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Language

The official language in Montreal is French, and with a population of 1.7 million this makes it the second largest French-speaking city in the world, after Paris.

French is spoken at home by more than 56% of the population followed by 19% English and 18% other languages.

Many people in Montreal speak both English and French and service is usually provided in both languages.

Helpful terms

Anglophone:  a person who speaks English as a primary language, a native speaker.

Francophone: a person who speaks French as a primary language, a native speaker.

Basic French — English translations of helpful words

Sortie: Exit
Ascendseur: Elevator
S.V.P. (s’il vous plait): Please
Commandez ici: Order Here
Tirez:  Pull
Poussez: Push
Gauche: Left
Droite: Right
Ouvert: Open
Ferme: Closed
Gratuit: Free
Avertissement: Warning
Dépanneurs: corner store
Thank you: Merci
Billet: Ticket


A helping hand

Writing Centre

The McGill Writing Centre provides a central resource for written communication, offering credit courses for both native and non-native English speakers

French language resources

Whether you want to start from scratch with your verb conjugaisons, brush up on your conversation skills or immerse yourself in an intensive five-level program, McGill has a wide array of French-language instruction options to suit the needs of current and prospective students.

McGill International Student Network (MISN)

The MISN offers roughly ten weekly language classes each semester. The languages taught typically include French, English, Japanese, Mandarin, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish and German.