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Old discussion[edit]

As a speaker of French, I wonder about this classification, because much of what's listed as examples are exactly what I've heard on the streets of East-Central French cities, like Besançon, Dijon, Clermont-Ferrand, Lyon, Saint-Etienne. I'm sure there's more depth to this, however some of it can just be argued to be l'argot.

For one thing, argot is a form of slang which is defined as:

a type of sociolect aimed at excluding certain people from the conversation. Slang initially functions as encryption, so that the non-initiate cannot understand the conversation, or as a further way to communicate with those who understand it. Slang functions as a way to recognize members of the same group, and to differentiate that group from the society at large.

joual on the other hand was never purposefully made up to exclude external groups. Rather, it was a "natural" evolution of french as spoken in working-class montreal. In that sense (and due to its high content of english words), it is closer to some pidgins.
some of the english words in question were simply borrowing from english for words that didn't exist (at least at the time in quebec) in french: truck, whipper, windshield, etc... Other were adaptation of english word as french words or verbs: breaker (to break), pitcher (to throw a ball), chum (boyfriend), lift (in the sense of "to give a lift in one's car"), etc...
--Marc pasquin 01:23, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
I excuse my misuse of the word argot. I took it to mean slang in the american sense, meaning non-standard speech. My argument of the list of items here is not (now) that Joual is not indeed it's own sociolect, and that the list need exist, but rather that some of the words listed are not unique to Joual, and don't merit a listing as exclusive to the sociolect. par exemple:
chu -- je suis (I'm)
Written in France as ch'uis but said chuis and meaning the same.
ché -- je sais (I know)
Written in France as ch'ais but said and meaning the same.
pis -- puis (then)
said '/pi/',
ouais / ouin -- oui (yes)
Written ouai in France, an affirmative, like english "Yeah"
y'a -- il y a (there is, there are)
ben -- bien (well)
said /ba~/ in France, for ex: Hé ben
I would move to strike the words that are known to exist across the francophone world, which, in my experience are those listed above. That, or put in a note that these words are common in the more relaxed everyday speech of the francophones. Bo-Lingua 04:31, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
The note would probably be a good idea although the big difference is that it wouldn`t have been considered "relaxed" by many people who spoke joual and pronouncing it the other way would have been considered by some as "speaking like a frenchmen from france". Of course, one of the problem you meet here is the grey area between standard dialectal form and non standard pan-dialectic form.
As for the "bien", it is use here as an imphatic word: "fas bin frette" (its very cold), "Té donc bin cute!" (you are so cute)--Marc pasquin 17:37, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
I had to check something out about Joual and stumbled upon a lot of 'words' that are, indeed, not Joual at all but ubiquitous in the French speaking world. I noticed there was 8/9 years ago (!) a little discussion about it, but nothing really seems to have changed. Seriously: the examples given by Bo-Lingua should be removed, as they are but phonetic representations and nothing exclusive to Joual at all. YellowOnline (talk) 16:55, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Poutine, pitoune, bonhomme sept-heures...[edit]

Those are Québec French expressions, and are not particularly joual (which is Montreal specific), so I think that paragraph should be moved to the more appropriate article. Plus I doubt that pitoune in the log sense has the same etymology as the cute girl sense...-- 02:50, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

I have no idea where you get that Joual is Montreal specific this is totally not true, the whole province, specially the southern part of it can and will speak and understand it. And as weird as it might sound to you both meaning of the word "pitoune" indeed share the same etymology, i have given a explanation of why it is so a bit lower on this page too. (talk) 12:27, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
one of the problem is that the distinction between joual and quebec french is sometime a bit hazy. The reason why they should, in my opinion, be here is that anglicism are "accepted" (so to speak) part of joual whereas quebec french tend to be normaly use to describe either preserved old french words or local neologism. For this reason, I thought this was a better place to explain them. I guess at one point we are going to need to define the distinction between the 2. In addition, the term joual has been used to designate *any* type of "lower class" canadian french so to limit it to montreal is probably a tad exclusive.
Incidently, I do realise this seem to contradict what I said a bit higher up but since then, I have been reading up a bit and "joual" seem to be use much more widely then I first thought, see for example this:
Where Dr Paul Laurendeau use a franco-ontarien's quote as example of joual and make the distinction between joual and quebec french using a strictly class related distinction (not a geographical one). On the same line, Paul Desbiens (le frère Untel) refer to joual as a french-canadian and/or a quebec phenomena, again, without specifying Montreal.
Just blame my initial comment on being too Hochelega-Maisonneuvien to know any better.--Marc pasquin 20:00, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
As for the use of pitoune in regard to logs, the explanation I remember being given by a teacher was of woodcutter slang (something longer then wide that lays down). "Planter" (to plant) was sometime use by some as a vulgar term for having sex so the association between tree and women is present in other expression also.--Marc pasquin 17:23, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

