French With Frederic
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Vivre à Montréal sans parler français

Vivre à Montréal sans parler français

What is it like to only speak English in Montreal?

Je suis de retour un peu plus tôt que prévu avec un nouvel épisode du balado. La newsletter habituelle reviendra la semaine prochaine. Dans cet épisode, je réponds à une question que l’on me pose souvent: peut-on habiter à Montréal sans parler français?

Voici quelques notes:

Things you can’t do when you only speak English in Montreal

  1. You’re going to miss on a lot of fun conversations, life experiences, cultural exchange.

  2. You can’t go to theater.

  3. You can’t go to standup comedy.

  4. You won’t understand the culture.

  5. You won’t be able to watch French tv, series, etc.

  6. You won’t be able to respond to spontaneous neighbourhood conversations.

  7. You can’t go to Cinema Beaubien, or watch French movies.

  8. You won’t understand Frenglish.

  9. You will annoy French speakers if you haven’t learned French after 2-3 years.

  10. You can’t mingle easily in bilingual situations.

  11. You can’t mingle in francophile situations.

  12. You can’t participate easily in “vie de quartier” unless you live in an anglophone-only neighborhood.

  13. Transportation and other official signs and pamphlets are bilingual, almost all the advertising and daily language is in French.

  14. You won’t get the joke (inside jokes, cultural references, sayings, proverbs, etc.)

  15. The rest of Quebec seems like a foreign and slightly hostile place.

  16. You can’t easily find employment.

  17. You can’t easily “meet the parents.”

  18. You limit your options for good neighborhoods.

  19. You won’t be considered like a true Montrealer.

  20. “I found the biggest issue with living in Quebec without proficient French was isolation from the culture,” he said. “It’s very easy to end up in these little anglophone [or] expat groups. I’ve seen it lead to some pretty bad ‘out group’ mentality.”

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French With Frederic
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