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There's a discussion going on about the use of Guillemet in written French. The official view of l'Académie is pretty clear I think, but how widely is this reflected around the world?

Is it normal to use Guillemet instead of English style quotation marks when in Quebec for instance or other non-France French speaking countries?

In real world usage within France how much do people actually deviate from the official line in practice?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

It really depends on the typographers. Some consider that using English quotes makes the text actually looks nicer, even though it is discouraged by the Académie (and the Imprimerie Nationale).

In the past, it was hard to typeset the guillemets, too. Modern programs replace quotes by guillemets automatically (or provide macros, like frenchb in LaTeX) which make it much easier to typeset them properly.

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Written publications in France (books, newspapers, academic journals, magazines) all use double guillemets as primary marks of quotation.

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In Canada, the guillemet is used.

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In Belgium, we use guillemets as well as double quotes.

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when you say 'as well', do you mean they're interchangeable, or that you could also use them together? – Benjol Aug 18 '11 at 10:19
mmm right, the first case. – patapizza Aug 18 '11 at 11:40
Is this the case for any kind of publication? – Stéphane Gimenez Oct 11 '13 at 18:28
The newspaper La Libre Belgique uses English quotation marks “” more or less systematically (but one can still find guillemets «» in some minor sections). However, I am pretty sure that the French-speaking publishing industry in Belgium uses guillemets «» dominantly. – Serge Bibauw Feb 11 at 23:42

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