Montreal is the Best City to Learn English and French

Paul Sullivan
  • Paul Sullivan
  • February 1, 2019

What has a beautiful mountain, two core languages, and a ton of culture? That’s right: Montreal! Whether you are learning English and French with language courses or hitting the streets and talking to natives for the first time, there is no city better for you than Quebec’s cultural centre, Montreal.

            You have probably already heard that Montreal is a bilingual city. That means two things: firstly, you can practice speaking English and French with just about everyone you meet, and secondly, if ever you are stuck in one language, you can simply try with the other. Because the city is bursting with native French speakers (about 65%) and native English speakers (nearly 20%), you’ll always find someone with whom you can try to practice those English and French speaking skills.

            But the languages alone are not the most attractive feature. Montreal has English- and French-language culture that draws millions of visitors every year. The city is teeming with culture—in both languages. Looking to sharpen your English or French language skills? Go to any bookstore and you will find volumes in both languages. Feel like having a more immersive experience? The city is loaded with museums and cultural centres—like the Musee des Beaux Art or the Planetarium, both of which offer guides in both English and French. Or, if you feel like having a coffee or beer, you can visit one of our famous cafes or brasseries. You can always read the menus in both languages, and even address the workers in the language of your choice!

There are few other cities that offer so much interesting culture in both languages. You can attend an artsy French play put on by one of our home-grown theatre operations in the evening, and then hit a comedy club and hear English comics try their best to get you in stitches. And if you want take part of “sin city,” the renowned bar scene in Montreal will getting you talking to everybody in either of Canada’s official languages. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get to know a dancer

If you are an outgoing person, there are a number of popular and free programs to help you achieve fluency in English or French. Mundo Ling, for example, is a social club for languages. Interestingly, this club presents at different locations, rotating each week of the month. Depending on the day, you may find a meet-up in a bar, in a café, or even in a rented venue. Once there, you’ll get the chance to converse in the language of your choice the entire night. Sounds adventurous, right?

If you’re looking for more of a one-on-one venture, Montreal has a multitude of programs to get you speaking English and French fluently with a partner. For one, there is the website meetup.com and mylanguageexchange.com, which are geared to help people interested in mastering any language. Firing up these websites in Montreal would be particularly fruitful, given the number of people willing to practice one language in exchange for helping others practice the other. Aside from that, you can find yourself a teacher with a renowned language program at a language school like the Sullivan Language Center.

And what could be a better way of immersing yourself in the city and culture than cinema? Montreal has a number of theatres dedicated to language-specific and underground films. Buildings like the Forum Cineplex and the Cinema Beaubien give you the chance to practice your listening comprehension in English and French!