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Thread: Quebec and North East. Traveling without the French

  1. #1

    Quebec and North East. Traveling without the French

    As per the thread title.

    I don't know French and suck utterly at language skills. I even struggled with English.

    For everything else I can get by, I can get food from grocery stores and gas stations are not a problem either. However how much trouble will I have with hotels with my lack of French. I am thinking of making a road trip to the region.

  2. #2
    I went to Lac St.Anne once.. No one spoke English anywhere. Friendly people though.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by wasisname View Post
    As per the thread title.

    I don't know French and suck utterly at language skills. I even struggled with English.

    For everything else I can get by, I can get food from grocery stores and gas stations are not a problem either. However how much trouble will I have with hotels with my lack of French. I am thinking of making a road trip to the region.
    I have never travelled the Quebec countryside. I imagine if there are any francise hotels, the clerks will be bi-lingual. You probably could find out with a phone call. If they an"No parle vous Anglesh", you will have your answer.

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    Québec is not a province in a far and distant third-world country!!!!!

    You will be able to find people speaking English (or at least able to understand you) everywhere. Bring a French/English pocket dictionary. Don't forget: money talks....if you show the locals the color of your money (or of your credit card) they will always understand what you want.
    ἄνθρωπος μέτρον
    Man is the measure of all things

    Sexo sin pecado es como huevo sin sal (Le sexe sans péché est comme un œuf sans sel/Sex without sin is like an egg without salt) [Carlos Fuentes]

  5. #5
    Start with a "Bonjour" or with a "Désolé, je ne parle pas français" then switch to English, in 70 % of the situation you'll be fine.

  6. #6
    I don't know where you live, but it always helps to quickly identify that you are from the States. The hardcore nationalists are much more open to speak English to an American compared to somebody from English Canada.

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    Quote Originally Posted by protagoras View Post
    Québec is not a province in a far and distant third-world country!!!!!

    You will be able to find people speaking English (or at least able to understand you) everywhere. Bring a French/English pocket dictionary. Don't forget: money talks....if you show the locals the color of your money (or of your credit card) they will always understand what you want.
    I agree, but East of Quebec City, English speakers become increasingly rare. Stay on the tourist route up through Riviere du Loup, Matane, Rimouski, and on to the Gaspe peninsula, and you should be fine. On the North shore, you're OK up to Tadoussac, and would you really want to go much farther?

    Sinbad

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conan View Post
    I don't know where you live, but it always helps to quickly identify that you are from the States. The hardcore nationalists are much more open to speak English to an American compared to somebody from English Canada.
    I agree with this.

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    Hello all,

    Quote Originally Posted by sinbad View Post
    I agree, but East of Quebec City, English speakers become increasingly rare. Stay on the tourist route up through Riviere du Loup, Matane, Rimouski, and on to the Gaspe peninsula, and you should be fine. On the North shore, you're OK up to Tadoussac, and would you really want to go much farther?

    Sinbad
    I have heard this from my Montreal friends.

    I really haven't traveled or stopped long anywhere in Quebec but Montreal. I've been to Verdun, LaSalle, Longueuil, and Granby only briefly. My French is passable only in a very basic sense, and not broad enough or correct enough for conversation. In Montreal when I need something I always start with something like: Bonjour. Excusez-moi. Je ne parle pas tres bien le Français. Voulez-vous parler Anglais, s'il vous plait ... ou ... Bonjour. Excusez-moi. Je ne parle pas tres bien le Français, mais, je vais essayer. (Excuse me. I do not speak French very well. Would you speak English, please?...or... Excuse me. I do not speak French very well, but, I will try). Or I just go for it and let the mistakes fall where they may.

    I have been told frequently that making the effort is very appreciated. No doubt some effort will always help create more positive results.

    Cheers,

    Merlot
    Last edited by Merlot; 11-20-2011 at 09:44 PM. Reason: Some need help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daydreamer41 View Post
    I have never travelled the Quebec countryside. I imagine if there are any francise hotels, the clerks will be bi-lingual. You probably could find out with a phone call. If they an"No parle vous Anglesh", you will have your answer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Merlot View Post
    Hello all,


    You may be joking, but really, I suggest that travelers to Quebec learn a few basic phrases in French for introduction just to be polite, but don't try some hack combination of bad English and bad non-French together. It would probably be considered insulting and end up being counterproductive in many cases. People know the difference between making an effort that is in error...and what may be seen as being made fun of.

