accent of Quebec/Quebecois accent

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vost

Senior Member
France, Français
If I want to specify the language someone speaks, may I say I speaks French, with a very nice accent of Quebec/Quebecois accent. ?
 
  • Nymeria

    Senior Member
    English - Barbadian/British/educated in US universities blend
    I speak French with a very nice Quebecios accent.

    No 's' on speak.
     
    If I want to specify the language someone speaks, may I say I speaks French, with a very nice accent of Quebec/Quebecois accent. ?
    You've repeated "accent", which is wrong.

    "Québécuois" is French. "Quebec" is the adjective in English.

    "Very nice" sounds weak in that context.

    You could say "He speaks French with a very good Quebec accent".
     
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    Nymeria

    Senior Member
    English - Barbadian/British/educated in US universities blend
    Vost, it's the right adjective to use. Nothing is technically wrong with using nice at all. Sometimes, the word nice is frowned upon because it is seen as an adjective that is overused and used to describe a wide range of events, items, situations etc - anything from "a nice girl" to "a nice life". As a result, people are encouraged to use adjectives that are more specific and illustrate exactly what makes this thing so "nice".

    In the example you gave, I think the word "nice" works just fine. If you want to use a stronger adjective, you may use "pleasant" ...

    ... (or maybe "sexy" :) )
     

    Nymeria

    Senior Member
    English - Barbadian/British/educated in US universities blend
    So would I Loob. I would use the French form of the adjective because saying Quebec accent sounds similar to saying England accent or China accent...
     
    Personally, I'd say Quebequois accent, not Quebec accent.
    So would I, but I'm not sure it's correct.

    We tend not to import foreign language adjectival endings for nationality or city-membership. We either have our own adjectives, or we use the Country or city noun.

    For example, we would talk about: a Berlin accent, not Berliner; an Argentine, not an Argentino; a Madrid accent, not Madrileño; a Moscow accent, not Muscovskyé, and so on.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    It difficult to judge, sometimes, when you have some knowledge of the foreign language itself how the "average Joe" might pronounce or formulate something relating to that language. I find it hard to believe that "quebecois" would trip of the average English-speaking tongue, or perhaps be even understood by many (especially if there wasn't much context specifying they were from Canada etc) at least without needing a moment's reflection. I don't see anything wrong with "a Quebec accent".
     

    Nymeria

    Senior Member
    English - Barbadian/British/educated in US universities blend
    It depends on the context because even though the average newscaster on an English broadcast would pronounce it Pa-ris and not Pa-ree, thereby keeping the English pronunciation, (s) would also pronounce Versailles as Ver-sai and not Versayles, keeping the French pronunciation.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Speaking of most British cities, the adjective for the accent is the name of the city. Even for cities that have a well-established adjective, the accent is still often described using the noun.
    Think of London, Birmingham, Liverpool (possibly Liverpudlian), Edinburgh, Glasgow (possibly Glaswegian), Belfast, Derry :)
     

    paintedhouse113

    Member
    English - USA
    Quebecois at worst is ambiguous, a big cost for a small distinction. It has the same termination as their former neighbors, the Iroquois, to the south.
     

    Gwan

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    Wasn't aware there was controversy about 'French Canadian'...

    Anyway, both Quebecois and Quebec sound fine by me, but I don't know if that's because I have been exposed to Québécois in French. Gasman, what would you say? Presumably the issue arises more often in Canada.
     

    gasman

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    I don't believe I have seen or heard "French Canadian" used for quite a long time. I should add that in Manitoba there are quite a few French speaking communities, and locally people just refer to them as French.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    The traditional English (BrE, at least) name for Argentina is "The Argentine", so my point stands.
    Commonly, in Canada, it is referred to as a "Quebecois accent". This is not Parisian French but Quebecois French.

    "French Canadian" is a term no longer used because of its political implications (don't ask...).
     

    Grop

    Senior Member
    français
    Speaking of most British cities, the adjective for the accent is the name of the city.
    Hi, in this case I think Quebec is the province, not the city (which is not even the most crowded city in Quebec). I suspect it is more frequent to use the adjective (when available) for such places than for cities.

    Now, the availability seems to be contested...

    For the record, dictionaries seem to know Quebecois, but not Quebequois.
     

