The Realities Of Learning French In Montreal That No One Warns You About

Always embrace your franglais.
Contributing Writer
The Realities Of Learning French In Montreal That No One Warns You About

Bonjour, hi. My name's Gabi and I moved to Montreal about six months ago from Toronto. Like any new city, I wanted to dive right in to fit with the locals and learn all about the history and the culture, which included improving my French. And now, I'm here to share the realities I've experiences about learning French in Montreal.

French class was actually one of my favourites in school and I wanted to continue with classes all throughout university.

Editor's Choice: 9 Montreal Spots That Feel Like You've Travelled To An Entirely New City

But between extra-curricular, required courses and just life in general, French was put on the back burner for a while and the whole use-it-or-lose-it thing definitely came into effect.

It's not like I'm now a beginner per se, but I'm definitely not opening a bed and breakfast in the countryside anytime soon.

Some of the basics come back quite quickly, but Est-ce que je peux aller aux toilettes really only gets you so far, ya know?

I've definitely been trying to practice and really immerse myself in the French culture here in the city. Even been taking a couple of classes

But like lots of newcomers, especially as an Anglophone, there are lots of things I've come to learn about learning French in Montreal.

"The Switch" Can Feel Really Shitty

We've all been there. You get ready to ask a question in French. You finally say it and then... the cashier switches to English.

It can feel like a defeat and it may seem intimidating. But don't let it get you down (I know, easier said than done).

People Will Get Frustrated With You

I'm not gonna sugarcoat it. There are some people who get frustrated that you don't speak French. They don't want you to learn French, they want you to know French (very different).

But don't beat yourself up.

There Are Just As Many Francophones Trying To Learn English

As much as you may feel awkward or uncomfortable speaking French, there are just as many Québécois who feel the same way when they speak English.

Both languages can be super tricky to learn.

Your Eye Will Always Go To The English First

Being a bilingual city, there's a lot of English on signs, labels, etc. Naturally, your eye will go to the language you're more comfortable with.

Try your best not to go straight to the English or it'll take you out of the full "immersive" experience.

Reading, Writing, Speaking, And Listening Are All Very Different

All four are key elements to learning a language. Just because you can watch a hockey game in French doesn't mean you can have a full-on conversation. Try to find ways to develop each of these factors.

And no — just listening to French music isn't enough. But try watching French movies with French subtitles.

Québécois French Sounds... Different Than Other French

Just like English, French has many dialects and accents. It's no secret that the Québécois have a very strong accent. It can be a bit of an adjustment if you've been learning more Parisian or European French.

What You Learned In High School May Not Cut It

Nobody cares that you know how to conjugate. Or that you know DR & MRS VANDERTRAMP.

When it comes to speaking, comprehension and communication are way more important than memorization.

Grammar is definitely important. But it's not everything.

If Someone Corrects You, They Aren't Being Rude

It's never a great feeling to be told you're wrong. Especially when you're learning.

But if someone tells you your pronunciation is wrong or that you used le when it should have been la, don't think of it as rude. Think of it as a way to learn.

Thinking In English And Speaking French Just Doesn't Work

Not everything is a direct translation. Some words don't even translate at all.

Try your best to think in French when you're speaking French. Thinking in English may not be as useful as you think.

Bienvenue à Montréal / Welcome to Montreal!

Iconic Montreal Deli Boucherie Slovenia Is Closing Its Doors Forever

Boucherie Slovenia will soon serve its last spicy sausage.

Boucherie Slovenia, a boulevard Saint-Laurent institution for 50 years, will soon serve its last spicy sausage.

The iconic home of enormous Eastern European-style sandwiches — Slovenian sausage and towering cold-cuts were staples — will close its doors forever on January 29, said the owners, Lourdes Rodrigues and Jean Teixeira, in a Facebook post.

Keep Reading Show less

Montreal Was Ranked One Of Canada's Greenest Cities When It Comes To Transport

Montreal takes the lead as the most bicycle-friendly city in all of North America.

Montreal is certainly no stranger to a traffic jam, which makes taking public transit a more viable option to not only get around faster but do more good for the environment.

As Canadian cities take the initiative to improve their transit systems and reduce their carbon footprints, Montreal has become one of the country's greenest metropolitan areas when it comes to transport, according to one ranking.

Keep Reading Show less

More Than Half Of Quebec's 8 Biggest Cities Will Have A Woman As Mayor

In Quebec's city halls, women are kicking ass and taking names.

Women will lead five of Quebec's eight largest cities following the 2021 municipal elections.

The biggest headline of the night may have been Valérie Plante's triumph over old foe Denis Coderre in Montreal, but across the province, the faces of municipal politics have become more gender-balanced.

Keep Reading Show less

The government is in the process of filling a Service Canada job bank and it's advertising salaries of between $61,152 and $65,887.

On an online recruitment page, the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) office says it needs to fill 45 benefits officer and program officer positions in Quebec and encourages qualified individuals to apply.

Keep Reading Show less