Craig Hall
Which version of French is best? I am beginning to learn French from France. I have been told that it is the standard French. Is that correct? I know that Castilian Spanish is a bit different but a Spaniard and a Mexican (or any other Latin American) have no trouble understanding one another. Is it the same thing with French? Can Haitians, French speaking Africans, and Quebecois all understand and be understood by speakers of European French? I hope this question make sense and thank you for your help.
Dec 5, 2016 2:35 AM
Answers · 6
To me, there is no "standard" French: there are varieties of spoken French. But these varieties may have more differences in their familiar language register (eg: slang, conversation with friends) than in the more formal language register (eg: news, job interview). For exemple, as a Québécoise, I can have difficulties understanding slang from France or from any country of Africa (conversation or movie) but if I watch the news from there or if I read something, it's the same structure, same grammar, same rules.
December 5, 2016
I beg to differ with Mariloue: there are some differences in vocabulary between Canadian, Belgian, Swiss etc..(eg septante , octante, nonante, char, etc. BUT, saying that, they are not numerous and generally we can all understand each other without major problems.
December 5, 2016
Yes it's the same ;) , we just have different accents and expressions. The writing part (grammar , vocabulary , etc) remains the same, regardless of where we're from.
December 5, 2016
As a European French speaker, I sometimes have difficulties to understand people from Canada, especially when they speak very fast, but after listening to their language for some time, I can get along quite well. The same goes for some people with a heavy African accent. I think, when you can handle Andalucian Spanish, you should get along with African and Canadian French, too. In the other direction, this should be less of a problem, since most French Speakers outside France should be used to watching French movies and listening to other media from France. So they should understand European French even if they speak with a different accent.
December 5, 2016
My experience learning French is that Belgian French or Swiss French is spoken a bit slower than french from France, and of course, that's a generalization, but in school we learned that in terms of speed, France had the fastest French, then Belgium, then the Swiss; and yea, when I had a teacher from Lyon, France, I had a hard time following her as she spoke very fast compared let's say to a Belgian. French from Canada I can only describe it as, French spoken with an american southern twang. :) Imagine somebody from the south of the USA speaking french...that's how Canadian French sounds like to me and many times, I have a hard time understanding it. If you're learning French, maybe start out with European French.
December 5, 2016
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Craig Hall
Language Skills
English, French, Spanish
Learning Language
French