Jean-Benoit recently attended a conference of the association, Francophonie des Amériques where he heard University of Laval professor Michelle Daveluy speak about her adventures aboard the Canadian Marine’s frigates NCSM Ville de Québec and HMCS Vancouver. Daveluy, a communications ethnologist, spent several weeks at sea with the Canadian marines researching how communication happens in a bilingual military environment. Read more »
Photo by Jean-François Desmarais
By Julie Barlow
Who would have believed a single sheet of yellow paper could throw life into such havoc?
On March 21st, my daughters brought a note home saying their school, Nesbitt Elementary, was in “consideration” for closure.
I didn’t fall for the gentle terminology. I knew it was serious.
I wasn’t alone. In the days that followed, a small group of shocked and mystified parents got together and sprung into action. We created a blog, a Facebook page, started an online petition, filmed three short videos about the school, opened a Twitter account and started lobbying the media (needless to say, we didn’t sleep much). Read more »
Where does the word maringouin (a type of mosquito) originate from?
A. South America
Correct! The word maringouin (a type of mosquito), which French Canadians swear was coined in Canada, is in fact a borrowing from the Tupi and Guarani languages of South America that was first adopted in the Antilles (French Caribbean), where it is still used today.
Incorrect. Try again!
C. East Africa
Incorrect. Try again!
Thanks for playing – stay tuned for more fun questions about the story of French!
What was the first French dictionary to be published entirely in French? Read more »
Written by Julie Barlow
The American Association of Teachers of French is holding its Annual Conference in Montreal this summer on July 7th, 2011. A member of the AATF recently wrote to us asking if the French spoken in Quebec is really a “dialect” as he had heard from a colleague.
The answer is no. But let’s back up a bit.
What is generally described as a Quebec dialect is a Quebec slang called joual. It is one among many local registers of the language. It is therefore extremely derogatory – or ill-advised– to reduce Quebec French to its slang, just as much as it would be derogatory to reduce American English to its slang, or French from France to argot. Read more »