Language Translations for Real Life: Coffee Talk in French

One thing I've learned living here in the expat community in Madrid, is that everyone has a bone to pick about the "proper" way to speak a language. In Madrid, English is an interesting concept, as discussed in my previous post. The English language teacher was in the process of evaluating English Teacher certification programs, so she could get on board with the " learn English from a native teacher "craze here, when our Spanish friend told her to go to the Vaughan System teacher certification program. – Yes, the Vaughn System is great and very popular here in Spain. "

She responded: Amigo, with all due respect,

He nodded: Oh no, I understand …

For those of you who are not familiar with the cultural bit here, Spanish in Spain is different from Spanish outside of Spain, just like British English is different from American English … and people in the expat community like to make sure that the general population is aware of that. But it does not stop there, French from France is also different from Canadian French.


So what's the difference – French is French to my ears … but one from y, I was watching the News on TV 5 Monde, and while I normally can follow the news, I struggled to understand. While the words seemed French, the tone was a little different. I really could not follow the stories, and there was a distinct accent, sort of sounded American, but clearly not American English … it was the Canadian French News.

The next day, I asked the French mommy friends what they thought the differences between the two languages ​​were. To my surprise, a lot … for example:

  • The expression for going shopping in European French is " faire des courses say " taller ". "Magasin" means a shop or store in French … so the "high" is used as a "shopping" by the French Canadians.
  • A " dépanneur " in France is a repairman. "Dépanner" used as a verb implying fixing something. But in Quebec, "dépanneur" is actually a convenience store, maybe because one can get things fixed by the friendly 7-Eleven folks?
  • And the term " blonde " to me it would describe the color or one's hair, in Canadian French, it is actually a term used for girlfriend regardless of the hair color. and brands ".
  • But in some cases, the same word might be confusing. For example, if you get invited to " dîner " by a French Canadian, it means lunch, but to a European French, it means dinner. " Déjeuner " lunch for the latter, and " souper " is dinner for the former.

Okay, so there's more than one way to skin a cat, for the most part, a French person will understand a French Canadian, and vice versa. So there is "controversial"? Does one group think their version of the language is more "proper"? Is that same friendly "jabbing in the ribs" also prevalent, as with the Brits and the Americans or the Spanish and the Argentineans?

I'm not sure; the answer may be too controversial for me to attempt to dissect here. However, I can tell you that based on my informal, unscientific poll, if you speak or market to a European French person in Canadian French, you may risk putting that audience or risk them looking at you funny. And if you try messaging to a French Canadian in European French, they will surely know that you are not really talking to them, you might even offend them since their friendly Canadian disposition.

Answer: Celine Dion is a smart business woman who knows how to be successful in a global audience. When she is performing in France, she can speak to her fans using European French (but with her Canadian French accent), but when in Quebec, she speaks her mother tongue – French Canadian. Her localization skills have allowed her to enjoy her international pop superstar status. She will not alienate her fans; rather she embraces them in the language and manner in which they want to hear … music to my ears and to millions of others.

Stay tuned for the next Segment of Language Translations for Real Life Series where we'll take a look at Localization of Colors Around the World

Source by Rachanee Thevenet

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