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Learn to speak Quebec

A book designed to open the door to Quebec culture and language

by Kimberly Shellborn
Cover of Speak Quebec!
Speak Quebec! is a guide to day-today French. — Photo courtesy Daniel Kraus

Speak Quebec! is a practical handbook for understanding the day-to-day French spoken in the province of Quebec. 

Author Dan Kras said he hopes this book—the result of almost 15 years of work, research and discussion—would continue to open the doors of Quebec culture to visitors, residents and admirers of Quebec and her language.

Kraus helps the readers understand why Quebec French is so different from the French of the country of its origin. Simply put, the language in Quebec did not follow the same evolutionary path as its mother language in France. 

When settlers first arrived in Quebec they lacked words for many of the things they found in their new world. Many animals and plants were new to the settlers and had no equivalent word from their original language, so these early pioneers began to use the native terms. Once the Quebecois were surrounded by the British, anglicised words crept into their vocabulary as well.  Throw into that mixture a population of mostly rural tradesmen, craftsmen and farmers who had a spirit of strong independence and one can begin to understand how the French in Quebec took on its own colloquial vocabulary and accent so different from its origins.

Speak Quebec! walks you through the history of Quebecois, explains pronunciation and colloquial terms used exclusively in Quebec, and includes a dictionary of words and expressions.

If you are planning a trip to Quebec and want to be able to understand a bit of the language and culture, you will want to take Speak Quebec! as a reference guide.

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