Learning French

Interested in learning French or brushing up? There are a multitude of ways to perfect your language skills.

On campus

École de langues de l’Université Laval

Pavillon Charles-De Koninck
1030, avenue des Sciences-Humaines
Room 2301
418 656-2321

Programs and courses:
French as a second language

Your registration in a French as a Foreign Language (FLE) course entitles you to free individual tutoring services.


French Immersion Schooling

The French immersion program is open to all non-French-speaking candidates admitted to a non-quota undergraduate program who require sustained learning in French. It consists of refresher courses in French that are integrated into your program of study. See a sample French immersion training plan.

French Conversation and Training Workshops

Rêver en français Workshops

These small group workshops are for all graduate students for whom French is not their first language, regardless of their level of fluency in French.


Learn French in 3 weeks!

This intensive training (August 7 to 25, 2023), in small groups, is designed for all graduate students for whom French is not their mother tongue and who wish to begin learning French.

Take part in this free training!

Multilingual meetings

Participate in free multilingual encounters, linguistic and cultural exchanges between 2 students.

Financial support for learning French

Language School Scholarships

Each year, the Language School offers scholarships covering tuition and fees for students enrolled in its French as a second or foreign language courses in 2nd (including preparatory) or 3rd cycle programs.

Exemption from additional tuition fees for French Courses

Canadian candidates outside Quebec and foreign candidates enrolled in a program of study leading to a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree are exempt from paying additional tuition fees for courses in the French language or in French and Quebec cultures.


All holders of a study permit or work permit are eligible for the francization program of the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration. The Government of Quebec is the sole point of access. This eligibility includes access to participation allowances and childcare stipends. Learning can take place in class, at a distance, online or in the work places.

Madatory registration through this website: Learn French

Please note that the francization courses are not credited courses and therefore cannot be counted toward full time status at University Laval.

For your information, here are the school that offer francization:

Cégep Ste-Foy

Centre du Phénix

Centre Louis-Jolliet

Université Laval

French courses off campus


763, rue St-Joseph E., suite 104, Québec

418 692-1370

Carrefour d’action interculturelle
14, rue Dauphine, Québec
418 694-0601

Centre de formation Eastern Quebec

3005, rue William-Stuart, Québec

418 654-0537 poste 2801

Centre Mgr Marcoux

2025 Adjutor-Rivard, Québec

418 661-7766 poste 245

Centre R.I.R.E. 2000*
369, rue de la Couronne, 3ème étage, Québec
418 524-5609


755, Grande-Allée Ouest

418 573-5956

Mieux-être des immigrants (MEI)*

2120, rue Boivin, local 204
418 527-0177

Ressource Espaces Familles

Centre de loisirs St-Mathieu
1000, rue de Bar-le-Duc, Québec
418 681-9740

Service d’aide à l’adaptation des immigrants et immigrantes (SAAI)

2520, chemin Ste-Foy, bureau 100

418 523-2058

*These organizations also offer part-time francization courses, including eligibility to the stipends (see below). Registration must be in person at their offices.

Self-Learning Center

Bibliothèque Gabrielle-Roy
350, rue Saint-Joseph Est
418 641-6789

Bibliothèque Monique-Corriveau
1100, route de l’Église
418 641-6277

Centre d’auto-apprentissage du français pour immigrants (CAFI)
Cégep de Sainte-Foy
2410, chemin Sainte-Foy
418 659-6620, poste 5099

Unique Characteristics of Québec French

French is the official language of Québec: it is the language of government, the workplace, education, and business. A little over 80% of Quebecers speak French as their mother tongue. Quebecers are generally very proud of their language.

The French spoken in Québec is unique in a number of ways. Some even say that Québec French is a language in its own right, with its own vocabulary. Non-francophone foreign students, and even students whose first language is French, sometimes have difficulty understanding Quebecers. Some find the Québec accent quite unusual.

Read on for information on some of the special characteristics of Québec French as well as a glossary of common Québec expressions. These are mainly features of the spoken language and are not generally found in written French. Keep in mind, too, that accents and expressions vary by region.


