What is the difference between Parisian french and Canadian french?

Friday | October 7, 2021 | by French Tweets

Parisian french and Canadian french




French being the official language of the Quebec region and one of the two official languages of Canada is a highly popular choice among the people today. 

Other than Quebec, it is also majorly spoken in Ontario as well as New Brunswick. 

Although the Quebec French and Metropolitan French have the same old roots, today, still the two have a difference in vocabulary, pronunciation, and not to mention accent. 

Where Parisian French is a derivative of vulgar Latin and the regional dialects, the Quebec French was developed by the people who immigrated from the French mainland starting from the beginning of the 17th and the 18th century.  

If you are listening to a Quebec native speaker for the first time, you may get confused with the informal words and certain grammar differences between the two languages. It might even take you a day or two to get a grasp on their accent. But, if you want to familiarize yourself with their differences beforehand, these pointers might be of great help to you.


Let’s find out how the two French-language worlds are different.




  • Pronouns : 

Quebec mostly uses:

“on” in both the formal as well as the informal setting, instead of the first person plural “nous”.

“Y” instead of “Il” : “Y était ici” (Il était ici).

“A” instead of “Elle”: “A est si belle” (Elle est si belle)

“Je suis” replaced by “chu” : “Chu malade” (Je suis malade)

“Sur la” : s’a

“Sur les” : s’es


  • Relative Pronouns

In informal usage of the language, “dont” is used more prominently than “que”. For instance : In mainland french, we say : "J’ai trouvé la robe que je cherchais " whereas in Quebec French, we say : "J’ai trouvé la robe dont je cherchais."

Another example of the grammatical difference between Parisian and Québec French is the subject and object pronouns are most of the time not the same.





The Quebec vocabulary has been influenced by the country’s cosmopolitan nature. There are many words used in Quebec French which have different meanings or almost no meaning in Metropolitan French. Breuvage means beverage (Boisson in France), bacon means money (argent in France). 

Stop signs in Canada will have “Arrêt” written on them whereas in France they have simply “Stop” printed on them. 

The word, “Job” is used to describe your work in Quebec whereas, in Metropolitan France, the word “boulout” is used. 

The absolute necessity in the freezing temperature of Canada is a pair of “Snow Boots”, called “babiche” in Quebec French. 


Here is a list of some variations in three different languages and regions. 



Parisian French

Quebec French


Faire du shopping





Mobile Phone






To cry





Verlan, a form of French slang used mostly by adolescents and the younger generation, is popular both in Canada and France. 

The Canadian argot is mostly influenced by American culture whereas French slang has its specifications. 

Both the versions of french have their specific set of verlan used by the people. 


Quebec - gang : group; chums:buddies; flos:kids

France - meuf :woman; ouf:great; tof:photo soeur:reus





The Canadian French accent is strikingly different from that of Parisian French. 

Some notable differences are observed especially in the usage of vowels. Vowels are more nasal-y than in Quebec French, for example, “an '' is pronounced more like “in'' so a phrase like “courant '' may sound more like “Courrin''.


The letters “D” and “T” are pronounced as “DZ” and “TS” when it occurs before the letters “U” and “I.” For example, Tuer (to kill) has the phonetic transcription /tɥe/ in mainland France whereas /t͡sy.e/ in Quebec French.

Metropolitan French pronounce a trilled or a flapped “R.” While this is also the case in Québec French, a good number of French Canadians still pronounce “R” with a uvular sound, much like it did in Classical French several hundred years ago.



French spoken in mainland France is far different from the one spoken in Canada, mainly because of historical and geographical reasons. 


So, next time, your french boyfriend or girlfriend takes you on a lunch date and in reply to your Merci, they say “Bienvenue” (instead of Je t’en prie, the Parisian French way), don't be surprised by it. "Bienvenue" in Canadian French means “You are Welcome”. 

One more interesting word, if you want to order a "hot dog" in Quebec, then you simply have to do the literal translation of the words and ask for a “Chien Chaud”. 


Generally, if you are a native french speaker or an advanced learner, you will have no problem communicating with Canadian citizens. Undoubtedly, you’ll have to catch certain phrasal words and mixed vocabulary along with their accents. But, overall within a short period, you can effectively communicate with them.

Whereas, if you are an absolute beginner in French and want to smoothen your immigration process by taking TEF classes, then you should start incorporating some Quebec vocabulary in your language. This will always help you to have an edge over others. 



If you wish to converse in French, in no time, then please connect to us through our website www.frenchtweets.ca, or our different social media platforms. 

You can also check out our interactive Youtube videos and live online sessions to better understand the complexities of the french language and its pronunciation. 

We can’t wait to help you through your TEF journey. 

Together, let’s make your french learning memorable and effective.