Re: Language differences in FRENCH

Subject: Re: Language differences in FRENCH
From: Susan Brown <sbrown -at- JSCSYS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 1997 09:10:29 -0400

At 10:18 AM 8/13/97 -0400, Peter G Margaritis wrote:
>One of our writers if French-Canadian... He says you are absolutely
>The Canadians have "bastardized" the Parisian French language, and speak
>what he calls "Franglais" - a combination of Parisian French, Canadian
>French, English, and American. Some words are just borrowed English
>(like "les beans" for beans, instead of the proper word "f`evres")

Interesting. I work with several French Canadians, and we were talking
about this yesterday morning. My friends have all been in France recently -
some for long stretches of time. They found the French spoken in France
very much more anglicized than their own (le parking, rather than le
stationment). What litle we were able to find from linguists on French
around the world supported this contention.

The Quebec French is actually a very old French. You see in Quebec the
same effect that the English spoken on Roanoke Island (sp?) demonstrated.
A population was severed from it roots mid 1600's, and retained a more
ancient pronunciation, syntax etc. (Until the age of mass communication
with TV etc, Roanoke had the closest English to what Shakespeare spoke.)

Re: translations. We are doing this for some of our documentation as well,
and the difference between the two forms of French wrt the written language
is less than you are assuming. What is tricky is a) the tenses (about 6
tenses in French are used almost solely in writing, and b) style (where
English documentation stays active, the passive voice in French is
considered more professional and is more widely accepted).

Good luck. This is not an easy task.

Susan Brown
Technical Communicator
JSC Systems Corp.
sbrown -at- jscsys -dot- com

The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing

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