Some describe Québec as a “French-speaking island surrounded by a sea of English-speakers.” It is therefore no surprise that, in general, Quebecers avoid words that have been patterned on English. For example, instead of saying “week-end,” a very common expression in francophone countries, they will say “fin de semaine”, and they prefer “magasiner” over “faire du shopping”. However, many expressions have been directly borrowed from English and adapted into the everyday language of Quebecers. For example:

  • tomber en amour avec le Québec: fall in love with Québec
  • ça fait du sens: it makes sense
  • présentement: currently
  • sauver de l’argent: save money
  • sauver du temps: save time

Interrogative particle “tu”

In informal contexts the particle “tu” often functions like an interrogative adverb. It is therefore totally unrelated to the pronoun tu. For example:

  • “C’est-tu loin?” (Is it far?)
  • “Ça vous tente-tu?” (Do you feel like it?)
  • “Ça va-tu?” (How’s it going?)
  • “Tu veux-tu?” (Do you want to?)

Use of the Familiar French “Tu”

In most settings, relationships are rather informal and relaxed. The use of the familiar “tu” between younger people or people of the same age is widespread. This use of “tu” is much more common in Québec than it is in most francophone countries. For example, Quebecers tend to use this familiar form with some of their professors. Don’t be shocked if Quebecers address you using “tu”. The “vous” form of address is mainly used in Québec out of respect for the age of the person being spoken to.  If you are uncomfortable with the use of “tu”, continue to use “vous” and explain why you are doing so to the person you are talking to.


Swearwords in Québec, known as “sacres,” borrow heavily from the Catholic religion. Their use reflects Québec’s rich religious heritage and the Catholic Church’s profound historical influence on Québec culture and society, which lasted into the 1960s. These terms are used to express emotion (positive or negative), anger, and surprise.

Examples: criss, câlice, ostie, tabarnac


While in most francophone countries people talk about “petit-déjeuner” (breakfast), “déjeuner” (lunch), and “diner” (dinner), in Québec the three meals are, in order, “déjeuner,” “diner,” and “souper.” Also note that in Québec mealtimes are usually earlier: lunch is around noon, and dinner is between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Immigration Guide, prepared by PÔLE Québec Chaudière-Appalaches

A short Québec french glossary



Asteure: now
Abreuvoir: water fountain
À cause que: because
Achaler: to annoy or irritate
S’accoter: to lean against or on
Accrocher quelqu’un/quelque chose: to accidentally brush up against someone/something
Aiguisoir: pencil sharpener


Baboune (faire la baboune): to pout or sulk
Balayeuse: vacuum cleaner
Banc de neige: snowdrift
Bas: socks
Baveux: smart-alecky
Bec (donner un bec): kiss (to give someone a kiss)
Bed-and-breakfast (B&B): same as in English
Bibitte: insect
Bienvenue: after someone says thank you, Quebecers sometimes say «bienvenue» (from the English «You’re welcome») instead of «de rien» or«Il n’y a pas de quoi»
Blé d’inde: corn
Bleuet: blueberry
Bloc appartements: apartment building
Blonde: girlfriend
Boss: same as in English
Breuvage: non-alcoholic drink (from the English «beverage»)
Briser la glace: to break the ice or start a conversation with someone
Brunch: same as in English


C’est correct: expression meaning «OK» or «it’s a deal,» depending on the context
C’est de valeur: that’s too bad
Cabane à sucre: sugar shack, a building in a maple grove where maple syrup and maple sugar are prepared
Cadran: alarm clock
Canne: can
Capoter: to get worked up or lose one’s head
Caribou: a species of deer found in Northern regions, or a traditional Québec alcoholic drink
Céduler: to schedule or put something on one’s calendar
CÉGEP: collège d’enseignement général et professionnel (a kind of junior college for pre-university studies)
Cenne: one-cent coin
Chance (prendre une): to take a chance
Chandail: a sweater
Change (avoir du change): change (as in, to have change)
Char: car
Chaud (être chaud): drunk
Chaudron: cooking pot
Checker: to check or verify
Chialer: to grumble or bellyache
Chicane: disagreement
Chum: boyfriend
Cinq à sept (5 à 7): happy hour
Coke: Coca-Cola