[...] the word "pitchoune" exists in auvergnat that means "cute girl".

About "pitoune": if the word does come from France, which I cannot verify, its etymology would be "pichona", pronounced pi'tchouno or pi'tsouno, in Occitan. Mistralians spell it "pitchouna". The word "pitchoune" (masc. "pitchoun"), which is widely used in Southern France, retains the original meaning of "little one". It may describe any girl ranging from a child to a late teenager and is quite affectionate. We also say "pitchounette" (masc. "pitchounet"), from Occitan "pichoneta", but in this case we will almost invariably refer to a very young girl. The word in itself, even as used in today's French, doesn't involve someone is cute. AnPrionsaBeag 20:13, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

As for "chu", "té", "ché", "pis", "y", "a", "ouais", "y'a", "ben", "su'l" and "tsé", these are commonly heard in spoken French, though they're more often spelt as follows:
"chu" is "j'suis" (in most cases) or simply "chuis" (more aptly), but most French will write "je suis" and still speak it as "chuis";
"té" is "t'es" (very frequently heard and written): similar to "t'as" for "tu as";
"ché" is "j'sais" or "chais", same as "chuis" for use;
"pis" is "pis" too, but is becoming rare;
"y" is "y" (in nearly all cases) or "i": as words like "gentil" or "fusil" show, not saying the l after a final i-syllable is common in French; note that "il" is pronounced "i" only before a consonant;
"a" can also be noted "a": "elle" may also be shortened to "è" in spoken French but "elle" is still the preferred option in writing;
"ouais" is "ouais" as well, and not "ouai" as Marc asserted;
"y'a" is "y'a" (mistakenly) or "y a": Southerners have the excuse of Occitan "i a" for leaving out the "il";
"ben" is "ben", most famously in stereotypical Norman French wisdom: "Ptêt ben qu'oui, ptêt ben qu'non";
"su'l" is also heard but still spelt "sur le": maybe from Occitan "sul" for "sus lo";
"tsé" is "t'sais" and is very frequent in young people's French. AnPrionsaBeag 20:49, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Joual vocabulary and joual grammar[edit]

See the works of Claude Duneton. The fact that a Quebec word is similar in meaning and form to a word in some regional dialect in France does not make it any less dialectal, and thus joual (depending on taste).

I never said it was but no language (or dialect) lives in a vacuum and it would make sense that many northern-france patois words were carried over by our ancestors. Mentioning them simply help understand the etymology of joual words.--Marc pasquin 18:18, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

And then there are coincidences. For instance, "mon pitou" and "ma pitoune" were common endearments a generation ago. Once the masculine is re-inserted into the discussion (pitou means puppy), the Auvergnat form is an obvious red herring.

I have to disagree with you. For one thing, the term "pitoune" as it relate to a woman is much older then that: La Bolduc had a song called "Hourrah pour la pitoune" with the meaning I described:
It was never the feminine of pitou but rather, the similarity between the way they sounded was what made them being use together.--Marc pasquin 18:18, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

(By the way, in today's Montreal "pitoune" doesn't mean cute and does not especially mean loose, it means "hot looking". A girl can turn herself into a pitoune and back for the pleasure of "bummer" (to go bumming).

I`m sure its also rarely use to mean log too. I put the 3 meaning as various intepretation, not a single definition. Feel free to add. --Marc pasquin 18:18, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

On the other hand, it has always struck me that joual also has its own grammar. One special point is the future tense. At the obvious level, "j'aimerai, tu aimeras, il aimera" are replaced with "m'a aimer, tu vas aimer, y va aimer".