    Cheers,

    Merlot
    Merlot, I was not far off.

    Do you speak English is:

    Parlez-vous anglais.

    I meant to say:

    Je ne parle pas anglais, I don't speak English.

    I shouldn't have looked up the first person of parle, instead of remembering the second person and applying it incorrectly.

    Why do you feel to make a big deal out of people's small mistakes, except for President Obama (who you defend), who should know better? If you see a small mistake, just correct it (if you know better).

  11. #11
    For the basics like staying at a motel or ordering lunch, you will have no problems. There are many unilingual French speaking people that go to Florida and they do OK.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by 420Guy View Post
    I went to Lac St.Anne once.. No one spoke English anywhere. Friendly people though.
    I suppose you are talking about Lac Saint-Jean. It is indeed the most unilingual region in Québec. Last time I went, I bicycled around the lake using a cheap luggage carrier (they take your luggage in the morning and bring them to the point you tell them at night). Superb and easy 5 day trip around. I remember seeing some english folks in restaurants where the waitresses did not speak english. Some clients in the restaurant would help. As simple as that. You will not have any problem in the hotels.

    Quote Originally Posted by sinbad View Post
    On the North shore, you're OK up to Tadoussac, and would you really want to go much farther?
    It is well worthwhile to do so. The marine scenery is spectacular (the shores, the beaches, the lighthouses, the Mingan Archipelago, the fisherman wharfs). It is a paradise for hunting (especially moose and caribou) and fishing (salmon and all the soft water species). A great place to visit immense man made structures (dams, mining, company towns). Cities are not interesting architecturally speaking, except for one english origine neighborhood in Baie-Comeau, but they gather all the essential services.

    Quote Originally Posted by simmel View Post
    Start with a "Bonjour" or with a "Désolé, je ne parle pas français" then switch to English, in 70 % of the situation you'll be fine.
    That is such basic common sense.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by gugu View Post
    That is such basic common sense.
    Well, what simmel said about starting with bonjour, etc., is common sense. Whether you can then switch to English and get by is more a matter that must be judged by experience. I hope simmel is right, since my own French is anything but brilliant.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by wasisname View Post
    As per the thread title.

    I don't know French and suck utterly at language skills. I even struggled with English.

    For everything else I can get by, I can get food from grocery stores and gas stations are not a problem either. However how much trouble will I have with hotels with my lack of French. I am thinking of making a road trip to the region.
    As per the forum title, your only concern should be about finding sps in Québec and North East. Well language is not the issue. Availability is the real issue. Excellent up to Québec City and then forget it up to Inuit territories where legendary hospitality traditions might still prevail!

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Conan View Post
    I don't know where you live, but it always helps to quickly identify that you are from the States. The hardcore nationalists are much more open to speak English to an American compared to somebody from English Canada.
    Except I live across the border in Ontario. Worse, I have a French last name, my father didn't learn English till he was in his 20s and none of my Aunts and Uncles know English. Even double worse I grew up in an English part of Quebec. Hand that rocks the cradle determines language so I only know English. Sadly as mentioned above I had enough problems with picking up that language, at least speaking it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Spock View Post
    For the basics like staying at a motel or ordering lunch, you will have no problems. There are many unilingual French speaking people that go to Florida and they do OK.
    Not worried about food, as I am a cheap bastard so I will be bringing most of my food with me, the rest I can pick up from stores. I can do stores without speaking.

    It is hotels that are more a concern. I'd like to go from Ontario past Quebec City northwards to that big ass park and beyond to the Saguenay and back. I could do it in a day but my back would scream and it would be a bit miserable. I suppose I could make a reservation on line with a credit card and have the male paternal unit write down some basic phrases on a sheet of paper like [I have a reservation]. How would it work otherwise.

    It would basically be a driving trip so other than hotels I would actually have to talk much. I like road tripping.

    And no I have no SP plans. Fuck, why go past Montreal towards Quebec City for escorts. Like going past Toronto to get SPs in Hamilton. Bit like going to McDonalds and ordering a Salad.

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