These two French-speaking peoples of Canada are quite distinct, both in linguistic as well as historical terms. How did this difference arise? Did they arrive at different times to Canada? Do they originate from different regions of France? And why are their accents so different? References will be very much appreciated.

PS: I know enough about Canadian history to understand the different paths that the two groups took after the British expulsion of Acadians. It's more the separate origins of the two groups I'm interested in.

EDIT: Below are the references I have consulted. None of them clearly addressed my question.

  • The History of Canada by Scott W. See, Grey House Publishing, Inc., 2011
  • Various English Wikipedia articles on New France, Acadia, Quebec, History of Canada
  • Canada: A People's History (A 32-hour documentary produced by the CBC)
  • 6
    Hello Tfovid and welcome to History SE. It would help us to help you if you edit your question to include what sources you have checked so far. Also, have a look at the Help pages. Aug 10, 2018 at 9:22
  • 1
    Thanks @LarsBosteen. Please let me know if the edit is good enough.
    – Tfovid
    Aug 10, 2018 at 17:02
  • 1
    My understanding is that most of the New France habitants came from Brittany and Normandy, while the Acadians mostly came from Aquitaine. Perhaps someone else can follow that up to verify. Aug 10, 2018 at 17:04

1 Answer 1


Quebec and Acadia served different functions in French Canada.

Quebec was an "inland" post whose main function was to maintain trade and cultural relations with the Indians, and may well have been influenced by them. The majority of its (French) people were "landlubbers," or at least that's the impression I get when reading the biographies of its leaders.

Acadia was a coastal or "maritime" region whose main focus was shipping and fishing. Judging from the biographies of its leaders, its inhabitants were more "sea," rather than "land," oriented.

It's like asking why are Midwestern Americans different from the New Englanders, or other inhabitants of the Atlantic coast. In some cases, the origins may have differed, but over time (150 years), the two "cultures" are different enough to produce different types of people, even if the origins were similar.

  • This geographical explanation you propose is indeed very compelling. It however implies that the two "functional" roles of Acadia and Quebec would on their own explain the different accents---but that seems too strong a statement. Based on the interactions I've had with Qubececkers, they really seem to consider Acadians as a distinct peoples, almost as if there were a sharp invisible border between the two... Besides, one could make the argument that Montreal and Quebec are both shipping ports, perhaps even more so than Port Royal or Louisbourg.
    – Tfovid
    Dec 10, 2018 at 14:28
  • @Tfovid: Added "fishing" to the mix with a link that explains why "fishing" has a distinct subculture.
    – Tom Au
    Dec 10, 2018 at 15:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.