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Old 04-15-2012, 08:44 PM
 
44,564 posts, read 43,103,689 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
It depends on a number of factors, the most important of which is your own fluency in French. The more fluent you are in any variety of a particular language, the easier it usually is to understand other varieties of it.

Another factor is the level of education in French of the person you are speaking to. If a person went to school in English all his life and only spoke French with his grandparents (for example), then communication will likely be more difficult. 40 or 50 years ago, a Quebec TV program broadcast an interview with Jack Kerouac in French, and most people watching were shocked at how he spoke, because he sounded like a backwoods lumberjack from the 19th century. This was because he had never had any formal education in the language.

Finally, some people in places like northern Maine are ashamed of their French and don't want to speak it to outsiders - not even with people from Quebec or New Brunswick. I ran into this in Louisiana as well.

I am a fluent native French speaker and generally speaking I have never had much difficulty communicating in French with people from northern Maine.
I'm in the similar fix. I have been educated in English my whole life and only took French as a second language. I know enough to have conversations with my Ivoirian friends. However, I never use French much unless I'm with other Francophones. And being in the Atlanta area, there aren't many Francophones in the region. There are people from Francophone nations who would converse with me in French. I was often told "you speak good French for an American".

My biggest fear is forgetting my French.

Actually, Spanish is more useful in the Atlanta because most immigrants in the area are coming from Latin America.

There is a video about a man who was talking with a woman from Montreal. I wanted to understand Quebec French better, so I kept listening to that video.


Differences between French in Quebec and France: accent, attitude & curse words - YouTube


I am a bit aware of some people being ashamed to speak French. I was watching a documentary about Lewiston, Maine. There was a man talking about remembering a time when parents didn't want to teach their children French for fear of getting ostracized, at least in Lewiston. In Louisiana, the teacher would literally beat you if you were caught speaking Cajun French in school.
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,487 posts, read 6,426,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
It depends on a number of factors, the most important of which is your own fluency in French. The more fluent you are in any variety of a particular language, the easier it usually is to understand other varieties of it.

Another factor is the level of education in French of the person you are speaking to. If a person went to school in English all his life and only spoke French with his grandparents (for example), then communication will likely be more difficult.
I lived next to a French-Canadian family for a while when I was a kid, spent a lot of time at their house. The French I learned there was a bit different from the French I learned in school later. I consider it much like the differences between talking to someone from Spain and someone from Portugal, the base language started out the same but separation resulted in changes in pronunciation (and spelling, in some cases). Also similar to the differences in dialect in different parts of Germany, and other countries with Germanic language roots.

(Actually, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese are all related, they all have their roots in Latin.)
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
20,571 posts, read 25,628,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymer View Post
I lived next to a French-Canadian family for a while when I was a kid, spent a lot of time at their house. The French I learned there was a bit different from the French I learned in school later. I consider it much like the differences between talking to someone from Spain and someone from Portugal, the base language started out the same but separation resulted in changes in pronunciation (and spelling, in some cases). Also similar to the differences in dialect in different parts of Germany, and other countries with Germanic language roots.

(Actually, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese are all related, they all have their roots in Latin.)
Spanish and Portuguese are two completely different languages, though they have some similarities.

The differences between European and Canadian French are more like the differences between English in England and English in Texas.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Spanish and Portuguese are two completely different languages, though they have some similarities.

The differences between European and Canadian French are more like the differences between English in England and English in Texas.
Sounds about right. Canadian French is different from Cajun French. Under Cajun French is Prairie French and Bayou French. In New Brunswick, I hear there is a language called Chiac, which is basically Acadian French mixed with English, a form of Franglais.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Nassau/Queens border
1,481 posts, read 2,687,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coaster View Post
The people of the St. John Valley in Maine sometimes call themselves Acadians because many of their ancestors came to the Valley to escape the Expulsion. Cajun is a corruption of Acadian and refers to Acadians who resettled in French Louisiana after the Expulsion.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem Evangeline is about two Acadian lovers who are separated by the Expulsion. Longfellow was a Portland native, and his statue still stands on Congress Street in Longfellow Square.
I was just about to mention Evangeline (one of my favorite poems) when I read your post.
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:22 AM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,487 posts, read 6,426,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Spanish and Portuguese are two completely different languages, though they have some similarities.

