10 Struggles For People Who Don't Speak French In Ottawa

Je ne sais pas.
10 Struggles For People Who Don't Speak French In Ottawa

Growing up in Ottawa, a lot of people assume that you speak French. Understandably, it's a fair assumption. We're right across the river from Quebec and are a government city that works with the country's two official languages. However, that doesn't mean we're all bilingual per se.

Learning French opens up so many opportunities in Ottawa and Quebec. In retrospect, I wish I had learned it. But of course, being me, I didn't.

Here's 10 struggles for people who don't speak French in Ottawa:

When you're working in retail and a customer comes up to you speaking French

C'est quoi?

When you're applying for a job and at the bottom it says, "Must be billingual."

Literally qualified for everything except that.

When half your friends disappear in high school because they take immersion classes

Au revoir.

When your billingual friends start talking French in front of you

Oh my god, I heard my name. I heard my name.

When announcements in English are repeated in French on the bus, at Sens' games, etc.

"Next stop, prochain arret." Mkay.

When you travel outside of Ottawa and someone assumes, "Oh, you're from Ottawa! You must speak French."


When we try to speak French but can't roll our "R's"

I swear, I'm genetically incapable of doing this.

When you're driving on the Quebec side and can't understand the road signs

"Nouvelle configuration ralentissez." Okay. *Drives*

Google translating your French homework and praying for the best

"B" is for bon.

Being one of the few non-billingual students at the U of O

Oh, hey.

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