THE FRENCH CANADIAN LANGUAGE
In fact, the French Canadian language is a group of the various French dialects spoken by French speakers in Canada. Of course, we all know that the main one is that of Quebec, called Quebec French. However, other regions of the country also speak French such as New Brunswick, Ontario and Manitoba. Also, there are small French speaking communities in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont in the U.S.
Along with English, French is the official language of Canada. But the number of English speakers is greater than for French.
Thus, the government provides services in both languages. And the same is true of all federal institutions.
While the highest government rank is often a French speaking person, Canada is in fact a federal country. As a result, each province has its own legislation in jurisdictions assigned to it by the Constitution. The latter does not specify whether language is a federal or provincial jurisdiction. So, both the federal and provincial governments can legislate in this area. In the event of a conflict, the Supreme Court of Canada decides on the basis of the rights recognized in the Constitution.
Thus, Quebec has recognised only French as its official language since 1974. This, under the Official Language Act, replaced in 1977 by the Charter of the French Language which confirms and strenghtens this status. Plus, the Office québécois de la langue française oversees the use of French in Quebec.
Actually, New Brunswick is the only official bilingual province in Canada. As for Ontario and Manitoba, the Constitution requires them to provide government services in French where the number of French speaking people wants it.
Finally, under the Constitution, all Canadian provinces shall provide primary and secondary education to both official language minorities.
The standard script style used in Canada for French differs from the one observed in other French speaking countries.
In contrast to French script, the French Canadian language does not insert spaces before double punctuation marks. This is the case for the exclamation and question mark, as well as the semicolon. Except the colon. Indeed, a space precedes it. Also, the dash cadratine has no space at the end of a sentence. But it takes one before and after a word if the sentence continues. And currency symbols and the percent have a space.
As regards inverted commas, their use follows the same rules as in French. Thus, we use the so called chevron or French inverted commas with non breaking spaces (« ... ») for quotations of first level. For second level quotations, the national standard uses double English inverted commas ("...").
First, the French think the Canadian accent very jovial and friendly. Also, the Canadians speak French with much more variation in tone of voice.
Although the Canadian accent is very strong, the latter disappears as soon as people sing it. French people know many Canadian singers who have a career in France and can attest to this. The world star Céline Dion is a perfect example. French is indeed her mother tongue, while she only learned English at a very late stage.
Second, the meaning of a couple of words differs from French. And this, to the great pleasure of the French who have fun with it and know some of them. Thus, what is a car in French becomes a tank in Canadian.