Need I speak French?

Apr 16th, 2005, 12:39 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 30
Need I speak French?

I would like to take a trip to Montreal and Quebec City soon, but I am wondering how I would fair if I do not speak French. I can learn languages fairly quickly, but Spanish is the only one I work at regularly being here in the U.S.

I will learn some French phrases, of course, but other than that, do I need to speak more French just to enjoy a week's trip to both cities? Or at least not annoy Francophones in those cities?
itravelsome is offline  
Apr 16th, 2005, 05:31 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 863
Both cities are geared to tourists and I really don't think you'll have any problems; for your pleasure, if you can read a simple phrase book to familiarize yourself with common expressions, that would be excellent....
mitchdesj is offline  
Apr 16th, 2005, 07:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,970

Many unilingual anglophones come regularly to these two prime destinations in la Belle Province. In the touristy areas, you should not have problems in stores/restaurants. Outside traditional tourist areas, you can encounter unilingual francophones in shops, etc...(Montreal-East, Montreal-North, Montreal-parts of South Shore, Quebec City outside main tourist spots and parts of countryside).

You ask "do you need to speak more French to enjoy...?" and the answer is "no" but I will say that the more French you learn, the more enriching your trip might be. Your question reminds me a bit of some Mexicans I met discussing how one doesn't need English to visit city X,Y,Z in the USA... probably true, but I told them that it would be more enriching to have English.

Have a great trip! DAN
Daniel_Williams is online now  
Apr 16th, 2005, 12:27 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,881
I find even basic French (just as basic Spanish in Mexico or basic German in Germany) will endear you and make things more fun, but you can do find without it.

The one thing I would say is that while people in Montral and QC are usually multilingual, signs within the province of Quebec often are not. While I know some French, I found the subway slightly intimidating only because none of the signs are in English and the announcers are speaking French.
MikeT is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 04:06 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 65
Hi itravelsome
I'm a bilingual anglo living in Quebec City. You're effort to learn a phrase or two will be much appreciated by locals. They know that most of the tourists who visit speak different second/third languages than french and won't be annoyed by you.
Have a great trip.
gdm is offline  
Apr 18th, 2005, 01:16 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 30
Thanks for the responses. I'll get crackin' on learning some French, and I look forward to my visit.

I thoroughly enjoyed Vancouver and I'm sure that I will equally enjoy Montreal and Quebec City.
itravelsome is offline  
Apr 18th, 2005, 04:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,442
This reminds me of a funny incident we experienced on our first trip to QC about 18 years ago. We were staying outside the city in a suburban area, and for some reason needed a bag of ice. We went into a local grocery store where the employees spoke no English (back then, we knew virtually no French). We just could not communicate our need for bagged ice to the shopkeeper - we were all smiling and having a fun experience as the storekeeper brought us bottled water, Vicks, etc, etc. Finally, he went out on the street and brought in a local policeman to help - after about 10 minutes of hand signals and a lot of laughter by all of us, a light bulb went off, and the shopkeeper produced a bag of ice! This taught us all a good lesson - it's helpful to know at least a few French words, and carry a pocket dictionary. You won't have any trouble in downtown areas, but if you happen to stop at a farm stand, service station, etc, outside the cities you might encounter only French speakers.
zootsi is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:32 AM.