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10-06-2010, 12:14 AM   #1
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Je ne parle pas Francais. Can I live in Montreal?

I'm moving to Canada, my original destination was Vancouver. BUT unexpectedly, I got a better job offer in Montreal. I've never been there.

I can try to read a little French. Try to understand it when said veryyy slow. I can speak it verrry awkwardly and can only say basic phrases. I can write basic stuff but the spelling is poor.

The company says it's ok, they speak English.

But i'm a bit worried, what if i leave/get fired/laid off/whatever from that company? Will I be able to find another job without speaking French?

10-06-2010, 12:34 AM   #2
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Living in Montreal w/o speaking fluent French? Good luck! I know people moving away from there because they systematically discriminate non-French speaking people, and it would be even worse if you aren't Caucasian. Life is short. Why waste time there? The problem with Vancouver is the housing is so expensive now, and the average earning is low. People are far more friendly however.
10-06-2010, 03:52 AM   #3
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then it's a very nice opportunity and place for you to learn another langage.

there's not only english in this world
10-06-2010, 04:38 AM   #4
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Don't worry about it!
I once worked with a company who hired a women from Montreal to handle a french account.
Turned out, no one could understand a single word she spoke(in french).

10-06-2010, 05:02 AM   #5
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I live and work in Montreal and I have been here all my life. Most of my colleagues speak english only, as my company mostly deals with American clients. You pick up some french as you go along, but just like you'd pick up any language if you'd immerse yourself in for a little while.
However, some have lived all their lives here and have picked up only 'yes' and 'no'.
I'd say at least 30% of the community on the island of Montreal and the immediate surrounding area speak mainly english. This percentage drops drastically if you go further.
I wouldn't worry. As long as you're ready to make an effort to communicate with your hands without being impatient when you have someone with the reverse problem (no speak english), they will be just as patient to you.
Go with an open mind. There's a whole different culture available to expand your horizons.

I would, without hesitation, go work in Berlin, Rome, Tokyo, Madrid, and many other cities without knowing the local language. And these cities have much less english than Montreal does.
10-06-2010, 08:29 AM   #6
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Don't worry about it...

You'll pick up french as you go along and depending where you live in montreal there are areas like the "West-Island" boroughs where most people speak english. Also if you are a new immigrant to Canada, the Quebec government will give you FREE french lessons should you choose to learn french.

Don't forget that Montreal is a majorly multi-cultural city and except for a few areas we do not tend to "ghetto-ise" along race lines here. Historically the eastern part of the island tends to be more french, the western part is mostly anglo, most of it is like living at the UN.

As for discrimination against anglos, though it happens outside Montreal, there is little (if any) in this city (honestly I've been living here 40 years and the only anti-anglo discrimination I've ever received was from out of town zealots... and I'm french!!! )

Be aware though that Quebec is an ultra-socialist nanny state. Lots of government services (like socialized daycare, medicare and prescription insurance...) but taxes are very high.

Pat
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