What are the main types of differences between French spoken and written in France, and French spoken and written in Canada (primarily Quebec)? It's my understanding that many of the French-speakers in Canada came there before the French Revolution (because Canada became British in the 1760s), and since French was heavily standardized as a result of the Revolution, what kinds of differences are there between the two forms of the language? Are there grammatical differences, spelling differences, vocabulary, etc?

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    Welcome to fr.se! This question is far too broad to be answered precisely. Maybe start with the Wikipedia article about Français québécois, and come back here when you have a question about a specific difference between these two. – Alexis Pigeon Jan 15 '14 at 14:34

The main difference is the spoken accent, but generally both French from France and French from Québec can communicate well together. On a written perspective, grammar and vocabulary rules are essentially the same; Québec has it's own Office de la langue française, though. Since Québec is closer to the English language (Rest of Canada and USA), standard punctuation looks a bit more like theirs than to what is standard in France.

Obviously, there exist terms and idioms specific for each of these cultures (and you could even say region), which makes the other say "Heu, pardon?" or "Qu'essse tu dis?" (or your own favourite "What?" expression).

But to be honest, I think your question should be more specific. Best thing to do to have a good feeling of the difference is to find movies originating from each of those cultures. Beware, as some movies from Québec use the Français international, which is spoken a bit less with a typical Québec accent, and use less Québec slang.


In French we both use English term such as "parking" "week-end" and so on, and I must say that Canadian people use their English term better. Here in France we try to transform these term to a French form that sounds a little bit ridicule, in Canada they don't.

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    You apparently haven't visited the Saguenay region, where words like "toaster" and "cutter" often sound more like "tôsteur" and "cotteur". :P – user757 Jan 15 '14 at 23:33
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    Please define we in we try. Maybe you're thinking to the Académie française, who invented for example cédérom. I agree that this term is ridiculous. But I don't think that french people in general try to transform english words in french words, they use each word as is, eg. CDRom. – A.L Jan 16 '14 at 14:27
  • My point was just to show that Canadian people tend to be really good at saying English words in casual discussions. – soueuls Jan 16 '14 at 19:33

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