I am not contradicting your basic point (different useage in term of verbs) but this is not an alternate form of the Simple Future tense, it is preference for a different one.--Marc pasquin 18:18, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
None of you are right the etymology of "pitoune" come from the english "happy town", place where tree feller used to go to meet women and have some fun, it with time transformed to "pitoune" when spoken in french. "pitoune" is not exclusively used to talk about girl either, it can also be employed to speak about a measurement of log that used to be transported by floating them (La Ronde anyone?). (talk) 12:19, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

More important is what is less obvious. In contrast to standard French, which is very definite (une porte doit être ouverte ou fermée), Québécois speech is minimal, prudent and tentative. Vigneau has some monologues that illustrate this well. Since the future is in any case a modality, joual multiplies the modalities indefinitely, so as not to take too definite a position on what is not yet a given. "Y va aimer" may be felt to be too assertive. So, you can have "y s'en va pour aimer", "y'é-t-à veille d'aimer", "y'é parti pour aimer", "y'é-t-en train pour aimer", "y'é-t-après aimer"... (The last form seems a variant of the present tense, but its persistence, I think, is due to the ambiguity, is he loving, right now, or is he on the way to it? The actual expression in Quebec speech of what the French call "le futur" takes a range of colorations which (again, in my opinion) wrecks the simplicity of French book grammar.

Another example, also related to modality, is the use of the infinitive to express a condition (with the consequence put in the conditional mood, as usual): "Être à Montréal, j'aurais été aux vues." (Had I been in Montreal, I would've gone to a movie.) Standard French would of course be: "Si j'avais été à Montréal, je serais allé au cinéma." Phranger 00:46, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

Etymology of "poutine"[edit]

"Poutine" is the normal joual pronunciation for "pudding". But the meaning is, or rather was, much broader -- it covered the same extension as "chow" in US English (applied to human food). When a brilliant journalist asked some lady in Victoriaville or Drummondville what it was she served him, she said "chow", that is, "poutine". Being a journalist and therefore quite ignorant, he reported this as the name for a specific dish, and the rest unfortunately is history.

Until that idiot scribe got on the case, there was no standard "poutine", on the contrary, the word meant that the dish conformed to no special standard.

By the way, "pudding" itself, in English, comes from the French, "boudin" [OED].

The moral of the story is, don't talk to journalists. Phranger 00:23, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

As I wrote, I doubt that poutine is the french pronunciation of "pudding". It was (and is) use both with french-canadian and acadian but in neither case those it represent what is refered to by the english meaning of the word (a congealed mass or a dessert). there is also the fact that pudding (with the english meaning) as been in use since the 19th century, it would be odd then that the people would have spontenously frenchified it some cases but not others.
As to its use, while its true, like you said, that it was not historicaly specific to one dish, it not however generic to the point of "food". It was use, in the past, for any dish that was made by mixing various items (usualy scraps or leftovers).--Marc pasquin 18:18, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Origin of the word, "joual"[edit]

As noted in the article, "joual" is attested before WW2, in the deprecatory sense of corrupt, uneducated Quebec French. The word itself refers to a pronunciation so foreign to what was believed to be standard French, that the link to the spelling was half lost (joual --> ? cheval). The spoken or unspoken implication was that this was the speech of illiterates.

Around the time Desbiens got on his horse, however, the context changed. People were literate, but they still spoke joual. The automatic deprecatory intent was put into question when, soon after, Michel Tremblay came out with Les Belles-Soeurs. Phranger 00:29, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

Removal of Pantry[edit]

Unless it was verrrrry recently adopted by either the académie of the OLF (as in the last 5 years I`ve been away from Montréal), pantry is *not* french. I looked online at various dictionaries and can`t find it. What did you based your removal on ? --Marc pasquin 18:18, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

The OLF has nothing to do with joual as it is not formally codified.--Shawa666 (talk) 01:42, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Similar mixed/creolized sociolect in New Brunswick?[edit]

