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13 Real Struggles Montreal English-Speakers Go Through Almost Everyday

Shout out to all the awkward anglophones out there.
13 Real Struggles Montreal English-Speakers Go Through Almost Everyday

Photo cred -Doug

Maybe you just moved here for school. Maybe you're staying here for work. Maybe (shame upon shame) you grew up in Montreal, but on the section of the island that stretches from Westmount to the West Island.  Sure, you sat through the French classes, maybe even passed them, but you still go through this on weekly basis. But still, embrace Montreal's unique brand of French/English awkwardness. Weird shit like this keeps you young.

1. Having no confidence in how to say anything

"J'ai allé, oh shit - I meant, je suis allé, um, hier, à la dentiste. Chez? Chez LE dentiste? You know what I'm saying, right? I'm sorry, uh, I mean, tu sais qu'est-ce que je dis, non? Right? non?

 2. Smiling and nodding

[quickly spoken French you do not understand, rising up into a question]

Because you don't know what anyone else is saying either, you almost always agree.

[Francophone stares at you]

"...uh, oui?"

3. Attempting to swear unsuccessfully

[tries saying "tabarnac" instead of "fuck", once]

"So, never again."

4. Saying "hockey", but not in a French way.

5. Saying "dépanneur", but in an almost French way.

6. Saying "terrasse" in a French way

...but when you're not in Montreal, making all your other English friends think you're pretentious as fuck.

7. Wondering if you were supposed to say bienvenue

[ĥas a brilliant moment and remembers high school textbook]

- "De rien?"

[Montreal-er gives you an unimpressed look]

8. Not following basic instructions

[literally passes them a mop, into their hands]

"Isn't this what you want?"

9. (Not) rolling your R's

"Un, deux...twois."

10. Not ordering something because you can't pronounce it

You can order "la galette de sarrasin de la Provençale", or you can choose to not embarrass yourself in front of your date.

11.  In fact, spending your entire time in line practicing how to place your order in French

Is "café" masculin or feminin? Does anyone care?

12. Missing your bus stops because you're too intimidated to talk to the bus driver

[gets on the bus]

This has happened before.


[stays silent for the next hour, before getting off in an empty parking lot in Outremont]

13.  And yet bragging anyways

[talking with English friends in the rest of Canada or the US]

"Difficult? Living in Montreal? Nah, it's totally easy if you speak the language. I guess you just, you know, pick it up pretty naturally. It just comes to you, uh, from living in such a French place. Uh-huh. It's easy."

If you’re also a weirdo about Montreal culture and humour, find Sijia on Twitter (@chuffystilton) or on her tumblr.

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