How to Learn Canadian French or Quebecois
Learning Canadian French will be a major boost in your ability to integrate and enjoy all that Montreal has to offer. You will hear a lot of debate about how different Canadian French really is from France French. Knowing and learning French based on what is spoken in France will give you a huge advantage. Understanding the subtle differences coming to Canadian French will really drive your understanding of Canadian French.
Never underestimate the value of having live conversations with Montrealers to improve your French. Actually conversing will be your best way to improve your language and understanding. That being said, these online resources were very helpful for me in getting started with Canadian French. (A work in progress!)
This is my favorite find so far. Despite the kind of dated interface, this is the best tool I’ve used so far. I love this very straightforward way of learning Quebecois through mixing written, audio, and conversation. There are 20 lessons that include a video of a conversation and written text in English and Quebecois to follow along. Just watching the first video helped me understand many phrases that I hear often and didn’t understand. Choose lessons through the drop down menu.
A simple, straightforward Quebecois – English dictionary. Also, check out Wikébec, a crowd-sourced Canadian French dictionary.
This is a great streaming service with free and paid content. The kids’ shows are perfect for beginners to get familiar with Canadian French. Listening for words and phrases and the accent is really helpful here.
OffQc is widely recommended as a reliable site for understanding Quebecois. You can purchase eBooks or peruse their blog for help with things like How to order at Tim Hortons or 50 must-know phrases for diehard fans of Québécois French.
This list of idioms from a blog about the differences in Canadian and France French is really nice. Originally in French, but easy enough to translate to work through. Idioms can really take you to the next level when communicating in a second language.
Free online Canadian French lessons. Simple, straightforward & lots of free printables/ worksheets.
This one requires a little more understanding, but I thought it was worth including. For anyone with a decent understanding of French, who wants to better understand idioms and Quebec culture, Je Parle Quebecois is perfect. They create simple, free videos that explain Quebecois and have a full course that is on sale right now for 40% off. (Not an affiliate link.)
I can’t leave out this Wikipedia article on the Quebec French Lexicon. It’s not the prettiest or most fun, but it’s a very good, all-encompassing article. Definitely worth checking out.
What helped you learn Canadian French? Leave your advice in the comments.