If have heard that there is also a form of French similar to Joual that is used mainly by younger people and is full of slang and anglicisms. Can anyone confirm or explain this? Thanks! B-] //Big Adamsky 21:27, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Shiac is how many New Brunswickers refer to the hybrid French/English spoken mostly by younger people. Link goes to a blog post that links to another article.
Excellent! I have now created an article stub called Shiac. =J //Big Adamsky 19:48, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Italian influence?[edit]

I know there is a sizeable Italian community in Montréal, so I'm wondering if it had any influence on the development of Joual. Tchine-tchine for "cheers" sounds identical to the common Italian toast, cin-cin. Bécosse brought a smile to my face, because in Italiese, the hybrid language that sprouted up among Italian immigrants in English-speaking Canada (especially in the Toronto area), baccàus is the word used for washroom :) Though I suppose that could simply be the result of two linguistic groups responding to the same English word. :: Salvo (talk) 03:11, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

One word that do come to mind is "tchow" [ciao] often heard among francophone montrealers. So is the "sauce a spagatte" (bolognese sauce) which is called that even without being used with noodles (on a poutine for example). It would probably be interesting to look for others, bagosse wouldn't sound like the italian for "booze" would it ?
Your explanation of tchine-tchine to me make more sense they the english "cheers" all things considered, both for the repetition and the ending. --Marc pasquin 19:38, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Interesting observations about possible Italian influence. I'm convinced, however, that we should not be talking about Joual, though. "Ciaò" and "cin-cin" are used in exactly the same ways in New York City by non-italophones, and likely by many Italians and Italian immigrants/descendants in other world cities. So, forget the Joual. Note, "ciaò" only means "good-bye" and not English "hello" or true Joual "allô". As for "spaghetti sauce", hundreds of millions of English-speaking North Americans say the same thing. There's nothing Joual or Québec about "sauce à spaghetti" except that it's in French; nothing unusual there. Also, who's to say that francophones in Quebec were initiated into pasta-eating directly by Italians? For all we know, it could have been through restaurants serving Québécois meals or via the supermarket. Think: Steinberg's or Dominion - English. ;-) Oh, and to the bane of my existence, spaghetti sauce was always meant to include meat; nowadays, this is less and less, but remember when meatless sauces came out on the market, they had to be labeled so. For the past 15-20 years, we take meatless for granted now.
As for "baccaùs", I'd be surprised if it indeed developed separately in the Toronto area. First, the majority of anglophones in the Toronto area have not commonly used the term "backhouse" since WW2, and I'm being conservative about the latest date. Second, before all the language-law ruckus in Québec, Italian speakers (regardless of regional language) were francotrope, i.e. tended to learn French and not English. There was a sizeable Italian community in Mtl before there was one in Toronto. Plus, there must have been some italophones who left Mtl for Toronto. It's only natural then that "bécosse" was adopted via French and not English. The "g" that might be heard in the Italian borrowing is just the natural voicing in between consonants as in "casa". Oh, also, had italophones directly picked up "baccaùs" from English, it probably would have a different stress pattern today. In English, "backhouse" is stressed on the first syllable; Italian-speakers would have picked that up. French speakers always put the stress on the last syllable of a borrowing, regardless of where the stress was in English. Think "hotdog": En. = HOTdog; Fr. = hotDOG. Also, compare how all French-speakers in the world say "McDonald's" with the stress on the end; I'd bet that italophones in Italy and CH (btw, IS there a Mickey D's in Lugano??!!) place the stress in the same place where it is in English. Just listen to all the discourse about Slow Food, they must bring up McDonald's at least every five minutes. ;-)
So, what's the possible solution? Well, I sincerely don't think we should be worrying about Italian in Joual, the latter having developped only with the contact of English way before massive Italian immigration to Mtl. Why not a truly informative page on Italian influences period? After English, Italian is the language that most influenced French, particularly in the Renaissance. In fact, it's because people tried to immitate Italian that French grammar requires the agreement of past participles after "avoir" when we write. And how about Italianisms in English? Or English mutations of Italian? (ravioliS /a ravioli, a piece of spaghetti, music terms, etc.) Sounds like "Influence of Italian on other languages" or "Language Contact - Italian" could be descriptive titles. -- CJ Withers 21:30, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
