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This woman is teaching tourists how to swear and eat poutine like a true Quebecker

For one hour and a half, 18 bucks, and a plate of poutine, Quebec tourists and anglophones can learn the finest of curses native to Quebec.
Samuel Helguero Montreal, QC

For one hour and a half, 18 bucks, and a plate of poutine, Quebec tourists and anglophones can learn the finest of curses native to Quebec.

Yes, Alissa Boncheville who offers her services through Airbnb, has been teaching folks to swear in the provinces unique dialect—Joual.

Boncheville has so far satisfied 400 customers this year, with courses 4 times a week. At each lesson, she walks her students through some of the nation’s rich history and curses like “tabarnouche,” “sacrimouille,” or “caline.”

“Of course it’s true that people laugh! Not just my group, but the people around us. It’s amusing for Quebecers to here foreigners from around the world trying to swear!” Boncheville told the Montreal paper, 24 heures.

Those from France particularly enjoy taking her courses, wanting to be “initiated to Joual.”

For many living outside of Quebec, they are unfamiliar with the mere existence of Joual before arriving to Montreal and listening to the varieties of French the island can offer.

However, it is not long before one begins to recognize the unmistakable distinctness of a language common to the cities working-class. Even French speakers have trouble comprehending what can sometimes sound like a mouth rapidly juggling to escape an excess of chewing gum.

Not unusual to speakers of Joual, is the intermittent cursing, that flows out energetically in dialogue.

Indeed, during her lessons, Boncheville has been asked several times to leave the restaurants where she’s taken up her practice.

“When we feel like we’ve gotten someone upset or if there are kids at a nearby table, I leave with my group,” said Boncheville.

Among the more child-friendly content, are the 20-minute lessons the instructor offers in Quebec history. She guides students through the story of a nation that has so often been concerned with the preservation of it’s particular French element.

Thus, with a lesson in history, and the offering of a few words in Joual, Bouncheville justifies the naming of her course, “Quebecer class”.

It was Boncheville’s “passion for Joual” that got her to make her first postings on Airbnb. Ever since, she has had success.

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Samuel Helguero
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