The differences between European and Canadian French are more like the differences between English in England and English in Texas.
Ummmm...no. They both have the same roots. Geographical separation of the two societies by a mountain range on the Iberian Peninsula resulted in some divergence as the languages developed, Brazilian Portuguese is even further divergent due to greater separation. Having learned Spanish, I had little difficulty in communication living amongst Portuguese.

However, rather than argue based on personal experience, I'll take the easy way out and just point you at the wiki:

Differences between Spanish and Portuguese - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The differences between European French, Canadian French, and the Acadian and Cajun dialects have similar divergences caused by geographical separation, with each retaining or discarding influences from other languages.
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:36 AM
 
17,158 posts, read 22,167,733 times
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How bout the difference between a brit and an australian??

The australians Ive met get offended if you ask them if they are british, as do the British-
from a distance, they sound similar to me- but close up, I can usually tell the difference
I do enjoy listening to both, very intriguing accents.

from a brit, and an australian, im sure they sound nothing alike
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
20,571 posts, read 25,628,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymer View Post
Ummmm...no. They both have the same roots. Geographical separation of the two societies by a mountain range on the Iberian Peninsula resulted in some divergence as the languages developed, Brazilian Portuguese is even further divergent due to greater separation. Having learned Spanish, I had little difficulty in communication living amongst Portuguese.

However, rather than argue based on personal experience, I'll take the easy way out and just point you at the wiki:

Differences between Spanish and Portuguese - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The differences between European French, Canadian French, and the Acadian and Cajun dialects have similar divergences caused by geographical separation, with each retaining or discarding influences from other languages.
OK, so which are more similar,

A
El Gobierno podrá imponer el nuevo presidente de RTVE | Sociedad | EL PAÍS
and
B
Frana/Presidenciais: Hollande descola de Sarkozy - sondagem Ipsos | UE | Dinheiro Digital (http://dinheirodigital.sapo.pt/news.asp?section_id=19&id_news=179162 - broken link)

or

C
Grève: l'unité des associations étudiantes vacille | Tommy Chouinard | Éducation
and
D?
Prsidentielle : radios et tlvisions tiendront "secrtes" les estimations avant 20 heures


C and D are pretty much identical in grammar, spelling and vocabulary. Not so for A and B.
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:16 PM
 
327 posts, read 793,910 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Finally, some people in places like northern Maine are ashamed of their French and don't want to speak it to outsiders - not even with people from Quebec or New Brunswick. I ran into this in Louisiana as well.
Very interesting. I've often wondered if any of the Pelletier family or their employees (from the show American Loggers) speak French. A few of them have accents very similar to an old hockey coach of mine. He was born and raised just outside of Montreal and immigrated to the United States after college and still retained a thick French Canadian accent and of course spoke French fluently. The guys on American Loggers seem to have the accent, but I wonder if its because French is/was their first language or because it's just the predominate accent of the area where they grew up?
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:49 PM
 
44,564 posts, read 43,103,689 times
Reputation: 14375
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
OK, so which are more similar,

A
El Gobierno podrá imponer el nuevo presidente de RTVE | Sociedad | EL PAÍS
and
B
Frana/Presidenciais: Hollande descola de Sarkozy - sondagem Ipsos | UE | Dinheiro Digital (http://dinheirodigital.sapo.pt/news.asp?section_id=19&id_news=179162 - broken link)

or

C
Grève: l'unité des associations étudiantes vacille | Tommy Chouinard | Éducation
and
D?
Prsidentielle : radios et tlvisions tiendront "secrtes" les estimations avant 20 heures


C and D are pretty much identical in grammar, spelling and vocabulary. Not so for A and B.
A and B aren't even the same language. I can tell just by looking at the letter arrangements.
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