I really enjoyed reading your response! I really know little about the linguistic history of Montréal, and was glad to read your take on things. I love tracing the journey of words like baccàus through the movements of immigrant groups, and I find the possibility that it travelled from English to French to Italiese quite fascinating. As for Italian pronunciation of borrowed English words, though, the rules are not quite so clean-cut. Hot dog, for example, is stressed on the second syllable by Italians (od DOG), as are weekend (ui KEND) and hamburger (am BUR gher), which if I'm not mistaken, is stressed on the first syllable in French, just like in English. As for McDonald's, you're right: Italians stress it as anglophones do (mec DO nald). Oh, and for all the hype around Slow Food in Italy, it always amuses me that with the exception of those near blatant tourist traps, most McDonald's restaurants in Italy are full of Italians, not tourists. Slow food indeed. *grin*
PS: I'm from the New York area as well, and I must admit that the only people I've ever heard use cin-cin are those who emigrated from Italy, or who have travelled there and are trying to sound like hip Italians. Perhaps as Italian Americans continue to be absorbed into the melting pot, culturally distinct phrases such as cin-cin are falling by the wayside? Or maybe I didn't know the right people growing up? :)  :: Salvo (talk) 07:48, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
My point regarding "sauce à spagatte" was mostly that the word spagetthi has been thoroughly "assimilated" (standard french and most region simply use the italian word).
Regarding the anglophones using cin-cin, I can't say I have ever heard them use it. Even here in australia (where I now live) the aussies who use something "foreign" when toasting say "salud", not cin-cin.
Finaly, Joual is a working class sociolect (not a creole). It would have absorbed words predominently from english ("factory words" so to speak) but also from other people that were absorbed into the french-canadian culture (like irish probably). We use after all "chnaye" for go away which seem to come from the german "schnell" for some reason. --Marc pasquin 00:06, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Clearly, Joual is not a creole. Nonetheless, people tend to lump the use of any anglicism and any non-standard French language practice under the name "Joual". Also, despite the reality that Joual is repeatedly termed a working-class sociolect, it is a huge misnomer mainly because of the upward mobility of francophones in the past 30 years and due to shared linguistic features with general Québécois French and rural varieties. For these reasons, I'm not fond of the Joual article in its current incarnation. What's more, I wouldn't limit language contact with English (be it Joual or Québécois standard French) to "factory words"; contact with English was both extensive and in all fields and aspects of life. Just read up on Miron, who said that he had been alienated from his own language (French) because whenever he wrote, it was English structure, vocabulary, etc. "disguised" as French. Clearly this English intrusion was not due to factory work of his own or anyone else's. I think the Joual article should eventually be merged into Québec French (and of course leaving behind a redirect from Joual). I'm currently working on the social aspects of the varieties in Québec French. By going to my user page, you can scroll down and check out some of the pages/parts that are in the works.
As a part of linguistic research training, I and some classmates had to listen to a something akin to the matched-guise technique for dialects of French (sociolects, regional dialects, etc.) and were asked to identify them. Everyone identified the head of a major bank as a "Joual" speaker. Clearly, he is not the exception and Joual is no longer just working-class. If anything has remained true, it's the common name for what is perceived to belong to the peuple and their québécité. Think Michel Tremblay's plays, Éric Lapointe's songs, etc., etc. -- CJ Withers 05:57, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
If ever you want to give an even better example, mention Peladeau. Filthy rich, spoke like an habitant.
In general though, joual is still something of a working sociolect which is why I think its important to distinguish it from Quebec French. Someone from say, Outremont (just to go with stereotype) might speak with an accent and range of vocabulary that is different from Standard French but it surely is not the same as your stereotypical person from hochelaga-maisonneuve (not an insult, me and my family all come from the east-end). What has been de-stygmatised is Quebec French (radio-canada newsreader sort) but joual is still considered (even from within) as "bad french". I think people simply got over the difference in accent when compared with europe (mostly thanks to greater cultural exchange to have reduced the number of time one is asked to repeat....). Still sad realy, even my grandma used to say I should try and speak better (due to me being "educated"). --Marc pasquin 23:53, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
My theory is that joual is merely the informal language spoken by the french speaking population in Quebec.--Shawa666 (talk) 01:49, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

It seems you missed what I wrote above: anything stigmatised is lumped into Joual. Plus, Joual is Quebec French, not all of Quebec French but part of it.

