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Varieties of French: Wikis


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French language

Dialects of the French language are spoken in France and around the world. The francophones of France generally use Metropolitan French (spoken in Paris and considered standard) although some also use regional dialects or varieties such as Meridional French. In Europe outside of France there are Belgian French, Swiss French, and in Italy Aostan French. In Canada, French is an official language along with English; the two main dialects of French in Canada are Quebec French and Acadian French. In Lebanon, French was an official language until 1941 and the main dialect spoken there is Lebanese French or Levantine French. Note that the discussion here refers to varieties of the French language, not to the Romance sister languages (sometimes considered dialects) of French spoken in France (e.g. Picard, Limousin, Gascon, etc.; for these languages see: Langues d'oïl, Francoprovençal, Langues d'oc and languages of France). See also French-based creole languages, which are also considered separate languages.


African French

French is an administrative language and commonly used, though not on an official basis, in the Maghreb states, Mauritania, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. As of 2006, an estimated 115 million African people spread across 31 African countries can speak French either as a first or second language, making Africa the continent with the most French speakers in the world.[1] While there are many varieties of African French, common features include the use of an alveolar trill and use of borrowed words from local languages.

Canadian dialects



Acadian French is a variant of French spoken by francophone Acadians in the Canadian Maritime provinces, the Saint John River Valley in northern Maine, the Magdalen Islands and Havre-Saint-Pierre, along the St. Lawrence's north shore. Speakers of Metropolitan French, and even of other Canadian dialects, have some difficulty understanding Acadian French.

Notable features include /k/ and /tj/ becoming [tʃ] and /g/ and /dj/ becoming [dʒ] before front vowels and use of some archaic words.


Chiac is a dialect of combined Acadian French and English spoken mainly around Moncton, New Brunswick.


Newfoundland French is a regional dialect of French that was once spoken by settlers in the French colony of Newfoundland.


Quebec French is the dominant and most prevalent regional variety of French found in Canada. Although Quebec French constitutes a coherent and standard system, it has no objective norm since the very organization mandated to establish it, the Office québécois de la langue française, believes that objectively standardizing Quebec French would lead to reduced interintelligibility with other French communities around the world.

Notable features include [ɪ], [ʏ], and [ʊ] as allophones of /i/, /y/, /u/ in closed syllables, affrication of /t/ and /d/ to [ts] and [dz] before /i/, /y/.


Louisiana has two French dialects: Cajun French is the French spoken by the descendents of deported Acadians and Colonial French is the nearly extinct dialect introduced into French Louisiana before the Cajun migration. Louisiana Creole French is a French-based Creole language and not strictly a dialect of the French language.

Asian dialects


Cambodian French is the French of Cambodia. It dates back to the French colonization of Indochina in 1863. Colonists taught French to the local inhabitants — especially the Khmer and Chinese. The locals also taught the colonists Khmer and some Chinese spoken variants, such as Teochew and Cantonese. Cambodian French was influenced by Khmer and Chinese spoken variants, and was spoken by children of French men married to Khmer or ethnic Chinese women.

Cambodian French is still used as a second language in some schools, universities, and government offices, although most of the younger generations and members of the business world choose to learn English. Mostly, you will only find older natives that still speak French.


Indian French is the French spoken by Indians in past colonies of Pondicherry, Chandernagore, Karikal, Mahe and Yanam. In this dialect, there is a considerable influence from Dravidian languages like Tamil (Pondicherry Tamil Dialect), Telugu (Yanam Telugu Dialect) and Malayalam (Mahe Malayalam Dialect).


Lao French is spoken in Laos. This dialect goes back to the French colonization of Indochina, although since Laos's independence from France, and the Communist takeover, the number of French speakers is in steady decline.

European dialects


Aostan French (French: français valdôtain) is the variety of French spoken in the Aosta region of Italy, where there is a significant trilingual Francophone population. Both French and Italian overlay the indigenous local language continuum of Val d'Aosta, which is Franco-Provençal in type.


Belgian French (French: français de Belgique) is the variety of French spoken mainly in the French Community of Belgium, alongside related minority regional languages such as Walloon, Picard, Champenois and Gaumais. Belgian French and the French of northern France are almost identical.

Notable features include a strong distinction between long and short vowels, the lack of the approximant /ɥ/, and the use of certain Belgicisms.

Jersey Legal

Jersey Legal French is the official dialect of French used administratively in Jersey. Notable features include some archaic word choices and the words septante and nonante for "seventy" and "ninety" respectively.


Meridional French (French: français méridional) is the regional variant of the French spoken in Occitania. It is strongly influenced by Occitan.


Swiss French (French: français de Suisse, Suisse romand) is the variety of French spoken in the French-speaking area of Switzerland known as Romandy. The differences between Swiss French and Parisian French are minor and mostly lexical.

See also


External links


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