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New course: Le québécois en 10 leçons

  Tags: Canada | Textbooks | French
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167 messages over 21 pages: << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 20 21 Next >>
Arekkusu
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bit.ly/qc_10_lec
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 Message 153 of 167
18 November 2012 at 4:45pm | IP Logged 
Reading the Wikipedia entry, it appears that the feminine form is "chiacque". I'd never
seen that before.
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s_allard
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 Message 154 of 167
18 November 2012 at 10:12pm | IP Logged 
Just to change the subject a bit, I want to draw the attention of people interested in Québécois culture to a board game called Switch Switch - Le Scorpion masqué that I thoroughly enjoyed playing last night. This an Québécois adaptation of a French game called Contrario.

The website explains how the game works, but I forewarn readers that unless you are a native speaker of French and steeped in Québécois culture, the game is nearly impossible to play. The whole thing got me thinking about how Québécois culture can be encoded in totally standard Québécois French that can co-exist with the vernacular.

I also know that some readers here are concerned about raising the status of Québécois French in the French-speaking world. A product like this should go a long way in this direction.
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lecavaleur
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 Message 155 of 167
15 December 2012 at 1:38am | IP Logged 
s_allard wrote:

What I'm saying is let's call the national language of Quebec "le québécois" just like
any other national language in the world. And just like all the other national
languages, we can distinguish varieties. I won't mention situations that I don't know
first-hand, so I'll stick to France. There is not one single guide to the French
language that will refer to working-class uneducated French as "le français."


I'm not totally in agreement with this. First off, your comparisons don't work. For
example, the national language of the United States is English (more specifically,
American English). There is no such language as "American", and most Americans would
find it pretty insulting if they were told that they weren't speaking English, but
"American".

The standard way of referring to national varieties of languages is to put the national
adjective next to the original name of the language. Thus, we have American English,
Australian English, Austrian German, Belgian French, Brazillian Portuguese, Mexican
Spanish, etc...

"Québécois" is not a language, it's a nationality. The national language of Quebec is
French, more specifically, le français québécois. This national variety of French, as
all national varieties do, has its own subset of registers and a vast collection of
unique expressions and terms. That doesn't make it a language unto itself, and to brand
it as such is dishonest.

I also feel like it robs Quebeckers of their « appartenance » to the Francophonie and
further marginalizes the French language in Canada.

Too many people in Quebec (and in the ROC) think of French as though it were some kind
of backwater dialect, as if Quebeckers weren't speaking a language they share with
hundreds of millions of other people around the world (albeit in their own variety).
Re-branding Quebec French as a separate language only intensifies this poor minority
reflex.

Quote:

And then there is the question of how and when to use this variety of "québécois".
Again, I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with it. I would just caution all
those readers who do not live in Quebec to be very careful when they use the language
in this book - from what I can judge in chapter 1 - with native Québécois they may
meet. Otherwise they may make a fool of themselves or worse insult somebody.


That was my exact reaction when reading the dialogue. I mean, kudos to Arekkusu for
producing this, but the dialogue was jam-packed with every stereotype in the book. I
hope he saved a few for the later chapters!

I can almost guarantee anyone who were to visit Quebec and attempt to use some of these
expressions and pronunciations that he will probably be laughed at. I can vouch for
this because I have a funny story of my own which resembles this experience.

I've lived my whole adult life in Québec, but there was a time, before I moved here,
when I came to Montreal on vacation from my home country. I spoke French already at an
advanced level, and I remembered from my school days some Quebec vocabulary we had
learned from our textbooks. Specifically, I remembered the menu where one could read
"hambourgeois" instead of "hamburger". So, in a restaurant somwhere near St-Denis and
Laurier, I proudly ordered a "hambourgeois" and.... The waiter laughed at me! LOL! And
he said "Un hambourgeois? C'est donc ben québécois, ça !" And he continued laughing.

This is the kind of thing that awaits the poor soul who visits Quebec and goes around
saying "moé" instead of "moi". I assure anyone of that.

Edited by lecavaleur on 15 December 2012 at 1:41am

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s_allard
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 Message 156 of 167
15 December 2012 at 7:35am | IP Logged 
Well, it is gratifying to see that I'm not the only one who thinks that the book in question misrepresents the language spoken in Quebec. But I don't want to reopen that nasty debate.

What I want to look at is the question of what to call national varieties of languages that are spoken in different countries. Sure one sees American English more often than American and Brazilian Portuguese more often than Brazilian, etc. But let me first point out that H.L. Mencken wrote the book The American Language. And we know that when Americans talk about speaking English, they are talking about American English. And we known that many French translations of American literature will say "Traduit de l'américain."

Now when we talk about the varieties of English, we also talk about British English. Nobody really says English English. So we can say that all the national varieties of English are basically equal.

The problem with French, is that there is a distinct social hierarchy that is reflected in the words used for the varieties. Sure there is le français québécois, le français suisse, le français belge, etc. but what about the French of France? Is it le français français, le français hexagonal, le français de France, le franco-français? In fact, it's just le français.

Therein lies the problem. French is the language of France. Despite all the posturing and speeches about la francophonie, French is the language of France. All the other forms of French are regional varieties.

Here is an important detail. Totally unlike the Spanish academy, the Académie française is composed of 40 French citizens by law. There have never been any Québécois members and never will be unless the law is changed.

In this thread the main point of my argument was not really about calling Quebec French Le québécois. I would be just as happy with Le français québécois. What I took offense to was the author of the book in question saying that this was a guide to Le québécois. I felt that in the author's mind there was Le français and Le québécois, the latter just being a new name for joual.

Thus I suggested that if one is going to use the term Le québécois in the title of the book, at least add the adjective "populaire." As the thread has shown, this suggestion was greeted with great scorn, derision and insults.

Edited by s_allard on 15 December 2012 at 4:54pm

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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
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Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
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Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
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 Message 157 of 167
23 December 2012 at 12:16am | IP Logged 
Until the end of the year only, I am offering a special offer for HTLAL members
only
: I'm offering the pdf version of my book at $15 (through Paypal). Just PM me.

Details on the book can be found here on Lulu.

Edited by Arekkusu on 23 December 2012 at 2:23am

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alang
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 Message 158 of 167
23 December 2012 at 1:29am | IP Logged 

I clicked on the link, and the site indicates they do not have the product?
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tastyonions
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goo.gl/UIdChYRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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 Message 159 of 167
23 December 2012 at 1:48am | IP Logged 
The forum software seems to have broken the link. Just use the "copy link address"
function on your browser, and delete the space to go to the right address.

Edited by tastyonions on 23 December 2012 at 2:26am

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alang
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 Message 160 of 167
23 December 2012 at 2:00am | IP Logged 

Thanks tastyonions. I thought the quick click was accurate, but I should pay better attention. You have my useful vote.


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