French for my piece of mind

Old Apr 19th, 2002, 02:52 PM
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French for my piece of mind

I am interested in knowing any web sights that would help me update my limited high school French so that I might enjoy Montreal better. I know how to say "Good Morning", etc but I am looking for practical applications such as, "Where are the rest rooms?" and items that I might find on a menu that I would NOT want to order. Thank you.
Old Apr 19th, 2002, 03:08 PM
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This site will give you quite a few useful phrases:

but I'd recommend purchasing a pocket-sized phrase book. You can get a good one for under $10.
Old Apr 19th, 2002, 03:22 PM
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Michele, language should not be a problem in Montreal. They greet you everywhere: bonjour, but if you say in return: hello, they switch to English immediately.
Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 07:55 AM
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I assume you mean "peace of mind"...and "web sites"...don't worry they will spot you as an English-speaker immediately and give you a menu in English!
Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 12:43 PM
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Many locals don't speak French.Not to worry as most Montrealers speak English, especially east of Blvd St.Laurent.
Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 02:47 PM
Daniel Williams
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I lived in Montreal for 5 years and certainly I knew people who lived in the city for as long who never learned a word of French and got by. This said, if you wish to improve/practice your French, Montreal does present an opportunity to do so. You should be aware though that the French spoken in Montreal does differ considerably in accent from European French and there are A LOT of expressions that are unique to Quebec. Check out "Je parle plus mieux francais que toi et je t'emmerde" (I may not have it quite right, but the title is something like that) which details in an amusing manner the differences between French spoken in different parts of the world and resulting misunderstandings. "La Parlure Quebecoise" also lists some popular expressions used in la Belle Province, but can be a bit of a dry read.

Not to pick on you Syl, but actually you're more likely to find anglophones WEST of Boulevard Saint Laurent. If you want to use your French, going to areas east of Saint Laurent will give you more opportunities. Saint Denis St. north of Sherbrooke, Mont Royal E. and Laurier E. are great commercial arteries to practice your French.

Talking to actual people may be intimidating; if you want to hear French, tune in to one of the French television stations: TVA, TQS or SRC. The news tends to be in a very international French and you may for the fun of it see how much you understand. I'll tell you, my understanding of Quebecois people was aided immeasurably by watching this show called Watatatow which was full of teenage/young adult melodrama. It was a bit "niaiseux" (Quebec expression #1, a close but incomplete meaning would be airheaded), sort of "faux-cool", but I was hooked and it really helped me understand Quebeckers.

Have a blast whether you decide just to visit in English or practice your French!
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 05:28 PM
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Sorry folks,
I meant west not east.Daniel, does the word emmerde derive from "merde"? If that's the case, naughty naughty.
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 06:48 PM
Daniel Williams
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Syl, you are correct about the derivation of the word "emmerde", but really when one says "Tu m'emmerdes!" it really means "You're getting on my nerves!". You'll hear that expression quite a bit.

Sometimes cuss words don't translate. Take the Quebec swear word "tabarnak" (excuse my language); "tabernacle" just doesn't make anglophones jump in quite the same way.

Best wishes, DAN
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