speak real French
learning,  my Canadian experience

No such thing as « real French »

Since the very first time I traveled to Canada, I’ve been told that I speak « real French » because I’m from France and not Eastern Canada; today I say stop to this non-sense about real French!

Let’s be clear right away: there is no such thing as « real French »! This idea is VERY present in Canada; as a French woman and instructor, where I’m from is probably the question I get the most (followed by how I learned English lol).

Better than the other kinds of French

Yes, I am from France and yes, 95% of what I teach is the French from France; but it doesn’t mean that it’s somehow above or better than the other kinds of French that people speak all over the world! French people are arrogant enough about this, no need to amplify it… And what does this expression even mean? Is there a « fake French » then? LOL

Canada is a bilingual and wide country; I’ve come to learn that there is a lot of tension between Eastern and Western Canada, mostly because of political reasons. I think it’s so sad to see this amazing country being divided like this, when everybody could learn so much from one another and embrace the different languages and cultures! That’s probably my let’s-just-spread-love side lol. 😀

Fall in Québec
photo credit: Sarah Dessert

French from Québec

It’s actually a mistake to think that people from Québec don’t speak « real French ». The French from Québec was born from the language that French people who settled there were speaking; therefore, they do speak « real French »! Then, with the influence of English, the language has evolved; just like the French in France has evolved as well. So they do speak French, and they have a beautiful accent (this is a matter of opinion). 😉

I lived in Québec city for 6 months a few years ago (you can learn more about my experience there in my article about my new life in Canada) and I LOVED IT! My French accent changed during that time and I came back to France with an accent from Québec! That was pretty funny (except for my mum, who was worried that I was “losing my identity” lol it’s ok Mum); my accent changed back after a few weeks in France. It’s still there sometimes, popping in and making me nostalgic about my life in Québec…

I love the French in Québec and I can’t wait to discover more about the francophone places in Eastern Canada! So if you try to convince me that they don’t speak « real French », well, let me tell you that you got the wrong girl! 😛

Same for English

When you think about it, it’s exactly the same for English. Would you like to hear that you don’t speak « real English » because you don’t speak the English from Texas? I’m pretty sure the answer is no… English is the language, then you have some variations in Australia, in the UK, in the US and even within Canada, between Ontario and Alberta (yep, I’ve lived in both provinces and I can tell you there are some differences)!

This doesn’t mean that English from the US is better than in the UK, not at all! You might have a preference for the way it sounds or the words they use, sure, but everybody deserves some respect and the language is the same!

Did you know that 274 million people speak French across the globe? If you travel and say that they don’t speak « real French », you will get in trouble in a lot of places lol!

So next time this idea pops up in your mind, remember: there’s no such thing as « real French »! If you’d like to know more about the origin of French language, here is a French article you can read.

Together, we learn to speak French so that you can be independent when you go to francophone places around the world; when I know the local differences (in Québec, Switzerland, Belgium or somewhere else), I let you know, because you know what? There is no such thing as « real French »! 😉

Source: https://apprendre.tv5monde.com/fr/exercices/a1-debutant/nous-nous-informons-en-francais