There's finally a book/study on the Quebec French norm (by M.-E. de Villers and published in 2005) and it only focuses on comparisons between Le Devoir and Le Monde. The reality, however, is that human beings are not newpapers and, as individuals, mix levels/registers in their own speech all the time (yeah, think Péladeau). I'll give an example: "la chose dont j'ai besoin" vs. "l'affaire que j'ai besoin"; most people in Quebec either don't know that the relative clause starting with "que" is substandard yet a very defining feature of Quebec French, regardless of socio-economic class. Often heard from television and radio reporters, relative or subordinate clauses with "que" are so common on all levels and among all socio-economic groups, yet everyone will call it Joual. Joual's more a perception than an actual sociolect; if you ask people on the street what they speak, they do not say "Joual" they say "French" or, worse, "bad French". "Joual" was a poster child of some sorts. Remember, joe-blow came up with the term and idea of "Joual", not linguists.

Oh, btw, the article as it is now is somewhat incorrect by starting with "toé", etc. The pronunciations in "oé" are also found outside of Mtl and not just in those words; it's a phonological phenomenon, not a lexical one. The Joual perception focuses more on lexical items than anything else, not major language practices and who and when they are used.

Also, I am not against the idea of the Joual article focusing more on its perception and its force as catalyst for identity affirmation. It would also be interesting to show how the transcription of Joual is eye dialect and that it became legitimate in the eyes of the public once plays were in it. Here's a your opinion, is Virginie written in Joual? hehehe -- CJ Withers 06:29, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

I re-read this article and am surprised at how so much is called "Joual" when the item in question is just an anglicism or casual French. "Ouin" is not Joual; it can be heard in Joual, but it is not Joual. "Truck" is not Joual; it's an anglicism as are "la hose", "bienvenue" instead of "de rien", etc. Also, sacres are an integral part of Joual but there's nothing on them... More misinformation than information, this article doesn't need sources, it needs to be purged 'n' merged. -- CJ Withers 06:41, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Personnaly, I think the article might need some work but should *not* be integrated in the Quebec French article. I think the main reason why we might see this differently is due to who we are: I am a native speaker/non-linguist while you are a non-native speaker/linguist (not meant in any way as an attack by the way). Your view is probably based on seeing joual and Quebec french as part of a same continuum based on its similitude and history while to me they are distinct based solely on personnal experience.
To explain a bit, I have spent most of my adult life working in the service/hospitality industry dealing largely with tourists. Early on, I developed the habit (as I have noticed, many other have) of speaking joual with my co-workers but switching to Quebec french when talking to client (especialy non-local francophones). The "switch" is not just one of accent (lessening the difference between "a" and "â" for exemple) but of register and sentence construction (no interogation using "-tsu"). The effect on tourists was quite startling: most could understand me when I spoke directly to them but not to my coworkers. This to me is the true difference between Quebec french and joual: the first is basicaly standard ("international") french with a bit of a local accent and some different words (I can't bring myself to say "congere") while the second has a relation to standard french similar to the one obeserved with most french regional patois.
What I do agree could be taken out are those elements that are not the result of a different register but simply accent (toé, tsu [the affricative], etc... ) but for the rest, I think what realy need to be done is first define what is meant by "Quebec french": is it all the phenomenons encounter within the french speaking population of Quebec ? If yes, that would make it a sort of "meta-category" since it would include not only the french of the Devoir but also regional quirks from the Beauce, the saguenay-lac-st-jean and gaspesie. It would, to me, just make it more confusing to outsiders if we were to write that for example the verb "haler" [to pull] is part of Quebec French when it is only used nowaday in a few regions (and neither should it be considered joual).
So this is the distinction I draw between Quebec french and joual. I fully admit it might not be the same (if any) made by all other quebecois but I think it is one which is at least *perceived* by most.