Débarbouillette: washcloth
Débarque (prendre une débarque): fall (to take a fall)
Débarquer: to get off (a bus, train, etc.)
Dépanneur: a convenience store
Dispendieux: expensive or pricey


Échapper: to drop something
Écoeurant: a term that can be used to express disgust or admiration, depending on tone of voice
Efface (une): eraser
S’enfarger: to trip
En masse (en avoir en masse): a lot of, enough (to have enough of something)
Envoye!: go! Get going!
Épluchette: corn roast
Été indien: indian summer, a period of several days when the temperature is warmer than normal (usually in October)
Être à côté de la track: to be wrong
Être brûlé: to be exhausted or wiped out
Être un deux de pique: to be stupid
Être tanné: to be sick of something or fed up


Faire du pouce: to hitchhike
Faire l’épicerie: to go grocery shopping
Frette (il fait frette): to be very cold
Frigidaire: refrigerator (from the brand name)
Fun: quebecers say «avoir du fun» for «to have fun» and «c’est l’fun» for «it’s fun»


Gadoue (or slush): winter slush formed of snow, water, and salt
Gang: a group of friends
Garrocher: to throw aimlessly
Geler: to be really cold


Habit de neige: snow suit—a sturdy, waterproof, cold weather garment usually worn by children, consisting of pants and a jacket
Huard: dollar coin


Icitte: here
Imperméable (un): rain coat


Jaser: to chat
Joke: same as in English


Kleenex: tissue (from the brand name)
Kodak: camera (from the brand name)


Laisser faire: to drop something or let it go
Lift (Avoir un lift, offrir un lift à quelqu’un): same as in English – to give someone a lift (free car ride)
Liqueur: soda (soft drink)


Magasiner: to go shopping
Maringouin: mosquito
Mêlant (c’est mêlant): complicated or confusing Mitaines: Mittens
Motoneige: snowmobile
Mouiller (il mouille): to rain (it’s raining)


Niaiser: to waste time lying around, or to make fun of someone
Être niaiseux: to be an imbecile or a simpleton


Orignal: moose


Pacté: drunk
Pantoute: not at all (from «pas du tout»)
Patate: potato
Patates pilées: mashed potatoes
Pâte à dent: toothpaste
Pâté chinois: Québec version of shepherd’s pie
Patente: an indescribable object, a thingy
Peanut: same as in English
Pelleter: to shovel snow
Peser sur un piton: to press a button
Piasse (une): canadian dollar
Piquer une jasette: to chat or shoot the breeze
Pire (c’est pas si pire): bad (it’s not so bad)
Pis: then, so (from the French «puis»)
Plate (C’est plate): boring, dull, not fun
Pogner (Pogner un rhume): to catch (To catch a cold), or To be charming or popular (il pogne)
Poudrerie: blizzard
Poutine: a popular Québec specialty made with french fries, cheese curds, and gravy


Quatre roues: all-terrain vehicle (ATV)
Quétaine: uncool or out of style


Raquettes: snowshoes


Ski Doo: see «motoneige»
Slush: same as in English
Souffleuse: snow blower


Traîneau: sled or toboggan
Tripant: exciting
Tuque: a wool winter hat


Verglas: black ice
Vidanges: garbage
Voyage (j’ai mon voyage): i’m fed up, i can’t take anymore

Lexique du français québécois, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

French language test for MIFI

Find here different places where you can do a french language test recognized by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration

Organism Web site
Collège Canada Montréal

(section Test center)

Collège Stanislas de Québec

(section Services)

École de langues de l’Université Laval
Université Concordia
Université du Québec à Montréal

(section Test TCF-Québec)

Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières