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The French language has existed in Canada since the seventh century. Today, around seven million people in Canada speak Canadian French dialects as their primary language. These major populations are settled in the provinces that include: Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.
The province of Quebec has over 80% of its population who speak their specific Canadian French dialect, which is termed, the Quebec French dialect. Alberta has the fewest people, only 2% of the population, who speak one of the Canadian French dialects. After Quebec, New Brunswick is the other province with a higher concentration of Francophones that has compelled both these provincial governments to award official status to the French language.
Canadian French dialects spoken in Canadian provinces
- Acadian French dialect
- Newfoundland French dialect
- Quebec French dialect
- Metis French dialect
Acadian French dialect
The Acadian French dialect is one of the old Canadian French dialects spoken by the French colonists who settled in Canadian provinces like New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland. New Brunswick has the major Acadian population, and the Acadian French dialect is one of the official languages of the province. One can also find this dialect spoken in few provinces of France that include: Anjou, Aunis, Maine, and Saintonge.
This Canadian French dialect differs from the Standard French dialect in terms of pronunciation and vocabulary. The Acadian French dialect has several old features of the earlier French language which were shredded off during the Standardization of the language.
Some of these features include the addition of alveolar r, the plural ending of verbs -ont’, and how words are pronounced. Due to these inclusions in the Acadian French dialect the French speakers of other Canadian French dialects find it difficult to understand this dialect. This Canadian French dialect shares several words with the Quebec French dialect. Also, the US-based Cajun French dialect is derived from the Acadian French dialect.
Newfoundland French dialect
It is one of the old Canadian French dialects that is said to have first appeared in Canada during the seventeenth century. Today, some linguists assert that speakers of this dialect no longer exist, while others claim that there are over 10,000 speakers of this dialect still in the province and are mainly senior citizens who know the dialect from their youth. The latest generations of these French speakers are unaware of the features of this old Canadian French dialect.
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