My mom just told me she saw the obituary for my Grade 7 French teacher in the paper. Mme Baxter died suddenly on Tuesday.

I started taking French in Grade 6, and took to it immediately. Through university, it was one of my favourite classes. Mme Baxter was utterly charming to the twelve-year-old me. She was French Canadian – or at least her French was Canadian – and her accent was different and sibilant and fascinating. Poor Mme Mackey spent the first couple months of Grade 8 French undoing it all.

Mme Baxter, I moved to Canada ten years ago. I wish your Canadian French hadn’t been overwritten all those years ago. It would have served me better than all the “proper” Parisian French I learned instead. Rest in peace.

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Jennifer Watkiss

If it makes you feel any better, we’re taught “proper” French in Canadian schools as well. Which is extra useless in BC, where there aren’t any French-Canadian immersion opportunities for us anglos. 

Jennifer Watkiss

From the very limited amount I know, because that’s what texts, etc. are written in. French Canadian seems to be handled more like a dialect, with documentation, etc. in “high” French. 

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