Languages (French, English), Quebec
Outside the Old City, very few people speak fluent English, but in the tourist area, most everyone speaks English. Signs, however, are often only in French (unless the English is smaller), so take caution if you are driving!
It is handy to learn at least a few french phases.
Residents of Quebec speak French. Signs, menus, literature, etc will be in French. But almost everything will also be in English, and almost everyone is bilingual. If you can speak some French, the locals will greatly appreciate it and will politely help you with the language. They'll be more than happy to help in English if you get stuck, but do as much in French as you can. It's a very comfortable setting to practice in. The accent is a little rougher than some European French accents, or Montreal for that matter, but I think they're used to novice francophones and will probably make an effort to speak clearly.
In quebec you allready know that we speak french so a good tip is to remember all the words that you know from english. In that book you have all of them. you dont have to learn the words because you have them in mind allready . Here are a few exemples of what i mean by that. Table in english is the same, hotel, cigarettes, cigars, route, securité etc. By all restaurants the menus are in both languages and the price are visible. Alors a bientot j espere
Quebec people are friendly .If you forget something in their store ,they will keep it until you come back ,so remember to say' merci' .Not much people in this city speak English except sale people or waiter/waitress .But don't worry ,you will understand by the way they are smiling and the way they try to expain to you.
People in Quebec City speak french for the most part, but don't be scare, the majority know enough of english to communicate with you. What you could do is just learn a few sentences that could be useful to you or buy a small dictionnary. Maybe you won't need it, but just in case...All the signs are in french (on the road) but tourism places are usually bilingual (like menus in restaurants, explantions in museums...)
Here some examples of the sentences:
Bonjour: Salutation used at any time of the day
Bonsoir: Salutation used at night (after 6PM)
Où sont les toilettes? : Where is the bathroom?
Combien ça coûte?: How much is it?
Où est...?: Where is...?
They use the metric system, so it's kilometer not miles and celcius not Fahrenheit...take a conversion guide with you if you are not familiar with that.
They are very fun people, full of humor, and who like to party...anytime!
Well, you can probably get by fine without any problems without a knowledge of French or some romance language. If you're paranoid, bring a French translation book. ;) But be warned, little English is spoken here, but there are a number of signs that are in English, and just ask for an English menu in any restaurant. You'll be fine! ;) Note that road signs aren't in English though.
There are not as many people in Quebec that speak English as you would think. You would be advised to take a phrase book with you. Better yet, bring someone who speaks French... The people in Quebec have a reputation for being rude. They are no more rude in Quebec than they are anywhere else I've been.
Brush up on your French. In QC, French is the dominant language, unlike in Montreal where it's half French and half English. However, English is common in QC - most of the people that I met spoke English. But, it's kinda cool to talk to people in their native tongue. I wish that I hadn't let my French slip so I could have practiced it when I was in Quebec. A plus tard.
If you speak French, but not fluently, you probably won't get much of an opportunity to practice speaking (unless you specifically ask). The locals can usually peg you as an English speaker and will often speak to you in English. Of course, just about everyone is pleased that you are making the effort and will be happy to let you practice your French on them.
Visit 'rue du TRÉSOR' where local artists display their work.
Cultural tips QUEBEC IS A 'FRENCH SPEAKING CITY' but many speak some English especially in shops and restaurants etc. All signs are in FRENCH. Inside stores etc, you may see some in English but not outside. Greeting people we usually say 'BONJOUR' or 'BONSOIR' ( Good day or good evening ) and when we leave we say 'AU REVOIR or SALUT', 'MERCI' for thank you.
Please make an effort to speak French. I always hold to the fact that I recieve better reception when I try to say a few words in the mother toungue of the place that I am visiting. A tip for service is always expected and welcomed. I always was polite and I was treated politely in return.
A simple 'Bon Jour' or 'Merci' will always get you preferential treatment (even if you don't know French) Showing respect that you are in another culture will always win you points.
Don't worry too much about learning French before visiting Quebec. It will be helpful to have a translation cheat sheet on hand to read signs, but most employees in Old Quebec are bilingual.