Say "Bonjour" to French Accents!

French accents vary based on the region you are visiting and the speaker’s native language. French is spoken in multiple global centers, so the language varies both in word choice and pronunciation. Knowing some of the differences between the basic French accents can make it easier to understand the person you are conversing with if his or her dialect is different from your own.

There are two basic French dialects spoken in France, formal French and Provencal. French is spoken in the North and includes Francien, Picard, Norman, Lorrain and Wollen accents. The southern areas speak Provencal and include Languedocien, Auvergnat and a few other localized accents. The French accent taught in most French classes for non-native speakers, and the most common French accent, is Parisian.

French is developed separately in different countries. In addition to the different dialects spoken in France, there is also Haitian, African and Canadian French. Native speech patterns, language blending and other colloquial issues all affect the accent that develops. There are five distinct French Canadian accents: Quebec French, Acadian French, Metis French, Newfoundland French and Brayon French. Clearly, there is a wide variety of French spoken all over the world.