Bonjour From Visiting Assistant Professor Kate Droske!

Posted on October 21st, 2016 by

photos-libraryBonjour!  My name is Kate Droske and I am joining the department of Modern Languages Literatures and Cultures this year as a Visiting Assistant Professor of French.  I am coming to Gustavus Adolphus College from the University of Minnesota, where I recently completed my doctorate in French with a focus on the literature of Quebec. My research has allowed me to live and work in Montreal and other parts of French-speaking Canada.  To the left is a picture of me in a small town in Quebec whose claim to fame is being in the only town in the world with two exclamation points in its name!

The French spoken by our neighbors to the north is a little different from the French spoken in France and the French you typically find in textbooks. For example, if you study French, you have probably learned that the three daily meals are le petit déjeuner, le déjeuner and le dîner.  In Quebec, however, there’s nothing little about breakfast, and the same meals are called le déjeuner, le dîner and le souper (French-speaking Belgium and Switzerland use this vocabulary, too). Boyfriends or girlfriends in France are mon copain/ma copine or mon petit ami/ma petite amie.  In Quebec, the terms mon chum and ma blonde are commonly used, regardless of the color of the girlfriend’s hair!  Even if you haven’t studied French, you might recognize the words bonjour and bienvenue.  In most of the French-speaking world, these expressions are used only to greet and to welcome people at the start of a conversation.  If you travel to Quebec, you might hear these words at the end of an exchange as well, for Québécois use “bonjour” not only to say “hello” or “good day” but also “have a good day,” and “bienvenue” means “welcome” but also “you’re welcome.”  So if you thank someone in Quebec City, you might hear “bienvenue” in reply to your “merci” and “bonjour” as you take your leave.

If you’d like to learn more about me or about the French spoken in Canada, please stop by my office in Vickner Hall to jaser (chat), or better yet, sign up to take a French class with me next semester!  I am really enjoying getting to know the great people here at Gustavus Adolphus, and I look forward to meeting you!



Comments are closed.