I hope you don't think I'm weird by saying this, but we agree and disagree yet in different ways. First, your perceptions of what constitutes Joual is the problem. We can discuss that point by point somewhere else. I find that wikipedia is not a good place to discuss linguistic minutia between linguists and non-linguists. Second, I totally agree with you that the Quebec French article needs much work; I want to include a Joual section, but it needs to be put in context. The probleme with native-speaker notions is just that, whether it's in English, French or Swahili: people's idea of something is often not the reality when it comes to language. It's been proved over and over again that our everyday notions of language are skewed by social values and identity politics. The upshot it that Joual = stigma aux yeux des vielles outremontaises and Joual = la langue du peuple pour ce que ne vois d'un oeil. The internal debate revolves around this polarization; that's what I'm working on showing. Please check my sandbox on Québec French...scroll down and look where I jotted down stuff about Joual, les Belles Soeurs, Tout le monde en parle, Denise Bombardier (dont j'ai fait la connaissance il y a un mois!!), etc. Also, please don't take this personally, but I don't an encyclopedia has great value if it's written by anyone who feels like writing about something that seems important to them. On the other hand, I do feel that experts can get out of hand and can also obscure the realities behind something important. That's why I find Wikipedia interesting; not only is there a team that can enhance articles, it also combines the knowledgeable folk with the uninitiated. By dialoguing with the uninitiated, the articles can acheive quality status because they are supposed to be informative. The real danger is writing about a topic which is taken for granted as reality when in fact it's just the notion that's taken root. Joual is that example is the article for Buffalo English. Joual is a (pre-conceived) notion of what a sociolect should be; the proof is that it is stigmatized. Anyway, I'm starting to repeat myself.

If we remove the phonological aspects and then the syntactic elements and then the anglicisms, what would be left? Nothing or close to it. I invite you discuss, for example, pronouns in Quebec French (they're the same in Joual and in standard spoken French in Quebec, btw). For example, "nous autres" is not Joual; in fact, it's just Quebec. "Nous" is virtually non-existent in spoken French in the world; "on" is the multi-purpose word. The same goes for "elles"; it doesn't exist in spoken French in Québec. Women and even the most ardent of feminists don't use it at all. This fact is startling. You can even hear Mme Bombardier use "ils" for "elles" in her commentary on International Women's Day. Enough for now. Later. -- CJ Withers 23:27, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

can someone please include words UNIQUE to joual, as the author of this article has used many continental french words? merci.


I'm hesitant about «ski-doo» being listed as an English word that's found its way into Québec's argot if the trademark originated in Québec, is based on a word «ski» that (like the name of most sports) is the same in both languages, and Armand Bombardier is not an anglo name. There may be other trademarks which do qualify as anglicisms, such as «le frigo/le frigidaire» (based on an American-language trademark, which in turn appears to be based on the English words "frigid air") or «le coke» (Coca-Cola, originally created in Atlanta and named for the coca plant). Automotive terminology would also be a source of beaucoup de franglais as most of the cars were from US-based manufacturers and the mécaniciens would have originally been working from American-language service manuals to maintain the vehicles. «Le clutch, il ne va pas» would likely be understood as a clutch that doesn't work in any garage in Québec, even if the proper French word is «débrayage». --carlb 15:08, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

I think words like ski-doo or frigidaire or coke are clearly not anglicismes--is lego considered a Dan word? ;-)
Just a note: clutch is/was feminine in Quebec French: "La clutch, a marche pas." --Valmi 21:43, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Joual is a language, not a slang[edit]

Joual is a living language, no just some poor people slang. It has many words in common with French, sure, but it's a distinct dialect.

Many words were invented in Joual and never appeared in the original french language. Take 'ferry boat' for example. Here in Quebec, we call it a 'traversier'. This word is unique, not just a popular culture derivation of some working class usual guy.

Calling joual a slang is pretty offensive, and I suggest that if you're to come and visit us, don't say this to the people : you won't be taken for a funny nor intelligent guy at all. This is simply ethnic purism.

You think calling Joual slang is offensive? Ummm, since they re speaking french (or, at least, they say they are), don't you think it would be more offensive to say they dont actually speak french? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bob bobato (talkcontribs) 22:21, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
You seem to be disciple of Michel Tremblay. Sorry to burst your bubble, but Quebec French is not joual (the latter being a subset of the former), and you should probably leave the definition of joual to the linguists.-- 15:25, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
No need to be disrespectful, I mean joual did develop without the help of aforementioned linguists, I'm sure it can do fine without them.Dan Carkner 21:27, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
"Traversier" is not joual. Traversier is Quebec French. In popular understanding, everything that is specific to Quebec French would be joual. That is not the case. Joual is a sociolect of the working class mostly in the Montreal area. Reducing Quebec French to joual alone would be like reducing the French of France to the argot of Paris, which does not make sense.
See this link :
Bonne lecture! -- Mathieugp 12:51, 23 October 2006 (UTC)


To dial or push buttons. Is this Joual? I don't remember where or how I learned this word. Perhaps I made it up?

Another (from my mother, the interior designer): keten (or kéten, qéten - actual spelling is unclear) Pendragon39 06:26, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

You should remember that not all Quebec French is joual. I'm pretty sure both pitonner and quétaine are already in the Quebec French lexicon article.--Boffob 15:49, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, quétaine is there :) Pendragon39 17:42, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

verification of loan words[edit]

While the vast majority of this article is uncited, there is one assertion that deserves some confirmation. The list of English loan words has "Fucker le chien", which, to a non-speaker, looks like "to fuck the dog". While its definition looks like this phrase could be genuine, the phrase itself looks spurious. Could someone confirm the veracity of this phrase? ++Arx Fortis (talk) 01:20, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

as odd as its sound, its true.--Marc pasquin (talk) 20:26, 14 June 2008 (UTC)


The article Quebec French claims this word is perjorative. Is it or not? NorthernThunder (talk) 09:44, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes it is, but this term is not used often nowadays. Kovlovsky (talk) 15 november 2009 —Preceding undated comment added 03:29, 16 November 2009 (UTC).

English loanwords -- add: "blounde"[edit]

What about "blounde"? Slang of: 'blonde' or 'blond', as in: girlfriend. Example: "...i' s'en va'ncore avec sa blounde, tabernouche..." ( = "...he's going out again with his girlfriend, dammit...", like when you are hoping to watch hockey Saturday night with your buddies and one of your gang instead seems to prefer to go out with his new girlfriend -- again -- instead of hanging with his 'homies' to watch the game, thereby proving that she is starting to bust up the sacred circle of you and your 'guy-buddies' and ...... ah but I digress).

Anyway, what about 'blounde'? I don't know if I am spelling that correct, but any francophone guy knows that that means girlfriend. Because 'blondes' are kind of rare amongst Catholics (ie, French and Irish in Quebec and Northeastern Ontario and New Brunswick and St-Boniface), so the word 'blonde' -- where blonde girls are more likely to be Protestant -- really hits home as defining a 'girlfriend'.

Another way to think of it is that: "blounde" ~= "shiksa". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Atikokan (talkcontribs) 03:14, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

I just want to point out that "blonde" for girlfriend was also used in France up to the 19th Century. "Auprès de ma blonde", a old an famous folklore song, refers to that. Writers like Flaubert used it also. It meant "mistress" as opposed to spouse. Many French words still in use in French Canada are obsolete now in French Europe. Sir John Falstaff (talk) 15:04, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

About that citation needed...[edit]

Today, many Québécois who were raised in Quebec during the last century (command of English notwithstanding) can understand and speak at least some joual.[citation needed]

Every Québécois raised in any part of Quebec can understand joual. It is in fact the causal language that most people speak even at work or at any other place. It ain't really perceived as uneducated anymore to speak joual. I think that citation needed sign should be removed. Joual is well-known in Québec and even communally spoken on national television on varieties show. For that reason, I'll remove the Citation needed mark. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:45, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

Historical connection to Haitian Creole?[edit]

I noticed several pronunciations in Joual that are parallel in Haitian Creole. My thought is a general petrification of pronunciations that existed earlier in European standard French, but history of the French language is not my area. Just to note, 'isit', 'aswa-a', and 'fret~fwet' are all the standard ways to say 'icitte', 'asoere' and 'frete' in Creole. 2601:582:4401:477B:ED8C:8CAF:389D:2857 (talk) 16:47, 19 December 2016 (UTC) Tom in Florida