The Word on the Street Is . . . Welcome

Montreal Translation SyllabusYesterday a waitress gave me a heartfelt “welcome” when I thanked her for the plentiful portion of cracked-pepper poutine that she placed before me.

She wasn’t the first Quebecer I’ve heard drop the standard “you’re” that most anglophones are accustomed to expect. And I’ve come to the conclusion that’s it’s another classic Montreal‑ism—derived from a translation circle that starts with “bienvenue” to say “you’re welcome.”

It’s this kind of backwards translating that happens every day on the streets of Montreal, adding to the linguistic stew and creating a vibrant language culture.

I walked away from the restaurant—content after devouring my steaming heap of potatoes, curds, and gravy and happy to be immersed in a language as rich as the local fare. 

Heard any unique expressions on the streets of Montreal lately? Let us know!

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