French Fun: The Real Spoken Language of Québec


165 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-471-64138-3
DDC 447'.9714'03




Illustrations by Keith O'Donnell
Reviewed by D.M. Paramskas

D.M. Paramskas is a professor of French studies at the University of


Mark Orkin’s Canadian, Eh? brought to hilarious life the informal
aspects of English-Canadian speech. This book does the same for Canadian
French (“the real spoken language of Québec”). In addition to a
fairly comprehensive listing of typical Québécois expressions, the
author offers a short linguistic history of the language. Cultural notes
are scattered throughout (chansonnier, joual, sacre). The illustrations
are delightful, with one exception—a supposedly typical Québécois is
shown wearing a beret!

Pronunciation guides (using approximate English sounds) are confusing,
erratic, and sometimes erroneous, and citing the Оle-de-France dialect
as the principal ancestor of the Quebec language is, at best,
controversial. Teachers who recommend this book to their students should
also warn them that registers are unreliable. Finally, some of the
cultural notes are questionable (“In Québec ... you always kiss
twice, placing one kiss on each cheek”). In spite of these quibbles,
French Fun is a useful and enjoyable supplement.


Timmins, Steve., “French Fun: The Real Spoken Language of Québec,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 23, 2024,