    Imants

    Banned
    Deutsch
    If I want to specify the language someone speaks, may I say I speaks French, with a very nice accent of Quebec/Quebecois accent. ?
    I'd say:
    He speaks French with a very nice Canadian accent.
    or
    ... with a very nice Quebec accent.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    The traditional English (BrE, at least) name for Argentina is "The Argentine", so my point stands.
    Except that what you have is a literal translation of the Spanish: the Argentine Republic (much as France is the French Republic), with 'Argentine' functioning as an adjective derived from the Latin word for silver. The colonial Spanish name of the country translates as the "Viceroyalty of the River of Silver"; when the country became independent, it called itself by a name indicating it is "the Silver Republic".
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    The traditional English (BrE, at least) name for Argentina is "The Argentine", so my point stands.
    I'm a British speaker and I've never heard this before. I'm certainly not saying it wasn't said therefore, but I don't see how that fact should affect today's usage.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    So would I, but I'm not sure it's correct.

    We tend not to import foreign language adjectival endings for nationality or city-membership. We either have our own adjectives, or we use the Country or city noun.

    For example, we would talk about: a Berlin accent, not Berliner; an Argentine, not an Argentino; a Madrid accent, not Madrileño; a Moscow accent, not Muscovskyé, and so on.
    You would not, however, say "England accent" or "France accent". The people are English and French and they speak with English accents and French accents. Quebec is a province and many Quebecois think of Quebec as its own country (rightly or wrongly). As the English speak with an English accent, the Quebecois speak with a Quebecois accent.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    You would not, however, say "England accent" or "France accent". The people are English and French and they speak with English accents and French accents. Quebec is a province and many Quebecois think of Quebec as its own country (rightly or wrongly). As the English speak with an English accent, the Quebecois speak with a Quebecois accent.
    But - really not trying to stray into politics or national offence - there is a difference between what should be said, what natives of the place in question would like you to say and what people do say. To slightly reiterate my point above I do not believe that the average British English speaker would say "she has the a lovely quebecois accent" or if someone did that the average person listening would immediately understand what they meant. In fact I'm sure, again generally, that the usual response to such a statement would be "you what?"

    Ultimately English doesn't make adjective forms of names with the same regularity as Romance languages and so it has to be quite a well-known place before we take them on board. When you consider that we don't tend to use them for our own cities or provinces either (only countries with any regularity) I think it's clear that confusion could result.
     
    I'm a British speaker and I've never heard this before. I'm certainly not saying it wasn't said therefore, but I don't see how that fact should affect today's usage.
    You probably haven't, because the British media seemed to take the conscious decision to change the English version to the Spanish version when the Argentinians invaded the Falklands in 1982 and suddenly became newsworthy.

    But in terms of linguistic usage "today" is much more than a period of 25 or 30 years. The use of a region's or city's name (a noun) as the corresponding adjective goes back much further and is still current enough to be common.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    You probably haven't, because the British media seemed to take the conscious decision to change the English version to the Spanish version when the Argentinians invaded the Falklands in 1982 and suddenly became newsworthy.

    But in terms of linguistic usage "today" is much more than a period of 25 or 30 years. The use of a region's or city's name (a noun) as the corresponding adjective goes back much further and is still current enough to be common.
    I'm not sure I follow what you mean. Do you mean that "a Quebecois accent" is normal or "a Quebec accent" is normal? If the former I disagree if the latter I agree.
     
    You would not, however, say "England accent" or "France accent". The people are English and French and they speak with English accents and French accents. Quebec is a province and many Quebecois think of Quebec as its own country (rightly or wrongly). As the English speak with an English accent, the Quebecois speak with a Quebecois accent.
    Quebec isn't a country. It is a province. English is quite random in the way it forms adjectives from the names of regions and cities.

    We would say a Newfoundland accent, a Saskatchewan accent, a Prince Edward accent, a New Brunswick accent, an Ontario accent, a Nova Scotia accent, a Manitoba (or maybe Manitoban) accent, an Alberta accent.

    If we use the unaltered names of the other Canadian provinces as their corresponding adjectives in English, why should we suddenly change the pattern for Quebec just because many of the natives speak French? It is far more logical to say "a Quebec accent".

    After all, Quebec isn't even a French word. It is derived from quilibek, which means "place where the waters narrow" in Algonquian.
     

    xymox

    Senior Member
    English, French - Canada
    Quebec isn't a country. It is a province. English is quite random in the way it forms adjectives from the names of regions and cities.

    We would say a Newfoundland accent, a Saskatchewan accent, a Prince Edward accent, a New Brunswick accent, an Ontario accent, a Nova Scotia accent, a Manitoba (or maybe Manitoban) accent, an Alberta accent.

