What’s the Best French Accent?

French is spoken in many ways across the country. It brings with it the sounds of different accents which add to the richness of the language and the Francophone culture in Canada. What do you think is the most beautiful French accent?

When we listen to the news, whether on the radio or television, we can hear that the French language meets certain standards. International French spoken by commentators and journalists leads us to believe that all French-Canadians have the same accent. But, having traveled several times across the country, I can confirm that this is not the case and that accents enrich the language spoken in eastern, central, western and northern Canada.

Today, with satellite TV, you can hear some distinct accents of commentators in Western Canada or Acadia. Do we have to conform to international-French standards or should we, on the contrary, be proud of our accents?

Overseas

I think that accents complement the French language. They are filled with historical and geographical references, and for a language lover like myself, accents are like music to my ears. The sound differences of our language within the country are a direct reflexion of our cultural diversity. Imagine crossing the ocean to speak with our Francophone cousins, the subtleties of our language become quite distinct.

Here's an interview I discovered on the Web with Jean-Denis Gendron, author of "D’où vient l’accent des Québécois? Et celui des Parisiens? ". It relates how the history of the Canadian people is directly related to the pronunciation of the country’s founders.

A Distinct Accent

Often imitated but never equalled, the Acadian accent is probably the most recognizable accent in the country. However, as can be heard by listening to this video peninsuleacadienne.ca, the Acadians themselves have many different accents.

Finally, is there an accent more beautiful than another? It takes all kinds of accents to make up a language, so let’s not hesitate to share ours. They are a part of who we are, they represent us and strengthen our diversity.

Philippe Daoust