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An update from Evaneos

The most important vocabulary to know during your trip in Canada

Canada is officially a bilingual country, but that does not mean that every Canadian speaks both French and English. Most native French speakers speak fluent English, while the contrary is less common. That means that you can adapt your linguistic skills to suit the region you're visiting during your travels through Canada.

A different kind of French

There is a clear distinction between the French that is spoken in France, and Quebec French. While European French speakers undoubtedly speak the same language as their French "cousins", you may notice subtle differences between the French spoken in Quebec. For instance, in the same way as Australians refer to "flip-flops" as "thongs", the French "tongs" become "gougounes." A drink is not a "boisson" but a "breuvage." A friend is not a "copain" but a "chum" while girlfriends are not "copines" but "blondes" - whatever their hair colour! A car is not a "voiture" but, perhaps influenced by English, a "char" - the French word for a cart. Instead of "garer" (related to the English "garage") in a "parking" you "parke" in a "stationnement." The list is long, so very long! Don't worry however - if, when speaking French, you use Metropolitan French expressions, the Quebecois will still understand you. However, you might need to adapt your vocabulary to be understood. However, if you are familiar with French dialects, you are likely to recognise some of the expressions that are used in Quebec French. Logically, therefore, Quebec French is closer to older variants of spoken French than modern French is.

French-English dictionary

Francophone Canada

If you only speak a little French, and your trip to Canada involves a visit to a French-speaking area, try to pick up the basic vocabulary. French Canadians appreciate English-speakers who make an effort and will generally respond positively. Consider taking a phrasebook and a mini dictionary to help you communicate. Before departure, brush up on your French, and consider watching some French-Canadian films to familiarise yourself with the Quebecois accent.

Basic expressions / Common Words

Good morning / Good eveningGood morning / Good evening
How are you?How are you ?
Fine, thank you, and you?Fine, thank you, and you ?
I understand / I don't understandI understand / I don't understand
Thank you (very much)Thank you (very much)
Excuse meExcuse me / Please
My name is...My name is ...
No thank youNo thanks
Yes / NoYes / No
You're welcomeIt's nothing / You're welcome


How much is it?How much is it ?
It is very cheapIt's very cheap
It is too expensive!It's too expensive
Can you lower the price?Could you lower the price ?
I would like to buy ... this one!I would like to buy ... this, that one !
I like it / I don't like itI love/I hate
I'm just looking around.I'm just looking


I would like to go to ...I would like to go to ...
TaxiTaxi / Cab
I would like to rent ...I would like to rent...


Where is ...? / How can I get to ...?Where is ... ? / How do I get to ... ?
Train stationTrain Station
Is it close / far?Is it close / far away ?
Straight aheadStraight ahead
Left / RightLeft/Right
North / South / East / WestNorth/South/East/West

Numberssieben, acht, neun, zehn

one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, tenOne, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten
twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixtytwenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty
seventy, eighty, ninetyseventy, eighty, ninety
One hundredone hundred

Hours/Dates and daysDienstag, Mittwoch, Donnerstag, Freitag, Samstag, Sonntag

What time is it?What time is it ?
When?When ?
Today (morning/midday/evening)Today (morning/noon/evening)
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, SundayMonday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
I am here on vacationI'm here on vacation / I'm traveling
I am here for businessI'm here for work / for business

Time to eat!

I am hungry / I am thirstyI'm hungry / I'm thirsty
EnjoyEnjoy (your meal)
Cheers!Cheers !
It was deliciousIt was delicious !
What can you recommend?What do you recommend ?
I am vegeterianI'm a vegetarian
Not spicy please (I don't like spices)Not spicy ! (I don't like spicy food)
It's too hotIt's too hot !
I am allergicI'm allergic
Sea foodSeafood
I would like...I would like...
Tee / CoffeeTea/coffee
Beer / WineBeer/wine
The bill, pleaseI would like the bill please

Health / Emergency / Security

I need to see a doctor.I need to see a doctor.
Call an ambulance / Call 911Call a doctor/an ambulance
Where is the hospital?Where is the hospital ?
I do not feel very goodI don't feel well
It hurts hereI have a pain here
Where can I find the restrooms?Where is the bathroom ?
Help!Help !
I'm lostI'm lost


Have a nice day !Have a good day !
Aurélie Chartier
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