For many French speakers and individuals learning French, it may be assumed that Quebec French is similar to the one spoken in France and other French-speaking countries. This is however further from the truth since Quebecois, which is the term used in reference to Canadian French, is far more complicated. In order to fully master the art of speaking French like a Quebecker, it is imperative to follow a couple of key steps.
1. An individual should listen and pay close attention to chansons folkloriquesquébécoises.
These are Quebec folk songs. Quebec remains known to be one of the places in the world offering a wide array of folk music. This proves to be an invaluable aspect when assimilating how the French- Canadian aspect operates.
Quebec folk songs are sung all over the city in forums such as pubs and taverns. Quebec folk songs come in catchy tunes that not only enable an individual to learn Canadian French but also get to familiarize themselves with the locality. Examples of songs Quebec folk songs include;
· La Bottine Souriante
This folk song is perfect for learning how vowel sounds work when learning how to speak French like a Quebecker. For instance, the nasal vowels are significantly used in this folk song. The vowels spoken in Quebec French significantly vary from Parisian French. These nasal vowels articulate the Quebec accent and this makes it unique from that spoken in France.
· Le Vent du Nord: Au Bord de la Fontaine.
This song helps the learner articulate the use of relaxed pronunciation. This can be tricky when it comes to distinguishing the pronunciations present in both France and Quebec French. For instance, the word “aine” that is present in Quebec French sounds significantly similar to the “ehn” present in Parisian French. From this song, an individual can learn that the word is pronounced more like “ayn”.
2. Watching French Canadian movies.
This activity can tremendously buoy up how an individual can learn Canadian French. The film tradition that exists in Quebec has a strong tradition that is unique to that found in France. Most, but not all, of the French Canadian music possess a strong Catholic outlook. This is owing to the fact that Quebec was not part of the French revolution with France and only recently divorced itself from the strong Catholic culture which previously existed.
Watching French Canadian movies are an integral aspect when it comes to learning Canadian French and getting to have the diction fine-tuned. This is owing to the fact that the dialogues presented bear a close semblance as to how Quebeckers speak in a real-life setup.
Tools such as FluentU assist a learner to effectively learn Canadian French. This is because such tools convert regular media and convert it into personalized learning lessons. Movies also provide a good challenge to overcome since actors will speak in different dialects and intonations. There are various movies that a learner can start with such as;
· La Grande Seduction
This is a comedy movie and therefore loads of fun to watch. The movie is set up in the small village of Ste-Marie-La-Mauderne that has been experiencing a steady decline. In order to ensure the village’s continuity and sustainability, a plot is hatched to entice a company into setting up a factory in the village.
To achieve this, the village needs to expand its population as well as get a doctor to reside there. The plot revolves around the villagers’ attempt to lure a doctor from Montreal through faking their lifestyle.
· Monsieur Lazhar
This movie provides a more realistic feel. The plot entails an Algerian immigrant who is residing in Montreal. The immigrant takes up a substitute teacher position in a school after the original French teacher commits suicide in a classroom. The movie centres on the newfound bond between the teacher and his students.
Movies are a great way to learn Canadian French. However, viewers need to be wary and steer clear of French Canadian dubs that have been outsourced from other English- language media. This is owing to the fact that their voice and diction can give a false impression as to how Canadian French sounds.
3. Learning Canadian slang.
Canadian slang is an important factor worth considering when an individual is learning how to speak French like a Quebecker. This is because out there in the streets most of the communication between Quebeckers goes on in French. Understanding how Canadian French sounds like when it is spoken in its raw form provides the student with an added advantage.