose parents are Iranian and Spanish by ancestry, and who moved to our neighborhood from Israel. My daughter's friends were reasonably fluent in Spanish, Farsi, and Hebrew when the moved here, and just a bit less so in English (which has since caught up). The kids seem to be able to switch from one language to the other without even thinking about it - it's very impressive to watch.
post #69 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Violinist
People associate quebec french with being stupid and dirty.
In France, it is more considered as cute and exotic. But it does sound, let's say "rural and unrefined" to our ears. I guess that's probably because a lot of the pronunciation is actually the old French pronunciation of the XVIth century, not found anymore except as traces in the country. The example of "framboise" given earlier in the thread is a case in point.
post #70 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Étienne
In France, it is more considered as cute and exotic. But it does sound, let's say "rural and unrefined" to our ears. I guess that's probably because a lot of the pronunciation is actually the old French pronunciation of the XVIth century, not found anymore except as traces in the country. The example of "framboise" given earlier in the thread is a case in point.

Yes, I have had many French people ask me to speak with a Quebecois accent when they know I am from Montreal (even though it's not my natural accent) because they think it's quaint and funny. I can assure you that if I speak it with a heavy enough accent and using particular words and phrases, you will not understand a single word.
post #71 of 103
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Étienne
In France, it is more considered as cute and exotic. But it does sound, let's say "rural and unrefined" to our ears. I guess that's probably because a lot of the pronunciation is actually the old French pronunciation of the XVIth century, not found anymore except as traces in the country. The example of "framboise" given earlier in the thread is a case in point.

I suspect l’ordonnance de Villers-Cotterêts helped consolidate not only spelling, but also eventually pronunciation, and this would not have had any effect on Québec, I assume. I have heard linguists say that the Sun King, Louis XIV, apparently pronounced the sound "oi" as "oué". L'état, c'est moué...

It is fascinating to me when I find a word still in use in Canadian French (and I'm also including New Brunswick there) in a particular usage that no longer fits in Europe. The most obvious one being "Bonjour" to say goodbye.
post #72 of 103
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EL72
Yes, I have had many French people ask me to speak with a Quebecois accent when they know I am from Montreal (even though it's not my natural accent) because they think it's quaint and funny. I can assure you that if I speak it with a heavy enough accent and using particular words and phrases, you will not understand a single word.

Yesterday, I had to walk a lady from Montreal through our website on the phone. I have to say, it was the highlight of my day, she had a delightful accent. Word is spreading in Quebec that there is a French speaker at the headquarters, so I get more and more calls, and nothing pleases me more.
post #73 of 103
Thread Starter 
Back to the subject of trilingual kids:

I took care of my friends' two children on Saturday, while they went to a wedding. Little soon-to-be-three Marianne speaks mainly English. Her father is French, mother Japanese. I have only ever spoken French to her. She did well on Saturday, started to repeat small sentences and respond spontaneously in French. When the parents came to get the children, her father responded in English to her speaking English to him, then a few minutes later chastized her for not responding in French to me. She looked confused and embarrassed. It was late, she hadn't seen her parents all day and evening, she was on the verge of tears as she stepped in the car.

I have explained the one parent one language method, but they make all kinds of excuses for how it's difficult. I don't want to tell them how do raise their child, and have only talked about how I do things with my son when they remark how well he speaks both languages. However, I feel increasingly sorry for Marianne, as both her parents get impatient with her when she doesn't speak French, not realizing the father plays a part in this. I fear this is only going to get worse. They send her to my house on Saturday afternoon for what they call "French playgroup". But a couple of hours every week or every other week is not going to get us far, if it's not reinforced at home. This is a difficult situation, as they have clearly asked for my help, yet don't seem to make the connection.
post #74 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
Back to the subject of trilingual kids:

I took care of my friends' two children on Saturday, while they went to a wedding. Little soon-to-be-three Marianne speaks mainly English. Her father is French, mother Japanese. I have only ever spoken French to her. She did well on Saturday, started to repeat small sentences and respond spontaneously in French. When the parents came to get the children, her father responded in English to her speaking English to him, then a few minutes later chastized her for not responding in French to me. She looked confused and embarrassed. It was late, she hadn't seen her parents all day and evening, she was on the verge of tears as she stepped in the car.

I have explained the one parent one language method, but they make all kinds of excuses for how it's difficult. I don't want to tell them how do raise their child, and have only talked about how I do things with my son when they remark how well he speaks both languages. However, I feel increasingly sorry for Marianne, as both her parents get impatient with her when she doesn't speak French, not realizing the father plays a part in this. I fear this is only going to get worse. They send her to my house on Saturday afternoon for what they call "French playgroup". But a couple of hours every week or every other week is not going to get us far, if it's not reinforced at home. This is a difficult situation, as they have clearly asked for my help, yet don't seem to make the connection.


its great to speak 3 languages, but it doesn't help if you end up torturing puppy dogs.....



I get really discusted by some of the people I see pushing their kids. I know how important the language thing is - but our son was so much happier when we eased up on the 3rd language. we never pushed him to read, and he can now read quite abit, without us pushing him at all. ditto a lot of simple math. most importantly, he is very happy about learning, books and school, etc. I have a strong feeling that when you push them too much, they loose all desire to advance themselves.
post #75 of 103
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter
its great to speak 3 languages, but it doesn't help if you end up torturing puppy dogs.....



I get really discusted by some of the people I see pushing their kids. I know how important the language thing is - but our son was so much happier when we eased up on the 3rd language. we never pushed him to read, and he can now read quite abit, without us pushing him at all. ditto a lot of simple math. most importantly, he is very happy about learning, books and school, etc. I have a strong feeling that when you push them too much, they loose all desire to advance themselves.

Marianne truly seems to enjoy French, at least with me and my son. It is when her parents push her that she becomes silent. I'm in the middle no matter what. Sigh. They have the solution to achieve what they want, and it's an easy one, yet don't quite get it.
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