You know you’re a Quebec City anglophone when…

NB: A lot of these are reader submissions

You’re fluent in French and English, but both francophones and anglophones think you have a funny accent.

People ask where you’re from/where you live, and get very surprised when you say, “here!”

You get slightly annoyed when a politician or performer from English Canada doesn’t take a respectable stab at speaking French in Quebec. Everyone you know is bilingual so how hard can it be?

You swear in joual when you get frustrated, côliss! 

The word “fuck!” is not nearly as shocking as the word “tabarnac!”

Your English conversation is littered with French verbal tics– ben là! ben voyons! entoutcas…

A formal event is not a formal event without four or five men wearing kilts.

You kiss acquaintances on both cheeks when you walk into a room (unless both of you are men)

You start looking forward to Burns Night in October, the St. Patrick’s Day parade before Christmas and the Celtic Festival in May.

“St. Patrick’s Day season” lasts the last three weeks of March.

The thought of haggis makes you feel a bit like a kid on Christmas Eve.

You or someone you know is a bell ringer.

You or a member of your immediate family has been on Quebec AM or Breakaway or in the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph at least once. Either that, or you or they have worked for Quebec AM, Breakaway or the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph. 

You or a member of your immediate family has been in a Quebec Art Company play at least once. Either that, or someone is always bugging you to be in a Quebec Art Company play.

You hide out in the Morrin Centre.

You go to church events and military events to meet people, whether or not you attend church or have any connection with the military.

You say “resume” when you mean “summarize.”

The phrase, “There will be a tirage at the vernissage” makes perfect sense.

The phrase, “We will be arrived at fourteen hours” makes perfect sense.

The phrase, “a piece of theatre” makes perfect sense.

When someone says “Give me your coordinates”, you automatically write down your contact information.

You switch languages mid-sentence and the person you’re speaking to goes right along with you.

You have trouble remembering your phone number in English.

You have to concentrate really hard when you spell your name, especially if it’s full of g’s or j’s.

Tourists compliment you on your excellent English.

You swivel your head around to see who it is when you hear English spoken, because you’ll probably know them.

You leave Quebec, talk to someone in French, and they look at you blankly.

The generic response to your extensive explanation on the history of Quebec that explains your cultural and linguistic heritage is answered by “..but HOW come you speak English?” and it now rolls off your back like water to a seal.

You have an in-built sensor for detecting conversation occurring in English from across the store..or even the parking lot… and you are automatically eavesdropping until you come into speaking range to chat.

You smile manically at other Anglos conversing together in the bus because you are secretly part of their gang.

You go looking for a tailleur and end up being offered a set of Goodyears.

You refer to your unborn baby (that you don’t know the gender yet) as ‘’he’’ because baby is masculine in French (le bébé) !

You talk to fellow anglos in French, just in case you’re overheard.

You can’t remember the last time you saw a film in the theatre in English.

About msmarguerite

Young Quebec City-based freelance journalist. once and future nomad. I blog about life, about travel, about things I notice and every so often about work. I enjoy language learning, singing, swing dancing, skating and...other stuff, sometimes. My heart is somewhere in East Africa, Haiti or Eastern Europe. English, français, русский, malo slovensko, un poco de espanol, um pouco de português ndiga ikirundi, mwen ap aprann kreyòl...
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14 Responses to You know you’re a Quebec City anglophone when…

  1. voixvivantes says:

    The guy at the U.S. border is doubting your answer that you live iin Québec City, because you don’t have an accent ….

  2. Denis LeBlanc says:

    This “pure wool” French Adadien from New Brunswick (this means automatically bilingual), now living in Ontario is often asked: “why dont you have an accent when you speak English”. And, among my French-speaking friends, two men do double cheek kiss acquaintances, but, we are gay! Thanks for the chuckles, Ruby.

  3. Lisa Desilets says:

    What a howl – this article strikes a chord for many of us living in a linguistic minority situation. As a Franco-Manitoban who had spent a couple of summers working in Trois-Rivières in the ’80s, people were amused by my accent – and often thought I was an Anglophone, so reverted to whatever English they could muster (usually horrendous). Then I’d move back home to Winnipeg and whenever I opened my mouth to speak in French, “y m’traitaient de québecoise” !!!

  4. Guy Morisset says:

    C’est une twès twès bonne article.

  5. Karen Macdonald says:

    Awesome. So true and so funny! You could easily turn this into a collection.

  6. Hi Karen Macdonald! There’s another one… “You know Karen Macdonald.”

  7. Liz McGirr says:

    Or you know at least two of the people who have already commented on this article

  8. You have either been to a party at the US Consulate in Quebec City, or know someone who has.

  9. Pingback: You know you’re a Quebec City anglophone when… Collection 2 | Ruby Pratka – Year of No Fear

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