Never be speechless again: your survival guide to the Quebec language

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Speaking the Quebec language makes many things possible

I can still remember my first trips to Quebec many years ago. As much as I was looking forward to finally using my French skills again, I was all the more surprised that I hardly understood anything. Quebec French is different from the school French I learned in high school. The language in Quebec is very different.

Quebec is known for its culture and history. Even though I learned French at school, it is sometimes difficult to understand the people of Quebec. The French there is different. Many words come from English. This makes it difficult for people who learned French in Europe.

Quebec is a special place in Canada. Many different cultures live together here. Language plays a huge role in culture and when speaking to others. It was important for us as bloggers to talk to the people here. We wanted to hear their stories and learn more about Quebec.

The linguistic landscape in Quebec

In Quebec people mainly speak French. Quebec French is the official language. There are words and pronunciations that are not known in France.

Some people in Quebec also speak English in Quebec. It is mainly spoken in some cities. As travel bloggers, we often notice the difference when we travel in Quebec. In Montreal, for example, we get along well with English. The city is big and many people speak English. This is convenient for us.

In Quebec City and the countryside, however, things are different. Fewer people speak English there. We quickly realize that our school French is often not enough to understand everything. This is due to the special dialect of Quebec. It's a challenge but also an opportunity to learn more.

The further we get away from big cities, the less often we hear English. This makes every trip to Quebec exciting. Even though it is sometimes difficult, we think it is important to experience the language and culture of Quebec.


One of the bistros on our Montreal City Tour for Foodies
One of the bistros on our Montreal City Tour for Foodies


The French of Quebec

One reason Quebec is French is history. Over the years, French in Quebec has absorbed influences from various languages, including English. This can be seen in many words and expressions that are different in Quebec French. The pronunciation is also special. Some sounds are pronounced differently in Quebec than in France.

As travel bloggers in Quebec, we experience these differences every day. For example, people here say “magasiner” instead of “faire du shopping” for shopping. These words and expressions are part of everyday life in Quebec. They show how lively the language is here.

Pronunciation can sometimes be a challenge for us. In Quebec the “r” is often spoken lower in the throat than in France. And the “a” sometimes sounds more like an “o,” especially in words like “pâte” (dough), which sounds almost like “pôte.”

These special features make French in Quebec exciting for us. They are a symbol of the culture and history of this province. Even though we sometimes have to ask questions because we don't understand something, we enjoy learning more about this unique dialect. It helps us delve deeper into the culture and improve our French skills. The more we go there, the more we understand.

English or French? Which Quebec language do you need?

In Quebec people mostly speak French. But English is also important. In some parts of Quebec you hear more English, in others more French. That often depends on where you are.

In big cities like Montreal English is widely spoken. Also in the Eastern Townships South of Montreal we often spoke English. Many people speak both English and French. This is convenient for travelers who speak English. French is more common in Quebec City and the countryside. There it is good to know a few words of French.

As travel bloggers in Quebec, we have learned how important language is. It helps to connect with people. Even if our French isn't perfect, we try. People are happy when you speak their language, even if it's just a little.

We have tips for travelers to deal with linguistic duality.

  • Learn a few basic words and phrases in French. Like “Bonjour” (Hello) or “Merci” (Thank you). This shows respect and opens doors.
  • Use apps or pocket translators. They can help if you don't understand or can't say something.
  • Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Most people in Quebec are helpful and understand that not everyone speaks French or English perfectly.

Our experience shows that being willing to adapt and learn new words makes all the difference. It makes the journey richer and more interesting. Quebec's linguistic duality is part of its culture. Experiencing and respecting them makes the visit special.


Le Manoir de Niverville on the King's Road from Montreal to Quebec City
Le Manoir de Niverville on the King's Road from Montreal to Quebec City Photo:


Basic French skills for your visit to Quebec

A basic knowledge of French is very helpful for a trip to Quebec. French is the main language there, and knowing a few words or phrases can make the trip more enjoyable. As travel bloggers, we have some tips on how to quickly learn the basics.

First, we recommend language learning apps. Apps like Babbel* are good for learning French. They offer exercises for beginners and help you quickly memorize words and phrases. We often use them to refresh or improve our language skills.

Pocket translator* or translation apps on the smartphone are also practical. They help when you don't know a word or aren't sure how to say something. Google Translate or Microsoft Translator are examples of such apps. They can translate texts and also have a language function.

There are a few French words and phrases that are particularly useful. “Bonjour” (Hello), “Merci” (Thank you) and “Au revoir” (Goodbye) are basics. “S'il vous plaît” (Please), “Excusez-moi” (Excuse me) and “Parlez-vous anglais?” (Do you speak English?) are also important. These phrases help in everyday life, in shops or restaurants.

Our experience shows that people in Quebec appreciate it when you try to speak French. Even if you're not perfect, it opens doors and makes it easier to interact with locals.

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What are your experiences with the languages ​​in Quebec?

Have you ever been to Quebec? Which regions have you traveled to? What were your experiences with Quebecers and their languages? Do you have any recommendations or tips that can help other travelers when planning a trip to Quebec? Then share them with us in the comments to this blog post.

Conclusion on the Quebec language:

Engaging with the Quebec language is important for a true travel experience. Quebec's French is unique. It offers insights into the culture and history of the province. When we travel, we like to learn the language of the place. This helps us better understand where we are.

Learning the language is not just practical. It also shows respect for the people who live there. In Quebec we noticed that the locals appreciate it when you make an effort to speak French. Even simple words or sentences can make you smile. That makes the trip more beautiful.

We see the linguistic diversity in Quebec as an opportunity to enrich ourselves culturally. Every language has its own stories, jokes and expressions. By learning Quebec French we also get to know the people better. We learn more about their way of life and traditions.

For us, an authentic travel experience definitely means diving deeper into the culture. Language is a big part of it. Being in Quebec and speaking French, even if it's not perfect, brings us closer to real life. We experience places and encounters more intensely.

Questions and answers about the Quebec language

What influence did British rule have on the development of Quebec French?

British rule in Canada resulted in many English words and expressions being incorporated into Quebec French. This cultural exchange is reflected in a unique language mix that makes Quebec French special.

Are there regional differences in Quebec French and how do they affect travelers?

Yes, there are regional differences in Quebec French, especially between urban and rural areas. Travelers may find that the dialect and use of English loanwords in cities like Montreal are different than in more rural regions of Quebec, making communication exciting and varied.

How does Quebec French influence the identity of Quebecers?

Quebec French is an essential part of Quebecers' cultural identity. It symbolizes their uniqueness in Canada and their deep-rooted French history, which is reflected in their art, music and literature.

How do Quebecers respond to visitors who try to speak their French but have difficulty?

Quebecers generally appreciate it when visitors try to speak French. Even if the pronunciation or grammar is not perfect, learners often respond with patience and helpfulness, which promotes cultural exchange and understanding.

If you want to know more about the Quebec languages, you can find more information here:


Quebec language
Click on the photo and then bookmark “Quebec language” on Pinterest.


Do you know anything else?


Source Quebec language: own research and local experiences. However, our opinions remain our own.

Text Quebec Language: © Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photo: © KI

Never be speechless again: your survival guide to the Quebec language

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn

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