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Subject:So I just moved here...
Time:11:49 pm
Bonjour, mon anglais est meilleur que mon francais, si je vais ecrire cette message en anglais...

...which is part of the problem. I just moved to Gatineau a few months ago, because of a job offer, and I figured it would be educational to live on the Quebec side of the river. Unfortuantely, I haven't really managed to meet anyone since moving here, let alone find a way to improve my French (that doesn't involve paying at least $500).

Does anyone have any suggestions for meeting people? Also, are there any inexpensive ways to find a French conversation partner or practice group? Any reasonable advice would be welcome.

Thanks!
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happy_skeleton
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Time:2009-01-13 06:23 am (UTC)
Allo!

I wish I could be more of help but I've never really looked into this kind of matter since I'm french and have lived here pretty much all my life.

Here are some sites that I found where you could check and get info on courses, lessons, tutor, partner or practice group :

http://www.pagesjaunes.ca/search/si/1/Ecoles%2Bde%2Blangues/Gatineau%2BQC/
(there's ALOT of languages associations on there in Gatineau and Ottawa, from Academys to schools to the Alliance française)

And, I would recommend S.O.S. études for private lessons with a tutor, only I have no idea how much they charge nowadays(i used to have lessons with them as a child and it helped alot!) It costs nothing to call and ask.
http://www.sosetudes.ca/html/outaouaisE.htm

But I tend more to think you should go with what you know and like. Plus from what you've written in your post I think you're pretty good in french and shouldn't have too much problems fitting in. If you show the interest for french language and try to speak it to french people, there is no doubt in my mind that people will be positive towards you and will talk to you back in french, you could even ask them to if they tend to answer back in english. Hang out with people at your work perhaps to start. If you do want to take a class, I suggest you take it in college or university or a place where you will be with people so afterwards you can go out for a beer or a coffee. I had like almost no social life until I went to uni so I think school is a good place to meet people. If you like movies try to join a group of people who go see movies and then discuss about it. At the Troquet in Gatineau, if I'm not mistaking, they have "poetry mondays" where people go meet up and have french poets who recite poems for everyone. French tv, is not always good I admit, but might very well help you with understanding it being spoken faster then how teachers speak it in classes. I learned english alot watching english tv shows and listening to english music(more like to get used to the pace etc). And also if I were you, I'd check the franco-ontarien groups in Ottawa aswell. Most of them know french very well and are proud to know it and be bilingual. This comment is getting kinda long so I'll finish with this : I think if you approch quebecois with the fact that you'd like to learn french more since you now live in Quebec, that you present yourself and ask to hang you should fit right in, because (speaking for myself and the people I know) it's really nice to see someone who usually speaks english making the effort and taking interest in french. HOWEVER, like in all cultures, there are idiots, so if the respond you get from quebecois is negative, just forget about them and keep on looking for non-idiot ones. I'm just saying, because some people are into this english VS french people thing, whether it's the french or the english. I've had english people insult me because I'm french, but I have english friends who are very nice and the language thing never comes up, so you know, if you have the badluck of meeting the few idiots of quebecois, don't get scared and don't give up.

I wish you the best of luck et bienvenue à Gatineau! :)
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michaelsjournal
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Time:2009-01-15 03:59 am (UTC)
Bonjour et merci bien!

I`m going to check these websites out over the weekend, and I think I`m also going to call SOS, at least to find out how much they are. I`ve also never heard of the Troquet, but it sounds like it might be interesting. Thank-you, both for the suggestions and the encouragement – I suppose part of my problem is that I just need to get over being nearvous about speaking French in public.

I`ve also been listening to French radio, although I haven`t worked up the nerve to try to understand an entire French TV show, yet. (I probably should try that, too…) One of the things I`ve been thinking about doing is buying the DVDs of a show I`ve already seen, and then watching it over in French, so that I don`t have to figure out what`s going on, and I can concentrate on the dialogue. So much to do!

Your advice has been awesome – can I add you?
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happy_skeleton
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-01-15 07:01 am (UTC)
For sure! I'll add you aswell. :)
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rottenfruit
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Time:2009-01-13 04:46 pm (UTC)
I'm an anglo, but I speak decent French and I'd like someone to practice with!
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michaelsjournal
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-01-15 03:36 am (UTC)
Anglo or no, if you know your way around here, and you aren't someone I work with, I'd be delighted to get to know you. I've added you as a friend -- if you don't think I'm totally insane, we can trade contact info there?
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rottenfruit
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-01-15 05:20 pm (UTC)
I moved to Gatineau in 2007, but I lived in Ottawa from 1981-2000, so I'm a semi-local.
I don't work for the government.
I don't think you're totally insane. I'll friend you back and let you decide if you think I am!
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