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French and Some of Its Accents

December 19th, 2018 · 1 Comment · France

Most of us, we learn a bit of another language, and we somehow assume that the words are understood anywhere that primary language is spoken.

In fact, every global language has numerous versions of what might be described as “proper” or “correct” language. Some of which might well be mocked by others who prefer their own interpretation.

Which brings us to this amusing video in which a comedian pokes fun at several French-language accents.

Personally, I would love to be able to express myself in any version of French. Not happening, so far. The pronouns alone bring me to an immediate halt.

So, have a listen.

Some observations.

–The French spoken in the Canadian province of Quebec has a couple of alternative reputations. On one hand, it is considered by some to be the most historically accurate version of French because the francophones in Quebec tend to trace their sound to a few villages in Normandy. Also, the Quebecois are perhaps the most militant defenders of francaise because they are surrounded by English speakers. On the other hand, Quebecois is often known as “hillbilly” French.

–Even Parisian French, or at least Parisian French of the working man, is a bit rough. Not quite as elegant as we might suspect. Harsh language from Marseilles … we expect that. As well as the Walloons of Belgium suggesting their French has no accent at all

–It is true that outside languages leave an imprint. The speaker does a good job of giving his English patter a clearly English feel, and the American chatter ends on an “r” — which Americans can say but the French cannot. Russian French sounds almost as harsh as Russian Russian, and Japanese French sounds almost as formal and polite as regular Japanese.

–The French Swiss speak slowly? Who knew?

–The several varieties of African French each have their place, and none of them sound quite alike — with the Maghreb patois forming an outlier.

As the young man doing the video notes, this is all meant to be in fun.



1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Gene Hiigel // Dec 21, 2018 at 10:12 PM

    Links to the video seem to be broken. The Wiki link works perfectly.


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