Archiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2003-03 > 1047193161

From: "Gary Boivin" <>
Subject: Re: [Q-R] Language question from husband
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2003 23:59:21 -0700
References: <089901c2e5ca$b78a64d0$cd52f842@kfrog>

Joual and patois are pretty close...
One is dialect and the other is slang.

Now don't let anyone fool you....
Every region in France has it's own patois.
Just as various areas of Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario.

And we all also have our own "joual" (slang).
What is taught in school is "Francais International".
Just like all English speaking countries are all taught the same grammar,
French speaking countries are all taught the same thing.

English is spoken by people from Alabama, New Zealand, Australia, England,
India, Canada... yet to listen to them talk you would think they were all
speaking a sub-dialect of another language.

I've been many French speaking countries (3 areas of France) and have not
been bothered by the different "patois" used. Quite often the locals will
use a synonym to the common word or an older form of the same. But the
"joual" can throw you for a loop because it often has nothing to do with the
language or the word.

I've found that if I'm in a new area that I simply speak "Francais
International" and people pick up right away that I'm a stranger and will
respond with the same.

If your husband wants to see how the Francophones in Quebec speak, he should
try to find some French books from Normandie titled "Asterix". They have
been translated into British English but tell him to find a French one. As
he tries to read it... tell him sound it out loud. That is the "joual" of
Montreal.... that is the "joual" of Normandie. I know.... I lived on a farm
just outside Rouen... and they spoke just like my father-in-law... Using the
same slang.

----- Original Message -----
From: "kfrog" <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, March 08, 2003 4:30 PM
Subject: [Q-R] Language question from husband

> My husband was just reading an article in the Modern Language Association
> Journal about the dialect in Montreal, which is called "joual". Having
> trained in French in the US by French professors from France, he thought i
> was called "patois". His professor callled him "Mssr. l'Anglicisme"
> he was attempting to make Ken's French more standard French. Last New
> Year's, he overheard, in a restaurant, a young man trying to make a date
> with the female waitress in joual, which came back to him upon hearing it
> again. So his question is: "What exactly *is* the difference between joual
> and patois?
> My French is progressing! We thought we would spend the week speaking
> here at home, but it only lasted three days because we wound up laughing
> much. But I can now say, "J'ai un the' citron froid", which I am sure will
> come in quite handy if we ever get to Montreal. He is going to install a
> program for me so I can study on the computer. It is the facial
> and grunts that I have the most trouble with, but he has had linguistics,
> he can tell me exactly the position that one's tongue and teeth should be
> in-but it is still humourous to moi, une Americaine.
> Calins et bijoux, my Q-R jewels of friends.
> Kay
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