Quote: Originally Posted by sw
I visited Montreal last month and the language thing confuses me a bit. I heard both languages being spokeen in the streets but Montreal is a french city.
I have been watching the news and I see that everybody is speaking english in Montreal. Can all the anglos speak french? It seems like most francophones speak english. Can you live in Monreal without knowing french?How do the two languages co exist?
Montreal is a mutli ethnic dual cultured city, not soley French. The English community has been long established within the city. We have our institutions (Universities, Hospitals ...etc) just as the French community has theirs.
As for the confusion over the language thing, depends on where you are within the city. If you venture out east, you'll hear mainly French within the streets, if you venture out west, you'll hear mainly English. If you head in between (downtown), you'll hear both English and French.
As for your question, can all the anglos speak French, the answer is no. Those of us (myself included) who have been educated soley in English before we had the option of attending a French emersion English school, cannot speak French effectively. Therefore many of us English speakers cannot converse in French. So yes, if you live in the west part of the city (West Island or West End), you can indeed live in Montreal without knowing French. Actually, it's pretty darn near hard to live in that area if you can't speak English. You'd have a hard time communicating with some of the neighbors.
As to your other question, can most of the French speakers speak English, based on my experience, the answer is yes. Most of the native Quebec born French speakers can indeed speak English.