    If we use the unaltered names of the other Canadian provinces as their corresponding adjectives in English, why should we suddenly change the pattern for Quebec just because many of the natives speak French? It is far more logical to say "a Quebec accent".

    After all, Quebec isn't even a French word. It is derived from quilibek, which means "place where the waters narrow" in Algonquian.
    May be off topic, but can you please tell me where you got the information on quillibek? I'm interested because apparently, there are many theories concerning the origin of the name and I have never heard this one in particular.
    thanks in advance.:)
     
    May be off topic, but can you please tell me where you got the information on quillibek? I'm interested because apparently, there are many theories concerning the origin of the name and I have never heard this one in particular.
    thanks in advance.:)
    I googled and then closed the site! Sorry. I see that there variants such as kebec. My point though is that the word is Algonquian and not French.
     

    xymox

    Senior Member
    English, French - Canada
    I googled and then closed the site! Sorry. I see that there variants such as kebec. My point though is that the word is Algonquian and not French.
    Ok. Thanks Kevin, I wondered because many words from Britanny end in "ec" and that is also another "unconfirmed" theory. There is no definite official meaning or origin for the name...........yet.;)
     

    xqby

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    I had never heard "Quebec" as an adjective before this thread, so I suppose that's my opinion on the matter.
    My command of French is almost entirely confined to loanwords, and of the two options given, "Quebecois" is the one I would use.
     
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    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    It is far more logical to say "a Quebec accent".
    I'm not really certain that logic has anything to do with it. Here's another WRF thread started by a Canadian in the French/English forum and his reference is very naturally to "Quebecois French". Whether it's logical or not, it is commonly used.[/quote]

    After all, Quebec isn't even a French word. It is derived from quilibek, which means "place where the waters narrow" in Algonquian.
    I'm not sure what this has to do with the subject at hand (not to mention that it's wrong)...:confused:
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Quebec isn't a country. It is a province. English is quite random in the way it forms adjectives from the names of regions and cities.

    We would say a Newfoundland accent, a Saskatchewan accent, a Prince Edward accent, a New Brunswick accent, an Ontario accent, a Nova Scotia accent, a Manitoba (or maybe Manitoban) accent, an Alberta accent.

    If we use the unaltered names of the other Canadian provinces as their corresponding adjectives in English, why should we suddenly change the pattern for Quebec just because many of the natives speak French? It is far more logical to say "a Quebec accent".
    Three points:
    (1) I agree that for the sake of consistency 'Quebec accent' should be fine.
    (2) What you say or write will depend on who you're talking or writing to, and you might prefer to use a foreign term (to make the other person feel more comfortable, to show off, etc.) - in which case you might want to use 'Québecois accent'.
    (3) Whether a place name receives an adjective form in English depends on how long the words is and whether a suffix can be easily attached to it. Names ending with <n> seem not to have a different adjective form - therefore a London accent, a Berlin accent but a Parisian accent. Names ending with a vowel sound also tend to get an adjective form: a Cumbrian accent, an East Anglian accent as opposed to a Yorkshire accent. Places in East Asia sometimes acquire an -ese form - a Shanghainese accent, a Taiwanese accent, a Cantonese accent (> Canton, now Guangzhou). Now that we're saying Beijing rather than Peking, I'm not sure what we do there now. (Maybe we should have stuck to our guns like the French who still use Pékin.) Ditto if you use Myanmar rather than Burma/Burmese.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    I would summarise this as follows - in general, apart from countries, English does not tend to use adjective forms for regions or cities. When it does these are very well known (eg Parisian) but even then the simple noun would do. English is more likely to use adjectives that conform to normal English patterns (eg -a to -an, "a Georgian accent" but here again the noun form would be acceptable). Other adjective forms are not common (unless the particular regional English variety has a lot of contact with the area). In general English does not care about the foreign language adjective form.

    No one seems to answer my point that for all these intellectual ponderings I can't imagine most BE speakers ever saying "quebecois". So, if it pleases you to think it should be said so in English do so - but don't expect to be understood by native speakers if you do.
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Moderator Note:
    This thread has wandered hither and yon but I think that pretty much all has been said that can be said while staying within the bounds of the thread topic and the forum scope.

    I am closing the thread now. If someone dearly wants to contribute something that will cause the discussion to progress and stay within the guidelines, please feel free to PM me.

    Nun-Translator
    moderator
     
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