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Difference between Quebecois and French?

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07-12-2012, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Masao View Post
"Je joue avec les gosses de mon voisin" means two completely different things depending on what continent you are. This sums up the difference.
Good one.

French individual: Est-ce que t'as embrassé tes gosses ce matin ?

Quebec individual: Tu me prends pour un contorsionniste esti ?

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07-12-2012, 01:35 PM
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My bona fides: I'm an Anglo who grew up in Montreal, and later lived in Paris. It was funny seeing Quebecois television subtitled on television in Paris. I've been American for a while now.

France established colonies in the New World, as did the English, concentrating in parts of the Atlantic Provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Maine, and principally in what is now the province of Quebec).

Close ties were kept between the French and the colonies until after the British were victorious in the French and Indian War (as it is known in North America; the Seven Years' War in Europe) of the 1750s and 1760s. As a result of that war, British ascendancy was assured in North America and French influence waned. Because of that split, the languages began branching off from one another.

It's a simplistic summary, but in Quebec the language itself hasn't much changed, largely preserved from the language of the mid-18th century (even if the accent is unique). In France, the language itself has undergone far greater alteration. Because the French perceive themselves to be far less under siege than do the Quebecois, the French language in France borrows heavily from other languages, especially English (a language that, since Norman times, has been grafting the French language on top of a Saxon linguistic base, so fair play.)

French communities and their languages in North America constitute a remnant, but they are all connected, interestingly. You can visit Quebec but also areas in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and parts of Maine today in which French is widely spoken, in an amorphous area known as Acadia. Out on Cape Breton, you can still visit Fort Ste. Louis, for example.

If that word sounds familiar, note that Acadia and Cajun (a Cajun) are the same word, just morphed over two and a half centuries. Cajun communities concentrate not only in Lousiana today, but up the Mississippi River past Arkansas and Mississippi, and into remnant riverine communities in adjacent southern Illinois and Missouri. In some areas this heritage is vibrant, while in others it is a historical footnote preserved in surviving French family names.

The history in southern North America is that Haiti was an economic engine, one gigantic sugar plantation for the French Empire. Southern French North America was the bread basket for the Haitian colonies; the Mississippi River was the conduit by which this bounty was transported from French America to the Mississippi Delta and thence to Haiti. After Haiti gained independence, Napoleon decided in 1803 to sell off its remaining territories in North America to the US, in the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the size of the US territories.

Note that while the Quebecois, the Acadians and the Cajuns are all interconnected, the Creole of the Caribbean basin in Haiti and the Mosquito coast are distinct, fusing French and African roots, languages and shared histories.

Last edited by Drake1588: 07-12-2012 at 01:47 PM.
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07-12-2012, 01:37 PM
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Chiac>French and Quebecois

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