Language, Montreal

8 Reviews

  • Faros, 362 Fairmount Ave, Montreal
    Faros, 362 Fairmount Ave, Montreal
    by s_odyssey
  • Language
    by katie_park
  • Language
    by christos

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  • appaloosy's Profile Photo

    The Language Thing...

    by appaloosy Updated Feb 28, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fondest memory: Arrêt Or Stop? Why, BOTH Of Course! ;-)

    Unless you are a long-time resident, the politics of language should be avoided at all costs. Don't even ask - trust me.

    Montreal is a cosmopolitan city, her strength lies in her diverse ethnicities, neighbourhoods, culture, restaurants, etc; but Quebec' provincial language laws make it all but impossible to post outdoor signs in languages other than French. However in certain areas of Montreal - particularly in the downtown area (where most travellers and tourists go), you will certainly see signs and advertisements in English, and bilingual services are widely available.

    You will find the locals are likely to converse in either French or English, and just as comfortable switching back and forth between the two languages. In fact, walk along the Main (St. Laurent Blvd) and you'll hear at least 35 languages spoken. To be sure, you will occasionally run into a surly metro ticket-booth worker who may resent being spoken to in English (I've had this happen to me on occasion), but on the whole Montrealers are justifiably proud of their bilingualism.

    Europeans will have no problem fraternizing, Americans might want to perhaps familiarize themselves with a few basic French words and phrases just to acquaint themselves with the local lingo.

    Luc-Normand Tellier, author of the book "VIVE MONTREAL LIBRE!" suggests that the greatest asset of the city is its bilingualism. He couldn't be more right!! Montreal has so much to offer! So, as they say here Bienvenue au Montréal! relax, have fun, and enjoy l'esprit de Montreal!!

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  • vibi68's Profile Photo

    A little French course...

    by vibi68 Updated Jun 18, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: If you intend to visit the city of Montreal or the whole province of Quebec, you must already know that the official language is French; allthough you'll be able to get service in English, Montrealers always apreciate the efforts tourists make to ask or answer in French. So just to be nice and make you stay even more pleasant try to remember a few of these words:
    Hello - Bonjour
    Good evening - Bonsoir
    Goodbye - Au revoir
    Please - S'il vous-plait
    Thank you - Merci
    You're welcome - Je vous en pris
    How much? - Combien?
    Where is... ? - Où se trouve... ?
    How can I get to... ? - Comment puis-je me rendre à... ?
    What time is it? - Quelle heure est-il?
    Do you have change? - Avez-vous de la monnaie?
    Do you take credit cards? - Acceptez-vous les cartes de crédit?
    The Forecast - La Météo
    One - Un (on)
    Two - Deux (de)
    Three - Trois (trooah)
    Four - Quatre (catr)
    Five - Cinq (sank)
    Six - Six (seess)
    Seven - Sept (set)
    Eight - Huit (ooeet)
    Nine - Neuf (nef)
    Ten - Dix (deess)

    Fondest memory: For those who understand both French and English, here are a couple of little anecdotes which happened to an aunt of mine, while she was touring the States with her indelible French Quebecer's accent.
    She pulled up in a station to get gas for her car and said to the helping man when lowering her window: "Fill me up, please!" ...Another time she was ordering breakfast in a greasy spoon, when she thought about letting the waitress know how she wanted her eggs, and said: Two eggs don't pète the yellows!" I almost peed on myself when my cousin told me about those funnies!

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Family Travel

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  • ct-bound's Profile Photo

    French for the non-french tourist

    by ct-bound Written Aug 7, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Some basics:

    Bonjour (bone zhuu) - hello, good day
    S'il vous plait (see vuu play) - please
    Merci (Mare-see) - thank you

    Is - est (ay)
    Where - ou (oow) est...?
    When - quand (kond)
    How much - combien (kom byen)
    Bathroom - la toilette (twa let)
    Left - Gauche (goshe)
    Right - Droit (draw)

    Water - de l'eau (der low)
    Chicken - poulet
    Beef - boeuf
    Fish - poisson
    Seafood - fruits de mer ('fruits of the sea' - cute)
    Lamb - Agneau
    Pain (pan) - bread
    Petit dejeuner - breakfast
    Dejeuner - lunch
    Souper - Dinner
    5 a 7 (cinq a sept) - happy hour

    1 - un
    2 - duex (doo)
    3 - trois (twaa)
    4 - quatre (cat)
    5 - cinq (sank)
    6 - six (seece)
    7 - sept (set)
    8 - huit (weet)
    9 - neuf (noof)
    10 - dix (dees)

    How to order off a numbered menu and sound like you know what you're doing -
    'I would like number 5, please'
    = 'Je voudrais numero cinq (5), s'il vous plait' pronounced 'zhe vuu dray noo-mero sank, see vuu play'

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  • s_odyssey's Profile Photo


    by s_odyssey Written Apr 7, 2004

    Favorite thing: Dont worry about the french/english element, most montrealers speak both.

    As for those who dont you will manage using a few wrds of english and most
    importantly like anywhere else where language is an issue, use your hands (it
    takes time but it wrks and most people have fun doing it)

    Basic french will get you by with no problems, there are always those that dont want to understand, they probably have nothing interesting to say anyways (i call them ignorant) and you will (i promise u)
    find someone who does not too far away.

    The trick is not to be feel silly, HAVE FUN!

    Faros, 362 Fairmount Ave, Montreal

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  • rmdw's Profile Photo

    To Parlez or Not Parlez en Montréal

    by rmdw Written Jul 12, 2003

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    Favorite thing: Since moving here, many of my friends have admitted that only now [that they know somebody here] will they feel comfortable visiting Montréal.

    Why the hesitation? Because of their lack of French. I do confess that I had such apprehensions myself before moving here.

    It is very true that the Province of Québec is predominantly French-speaking. I've been told that in some smaller towns, nobody speaks a word of English.

    But this is certainly not true in Montréal. Many people here are fluently bilingual and often speak 3 or more languages!

    The key to enjoying yourself here is to try to converse in French, at least a little about. Even just saying the following will make a good impression: "Bonjour. Je ne parle pas francais. Parlez-vous anglais?" - - which means: "Hello. I don't speak French. Do you speak English?" And if you're more comfortable in the language then by all means try to converse more en francais!

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  • katie_park's Profile Photo

    study english at La Salle...

    by katie_park Written Sep 2, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: study english at La Salle college... hahaha!
    this school was the first and the last institute where i studied english in montreal for 5 months...
    when i dropped by the mizba, oversea education agency to pick up some info on ESL course in canada, an agent appealled me saying that montreal has relatively less korean students, and La Salle has one of greatest programme there... well, i had a little bit of doubt, though, i gave it a shot and really i had no korean classmates at least in the same classroom while studying there...on the other hand, if you study toronto, or vancouber expecting not many koreans--- uh-hah!!

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  • This is where you will hear...

    by Birbao Written Aug 25, 2002

    Favorite thing: This is where you will hear French and English being spoken at the same time. Montreal is very European and the old part is breathtaking! There is always a festival going on so you're guaranteed never to be bored.

    Fondest memory: When I'm away from Montreal, I miss the party atmosphere. And the french!

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  • First of all, you have to know...

    by VincenZzo Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: First of all, you have to know that Montreal is one of the most cosmopolitan city in the world. Being the only big french city in the huge english north american world made it a world of contrast, difference and tolerance.

    Fondest memory: The city is divided (East/West) from a street call St-Laurent. The english community of the big island lives in the west part and the east part is where you'll find the french people along with there culture. Of course these are not political frontier... I personnaly lived in the english section even if I'm french... but it's the reality.

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