A uniquely Quebecois expression, inspired by the terms Francophone and Anglophone, much used terms in Quebec for, respectively, French and English speakers. While the terms are not unheard of in English Canada, they usually have a more technical or bureaucratic use than in Quebec, where they are part of colloquial speech.

Simply put, an Allophone is a Quebecker of non-French or English origin,1 possibly, but not necessarily born abroad. It is a play on the word allo, the informal equivalent of “hello”, to indicate a newcomer (whether recently arrived, or arrived in one of the various waves of immigration in the 20th Century).

The term came into existence during Quebec’s Quiet Revolution, as Quebec politics became more preoccupied about the future of the French language, the integration of non-French speakers and the connection between them.

Allo? Comprenez-vous?

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons


  1. Allophones in Quebec. (2013, March 4). CBC.